There is much debate about the local SW Florida real estate market and whether it is shifting.  Experts speculate that it might because of everything from rising interest rates, rising prices, housing declines up North, to climate change. This makes selecting correct listing agent critical when market shifts even more important, which we’ll discuss later on.

Selecting Correct Listing Agent Critical When Market Shifts

One of the factors some experts look at when evaluating the market is housing inventory.  New listing inventory numbers were just released, and we noticed a few things.  First off, new listings increased 11% in October over 2017 new listings.  Secondly, current listing inventory stands at 5,823 which is 17.9% increase over last year.  So, what is causing this inventory buildup, and what can we do about it?

Inventory buildup is caused by several things including rising rates, decreasing home affordability, and false expectations.  Sellers read that home prices are up 2.9% over last year, so they add 2.9% to the figure they thought their home was worth last year, and voila, they have a number. Different homes appreciate at varying rates, just like certain neighborhoods appreciate at different rates than others due to location, age, the finances of the association, amenities, etc.

Most sellers believe we have a runaway market while many buyers are fearful that prices are too high and should come down.  The truth is both could be right, and both could be wrong, depending on the price range, neighborhood, and other factors.

Selecting Correct Listing Agent Critical When Market Shifts

In a shifting market, two things sell homes.  Marketing and Price.  Sometimes a correctly priced home won’t sell or won’t sell for full value if it isn’t marketed well.  However, history is littered with examples of overpriced merchandise that won’t sell no matter how well it’s marketed.  Marketing and pricing go hand in hand.

Other factors influence showings, like pet smells, kitchen and bath updates, the general condition of the property, etc.  It all comes down to price though.  What you have in it doesn’t necessarily affect value.  For instance, I was in GA at a real estate conference and they drove me by Evander Holyfield’s home.  I think they said it was a $30 million home to build, and it was in an area of acreage and homes worth a few hundred thousand dollars.  If Evander would have sold that home back then, there is no way he’d get $30 million, even though he may have had that much in it.  Who would buy it?

While that’s an extreme example, the same principal holds true.  Cost does not equal value.  If you want to sell, we must determine what the market is willing to pay.  It doesn’t matter how much you have in the home, how much you need to buy your next home, or how much you owe.  It’s just worth what’s it worth at this point in time.

Some sellers decide to wait until it goes up in value.  That’s fine if they realize it could go down in value too.  And, while they’re waiting for their property to go up in value, the thing they were going to buy with their proceeds might go up in value too.  What if it goes up faster than the home their waiting to sell?  They lose money by waiting.

We’re not here to talk sellers into anything or convince people to sell.  We do offer common sense solutions, and present ideas for them to keep in mind so they can make the best decision for their finances.  Buying and selling can be emotional, so they tend to have knee-jerk reactions.  Once buyers or sellers get an idea in their head, it’s hard to come off that. That’s where a seasoned professional with years of experience comes in.

It’s one thing to know the market, and it’s another to know how to deliver information to buyers and sellers in a format they can digest to make good decisions for their family.  If you’re thinking of buying or selling, call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 and we’ll help you with your questions, or go to www.SWFLhomevlaues.com to find out your home’s value for Free online.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Sunday 12-3 PM

7152 Reymoor Dr

7152 Reymoor Dr Riverfront Home
Riverfront Home

We get this question a lot?  Is it better to list SW Florida home in December or January?  The perception is there are more buyers here in season, so why not wait until season when more buyers are here, and the home will be fresher to the market.

The advice we’re about to give might fly in the face of reason, however it is steeped in experience and logic.  Yes, more visitors arrive in SW Florida in the seasonal months of January through April.  If you look at the closed sales chart, you’ll notice we typically have far more closings in December than we do in January.

Better to List SW Florida Home in December or January

Many buyers wish to get their sale in by year end for tax and homestead purposes.  It’s not uncommon for us to have a big sales month in December, probably for these reasons.

If we recognize that December can be a good month for sales, we must also recognize what happens each January and February.  The listings shoot through the roof.  January and February show the largest increase in listing inventory each year.  It will happen again this upcoming season.

Better to List SW Florida Home in December or January SW Florida Listing Inventory

As a seller, if you’re contemplating selling in the next few months, you are absolutely better off listing now.  Buyers are out there.  Our team has been busy showing properties to multiple buyers, and we have several offers in the works.

We tell sellers there may not be as many showings in December, but they showings that do occur tend to be from serious home buyers.  If the middle of November is any indication, showings this December might increase over previous years.

If sales activity is higher in December than January, and if there is far more listing competition in January, why would you wait to put your home on the market?  Statistically you’re better off putting it on the market now.

The answer is, sellers believe the holidays are a bad time to sell a home.  And the reality is, many agents believe it to, so they take the month of December off.  When they take the month off, it further confirms to them that nobody buys in December because they had no sales.

The same can be said for agents who take the summers off.  They believe there are no sales in the summer, and their belief becomes their reality.  As you can tell from the chart, summertime closings are some of the best months each year.  Why would you take those months off?

But then again, why would you hire a part-time Realtor?  To me, a part-time Realtor isn’t just an agent who has a primary job somewhere else and works real estate on the side.  A part-time Realtor can also be an agent that takes months off.  When you do that, you basically shut your business down.  It’s one thing to take a vacation.  Everybody needs them.  For heaven’s sake, if you’re going to take a vacation, get another agent to cover for you.  How would you like to be a seller and find out your agent took the month off?

That’s why having a team makes a lot of sense.  If any team member takes a vacation, the rest of the team picks up the slack.  The Ellis Team works 365 days per year, and yet not every agent on the team has to.  We want each of our team members to take some time off and come back refreshed.  It’s all part of offering 1st class service.

If you’re considering selling in the next 5 months, you should call Sande or Brett Ellis and discuss your options.  We’re not saying putting your house on the market today is the best for everybody.  We’re just saying be careful about listening to false assumptions.  If you’d like to talk, we’re here to help.  239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Or find out your home’s value online for free at www.SWFLhomevalues.com

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

13 High Point Cir N Unit 302, Naples FL  34103

The last few weeks we’ve been reporting official Southwest Florida real estate sales numbers, and the numbers look good.  This flies in the face of what some sellers and some agents are saying about the market.  Real estate tends to be an emotional item.  It is for buyer and seller, and for agents alike. This week we’ll focus on why you should avoid Dr do it all when selecting a Realtor to sell your home.

Buyers and sellers tend to get caught up in their own personal transaction.  Agents tend to get caught up in their overall production.  Sometimes agents confuse their own production with that of the overall market, and often they are completely different.

The typical agent’s production cycle is up and down.  They prospect, farm, and lead generate which leads to appointments.  As they take appointments they get busy.  A lot goes into working with a buyer or bringing a listing to the market.  Both can be time consuming.  As transactions begin to occur, all of the prospecting, farming, and lead generating tends to stop.  They must focus limited resources on the ultimate goal, getting the deals closed.

Once they get their deals closed, they’re basically out of business and must begin the process all over again.  And after they do, the cycle begins anew.  When agents are in the transaction phase, they feel like the market is booming, because they’re busy and they have closings coming up.  When they are in the prospecting phase, they can feel like the market is dead and nobody wants to buy.  Because they honestly feel this way, agents tend to report on how they feel the market is doing by how their personal business is going.  And the answer always lies in which step of the process they are in.  Talk to 10 different agents and you might get 10 different answers, and it’s all real to them.

Avoid Dr Do It All When Selecting a Realtor to Sell Your Home

Experienced agents with a long track record of sales have learned to level out the ups and down by doing two things.  Hire talent to help handle all the fine details of bringing a listing to market and managing a transaction.  This helps agents do the 2nd thing, which is never stop lead generating. 

Avoid Dr Do It All When Selecting a Realtor to Sell Your Home

Not only will it help an agent level out the ups and downs of their business, it also helps their sellers.  Imagine listing with an agent that is so busy taking your listing and closing a few deals that they stop lead generating.  Now that your home is new to the market, there are no new leads for your home because the agent stopped lead generating to get your home ready for MLS.

A lot goes into placing a home in MLS, if done properly.  Professional photos must be taken.  Several hours are spent on a pricing strategy, and several more hours are spent gathering information for the MLS, like HOA or condo information, and of course listing all the details and fields for the home.  Then there is the dreaded agent remark section where agents must cleverly write a compelling story on why your home is a good buy.

It’s no wonder why single agents get frustrated, because there is so much to do, and when business starts happening, the lead generation stops.  This is where sellers get frustrated.  Their home is fresh on the market, and few people are viewing the home.

Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty

Avoid Dr Do it All- This is why we created a team.  In fact, we were the first team in SW Florida many years ago.  We never stop lead generating.  The Ellis Team has a full-time listing manager to help with all the details of bringing a home to market.  We have a closing manager to help get our deals to the closing table, so we don’t have to start all over with another buyer.  And, we have a full-time marketing manager to make our ads, and our homes look good.

We never stop marketing and lead generating.  This is why our homes sell faster and for more money than the average agent.  We have a list of buyers ready to buy now, and we are working every day to find them homes.  We may already have a buyer for your home, and if not, our marketing will create one.

Call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 if you’re thinking of selling, or go to www.SWFLhomevalues.com to see what your home may be worth.

While many agents in SW Florida are complaining about lack of closings the numbers just do not bear this out.  Statistically average sale prices are about what they were in the boom of 2005 and early 2006, and 2018 single family real estate closings almost at boom levels as well.

Back in 2005 we had 12,273 single family closings.  In 2017 we had 12,356, and 2018 is on track to beat that.  The peak for closings was between 2009-2011 when prices were a lot lower.  Today we have peak level pricing and high levels of sales.

2018 Single Family Real Estate Closings Almost at Boom Levels

Looking at the single-family homes sold chart shows 2018 neck and neck with 2015 levels, which was a very good year.  We ran Year to Date numbers and discovered 2018 is just 16 closings shy of the 2015 pace.  When we look at real estate pricing along with months supply of inventory, we realize the 2018 real estate market is doing very well.

2018 Single Family Real Estate Closings Almost at Boom Levels YTD Closings

Back in July 2015 the months supply of homes was 3.8 months.  July 2018 it stands at 4.9 months.  Anything below 5.5 months is considered a seller’s market.  The median price in 2018 stood at $255,000 and the average stood at $350,566.  Back in July 2015 the median sold price was $209,830 and the average stood at $326,883.  In 3 short years that’s a 21.53% rise in median price and a 7.25% rise in average prices.

Real estate agents tend to report on how the market is doing in direct relation to how their business is doing.  This is not a good way to judge the market as shifts in market share can affect your production, and not necessarily the market.  The average agent does less than 1 deal per year.  The average full-time agent may do less than 7 deals per year.  If an agent’s production goes from 7 deals one year to 4 deals the next, it might feel like a drastic market change has occurred to that agent.  The reality is maybe their marketing isn’t working like it used to, or maybe they’re not working as hard or as efficiently as before.  Neither scenario is a good market indicator.

Our team consistently sells over 100 homes per year.  This year our goal is 225.  Because we’re big advertisers, our homes sell fast and for top dollar.  Large teams like the Ellis Team may siphon off more deals from single agents which cuts their production to less than last year’s levels.  In this case, it feels like the market isn’t as strong, and they honestly tell this to their clients because that’s their experience.

It pays to study the numbers.  Agents should study their numbers and compare them to the overall market.  In doing so they’re much more likely to spot actual trends in the market and rely less on feelings and estimates.

We’ve been studying the market for decades, so we know when the market is on the move.  Getting Top Dollar is a function of knowing exactly where the market is, and quite possibly where it’s heading.  The only way you can do this is to know exactly where it is and exactly where it’s been.  Experience and market conditions fill in the blanks from there.

Whether you’re buying or you’re selling, you need to know this information.  Make sure you’re working with an agent that studies the numbers.  If you’re considering selling, call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  If you’re in the market to purchase, our team can help you too.

For a free computer analysis of your home’s value, visit www.swflHomeValues.com  We have an app that has all the open houses every weekend.  If you’re interested, give us a call.

Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty!  We’re here to help, when you need us and how you need us.

Ellis Team Weekend Open House

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

All Realtors are not the same.  Who you work with matters.  In fact, it can cost you thousands to use the wrong agent.  People don’t realize this until it’s too late.  Here are some tips on how to select the best real estate agent on your next transaction, and why it’s important.

Select the Best Real Estate Agent on Your Next Transaction
Voted Best Real Estate Team in SW Florida 3 Years in a Row

The Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty was just awarded the best team in SW Florida by the News Press readers for the 3rd straight year, so hopefully we have some good ideas on what to look for in an agent for you.

Full-Time-We believe working with a full-time agent is critical.  It’s difficult enough keeping up with all the education requirements, regulatory and legal changes, and ever-changing inventory. A part-time agent just can’t keep up.  You have to wonder about the agent’s commitment level to the profession when they only devote part-time to it.

Experience-There is no substitute for experience. An agent develops a reputation in the community, both by consumers and by fellow agents alike. Trust plays a big part.  If other agents trust your agent, they’re more likely to accept your offer as your agent puts their reputation on the line on each deal.  They are trusting that we are experienced and know how to handle our customer.  If an agent gets the reputation of not being able to properly educate and counsel their customer, agents are less likely to want to take deals from them in the future.  Newer agents combat this because experienced agents know newer agents may lack the skills necessary to successfully navigate a deal all the way from contract to closing.  At the very least, newer agents should be in daily contact with their broker and/or mentor to assist them.

Negotiating-Every agent thinks they’re a great negotiator.  Negotiating skills take lots of education, and lots of practice.  It doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s not true just because you think it’s true.  Every singer on American Idol believes they’re great, and some of the best episodes are watching those that believe they’re great, and clearly, they are not.  It will cost you to hire an amateur that thinks they’re the next American Idol.

Marketing– If you’re selling, you want an agent that’s willing to invest their own money into your advertising.  If they’re going to collect a commission from you, you want someone who’s invested along with you.  Not only does marketing work, it shows commitment.  If they’re not willing to spend money on your listing, it tells you their degree of confidence in selling your home.  Ask to see the marketing plan and compare against other Top marketing plans out there.  There is a huge difference in marketing that will become apparent to you if you interview the right people.

Track Record– Compare track records of the agents you interview.  Ask to see their sales in the past year.  How many listings did they sell?  If they only work with buyers, they may not have the experience necessary to successfully represent a seller.  There is a lot of ground-work that needs to be done, like obtaining rules and regulation, HOA docs, financials, disclosures, etc.  And all this before we even begin talking about pricing strategies.

Company-Each company has its unique set of benefits.  Are you looking for a boutique company, or an International powerhouse with connections all over the world?  How many referrals does the company receive each month from out of town?  Does the company advertise outside the area?  All questions you want answers to.

In summary, buyers and sellers want someone they can trust and someone that will dedicate their time and experience to helping them.  They want attention, diligence, knowledge, experience, and honest feedback.  Hire an agent who is strong enough to listen to you and tell you you’re on the right track, or another track is necessary for success.

If you’re looking to list your home, please call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Our team of buyer agents can help you purchase as well.  Or visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com for the best real estate website in SW Florida.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open Sunday 1-3 PM

13994 Reflection Lakes Dr – Reflection Lakes

1462 Claret Ct – Whiskey Creek

14941 Lake Olive Dr – Parker Lakes

We get calls all the time from discouraged sellers asking for our help.  They placed their home on the market with another agent and it didn’t sell.  They just can’t understand why their home wasn’t liked enough by a buyer to make an offer.  We tell them there are 3 reasons why homes fail to sell.

3 Reasons Why Homes Fail to Sell

  1. A home must be marketed everywhere to attract top dollar.  Simply placing it in MLS or adding a few yard signs may not get the job done.  Even though your home is on MLS, it’s not reaching the whole market.  It also doesn’t stand out.  Buyers have choices, and if you’re just on a list, your home better stand out as a bargain or offer something they really want.  Getting your home out to the right people at the right time in their buying cycle is key.  We can’t tell you how many times a buyer has said we wished we’d known about this other home when we were buying.  It was on MLS, but it didn’t stand out.  It was just a home on a list.
  2. So, you’ve got your home on the MLS.  Does the description make the buyer want to call and ask more questions?  Are all the fields perfect in MLS.  If a Realtor, or buyer for that matter, is searching for a particular field and yours is missing, your home is invisible in that search.  Do you have all the required documents uploaded into MLS at time of listing?  This isn’t the time to be lazy.  Many times, buyers have questions about the HOA, the rules, the finances, etc. and they like to see the answers immediately. If they’re absent, they move on and you lost your chance.
  3. Your home must be priced at market. If it is over the market, it’s not really on the market.  Finding the true market price can be tricky, we get it.  It takes years of experience and studying the market daily as the market is always in flux. We tell sellers we should receive an offer about every 4-5 showings.  If we’re not getting offers, something is wrong.  If we’re not getting showings at all, something bigger is wrong.  We’ve either got an error in the details, or our price is off more than originally thought.  If you’d like to get a pretty good ball park idea of your home’s worth, go to www.swflhomevalues.com It is a computer and does a pretty good job, but it’s no substitute for us looking at your property.

Many people say it’s not price, it’s the condition or the location.  It’s true, you can’t change the location.  You’re locked in by location, and if you’ve got a neighbor that isn’t keeping up their property, it could affect your value.

If your condition isn’t up to par, it too could affect your value. Notice the key words here?  Your value.  Value is determined by the market.  You set the price, the market determines the value.  If your price isn’t at value, it will sit.  You can improve your condition, and that may help.  You may not get dollar for dollar back on improvements, but they may help protect your downside if your home has some objections from buyers.

3 Reasons Why Homes Fail to Sell

It pays to hire a professional.  Failing at any one of these 3 critical components can kill a sale, or worse, cause you to sell it for less than it’s worth.  Why reach 1 buyer when you can reach hundreds? A Realtor with years of experience can help you price it properly, market it for all it’s worth, and handle all the details so you have a smooth move.

If you’re thinking of selling, Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042 Ext 4  ask for Sande or Brett.  If your home failed to sell the first time, we can help fix that and get you on your way.  Good luck and Happy Selling!

If you’re buying, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com  We’ve got all the homes for sale in MLS, and it’s updated instantly.  No more looking at homes that aren’t really on the market anymore.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Reflection Lakes 5 Bedroom 3 Bath Pool Home on Lake

Reflection lakes Pool Home

13994 Reflection Lakes Dr

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Daniel’s Park 4 Bedroom 3 Bath Home With 3 Car Garage

Daniel’s Park 4 Bedroom 3 Bath Home With 3 Car Garage

14077 Danpark Loop

 

 

Real estate agents across SW Florida have been complaining that sales have been sluggish, however the numbers show that 2018 Lee County Florida home sales shaping up to be decent year. Both April and May numbers have topped previous years, and January, February, and March are right in there.  If things keep progressing, we’ll have a chance to top 2015 sales levels.

What is fueling the increase in home sales?  Two things come to mind right off the bat.  Higher inventory and price reductions.  Inventory 7.8% this year to 5,787 listings compared to 5,368 last year.  This opens up more choices for buyers.

7 Day Market Watch 2018 Lee County Florida Home Sales Shaping Up

We’re seeing as many price reductions as new listings in a typical 7-day period.  In the past 7 days we saw 440 price reductions compared to 323 new listings and 376 pending sales.  This tells us sellers have recognized the need to adjust their price and are making the adjustments.  When this happens, sales occur.

2018 Lee County Florida Home Sales Shaping Up

Official numbers released this week show median price and sales price increasing in May.  You might ask, how is it possible to have increasing prices while sellers are decreasing their asking prices?  Median price is defined as the price where half the sales occur over that price and half occur under.  If most of the upper end sellers overprice their home, there are fewer sales up there and it forces the median price down, because that’s what’s selling.  Lower priced sellers were more in-tune with the market.  As the mid and upper ranges accepted that change needed to occur, more sales started happening.  As this occurs, it pulls the average and median price upward.

Many will read the headlines and infer that prices are rising when in fact prices have not been rising.  It’s the fall in prices that created the sales.  It is the reluctance of mid to upper sellers to adjust sooner that stalled the sales.  There were only so many mid to lower listings to go around.

We expect to see good sales numbers the balance of 2018 as the market adjusts to the shift.  The market always adjusts.  It’s only a matter of how long it takes to do so.  It’s kind of like pulling off a band-aid.  You can pull it slowly or rip it off.  Either way it comes off, it’s just a matter of how long you want the pain to last.

Buyers can rejoice now because there are some pretty good deals out there.  For instance, we’ve got a 5-bedroom, 3 bath pool home on the lake in Reflection Lakes for just $459,000.  Last year that same home would have sold for $525,000.  We’ve got a 4-bedroom 3 bath home in Belle Lago for $465,000.  It was on the market with another broker last year for well over $500,000.  Imagine getting a 4-bedroom home in Paseo for $500,000.  We’ve got that too.  We even have a 4 bedroom home in Reflection Lakes for $375,000.

In fact, if you want to see a list of Hot Buys, go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com and click on the Featured Listing Section.  If you’re interested in how a neighborhood is doing, check out the Market Reports section.

Sellers who are curious as to their home’s value will appreciate the property valuation tool.  It’s free, and provides a detailed report on your home within seconds.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling, we should probably talk.  We’ve got a way for you to save thousands when getting a mortgage.  We have options for you to save thousands too when selling.  If you’re thinking of selling, ask for Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  If you’re buying, we have a team of buyer agents ready to help you find your dream home and save money on the loan too.  Always Call the Ellis team!  We’re here to help.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

17970 Maddelena Cir  Belle Lago Open House

Open House Sunday 11AM – 1PM

5970 Trailwinds Dr Unit 121

As real estate agents I think we tend to forget that people really don’t know how to sell their home. What seems basic to a veteran agent is not basic to all, and even many newer agents don’t know all the best tips.  We decided to cover 8 seller mistakes when putting home on the market.

8 Seller Mistakes When Putting Home on the Market

  1. Don’t be present for showings.  If you absolutely must be home for showings, don’t say a word.  Take a walk, drive around the block, or anywhere you can to avoid conversation with the buyers.  Sellers believe they know their home better than anyone; therefore, they can sell it better than anyone.  Be aware of the $1,000 rule.  Practically every word you speak to the buyers costs you $1,000.  I’d say try it, but it’ll cost you.
  2. Don’t photograph everything. There is no rule you must provide a photo of everything.  Leave a little to the imagination.  Make them want to get inside and see everything.  Most bathrooms don’t need to be photographed, unless they are spectacular, stand out, and are a selling feature.
  3. Set correct listing price and negotiate firm. You’ll get a better sales price if you set the correct list price.  Overpricing drives buyers away.  You’re not going to fool a buyer today, so you might as well price correctly upfront.  Buyers typically don’t want to insult a seller, so they just move on to other better values.  Or worse yet, they never view inside of your home because it’s not on their radar.
  4. Select the best agent to market your home, not the least expensive. Selecting the least expensive can cost you thousands.  It’s not what an agent charges that matters, it’s what ends up in your pocket at closing.  All Realtors are not the same.  Some agents sell homes faster and for more money.  Enough to cover the difference in rate, and then some.
  5. Make your home accessible. We live in the online age.  People expect fast access, both online and in person.  Some buyers are buying today and won’t come back tomorrow just to see your home.  By the time your home is available and picked up, they bought something else.  It just repeats with the next buyer.
  6. Check with your condo or HOA. There are many required disclosures and documents you must pass on to buyer at contract.  Failure to do so can cost you a sale. Get these documents upfront.  It’s a pain, but you’re going to have to do it anyway, so don’t lose a buyer and get them now.
  7. Disclose defects. Better yet, repair problems so next buyer doesn’t have to deal with it.  Most buyers want a problem free home.  They want to move in and not have to repair a bunch of things.  Their time and budget is stretched enough, and having to repair other peoples’ existing issues kind of takes the fun out of home shopping.  If you don’t want to do the repair, chances are you next buyer may not either.
  8. Market your home everywhere! Newspaper, online, social media, etc.  Make sure your home is target marketed to home buyers looking for what you have.  Throwing a sign out there and posting on an online site won’t cut it.  Everyone does that.  You want to stand out.

Wish we had more room.  If you’re thinking of selling, always call the Ellis Team.  We’ll go over our entire list and expose your home to more people.  Call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4  To search the MLS like a pro, visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com

Don’t forget to vote us Best Real Estate Team in SW Florida in News Press Reader Poll.  www.Bestswfl.com

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Reflection Lakes 5 Bed 3 Bath Pool Home on Lake

Large Reflection Lakes Pool home priced to sell and ready to go

13994 Reflection Lakes Dr

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Bella Lago 4 Bed 3 Bath Pool Home

3 Car Garage, Granite Counters, and more

19790 Maddelana

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

Cape Coral Direct Access Waterfront Pool Home

Direct Access Cape Coral Waterfront Pool Home

1933 SE 36th St

 

 

 

April was a strong month in the Southwest Florida real estate sales market.  Closed sales were up 23% over last year, and that’s not all.  Not only were the number of sales up, so were the prices.  The median price was up 5.4% in April to $262,500, up from $249,000 the previous year.  The average sales price was up 8.1%

Because the number of homes closed was up, and prices were up, naturally too was the total volume of sales.  Total volume this April was $545 Million, up from $410 Million last year.  That’s a 32.9% increase.  We’ve mentioned in previous articles that top agents across SW Florida are reporting an increase in their business this season over last.

So, does this mean the market is shooting up?  If you read the headlines, you would think so.  Pockets of the market are doing well and other pockets not so much.  We believe May numbers could be good too when they are released next month, only because our numbers are better than last years.  That doesn’t mean a good April and May will translate to the whole year, nor to every neighborhood and price range.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Sales

One thing the latest numbers show us is new listings are up 19.8%.  Inventory is up 5.1%.  This is one of the reasons you’re seeing more sales, because we finally have more property available for buyers.  The hottest segment of the market is below $400,000, and some would say lower than that.  If you look at the chart, we’ve seen a tremendous increase of new listings in that affordable range.  When that happens, sales increase.

Homes priced over $400k are just not as hot right now.  Sure, we had some April sales because it was season.  Those closed sales occurred in February and March.  Since then we’re not seeing as many.  We are seeing sales across all prices ranges for homes that are priced correctly.  Because the market is shifting right now, it’s sometimes hard to get a fix on what is priced correctly and what isn’t.

Showings in May are down.  And yet, many homes are still selling.  If your home is getting lots of showings, it’s probably priced close to the market.  If not, you’re probably priced over the market.

Last week I went out to preview new builder inventory.  As a Realtor we see the incentives the public doesn’t always see.  Home builders want to get as much money as they can for their homes.  However, home builders are less emotional and react quicker to market changes than regular sellers.  Home builders are not emotional like a home seller is.  They have no ties to the property.  It’s just a number to them.  Granted, they want that number to be the highest it can be.

I was amazed at some of the prices I saw.  Builders are not lowering because they’re kind.  They’re lowering because they are seeing changes. New construction pricing and incentives affects resale pricing.

Sellers need to know that buyers don’t just look at one home.  They look at 20 or more, and online sometimes it’s hundreds.  They learn the market.  They’re using sites like www.LeeCountyOnline.com and seeing all the listings in real-time.  Fairly quickly they can see what’s going on and make decisions.  Sellers tend to set a price and forget about it.  They get mad at their Realtor, mad at their neighbor who just reduced their price, and mad at the market when it doesn’t sell.  Instead of getting mad, we’d like to see you have success.  When your price matches the market, it will sell, assuming it’s marketed correctly.

If you’re looking to sell your home, please call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  We can help you purchase too.  And don’t forget to vote for us as best real estate team in SW Florida.  We’re going for a 3 peat and could use your vote.

Top Real Estate Bargains in SW Florida

See homes in Southwest Florida $300,000 and below

Official sales numbers are out, and Southwest Florida housing median home prices rose 2% past year.  March 2018 median home price came in at $260,000, up from $255,000 last year.  All year we’ve been saying home prices have been flat since about June, so this was a nice rise albeit a moderate rise.  Average home prices were up 4.1% to $375,895, up from $361,082 last year.

Southwest Florida Median Home Prices Rose 2% Past Year

The number of home sales were down 2.7% in March versus last year.  So, what is the takeaway from these numbers?  Statistically we have a balanced market neither favoring the buyer or the seller.  Of course, certain price ranges and neighborhoods can vary.  These are what we call sub-markets.

All real estate is local.  It doesn’t matter if you’re in Pittsburgh PA, Peoria IL, or, Cleveland OH.  What’s true in one market can be different in another.  What’s true in one market can be different in a sub-market of that same market.  Therefore, it’s important to work with a seasoned Realtor with experience in the market you’re looking.  While I believe the Ellis Team are some of the best agents around, we wouldn’t be in another town like Pensacola or Jacksonville.  Sure, we’re licensed Florida agents and can serve you anywhere in Florida, but is that wise?

By the same token, national websites cannot help you like a good local one can.  www.LeeCountyOnline.com is the best local SW Florida real estate website for several reasons.  It has all the listings, and it’s updated instantly.  Other large national websites don’t have all the listings, and many of the listings they do have offer incomplete or inaccurate data.  We’ve had calls on our own listing and the condo or HOA fee is completely wrong on the national sites.  It’s correct on our website.

We’ve had calls on a property that wasn’t on the market from one of the national sites.  Turns out the property sold three times since the listing they found.  We have no idea how they could have a listing from a decade ago on their site.  You’d think they’d at least get the last listing, not three before it.

Selecting the wrong agent to work with you can be a costly mistake.  Sometimes people choose to work with a friend or relative to purchase a home.  When you find out you bought the wrong home, or paid too much for it, it can be frustrating.  Or worse, when you lose the home over an inspection issue that could have been handled with a little experience and know-how.  There’s no substitute for hard work, and experience.

Choosing the right lender is important too.  Some lenders have high fees, while others are notorious for rigid underwriting requirements and not getting loans closed.  Experienced Realtors know which lenders perform what they say, on time, and where the best rates are.  Did you know most lenders have extra requirements they place on buyers?  They’re called overlays.  We work with lenders that offer little or no overlays, so the buyer can be approved almost instantly.  Buyers hate all the documentation and hoops banks make you jump through just to get a loan.

Insurance is another big issue.  A large homeowner’s or flood premium increases your monthly payment.  This can alter how much home you can afford.  Remember, you’re approved for a total payment amount.  Why let insurance eat away at your purchasing power?  We know a few good insurance agents we keep in our pocket.  It helps our buyers beat out other buyers to the best properties.

Between having the most accurate and timely information, getting the loan the easy way, and best prices on insurance, we turn the home buying process into fun!  This way you can concentrate on shopping for a home which is the fun part.  We’ll handle all the other details, so you can get your loan, save money, and enjoy that great house you just found.  And you’ll be smiling because you got it and the other buyers didn’t.  Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

Belle Lago 4 Bed 3 Bath Pool Home

Belle Lago  19790 Maddelena Cir

Daniels Park Home Open Saturday 1-4 PM

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