April 4, 2017 marks a big day in the real estate industry and we hope brokers, agents, buyers, and sellers are up on the changes.  There are big changes to real estate sales contracts, notably the financing clause that will change the way contracts are negotiated and processed.

Big Changes Coming to Real Estate Sales Contracts

In the past, most finance contingency contracts had a clause that said buyer had a certain number of days to obtain a loan commitment.  Lenders rarely use the commitment word any more, so it was changed to loan approval.

Big Changes to Real Estate Sales Contracts

Something else changed as well.  The buyer now has 30 days standard to obtain financing.  If they do not obtain it, they should notify seller or seller’s agent in writing because seller can cancel the contract.  If buyer fails to request an extension or terminate the contract, it is assumed they have loan approval and their escrow deposit could be in jeopardy.  I am writing this article prior to the April 4th unveiling, so we haven’t seen the entire clause yet.  There has been a flurry of activity on Realtor websites informing agents of the upcoming changes, so hopefully agents are aware.

We are not attorneys and we are certainly not giving legal advice.  Readers should be aware that there are big changes to real estate sales contracts in Florida and pay attention to timelines.

The agent you choose to work with as a buyer or seller will become even more important than it has in the past.  Not only will your agent need to be aware of these changes, they’ll also need to have systems and assistants to track and monitor timelines, and communicate with your lender.  A buyer can put themselves in legal jeopardy by simply not adhering to deadlines or communicating in writing as to the progress of the loan.

Hire a Full-Time Agent

Hiring a full-time agent is more necessary now than ever.  Part-time agents cannot keep up on market changes and inventory, nor have the skill, expertise, experience, and systems to keep up with contract changes that can place your escrow deposit in harm’s way.  We suggest you take a hard look at the agent you’re going to work with and ask questions about their knowledge of these contract changes and what systems they have in place.

Keep in mind, ultimately, it’s your responsibility.  You’re the buyer.  It’s your money.  You could lose the house and/or your escrow deposit by failing to timely communicate the process of your loan.

This may affect buyers in other ways too.  Let’s say a seller finds a buyer willing to pay more for the home.  The seller does not have to extend the financing clause if the buyer cannot obtain in the specified days.  If the seller has received no notification at all, the seller can cancel the contract within a 3-day window period after the buyer’s Loan Approval period has expired.

The seller seems to have picked up some rights and the buyer now has more responsibility to notify the seller about the loan process.  This places more responsibility on the lender you choose because now timelines are more important than ever.

Choose the Right Lender

Our team works with several lenders.  We work with lenders who not only offer great rates but also are known for service and meeting timeline commitments.  Interviewing lenders and evaluating their performance reputation will now be more important than ever.  Each buyer’s situation is different. Talk with a lender who has experience with the type of loan you’re going for and a track record of working with buyers with similar income and circumstances as yours.

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in SW Florida, always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty.  Knowledge and experience matters more than ever and we can refer you to lenders who can get the job done.  If you’re a seller, it pays to work with an agent who understands the market, has the muscle to market your home, and can help you evaluate which buyer’s offer is the best one to take.  You don’t have to accept an offer simply because it’s the only one you’ve got. Don’t forget our Free MLS search site www.LeeCountyOnline.com

Call us 239-489-4042 and let’s talk.

Ellis Team Weekend Open House

Sunday 1-4 PM

Big Changes to Real Estate Sales Contracts Gulf Access Waterfront Pool Home
Gulf Access Waterfront Home

1516 SW 43rd St Cape Coral

Pool Home

3 Bedrooms, 3 Baths

$560,000

Don’t panic if your home hasn’t sold yet.  There’s still time.  Besides, season isn’t the only time homes sell in SW Florida.  Years ago, home sales peaked in the summer.  The last few years they’ve been higher in season and just after season as it takes a while to close a home once it goes pending.

Don’t Panic if Your Home Hasn’t Sold Yet

As you can see, closings tail off after June but there are still sales.  There are more eyeballs here in season so there is more potential however some are just lookers exploring opportunities for years in the future.  If you have a home you’d like to sell and it’s not selling, we offer some tips on getting it sold now.

  1. Hire the best Realtor you can find.  You want one with pro-active marketing.  One that advertises where the buyers are.  Targeted online advertising is a must these days.  If the agent you interview doesn’t understand this, keep shopping.
  2. Stage your home. No, you don’t have to hire a professional stager.  You do have to follow some simple guidelines.  Consulting with a Realtor or stager knowledgeable in bringing a home to market so it shows its best will help.
  3. Professional photos are a must. With so many buyers shopping online, having bad photos will simply turn them off.  Hire an agent that either hires a photographer or one that takes great photos and has a graphics design department touch up each photo.
  4. Fix repair items. Buyers imagine problems ten times worse than they really are.  Fixing a few simple items will go a long way to getting that contract.
  5. Make home easily available to show.  Nothing turns off a busy Realtor more than making your home hard to show.  Things like 24 or 48 hour notice reduce showings significantly.  Place your home on lockbox and allow your Realtor easy access and watch your showings multiply.
  6. Curb Appeal-Look at your home and see how it compares to the neighborhood. Does your home need paint, landscaping, or de-cluttering on the outside?  If so, an investment here can increase showings.
  7. Talk to your neighbors. If a neighbor has an un-kept yard or a boat in the yard, chances are it will affect the value of your home.  Sometimes working out a deal with the neighbor can pay big dividends.  If that doesn’t work, consider code-enforcement or the HOA.  No buyer wants to come in and inherit a mess of a neighbor.
  8. Price it Right. Don’t price it by what you need out of it. Price it as if you were a buyer.  Would you buy your property at your price?  If you over-price your home, you’re essentially buying back your property for the price you’re offering.  Being overzealous leads to you keeping your home because you value it more than the public does.  If that’s the case, maybe you’re not ready to move yet emotionally or financially.  If you really want to move, you can’t love your home more than the market does.  Price it at today’s market value and move on to your next home.
  9. Be gone for showings.  Nothing hampers a potential home sale more than a seller sticking around trying to help.  Buyers extract motivations and information from sellers that can only hurt.  As a seller, you don’t know what’s important to that buyer and saying the wrong thing can lose the sale.  Be gone if possible, or be invisible if not.  Let your Realtor answer any questions. If you don’t trust your Realtor to do this, then you’ve hired the wrong Realtor.  If no Realtor will ever be as good as you, then the Realtor accepted the wrong client.

You can always search for your next home at www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It’s updated every 5 minutes and it has the best photos available from MLS.  If you’d like to talk to experienced agents who know how to get homes sold, always call the Ellis Team at 239-489-4042.  We’d love to help you make your next move!

Ellis Team Open Houses

Gorgeous Pool and Spa

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

15830 Beachcomber Ave  $360,000

 

4 Bed 3 Bath Pool Home on Lake

Reflection Lakes

13795 Bald Cypress Cir    $420,000

 

Pool Home on Golf Course

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

Olde Hickory

14381 Hickory Fairway Ct    $450,000

 

Pool Home Close to Beaches

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

Iona Area

15271 Thornton Rd   $290,000

 

 

Everybody knows fish tend to swim in schools.  The same is true with buyers.  93% of buyers search online, so knowing where they are and how to reach them is integral today. Targeted marketing attracts schools of online buyers.

This past month we’ve held some open houses.  We had one 3 weeks ago and 45 people showed up.  Last week we held one and 40 people showed up.  The lender who agreed to sit with us and help pre-qualify buyers who might need assistance was amazed.  He said he’d never seen anything like it.  He went to 6 open houses last weekend and none had that kind of traffic but ours.

Targeted Marketing Attracts Schools of Online Buyers
Last Week’s Open House Ad Online

We’ve developed a particular set of skills that finds specific buyers and brings them to your door.  We are targeting buyers, and they love it.  We asked each buyer who came through how they found us.  Many said the open house popped up on their phone, while others said they saw it online.  Were they mad they saw one of our ads?  Heck no, they were glad, and they acted and showed up.

In any advertising, you must target the right people, with the right message, at the right time.  If you fail at any of the three, you’re missing opportunities.  It’s not about how much you spend.  While it is true we spend more than other agents, spending alone won’t bring buyers.

There is blanket advertising and targeted advertising.  Advertising in the Super Bowl might cost $5 Million and blanket the US.  Sure it would attract attention for about a minute.  Targeted advertising hits the right audience, when they’re ready to purchase, with the right message.

First you must have a great page to send them to.  It must have compelling content, and either a call to action or a benefit to going there.  You can see from last week’s online ad there is compelling content with photos if you’re a buyer looking for such a home.  Our open houses generated 1,355 views of our two properties.

Targeted Marketing Attracts Schools of Online Buyers

Secondly, we chose buyers looking to purchase with the exact interests of each home.  We separated the buyers into different audiences so we could tailor each creative ad to each set of buyers.  We ran ads to 5 separate groups, and each group performed well.   Our Click-thru rate was over 15%.  This means that over 15% of people that saw the ad clicked on the ad.  The ad itself was engaging and was worth customers spending their time on.  The industry average is less than 2%.

Targeted Marketing Attracts Schools of Online Buyers Ad Performance
Ad Performance

Targeting worked.  I’ve heard people say they don’t like targeting.  We also put up open house signs on the road.  Those signs target people driving by.  Newspaper ads target readers for products and services.  Online ads are no different.  In fact, most people like it better because hey get to see ads for things they like or are interested in.

This is one reason why For Sale By Owners stand little chance of selling their own home.  They’re not reaching the whole market, and when you limit your market you limit the price you’ll get.  Imagine selling an item at an online auction.  If you have one bidder, you’ll get a certain amount.  What if you had 1,000 bidders?  Do you think you’d get a better price?

All Realtors are not the same.  It makes a difference which Realtor you hire.  We use both blanket marketing like newspaper, video, postcards, etc as well as online targeted ads on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, and more.  We corner the market.  Hiring the wrong Realtor could cost you thousands!

Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams 239-489-4042 to get your home sold fast and for top dollar, or visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com

By the way, we have two open houses this weekend in Reflection Lakes.  See our ad in News Press Homefinder, or find them at www.Facebook.com/Ellisteam

Good luck and Happy Home Selling!

Ellis Team Open Houses

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

Reflection Lakes Condo

13971 Lake Mahogany Dr #2623

Reflection Lakes  $215,000

Affordable Living in SW Florida

 

Reflection Lakes Pool Home

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

13624 Gulf Breeze St   Pool Home  $275,000

Brought to you by your Reflection Lakes Experts

2017 SW Florida State of the Market Report

One of the common question real estate agents get from sellers centers around a home’s Zestimate on Zillow. Deep down sellers know what homes are selling for in their neighborhood and how their home compares.  Often, they just want to try a much higher price simply because Zillow says their home is worth more.  We attempt to answer the question, Are Zillow home value zestimates purposely inflated?

The buzz amongst real estate agents is they can’t believe how far off many Zestimates are these days.  Agents laugh anytime the words Zillow and home values are mentioned in the same sentence because they know they’ll have to explain how inaccurate these things tend to be.

Last weekend I had a conversation with one of our sellers.  She brought up her Zillow Zestimate.    Within 15 minutes after that conversation I went outside to work in my yard and my next-door neighbor asked me about his Zestimate.  He noticed it went up over $100,000 last month and wondered if the real estate market was that good right now.

Zillow Home Value Zestimates Purposefully Inflated

Of course, his value didn’t change $100,000 last month.  Perhaps you’ve heard the story of Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff.  His home was valued at $1,750,405 on March 1, 2015.  The funny thing is, it sold 1 day earlier for $1,050,000.  That’s a difference of $700,405.  Put another way, Zillow was off over 40% on their CEO’s own home.

Are Zillow Home Value Zestimates Purposefully Inflated?

So is Zillow’s data that bad, or could there be another motive?  Let’s remember where Zillow gets its revenue. Zillow charges agents, property managers, and lenders to appear on their website.  They are gathering leads to sell to agents.  Some agents pay several thousand dollars per month for these leads.  Zillow takes MLS and public records data and assembles them and markets that data to the public in the hopes of attracting eyeballs to its site.

To increase revenue and charge more to agents, brokers, and lenders Zillow must increase visits to the site.  One way to do that is advertise more on the Internet and TV.  Another way is to change up the values frequently in hopes of getting repeat viewers to come back often and see what’s going on with their value.

We get it.  The market changes every day.  It doesn’t typically change $84,000 in one day.  So, either Zillow’s algorithm for calculating values is off, the underlying data are off, or they are trying to create a buzz by getting people to check back repeatedly.  In the news business, they call it Click Bait.  Click bait is when editors write a sensational headline to get readers to click on the article.  It could be fake news, doesn’t matter.  If the headline works, it attracts readers which ups the hit count.  The higher the hit count, the higher the advertising rates.  Most reputable news organizations don’t utilize this tactic.  They don’t have to because they have valuable content.  Tabloids on the other hand use this with perfection.

Agents are paying top dollar presumably for new leads not realizing Zillow is stoking the fire by attracting the same old leads repeatedly.  Consumers may be unaware that Zillow now has data on everyone who has checked their home value, and they are selling data like that.

Zillow Admits Errors

Zillow says that nationally their Zestimates are off by 7.9% on average.  That’s a lot!  However, in Seattle where their CEO’s former home is located, they claim to be more accurate at only 6.1% off.  Can we really trust their numbers when they were off over 40% on their own CEO’s home?

If you’re thinking of selling, we have an automated valuation tool that may be more accurate.    More importantly, we will never sell your info to other agents and brokers.  Why would we?  We want your business.  We’d love to earn your business.

If you’re thinking of selling, call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams 239-489-4042 Ext 4  Let us show you how we put more money in your pocket at closing than other Realtors and how we sell homes Fast!  And, we’ll show you what true Top Dollar is for your home so you can make accurate decisions.

We’re here to help.  Always ask for Sande Ellis or Brett Ellis.

Read about Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Statistics to be released tomorrow.

Paint the Town Red

This weekend is the Keller Williams Paint the Town Red Event.  We’ll have around 100 homes open in a single day.  It’s the single biggest open house event of the year.  Check back as we’ll be posting the addresses here.

Ellis Team Featured Open Houses

Sunday 1-4 PM

Ellis Team Open House

6180 Winkler Rd

 

 

 

 

 13624 Gulf Breeze St Reflection Lakes Pool Home

Southwest Florida December home sales were down 5.5% from last year and pending inventory fell 8.4% from last year, a worrisome sign to agents heading into 2017.

December 2016 may be an abnormal year as we just came off the most contentious election cycle I can remember.  January sales normally don’t start heating up until the 2nd half of the month.  Already we’ve seen strong buyer activity which may be a sign that consumers are now moving forward after a lull in 2016.  Potentially we have a lot of pent-up demand.  Consumer confidence seems to have increased post-election.

Southwest Florida December Home Sales

Single family home prices increased 8.7% over December 2015.  Many of these sales would have been in place before the election, so that is a positive sign.  Listing inventory declined slightly from November although it is up 11.4% from December 2015.

We’ll be keeping our eyes on inventory levels moving forward into 2017 as well as pending and closed sales.  One month does not make a trend.  So far we’re still seeing mixed signals but all indicators were pre-election.

The other thing we’ll watch in 2017 is interest rates and job creation.  Interest rates rose in 4th qtr of 2016 and the Fed has signaled more in 2017.  They predict 3 more Fed increases.  It’s impossible to know how the overall market would respond to that as the Fed doesn’t control bond prices or mortgage rates directly.

We hear great news on the manufacturing front.  Jobs returning to the US would be a boom for real estate.  Quietly we’re losing other jobs, like retail brick and mortar stores.  Macy’s, Sears, Kmart and others are closing stores as sales are off at malls and retail stores.  It may very well be that sales are not off, just a reformation of how people are shopping.  We believe more people are shopping online and less at malls, but that’s just our guess.

Real estate consumers are also researching and shopping online.  Last month our websites earned over 7,000 user sessions by over 3,700 unique users researching our market and searching for property.  This doesn’t include our social media sites.

Remembering back to life before the Internet, we never had 3,700 people coming through our team’s doors each month.  Sure, we had more than most as we have always been large advertisers, but no team had that many.

Online shopping has really opened how consumers access information.  To capture these buyers agents must have a website that serves timely and useful information, and presents it in such a way that is mobile and consumer friendly.

38.76% of our property search traffic is mobile and another 16.03% is tablet.  Combined that equals 54.79%.  More than half our traffic is mobile, which means less than half are searching on desktop.  Therefore having a team ready and able to respond to leads quickly is critical.  Statistics show buyers work with the first agent they talk to and build a trust with.  Communicating with a lead within first 5 minutes is key.  Agents are busy and can’t always call a lead immediately, but when they can conversions go up.

Buyers want to buy from somebody.  They just want to work with someone who can answer their questions and solve their problems.  Faster response times just increases your chances.

Buyers, if you’re looking to purchase or curious about the market, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It has everything you need and database is updated every 5 minutes.  Hard to believe, but it’s true.  I’ve tested it.

Sellers, if you’re looking to sell, hiring an agent that will proactively market your listing and reach today’s online buyers is critical.  In addition, they must have a team in place to service these leads quickly.  Without these tools and the agents to work the leads, your home is just sitting on the market waiting for someone to possibly find it.  We don’t wait!  We market!

Agents, if your sales are coming up short because you don’t have the leads, maybe we should talk!

Always call the Ellis Team!  239-489-4042  We can sell your home!

Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Update January 2017

We’ll have an updated Seller’s Club coming out in next few days.  Until then, here is December’s Report.  Please contact us if you’d like to have this report emailed to you each month.

 

Ellis Team Open House

Ellis Team open house Reflection Lakes
Reflection Lakes Open House

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

Reflection Lakes  Gate 2

13624 Gulf Breeze St

$285,000

A financial term you’ll regularly hear bandied about is “Money in Motion.”  Money in motion creates opportunity when money is active and circulating and things become stagnant when people sit on their money and save.  We like to measure the Southwest Florida real estate money in motion by the number of home sales there in a month and multiply by the average sales price.  It gives us a clue as to the overall activity in the market.

When home sales are up and prices are down, they offset each other.  When both are down, money in motion is down.  If both are up, the money in motion is most assuredly up.

Money in Motion Southwest Florida Real Estate

As you can see by the chart, the total dollar volume in November was up 20.6%  That’s the good news.  For the better part of 2016 money in motion has been down.  This is why agents have been complaining that their sales and earnings have been off.

Home sales have been off all year to the tune of 15-20%.  Prices have been up against last year’s numbers but they’ve been flat all year.  We haven’t really seen significant price gains in the market since November 2015.

Sellers measure the health of the market simply by the direction of prices.  Some agents do too.  Experienced agents look at the whole picture; prices and number of sales.  By multiplying and tracking the two, you can identify trends in the market.  Understanding each component of the money in motion principle helps explain what is happening and why which leads to what the market may do in the future.

Money in Motion

Home sales picked up in November. They were up 16%.  Average prices picked up too, up 3.6% What helped with prices is last year’s numbers were adjusted down.  Unless something changes, year over year prices will be flat going forward.  If this remains true, total dollar volume will be influenced more by number of sales than price gains.

2017 will be more positive than 2016 in our opinion.  We can’t say whether it will come in the form of price gains.   Expect transaction volume to increase as more sellers decide to sell.  We have a balanced market right now where neither seller nor buyer have the overall edge, except in certain price ranges.  See last week’s article Southwest Florida Real Estate Inventory Supply Increases in 4th Qtr.

There is renewed optimism in the economy post-election.  2016 was a year where consumers and business sat on their hands.  Both seem poised to start moving again. We could see more sellers begin to trade-up, or move to a different lifestyle home.

We could see more baby boomers buy 2nd homes in Southwest Florida. Retirees may flock here because their 401k’s have been doing well.  No matter the reason, increased money in motion creates opportunity.  Interest rates are rising, and the Fed has signaled last week’s rate hike won’t be their last.  In fact, they predict 3 more rate hikes in 2017.  Borrowing costs will be higher going forward.

The early bird gets the worm.  Actually, late birds will get the worm too, it’ll just cost them more if getting a mortgage.

We’ll be tracking the money in motion for you in 2017.  Sellers need agents more than ever as competition heats up amongst sellers.  Buyers need agents too to assist them in sorting out total cost of ownership and factors which could affect the buyer.

Website Saves You Time

If you’d like to get a head start you can search for your dream home at www.LeeCountyOnline.com  Beat out other buyers to hot new listings.  Save your search and let the system notify you of hot new properties that match what you’re looking for.  Or let one of our buyer agents help you search, just give us a call.

If you’re a seller, please call us at 239-489-4042.  Ask for Sande or Brett.  We handle the marketing for the Ellis Team and we can help you achieve Top Dollar for your home in 2017.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

December 2016 Ellis Team Seller’s Club Report

 

Congrats to Pam Belcher our Ready For a Yeti Contest Winner!

Stay tuned for your chance to win a Yeti cooler

Ellis Team Featured Listings

Ellis Team Assisted For Sale By Owner Listings

San Carlos Park Pool Home $269,500

Gateway Pool Home on Lake $600,000

Perhaps you’ve been reading about the shift in the local and national real estate market. Some experts haven’t noticed a shift while others have predicted dire results because they have noticed. The real experts are aware of the shift and realize this appears to be a minor correction as the market just got ahead of itself. Markets often chug along until one day it does get ahead of itself, both on the way up and the way down. Today we talk about how the market responds as sellers heed advice from agents.

Back in 2009 we said the market had over-corrected and was due for gains. It did. This past February we sounded the alarm and said the market may be ahead of itself, and it was. Sellers have heeded the advice of agents and are actually selling homes.

You see, homes will always sell, even in up, down, and sideways markets. It’s a matter of marketing and price, and the sellers that market properly and price properly win the selling game. Owners that fail at either of the above may not win. Sometimes the best team on the field doesn’t win the game. Sometimes the best home on the block doesn’t sell. You have to be the best today to sell today. It’s not enough to be the best 6 months ago.

Buyers judge houses on features, size, location, age, and price among others. If you’re great in all areas except price, buyers will reject your home. You’re not the best today if your home is overpriced.

Market Responds as Sellers Heed Advice

We have good news to present however. In fact, I had to double check the numbers because I didn’t believe the numbers. Month’s supply of inventory is down to 5.07 months by my numbers. Official numbers by Florida Realtors shows 4.5 months however they calculate slightly differently than we do. In any event, and by any measure, we both have inventory coming down.

Market Responds as Sellers Heed Advice

You can see by the graph that inventory levels have come down in virtually all price ranges. This is because sellers have taken their agent’s advice and reacted to the shift in the market. The sellers who have not repositioned their home in the marketplace are still on the market or their listing has expired.

Selling your home is a pretty easy math equation. mm x cp = ss Mass Marketing times Correct Pricing equals Successful Sale. If your home isn’t marketed to the entire market it may not sell. I’ve seen homes priced correctly that have not sold. We’ve come in and upped the marketing and watch them sell.

An overpriced home will not sell. No amount of marketing can cure an overpriced listing. If you’re willing to follow the formula, success will follow. If you deviate from the formula, you won’t get your desired result, so you have to ask yourself the question, “Which is most important? Selling my home or staying because I want or need too much money?”

Unfortunately, the market doesn’t care what you need, and Mick Jagger explains beautifully that you can’t always get what you want. The answer lies with you. Are you willing to price your home where the market is? Are you willing to hire the best agent to sell your home?

Owners mistakenly believe all Realtors are the same and MLS will sell the home. It doesn’t work that way. There is a lot of expertise that goes into negotiations and the best way to present a property to the market. Some Realtors don’t know these tips because they’re not experienced enough. If Realtors in the business don’t all know, how is a seller supposed to know?

You have to interview agents with experience and a track record. If you’re thinking about selling, or perhaps have tried it yourself to no avail, give us a call. We’ve got some new ways to reach buyers we think you’re going to like. Call the Ellis Team 239-489-4042 and find out what’s new and how we’re reaching today’s buyers. We think you’ll be amazed, and most importantly, on to your next home. Feel free to search the MLS at  and get an automated free estimate of your home’s value.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Open House Saturday and Sunday 1-4 PM

waterfront home whiskey creek open houose
Whiskey Creek Open House

Open Saturday and Sunday 1-4 PM

1388 Landmark Ct

Waterfront Gulf Access

Stop by and pickup your Ellis Team Koozie and chance to win a Yeti

 

 

Are You Ready For a Yeti?

Are You Ready For a Yeti
Ready For a Yeti?

All you have to do is like our Ellis Team Facebook page and post a picture of our koozie with your favorte beverage online with the hashtags #ellisteam and #readyforayeti The most creative picture wins.  You can post online at Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Google +

Ready for a Yeti
Post our Ellis Team Koozie Photo Online

Stop by our open house and pickup your koozie, or stop by our office.  You can always call us at 239-489-4042 to see where we’re going o be.  Some lucky winner is going to win a Yeti 45 and it might as well be you.  Contest ends November 30, so you’ve got some time.

You’ve probably read headlines recently that the real estate market shifts have occurred . Not only is it true, it’s been predicted by those that study the numbers. However, the shift doesn’t tell the whole story.

Real Estate Market Shifts
Current Inventory

Just as we’re counseling sellers about the shift we see an uptick in listing calls and buyer contracts.  So if the market is shifting, how can it be that business has really picked up in last few weeks?

Perhaps you’ve noticed in just the last week the roads have gotten busier.  I sure have.  And I went to one of those large warehouse stores over the weekend and it was packed.  My wife and I both said “They’re back.”   That’s not why we’ve seen an uptick in sales these past few weeks however.

Real Estate Market Shifts new pending sales
New Pending Sales

We believe there is some pent-up demand. Buyers are desperately seeking homes in the $300,000 or less category, and we’re also seeing good activity in the $400,000+ range as well. We know the market as a whole isn’t as strong over $400k, so activity in this range is a good sign.

Real Estate Market Shifts

We’ve been watching official numbers and we are seeing declining closed sales, precipitated by declining pending sales, and increasing inventory. The numbers don’t lie and are indicative of a shift. Combine this with falling average sales prices and declining market volume and you know the shift is real.
So now that we know the shift is real, what can a seller do? Now more than ever it’s important to do 3 things.

1. Hire Experience- Agents who have worked and thrived through shifting markets are better able to guide through the experience.

2. Price it Correctly- You never want to get caught chasing the market down.  Not all price ranges are going down.  In fact, some are still going up.  Knowing where your home stands against the competition is critical.  Knowing where the demand from buyers is as well.

3. Marketing-Some agents say you can’t market your way out of a shift and it all comes down to price.  While it’s true that if you over-price a home, no amount of advertising and marketing will sell it, sometimes correct pricing alone isn’t enough.  This isn’t a bad market.  We’ve seen those before and this is nothing like that.  However, if it were a bad market, marketing becomes important because you have to do everything you can to reach the few buyers available for so many homes.

This is a shifting market, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  The market is fairly healthy.  Nothing goes up or down forever, and shifts along the way is a balancing act.  It keeps both buyers and sellers equal where neither becomes too powerful, but it can be scary if you’re on the wrong side of the shift.

Knowledge truly is power.  Knowledge leads to correct pricing.  Marketing is power too.  Marketing alone won’t sell your home, but it sure beats limited marketing.  Think of it as a sporting event. Shifts are won or lost by great coaches.  The talent on both sides are fairly equal.  Each side (Buyers and Sellers) has their set of strengths and weaknesses. It’s up to the coach to guide the team to a win.  The coaches right now are the full-time agents, and the agents with the most experience and winning track records are the ones to hire.

There’s a reason certain coaches win multiple Super Bowls. The top coaches are in demand, and teams pay them more money than first year coaches. It’s because they win, and if you’re a seller wanting to sell in a shifting market, you want to win. Hiring experience is the answer. So when the real estate market shifts, always go with experience.
We have a graphic in our listing presentation that reads “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.” If you’re looking to buy or sell, call the pros at the Ellis Team 239-489-4042 or visit our website www.LeeCountyOnline.com and search the MLS like a pro.

 

16585 Wellington Lakes CIR, Fort Myers, FL 33908    13685 Wellington Lakes Cir

Open House Saturday 1-4 PM

 

Daniels Preserve Open Jouse
12494 Country Day Cir Open Sunday 1-4 PM

Future of Real Estate September 2016 Market Update

 

Hopefully everyone had a great Labor Day weekend.  The Ellis Team household celebrated with friends and family with a cookout and football party.  Good times were definitely had by all, and that’s the way it should be.  Beating the post Labor Day real estate stall isn’t rocket science, but more on that after we tell you about the stall.

I started cooking the day before.  I made all the sauces, put the rub on the meat, and eventually placed the pork on the smoker at midnight.  The plan was to smoke the meat at 225 degrees for about 17 hours.  The meat must reach a certain temperature, but inevitably the temperature gains stall out at about 160 degrees for a period of 5 hours or so.  This frustrates many who are not accustomed to the stall.

The stall is that period where temperature gains cease for a long while.  This is because at 160 degrees the meat begins to sweat and cool itself.  Juice go from the center to the edges during this time period.  One way to beat the stall is to wrap meat in aluminum foil at 160 degrees and keep the heat on.  By doing so you can retain some of the moisture and cut the heating time down.

Beating the Post Labor Day Real Estate Stall

So you might ask how does all this relate to real estate?  Each year after September the SW Florida real estate market reaches a stall.  If you know it’s coming there are things you can do to shorten the time-frame of the stall.  You must power through it as buyers and sellers are counting on you.

Beating the Post Labor Day Real Estate Stall

Knowing it’s coming is half the battle.  The other half is preparation.  Just as most of the work to cook the meat was done the day before, so it is true with the real estate market.

We continue to list and sell properties.  In fact, we’re cranking some sales now at a time when county-wide sales are down.  We don’t stop advertising, and we don’t stop prospecting for buyers for our listings.

In fact, much of the work we’ve done the past few months helps us with sales during the typical “Stall” time.  Some Realtors take off in the slow months, but this is the time to put the real work in.  Championships are built in the off season.  This was opening weekend and you can tell which teams put in the work as they were the most prepared for week 1.

When we list a home in September it’s very possible we already have the buyer we obtained in July or August.  We have a database of thousands of buyers we’ve worked hard to build up.  Some are buying today, some are buying tomorrow, and some next month.  We don’t control their time frame, we only control our efforts to obtain buyers for our listings.

Often times sellers will ask us if we have a buyer for their home.  Quite often the answer is yes.  When we take a listing we bring it back to our team of agents who cross-check our database to see if we’ve got someone for that home.  Perhaps we have someone flying in on October 2nd who matches perfectly.  Perhaps we have someone now.

In any event, we market the home too, because even though we may have 3 buyers for our listing the market may have one ready, willing, and able to buy it today.  And you never know which buyer will pay the highest price.

Don’t Sweat the Stall

It’s the hard work we put in year-round that enables us to sell homes every month of the year.  So we don’t worry too much about the “Stall”.  We advise our clients on what the market is doing, and if we’re doing our job at the highest level, perhaps we can shorten our client’s time-frame and power through it for them.

If you’ve got a home to sell, we should probably talk.  It’s possible we have a buyer for it, and either way our marketing attracts buyers.  If you’re a buyer, we’ve got some great new listings coming to the market in the next few weeks.  You can search at www.LeeCountyOnline.com or call us at 239-489-4042

We look forward to working with you!  Good luck, and Happy House Hunting!

Join us for Two Great Open Houses

Reflection Lakes Open House
Reflection Lakes 3 Bedroom 2 Bath $215,000

13971 Lake Mahogany Blvd Unit 2623

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

Gate 4 Reflection Lakes

 

 

 

 

14154 Danpark Loop Fort Myers, FL
Open House Daniel’s Park

14154 Danpark Loop

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

Daniel’s Park

Affordable Living in Great Neighborhood

 

Watch the Future of Real Estate September 2016

Agents use the SW Florida Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to search for homes for their buyers but what about searching for buyers for agent’s listings?  The Ellis Team has found that having a searchable buyers database helps sell homes.

Searchable Buyers Database Helps Sell Homes
Ellis Team Client Search Screen

There is no MLS for buyers.  That would be weird.  There is one for sellers but it does not include personal information like seller’s name, phone number, email address, search preferences, etc. because nobody would want that kind of information out to the public. The same is true for buyers.  No buyer would want a seller searching and contacting them. And it wouldn’t be just sellers.  You’d have every retail store, financial planner, lender, etc. calling these buyers if that data were out in the public.

There may never be a true MLS for buyers as buyers for the reasons stated above however, we do have a large database of buyers we can search upon when we list new properties.  One of the advantages we offer buyers is our MLS search site is updated every 5 minutes, so they can beat out other buyers to hot new properties.  It’s also consumer friendly, speedy, and easy to use.

Because the buyers benefit so much we’re able to capture crucial search data.  The system will email them property matches if they desire, and they can target exactly what they’re looking for.

Searchable Buyers Database Helps Sell Homes buyer search screen
Buyer Search Screen

Searchable Buyers Database Helps Sell Homes

Sellers often ask us if we have buyers looking for a home like theirs.  The answer is usually yes.  We can go into our database and search for buyers that matches our seller’s criteria.  We spend a lot of money on advertising each month.  We create a lot of buyers.  It’s possible the money we spent last month or 6 months ago has already created a buyer looking for a home just like the one we’re listing.

One of our databases has created about 1,407 leads in the past year.  Let’s say we’re on a listing appointment and the property is worth $250,000.  If I search our database, we currently have 304 leads searching in that $250,000 range.

Let’s say we’re listing a Million dollar property.  I just conducted a search and our database contains 58 people searching for properties.  Our agents can tag buyers, so we have the ability to pin it down to features like golf course or waterfront, or neighborhoods.

Each time we list a property we create marketing designed to find a buyer in that price range.  It does us no good to list a Million dollar home and create $200,000 buyers.  Our marketing never stops working.  Not only are we marketing today for a million dollar buyer, our past marketing may have already created the buyer.  Likewise, just because we didn’t have a $4 Million dollar home for sale in last 6 months doesn’t mean we don’t have some $4 Million buyers waiting for the right property to enter the market.  We create marketing for what we list.  If we list a $70,000 condo we’ll create some $70,000 buyers.

Each week we have a team meeting and we inform our agents the properties we’re listing soon.  Many times we have a buyer waiting for one like that to come to market.  I remember a few years ago we listed a property in Moody River Estates.  The seller asked me if we had buyers for his home.  I answered I don’t know, we could.  I went back to office and sure enough, one of our agents was writing an offer on another property a street over from the one we just listed.  I asked him to hold up and go show our home.  A day later our home was under contract with a buyer we already had.

No agent can promise you they have a buyer.  And even if they did, you don’t know what the buyer will pay or how they will like it.  The goal is to produce many buyers for the home.  If you’d like to check out our site go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com Buyers and sellers love the site.  Or call us at 239-489-4042  We’d love to help you buy or sell your piece of paradise in SW Florida.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

14457 Cypress Chase Ct Fort Myers Florida
Open Sunday 11-2

14457 Cypress Chase Ct Fort Myers, FL 33919

3 Bedroom 3 Baths

Located in South Fort Myers

 

 

 

 

San Carlos Park Open House 3 Bedrooms 2 Baths
Open Sunday 1-4 PM

17225 Johnston Dr, Fort Myers FL 33967

3 Bedrooms 2 Baths Home in San Carlos Park

Call Today-Will sell this weekend