Market prices are driven by supply and demand.  Basic economics teaches us this and the SW Florida real estate market is living proof.  We have excellent demand locally along with declining inventory.  Basically, we are outselling the number of new homes that come on the market each week.  We see correctly priced homes selling with multiple offers.

Correctly Priced Homes Selling with Multiple Offers
Correctly Priced Homes Selling with Multiple Offers in SW Florida

Ellis Team buyer agents have been selling up a storm lately, and we have had to spend some time with our buyers educating them on what it takes to win an offer.  Homes that are not in multiple offer situations can quickly turn in just a matter of hours.  We keep on the lookout for homes that enter the market for our buyers and many times our buyers are forced to buy it within a day or two of being on the market.

Our team has a databank of over 11,000 people searching for specific criteria.  We filter those out by the most motivated.  If they wish to buy in a year, they search for information purposes, but any home they see now will be gone in days, if it is priced and marketed correctly.

Most Correctly Priced Homes Selling

We have seen homes priced correctly that have not sold.  Our buyers are thankful for that because if it had been marketed correctly it might not still be there.  This brings us to another especially important point.

Marketing matters as does proper pricing.  Pricing can change by the week in some areas, and not move so much in others.  It pays to know what is selling, what is not, and why.  An experienced agent can help you with that.

It also pays to list with an agent who is an expert in the market, and markets heavily.  We have included a graph sorted by price range.  We also look at property class, neighborhood, and a variety of other factors to determine pricing trends.

Housing supply lowered in every single price point in the last 30 days, and yet not all prices saw rising sales.  Inventory just dipped, and maybe sales were lower because there was not inventory to sell.  We are seeing a nice rise in sales in the $300,000 to $1 Million range.  Other ranges saw sales gains too, but homes in these ranges not only saw lower inventory but rising sales numbers as well.

September was a good month for the Ellis Team and our Keller Williams office.  We had 188 closings last month with several more that spilled into October as the lenders were backed up getting the closings out.

Thinking of Selling?

You should talk to Brett or Sande Ellis. Brett and Sande have the experience to price your home where it should be in today’s market and the marketing muscle to get your home sold fast and for top dollar. When we take your listing, we can search our databank of buyers and see if we may already have the buyer for your home.  If not, our marketing goes to work, and we would love the opportunity to show you that all Realtors do not market the same.

Choosing the wrong Realtor could cost you thousands of dollars.  Selecting the wrong offer can cost you the sale completely.  If you’re not ready to sell but want a quick, fairly accurate price of your home, www.SWFLhomevalues.com is one of the most accurate around.  No computer is perfect, and prices are changing weekly, but it’s a good start. If you want to talk, Call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 Selling a home is a process, and we enjoy explaining the process and making it easier for you.  The Ellis Team has systems and tools to make the process simpler, and of course we’ll get you Top Dollar.

Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty, your Top Dollar Realtors!

See last week’s article “Lee County Real Estate Market Setting Records

We’ve got good news for sellers and for buyers.  The Lee County real estate market is setting records and you might be wondering how this is good news for buyers.

Total Dollar Volume Lee County Real Estate Market

First off, the total dollar volume of sales increased 45.5% to a whopping $553.5 Million in August sales, a new high for the year. Three things are spurring these sales.  Low interest rates, people moving to Florida, and more inventory coming to market.  Median prices rose 16.5% in August over last year, and closed sales were up 16.5% as well.  Both positive numbers added to the rise in dollar volume.

When inventory is falling like it has, you cannot have increased sales forever.  Eventually you’ll run out of inventory to sell. What saved the day is a 32.3% rise in new listings over last year.  This is the good news for buyers.  Before we get too carried away, we’d like to point out one fact.

Lee County Real Estate Market New Listings
New Listings

It is true listings were up 32.3%.  August new listings were 1,547.  New pending sales was 1,796.  This means 249 more homes went under contract than came to the market.  We know some of those deals will fall out over inspection issues, appraisal, etc.  Still, more homes are going pending than coming to market, so that is not a sign of increasing inventory.  The silver lining is more new listings came up than last year.  Without those new listings, dollar volume would not be as high.

We are starting to receive more calls from sellers wondering if now might be a good time to cash out of their property.  Their property has served them well, and they know inventory is low and sellers are in the driver’s seat.  Some sellers are looking to upgrade or downsize, and they feel now is a good time to sell, and they are correct.

We believe more of those conversations will be happening this year.  Will it be enough to cover the buyer demand we have right now?  Nobody knows that answer.  We do not know who will win the election, or even when it will be decided.  A vaccine isn’t approved yet, although tests look promising.  With so many unknowns, nobody can guarantee where the Lee County real estate market will be next year.

What we do know is buyers love Florida and they are moving here.  Sellers sit in a good position, and the sellers choosing to sell right now are doing well.  Agents who use technology and marketing at a high level are doing well, and others are struggling.

The real estate business is changing rapidly right now, and many agents won’t be in the business a year from now.  Some companies are also closing due to pressures of lead acquisition and market conditions.  Who you work with now is more important than ever.

Keep in mind, markets can swing, and little variations in the data can affect sellers.  Staying on top of the data can help sellers make quicker and better decisions.  When the market is on the move, you must pay attention.

The Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty studies the market and the data.  Did you know you can see years’ worth of data on our blog? Subscribe to blog.topagent.com and you’ll receive timely trends as we publish them.

If you’d like to talk to Sande or Brett Ellis, give us a call 239-489-4042 Ext 4  We can discuss your situation and see if this hot market is right for you to make a move.  Having facts helps you make better decisions.  Brett and Sande are here to help.

Find out what your home is worth online for Free

Good luck and happy selling!

See last week’s article “Rising Florida Home Prices Caused by Low Inventory

Like Southwest Florida, the United States housing market has fared very well in 2020.  A robust economy pre covid-19 and low interest rates are two factors that have fueled the real estate market locally and nationally.

We like to analyze data that may affect the market now or in the future.  When looking at national unemployment numbers we see that unemployment is falling fast and steadily from its peak in April.  The last time we saw double digit unemployment was 2009 and it took 4 years to fall just 2.5%.

United States Housing Market Not Affected From Unemployment Yet

We know that our current unemployment rates were forced by the Coronavirus outbreak and was precipitated by forced shutdowns.  It is not surprising that we are rebounding so fast and steadily., and yet we know that anyone who lost their job probably lost their ability to pay for housing for any length of time.  Thank goodness we had a good economy going into this thing.  Imagine how tough this would have been financially back in 2009.

United States Housing Market Unemployment By Age

Secondly, we like to look at who was most affected by job loss, as that may leave clues as to what is ahead for the United States housing market. The hardest hit segment is the 24 and under segment with current unemployment at 14.1% They make up 3.0% of all home sales in the United States housing market.

The 25-34 age group has 9.7% unemployment and make up about 25% of all home sales in the United States.  Lastly, we see the 35+ group with 6.8% unemployment.  They make up 72% of all United States housing market home sales.

Home Sales are Strong

This might explain why home sales have been so strong.  The majority of home buyers have been the least affected by unemployment. Low interest rates have helped offset any losses by affected home buyers.  Still, 8.4% unemployment and rising home sales may not be sustainable forever.  The good news is unemployment should not stay at 8.4% as those numbers are declining rapidly.

We plan to watch these numbers as they should leave clues about what is ahead for the United States housing market.  One potential scenario is it could hold back move-up buyers.  The 25-34 age group tends to be first time home buyers, and if a significant number hold off purchasing their first home it could impact down the road some move-up buyers who are ready to make their next move.

If the economy keeps improving and we get the service sector back to work, this should all work out.  Question marks remain how the travel and tourism segments will fare and people’s willingness to travel until covid-19 is under control.  Optimism in the vaccine and treatment fronts abound and this could help that segment recover sooner if therapeutics or prevention pans out.

Florida Looking Good for the Future

While the United States housing market may max out at some point until the economy recovers, Florida is looking rather good as many from out of state have found Florida desirable.  Florida is a net migration state from other states, so we may buck the trend if the national United States housing market maxes out someday.

At last check Lee County single family home inventory is down to 2.36 months supply of homes on the market.  Buyers must be quick and decisive to score a home in this market.  Sellers must be wise and patient, making sure they select the best offer for them, not necessarily the first offer that tried to box them into a quick decision.  This is where experienced agents come in.

Experienced buyer agents know how to make your offer as strong as possible.  Looking at it from the seller’s eyes is extremely helpful now, and therefore experience matters.

Sellers need experience now more than ever, so be careful trusting your home sale to an agent with little to no listing experience.  If you would like to speak to Brett or Sande Ellis about the process, we’re available.  Simply call 239-489-4042 Ext 4, or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get a Free estimate of your home’s value.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

See last week’s article “Florida Real Estate Demand Heats Up From High Tax State Residents

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 12-3 PM

1453 Mandel Rd

6414 Royal Woods Dr

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

7706 Bay Lake Dr

SW Florida seller’s market fuels rise in home sale prices.  Hot home sales and declining inventory along with low interest rates have caused this seller’s market.

Eventually it had to show up in prices.  Median home sales increased 9.4% over last year while average prices increased 8.5%.  This is July over July numbers, not July over June 2020 numbers.  This tells us prices are on the move.

Seller’s Market Fuels Rise in Home Sale Prices

Seller’s Market Fuels Rise in Home Sale Prices

Rising prices are a good thing for home sellers, but not necessarily a bad thing for home buyers.  Waiting may be a bad thing for home buyers, but not rising prices itself.  The reason is interest rates have helped increase affordability, which means buyers can afford more purchase price for the same monthly payment.  The only thing that may hold some buyers back is the larger down payment.

We are seeing buyers asking for closing costs because they are having to put more down payment up due to rising prices.  This is one reason buyers should look to purchase sooner than later, because their down payments will keep going up with rising prices.

High Tax States Losing Residents

Secondly, we are seeing buyers purchase in Florida from other states.  New York city is losing residents in droves.  In fact, you cannot even get a U-Haul to move out of the state right now in New York City due to high demand.  Vacancies in New York City are rising fast.

New York City is not alone.  It is darned near impossible to grow a business with high taxes, shutdowns, riots, and violence.  One of these factors alone puts pressure on businesses and combined it is becoming the fatal blow.  Some people speculate these factors may result in the downfall of our cities.

Residents are voting with their pocketbook and they are getting out of Dodge.  People want to feel safe and feel like they can live and work in a place with opportunity.  Florida is one of those places people are choosing to move to, among others. The SW Florida seller’s market fuels rise in home prices.

What this means for home sellers in Florida is this is the best seller’s market we’ve ever seen.  It is always better to sell your home when there are many buyers and few sellers to compete with.  Even computer valuation models are picking up on the rising prices.  One of the best is www.SWFLhomevalues.com  You can receive a free estimate of your home’s values in seconds.  The site will even display a confidence score.  The higher the confidence score, the more accurate the valuation tends to be.

Getting Top Dollar For Your Home

Getting Top Dollar for your home is a science best left to experienced agents.  In this market you are likely to encounter multiple offers if the marketing is done correctly.  Experienced agents know how to get the most out of multiple offers and have the wisdom to know which offer to take.  One of the deadly sins homeowners make is selecting the wrong offer.  Each offer is a gamble, so selecting the right offer is critical.  It is not fun to go 45 days into a transaction and find out the buyer or the buyer’s lender cannot perform under the terms of the contract.

We receive offers all the time from inexperienced agents that have no idea the offer they wrote will not fly with the lender.  Sellers can pay closing costs, but each loan program is different.  We had to restructure a loan the day before closing because buyer did not have minimum amount down and could not benefit from agreed upon closing costs for a repair.  I asked the buyer agent to check with the lender before we agreed to the change, and she said she did.  She did not realize how something like this could kill a deal.  Now she does.  It is not her fault; she just did not have the experience to know better.

Therefore, hiring the right agent upfront can make all the difference.  We got it done, but it took a lot of work at the last minute.

Always call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 to get your home sold Fast and for Top Dollar!

See last week’s article “Closed Home Sales Back on Track After Shutdown

Seller’s market fuels rise in SW Florida home prices, and it could last awhile with interest rates expected to stay low through 2021.

New Ellis Team Listings

High Point Place

2090 W First St #H2908

Reflection Lakes

7706 Bay Lake Dr

Closed home sales back on track after the covid-10 shutdown. 2020 started off with a bang, and then suddenly covid-19 hit, and Florida was under a shutdown or stay at home order.  People wondered what it would do to home sales and business in general for that matter.  We are happy to report closed homes sales are back on track after shutdown.

Closed home sales back after shutdown

In fact, July closed home sales eclipsed all three previous years.  Closed home sales could have been higher had we more inventory to sell.  3% interest rates are attracting buyers too, but now versus later.  Florida is also attracting buyers from other states.  America has decided Florida is definitely the place to be for various reasons.

The Ellis Team from the seller perspective has recently sold several properties, and quite naturally many of these homes had several offers on them.  A home marketed heavily attracts multiple buyers.  Today we will talk about what to look out for with multiple offers.

First off, if you are considering selling your home, you should call Brett or Sande Ellis.  Chances are we may already have a buyer for your home.  If we receive 4 offers on a home, only 1 buyer can win.  That means 3 other buyers still need a home.  We have a database of buyers looking to purchase right now, and possibly we could sell your home even before it hits the market.

Secondly, the offer a seller takes matters.  When you have multiple offers on a home, picking the winning buyer is a calculated risk.  If the buyer you choose doesn’t perform, you lost that buyer, and you might have lost the other buyers too.  In that time your home was off the market those other buyers could have found another home.  They are not going to sit around and see if your home goes through because they cannot afford to.  If another home meets their criteria, they need to jump on it because it will be gone soon too.

2020 is literally the best time perhaps ever to sell your home.  We have not seen interest rates this low, and we have not seen buyers so anxious to get into a home as we have during covid-19.  Covid-19 has created a nesting situation whereby people just want to hunker down at home.  They are not traveling like they used to, and their home becomes not only their living quarters, but also their entertainment center, work environment, etc.  The home is as important now as it’s ever been, and it’s affordable due to low interest rates.

Your home is a hot commodity right now.  Selecting the right agent to represent you is more important than ever.  You need an agent that can see the flaws in a deal before it happens.  That takes experience, and lots of it.  You do not want to lose a deal in the best-selling market we have ever seen.

Experienced agents know how obtain crucial facts from the buyer’s agent, and the buyer’s lender.  If a buyer does not cooperate, they probably will not win the bid.  Sellers look at the strongest offer.  The strongest offer isn’t always the highest bidder.  So much more goes into writing a strong offer.  The Ellis Team works with our buyers to write the strongest offer possible.  Because we’ve done so many seller sides over the years, we know what sellers are looking for.  Writing the offer in the best light upfront helps our buyers win more bids.

Brett or Sande would be happy to sit down with you and go over all the options in selling your home.  You do not have to do anything.  We like to present you with your options, and let you decide.

Call Sande or Brett 239-489-4042 Ext 4 or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get an instant value of your home for Free.  If it looks good, Brett or Sande can validate the number and make sure it’s the correct for your home.

Good luck and enjoy the best-selling market we have ever seen!  If you are thinking about, we’d hate for you to miss this market.  Great selling markets do not last forever.

See last week’s article “Targeted Real Estate Advertising Selling Homes for Top Dollar

Ellis Team Newest Listings

Part of any successful advertising campaign should include the ability to identify and target people most likely to buy a product.  The Ellis Team uses targeted real estate advertising as an additional way to sell homes for top dollar.

Let’s say your company makes the best dog treats on the planet.  You would want to target pet owners, and more specifically dog owners.  It would do no good to target cat owners if cats do not like the treat.  When we list a property, we try to think like a buyer.  If I list an 800 sq. ft home, chances are 8 roommates are not going to buy it.

In the covid-19 era we know many people lost their job, so they are not in the market to purchase right now.  Others who kept their job may want to take advantage of the low rates.  Still others do not need a job to purchase.  It gets complicated.  What we do know is an owner has hired us to find a buyer for their property.

As aggressive real estate marketers the Ellis Team casts several nets.  Our newspaper, PPC, radio, TV, social media, and direct mail campaigns cast a wide net.  We advertise the property to anybody and everybody hoping to find one or more buyers who show interest.  We call this the shotgun approach.

Additionally, we cast tighter nets.  We call this the rifle approach.  Lately we have been targeting cities up North where we know buyers are selling and leaving.  We talk to agents daily who tell us they have sellers leaving their state and they are not coming back.  Florida is one of the areas they are moving to.  We have the ability to advertise our listings anywhere in the country.

Targeted Real Estate Advertising

Targeted Real Estate Advertising Selling Homes for Top Dollar

Targeted Real Estate Advertising Selling Homes for Top Dollar Wildginger Dr

The graphic shows two separate ads we ran this past weekend.  As you can see, these two ads generated 40 buyers in just one weekend.  Keep in mind, we are showing you just 2 of the out of town ads.  We may run more ads than 2, and we also run local ads for buyers who have an interest in real estate.  I count 61 buyers signed up just last weekend alone.

By casting multiple nets, we have been able to accumulate a significant amount of people interested in buying property here in SW Florida.  This data is useful because our team of buyer specialists can see what they are searching and call them with new properties entering the market.

It works like this.  Let’s say Sande or I go on a listing appointment and the seller wants to sell.  We know they will have their home ready next week to put on the market.  Our buyer agents can begin calling buyers in our database ahead of time letting them know that a seller will be listing their home next week in an area they are looking in.

We May Already Have a Buyer

Our team may already have the buyer for that listing.  We acquired that buyer through endless marketing, both during the time of the listing, and even before we took the listing.  Sellers benefit from the previous marketing our team has done because we keep the database of buyers.  This database is so valuable because it not only includes their name, email, and phone number, it also tells us what they are searching for and what they like.  Our agents can search the database and find buyers quickly.

Do not call us if your home is listed with another Realtor.  We offer this service for Ellis Team clients only.  We already know about the homes listed on the MLS.  Our buyers can see your home on our website. The Ellis Team proactively calls buyers when our team lists a new property to MLS.  Those sellers hired us, so those are the sellers we spring into action for.

If you’re thinking of selling and want to talk to us about the process, call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4, or visit www.SWFLhomevlaues.com for a Free instant online estimate of your home’s value.  Find out how targeted real estate advertising can help your home sell for top dollar too.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

See last week’s article “Total Real Estate Sales Volume Bounces Back for the Year

Ellis Team Open House

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

14120 Reflection Lakes Dr

14120 Refletion Lakes Dr
Open House Sunday 1-4 PM in Reflection Lakes Fort Myers

New Listing – Video Walkthru

5259 Skylark Ct

 

Total real estate sales volume, also known as dollar volume, has bounced back for the year.  The total real estate sales volume is the sum total of the actual closed price of each sale.  This results in the total dollar volume of sales.

Total Real Estate Sales Volume Bounces Back

When prices are up and sales are up, dollar volume must be up.  The same is true when prices are down, and sales are down.  We know total dollar volume would be down as well.  Sometimes prices are up, and total number of sales is down, and vice versa.  Therefore, we look at the total dollar volume of sales, or total real estate sales volume.

This metric is another indicator of the overall health of the market.  We reported back in June when May’s official numbers were released that total real estate sales volume was down 42.7%.  That hurt, and of course was a direct function of covid-19 and the stay at home orders the nation was under in March.  Of course, Florida was under a stay at home order in April, as were other states.

Realtors learned to adapt.  Buyers were itching to buy, and they still are to this day.  We found a way to make transactions happen even in a pandemic.  The good news is we are back to the plus side for the year.  You will note, total real estate sales volume was up 1.5% over June of 2019 numbers.  While this is fantastic, it is not what brought us back to the plus side for the year. January, February, and March are what did it.  We were in a fantastic market pre-covid.  The great news is, we are getting back to a positive market again.

Interest rates are historically low, and the stock market is doing well.  The economy is doing better than expected given that states are not back to 100% open yet.  Some are wondering how mortgages in forbearance will affect the market going forward.  Nobody seems to know.  All we can say is the top Realtors learn to adjust their marketing in times of shift.  Top agents learn to pivot on a dime.  This is exactly what we did when covid-19 hit, and the Ellis Team sales numbers are up over last year.

Many local Realtors numbers are up, and many are way down.  The Realtors that pivoted and adjusted have done well, while those that did not market or keep up with their database have not.

The Ellis Team has several databases.  One of course is our past customers.  With over 5,000 sales in Lee County over the years, we have maintained a pretty healthy past client database.  The other database is buyers who are looking to make a move.  We have 10,677 right now in our database, so chances are, if you have a home to sell, we may have the buyer for it.

Our database is pretty neat.  When we take a new listing, we can search our database and see how many of the 10,677 are viewing properties on our site that match that home’s criteria.  Of course, we are adding to the database every day.  We spend thousands of dollars each month on the Gold Standard digital package, so we receive the best leads around.  Some of these leads are local, and some are out of state looking to make a change.

One thing we know for sure is, many of the buyers are coming from high tax states.  Other buyers are looking to escape the city life and get more rural.  We can target both buyers, and this is why Ellis Team sales are up, even in a pandemic.

To get your home sold Fast and for Top Dollar, Always Call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get your online estimate instantly.  We look forward to speaking with you!

See last week’s article “Real Estate Marketing Trends Shifting to Professional Video Tours

Watch the Future of Real Estate Latest Video

 

Today we would like to tell you how real estate marketing trends are shifting to professional video tours. Professional videos make a property come alive through cinematography.  When done correctly, the viewer enjoys a cinema like experience using all senses while familiarizing them with the property.

Imagine if children could learn math through an interesting movie.  Movies capture our attention and interest.  Isn’t that the whole purpose of marketing?  The reason most companies do not offer professional video is because it costs money, and lots of it.

Real Estate Marketing Trends Shifting

The Ellis Team is introducing professional video tours on many of our properties.  We create a single property website for each property that has professional photos, a 3D tour of the home, and a professional video tour.

Video Tours

While the video is on each property’s single website, we also upload them to www.SWFLvideotours.com where they are seen by even larger audiences.  We also load the videos on our Facebook pages where it is seen all over the world and shared by others.  This is the true power of leverage.  To get these results, you must have professional video to start.

3D Tours

You have probably seen 3D video tours used by a few agents in SW Florida.  The Ellis Team uses them as well www.swfl360hometours.com because buyers can access and view a home at their leisure from anywhere in the world.  They have helped us sell many homes during the Coronavirus pandemic. 360 home tours allow the consumer to be in control.  Many buyers love them, while others want to be wowed and not worry about the technology used to view the home.  This is where captivating video comes in.  Just as some people learn better with visual and others like audible, the Ellis Team employs multiple streams of marketing to reach the consumer how they wish to view a property best.

If you like the 360 self-guided tour, we have that.  If you like professional still photos, we have that too.  Now we are introducing professional video tours, and recent real estate marketing trends suggest consumers love it.

We ran an ad online last week up North and 175 people watched the video on Facebook alone.  The interesting thing is many watched the entire video.  We believe adding video to our professional photography and 3D tours will be a real winner for home sellers.

Thinking of Selling?

If you are thinking about selling your home, we have some information about what may happen in the market in the next 6 months.  You may want to talk to Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-40402 Ext 4 to find out how this will affect your property.

If you are curious about your home’s value but not sure you are ready to do something, we have an online value tool that is fairly accurate, instant, and Free.  Simple go to www.SWFLhomevalues.com and enter your address.  It will show you your home’s value along with comparable sales in the area.

To get your home professionally video graphed, call Brett or Sande and find out how we can help get your home sold for Top Dollar.  We are marketing locally and across the world with our digital platform and aggressive marketing campaign.  Ellis Team sales have increased in the middle of a pandemic.  We believe this is the result of hard work, top notch marketing, and aggressive lead generating by our team.  The Ellis Team is not sitting back and waiting for the market to come to us, we are taking it to the market.  Isn’t that the kind of Realtor you want working for you?  Don’t forget to check out the videos at www.swflvideotours.com

See last week’s article “Rapidly Changing market Conditions in SW Florida

Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042 Ext 4

Earlier this month we wrote an article that inventory supply was down to 3.09 months in SW Florida.  Less than 4 weeks later we want to update you about the rapidly changing market conditions in SW Florida.

Single family housing inventory supply is down to 2.70 months as of July 29th.  The rolling average of closed sales for the past 365 days has increased by 219 sales.  This is a sign that closed sales are picking up. Housing inventory fell by 372 homes.  That is a total swing of 592 homes, and all this happened in a 27-day period.

Rapidly Changing Market Conditions in SW Floridao

This is why we say we have rapidly changing market conditions in SW Florida. If you are a homeowner in forbearance, you are going to want to speak with a Realtor soon.   The six-month window that began back in April will expire in October.  For most borrowers, the lenders front loaded the forbearance.  This means you will have a balloon payment at the end of 6 months.  If it was difficult making the payment before, it will surely be difficult to make all 6 plus October’s payment.  The good news is most loans have equity.

What we found during previous financial hard times is many people did not act.  They put their head in the sand and ended up losing their home when the home could have been sold before foreclosure.   Back in the mid 2000’s some were short sales, but those sales were better than foreclosures on a seller’s record.

Today, if the homeowner has equity, it may not be a short sale.  You may be able to pay off the loan without a foreclosure.  Many homeowners believe this was a government protection and their credit will be fine.  The truth is your credit will not be fine, and they will foreclose if you go in default.  Speak with your lender, and definitely speak with a Realtor before it gets too late.

Sellers thinking about selling should keep in mind we have a great sellers’ market today.  What we don’t know is how long that will last.  We have more buyers buying today.  Florida is well positioned because we have buyers coming in from other states.  We also have record low interest rates.  The wildcard is the election and foreclosures.

We feel fortunate to be here in SW Florida.  We have a lot going for us.  The fact that people want to move here may mitigate some or most of the financial distress foreclosures would cause us.  Today is nothing like the foreclosure crisis we went through as we have end users for properties today.  We did not have that back in 2006-2010.

Hurricane Update

 For those of you that have a transaction pending, please get an insurance binder now.  We could have several storms lining up, and once we are in “the Box”, insurers can no longer write new policies.  You can assume an existing one.  One year we had hurricanes lined up for about 6 weeks.  There were very few days insurers could write new policies. It looks like we may see the same thing this year, so do not take that for granted.  It could stop your closing even if the storms are not coming here, and nobody wants that.

If you would like to talk to us about your home’s value and your situation, please call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to find out your home’s value instantly, for Free. We will analyze your situation and discuss your options.  Good luck and stay safe this hurricane season.

See last week’s article “Timely Real Estate Trends We Are Keeping an Eye On

3 Things We are Watching in SW Florida real Estate Market

Today we would like to share with you three timely real estate trends we are keeping an eye on in SW Florida.

Timely Real Estate Trends

The first is median time to contract.  This is the amount of time it takes the average property to go under contract for sale.  As you can see from the chart, it rose to 79 days.  That is a 11.3% rise from last year in June, and up considerably from May’s 47 days.  For the year however, we are still at 64 days, which is down 9.9%.  We will be keeping our eye on this metric.

Timely Real Estate Trends Median Time to Contract

Secondly, we are looking at new pending sales which were up 28.3% in June.  Some of this is pent-up demand from the previous months and some is the fact that interest rates are at historic lows.  Buyers do not want to miss out on this opportunity.

Timely Real Estate Trends New Pending Sales

Lastly, we are looking at new listing inventory.  New listings rose 9.6% in June 2020 over June 2019.  The issue is, new pending home sales were up 28.3% in June and up 2.2% in May, while new listings were down 1.6% in May and down 33.7% in April.

New Listings June 2020 Timely Real Estate Trends

You cannot have new listings down over 30% and new pending sales up 28% without it eating into existing inventory.  Existing stood at 4,090 listings in June, which was down 28.5% from last year.  This is a direct correlation between the three metrics we are analyzing in this article.

It is possible this market just re-balanced to the levels we are at today.  Or, it could be that sales are not higher than they are simply because there is not enough inventory to sell.  In other words, perhaps sales would be higher if there was more inventory.

We are seeing the most housing inventory gains coming in the $250,000-$300,000 range and in the $400,000 and up range.  Inventory is down below $250,000 and flat between $300,000-$400,000 in Lee County single family homes market.

Other Timely Real Estate Trends

Another trend we are seeing is agents from Miami coming over here with their clients and attempting to sell property over here.  Official June numbers show Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade areas with 3.9 months supply of homes on the market.  Lee County has 3.6 months, so technically we have less supply than they do relative to number of home sales.  It is possible they dipped recently and are sniffing over here for available properties to sell.

We saw this trend back around 2005.  It’s not fun because usually they have pre-qualification letters from Miami based lenders and we did not always find them to be legitimate.  More times than not, those buyers failed to qualify even though they had an out of town lender tell us they were golden.  It got so bad that local Realtors would require a local lender look at the buyer to make sure they were indeed qualified.  When I look at a pre-approval letter, I want to know that buyer can perform before taking it off the market for our seller.

The buyer may have been qualified, who knows.  In the end, the lender could not get the job done, and that gave agents fits because they worked so hard to find a qualified buyer only to find out they weren’t qualified, or the lender couldn’t perform.

No matter where you purchase, we tell customers to use a local lender, or a national lender with a reputation for results.  Otherwise local agents won’t trust your pre-approval letter and your offer may not get accepted, especially if there are multiple offers.  You do not have to use the local lender, just get a pre-approval from one so the sellers know you are qualified.

Realtor You Hire Matters

In a shifting market, the Realtor you hire matters.  This is true on the buying and selling side.  Always work with an agent that has years of experience in all kinds of markets, and several hundred if not thousands of homes under their belt.  The Realtor makes good money, and they are worth every penny when you need them.  It’s times like this when you really need experience you can count on.

Feel free to call Brett and Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  We’re here to help.  Or visit www.swflhomevalues.com for a free home value analysis.

See last week’s article “Refinance Existing Home Versus Sell and Purchase New Home

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