Agents around the office often ask us how the Ellis Team sells so much real estate each month.  The answer is, it’s marketing.  It’s not about the dollars you spend each month, although we do spend more on advertising than just about anybody out there.  It’s about spending smart, understanding how and where to find your customers, and converting. The Ellis Team smashes industry standard online advertising conversion rates.

The industry standard for online display ads back in 2016 was .35%.  Many say it’s below that now.  The Ellis Team converts 26 times that rate with an average in October at 9.13%.  Some of our ads convert at 20%.  The industry standard for a search ad is 1.91%.  Again, the Ellis Team smashes industry standard online advertising conversion rates in every category.

Ellis Team Smashes Industry Standard Online Advertising Conversion Rates

So how do we do this?  We’re not going to divulge that but suffice it to say we know a thing or two about online advertising, and it works.  In fact, the Ellis Team was the first team in the country to put the MLS on our website.  That first year we sold over 100 homes, and Realtors everywhere wondered what was going on.

NAR (National Association of Realtors) called us to Chicago to talk about this.  They said the info was in the MLS books and couldn’t be made public to everyone on our website.  After meeting with the president of NAR and NAR general counsel, they realized what we were doing was legal and met the bylaws of NAR.  And this is how VOW (Virtual Office Websites) was born.  SW Florida, you received it first.  It later transitioned to IDX (Internet Data Exchange) and now Realtors across the country, along with Realtor.com, Zillow, and others are displaying agent’s listing data.  I was always against Realtors letting 3rd party companies display our data.  I felt it should be reserved for agents displaying each other’s data, but somebody up at NAR decided otherwise.

Since those early days, we’ve been perfecting the art of online registrations and conversions.  First, you must give people what they want.  Your website must be fast, easy to use, and provide the most accurate and up to date data out there.  Our website is real-time, so it’s fast, has all the listings including sold data, and it’s easy to use.  Consumers like that they can see a photo gallery of all pictures instead of clicking one by one.

Buyers and sellers like that they can get neighborhood data in real-time and emailed to them weekly or monthly.  This informs them of new listings, pending sales, and closed sales in a community.  This is helpful when you’re keeping an eye on one or more communities.

Secondly, it helps to target the correct people.  This is where the magic happens.  It does no good to target the universe, because the universe will not all buy property, and certainly not in SW Florida.  We target people who have an interest in SW Florida, even if they live out of the country.  We find them from anywhere, and everywhere.

In the last month, www.LeeCountyOnline.com received 291 users from overseas.  Our agents are working with several of them, and some are in a nice price point.  Let’s not forget that we received 4,240 users last month from inside the US.  And of those users, 82.5% are new users, so we’re advertising to and attracting thousands of new users each month.

Ellis Team Overseas Online Visitors

It’s no wonder why Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty agents are so busy and selling so much.  We know how to find the buyers, no matter where they are.

If you’re looking to buy, you should talk with our experienced agents.  If you’re looking to sell, speak with Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Brett and Sande handle the listings.  We know how to get Top Dollar for our sellers.  Let us sit down with you and show you how we market.  Nobody else does what we do, and the results speak for themselves.  Find out what your home is worth at www.SWFLhomevalues.com

Good luck and Happy Selling!

November SW Florida Real Estate Update

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

12760 Seaside Key CT, North Fort Myers Moody River Estates

Weekend Garage Sale

Saturday 8 AM-1 PM

2153 Treehaven Cir North

 

In 2018 we’ve been on a recent record pace, eclipsing 2015 levels for homes sold in one year.  We haven’t gone back and analyzed against all-time highs more than a decade ago.  Since prices and home sales reset after the correction, we’re analyzing against recent records.  We believe we’re behind 2005 sales numbers, but not by as much as you would think. SW Florida homes closed YTD slipped slightly in September.

SW Florida Homes Closed YTD Slipped Slightly in September

We’ve been trending above 2015 numbers, so what changed?  In September of this year we dipped below 2015 levels and that set us back.  We only had 922 closed sales in September.  Back in 2015 we had 1,078.  I think we’ll be able to track where our market is headed by how well it holds up to 2015 levels.

This year we had 968 new pending sales.  Back in 2015 we had 1,169.  This could be an indicator that closed sales in October may fall below 2015 levels as well.  The median price back then was $211,578 and we had 3.7 months supply of inventory.  Contrast that with today our median price is $245,000 and a 4.9 month supply of inventory.

What’s different today is median home prices are 15.8% higher than they were 3 years ago, and interest rates were 3.978% and falling in 2015.  Today rates are at 4.875% and rising.  Rising rates have a way of spoiling home sales in that they rob buyers of purchasing power.  At some point they rob sellers too because if the sellers raise prices and rising interest rates also put pressure on buyers, the whole train stops.  You can’t have both for very long.  When buyers are maxed out, they’re at their limit.  With every rise in rates, it could be at the seller’s expense next.

The only thing that can offset this is rising wages.  Wages do appear to be on the rise somewhat, but they lag rises in rates.  This might explain why home prices haven’t risen since January of 2017.  Sure, we’ve seen blips up and down, but statistically they haven’t moved.

How does this affect sellers trying to sell their home?  First off, we’ve got a balanced market.  Homes are moving if marketed and priced correctly.  Perhaps now more than ever marketing becomes critical.  Prices are stagnant, interest rates are rising, and inventory is building.  Hiring a Realtor who markets is critical.  We’re not talking about posting it on all the websites.  That’s not marketing.  Anybody and everybody can do that.  If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, then definitely give us a call.  When you sit down and see, it’s easy to understand why our results are different.

This is also the silly season for Realtors.  Board dues are up end of the year.  Realtors that haven’t marketed or seen results from their lead generation begin shopping around.  As a last-ditch effort to save their career, they look to low cost brokerages to reduce fees.  Ultimately this doesn’t bring them more buyers or sellers, so they eventually quit, but it does buy them a few more months in the business.  Others look to hop on teams that provide leads.  Some are so deep in debt even this won’t work because they waited too long.  Or, they just don’t know how to close leads.

When selecting a Realtor, ask to see their marketing.  Then call us.  I bet you’ll see a difference.  Ask them how many listings they successfully sold last year.  Ask them how long they’ve been with their company.  Do they jump around?  Will they be at the same company in a month or two?  Can you get out of your listing if they move?  Ask all these questions before you sign up.

Your best bet is to just call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty the first time.  Sure, we help a lot of customers who are on their 2nd or 3rd Realtor.  Wouldn’t it make sense to just use us first?

Call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-40402 Ext 4 or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com   Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday November 3 1-3 PM

Open House Saturday November 3 1-3 PM

Open House Sunday November 4 1-3 PM

SW Florida Real Estate Closings Setting Strong Pace in 2018SW Florida Real estate closings setting strong pace in 2018 and it’s the best kept secret out there. Perhaps people are caught-up in the headlines of red-tide and blue-green algae and just assume the market is suffering.

I was just speaking with a lender this morning who mentioned she’s ready for real estate closings to start picking up.  Lenders of course get a large chunk of their business through Realtors, so I asked her what her perception of the market was.  In speaking with Realtors she works with, she had heard it was slow.

SW Florida Real Estate Closings Setting Strong Pace in 2018

If you look at the graph, you’ll see Lee County closings in 2018 are ahead of past year’s closings.  In fact, we are 689 of last year and 211 ahead of 2015, the second highest year in this time frame. The data shows that real estate closings are not slow, and yet Realtors, lenders, and maybe even the public thinks it is.

Your perception becomes your reality, and if you buy into a falsehood that the market is slow, suddenly your closings will be slow, which further confirms your suspicion that the market is indeed slow.  When you buy into false facts, your outcome is determined by your attitude and assumptions rather than what could have been.  If you simply change your thinking, you can change your world.

At Keller Williams we have a list or irrefutable laws, one of which is “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”   The SW Florida real estate market right now is a perfect example.  This market can be whatever you want it to be.  We have buyers looking to buy.  We have a good economy, and rates are low historically speaking although on their way up.  All favorable signs!

And yet we have some negatives.  Interest rates are rising, which is slowing buyer’s purchasing power.  Sales are slowing nationwide.  And of course, we have Red Tide and Blue Green Algae.  There, I said it.  We have positives on the table and we have negatives on the table.  So, which is it?

Every business should run a SWOT analysis.  Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.  Every business will have positives and negatives.  Every relationship will have both.  Your outcome is dependent on how you look at things.  Do you choose to see the opportunity, or do you choose to see the threat?

Facts are facts, and they often get in the way of how we’d like to perceive a situation.  The facts are, we’ve got a pretty good market right now.  If you’re an agent, you could either decide on how you’re going to go get your unfair share of sales or sit back and complain that sales are slow.  They’re not slow for everybody, only those that choose to buy into the negatives.

If you’re a seller, you want an agent that knows how to market and sell in all kinds of weather.  Three things are certain, markets go up, markets go down, and the weather is always changing.  If your home has been on the market and failed to sell, perhaps you need a new approach.

It failed to sell for one of two reasons.  Either it was overpriced, or it wasn’t marketed properly.  We’ve taken over listings that failed to sell and sold them at the same price, so it wasn’t the price.  We’ve taken over other listings that were overpriced, made the proper adjustments, and added our marketing and they sold.  Sometimes it’s both, the price and the marketing.

There is no substitute for proper marketing.  Failure to market properly will cause a home to sell at a lower price, or not at all.  Even homes priced correctly sometimes don’t sell, and that’s lack of marketing.

Call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and we’ll be happy to sit down and discuss both with you.  Or, go to www.SWFLhomevalues.com and get a quick and Free estimate of your home’s value, then call us when you’re ready to sell.

Good luck and happy selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

1742 Ardmore Rd

 

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

714 Fifth Ave, Lehigh Acres

Last year we warned about interest rates and what it could do to home buyers and sellers.  Since that warning interest rates have climbed .82%.  The consensus on the street is we’re not done yet.  Today we see rising interest rates squeezing home buyers and lowering affordability which can ultimately affect both buyer and seller.

Rising Interest Rates Squeezing Home Buyers and Lowering Affordability

A simple rise in rates robs a home buyer of between 10-11% of purchasing power.  In the example in the graph, a $200,000 home buyer before the rate increase now only qualifies for $180,000.  Let’s say the buyer still qualifies for $200,000.  Their monthly payment just went up $114.82.  Nothing else changed.  The purchase price is the same, the amount financed is the same.  The only thing that caused that payment to go up was the interest rate.  Over 30 years that increase adds up to $41,335.20.

Simply by waiting a year to purchase it cost a home buyer more payment or less house.  When you combine that with home price increases, it’s a double whammy for buyers.

We’re not done yet.  Experts are predicting rates to shoot up to 5% by the end of the year, and perhaps 6% by the end of 2019.  Even if they only raise half of that, you can clearly see that waiting costs more than it’s worth.  For home buyers, the time is now, and the sooner the better.

We have buyers just waiting for their lease to end.  In some cases, it makes sense to break the lease and pay the penalty.  Some apartments have a 1-month rental penalty.  Other landlords charge much more, so it’s wise to look at your lease and consult with an attorney.

Right now, we have limited inventory, so homes go fast.  As rates continue to climb, it will put more pressure on more buyers.  The pace at which the market can appreciate will have pressure on it.  If you’re a seller, you might want to think about listing now, for several reasons.

If you have a mortgage, chances you’ll get a mortgage on your new home.  Waiting to sell your home will cost you too when you go get a new mortgage.  Additionally, as rates rise, there will be fewer buyers that qualify for your home.  Lastly, as buyers begin to qualify for less and move down a price bracket, listings may rise in your price bracket.  When this occurs, price appreciation can stop.

If you’re waiting for prices to climb further, it’s a risky strategy.  Sure, price may climb higher, but it may still cost you.  You may not gain anything, and you’re taking a risk.  It’s more fun to sell when inventory is low.  And it’s more fun to purchase before rates rise much further.

Rates are still pretty low historically speaking.  We’re still in the 4’s.  I remember double digit rates.  The point is, even though rates are low, why pay more than you need to?  Next year, you’re likely to pay more.  The economy is heating up, and this drives pressure for rates to rise.

You know you want a new home.  The only thing holding you back is your home is still appreciating, and you don’t know where you’d go.  Give Sande or Brett Ellis a call at 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and we can walk you through the steps of a possible move.

We can figure out how much you’d net on the sale of your current home, and what it would take to get you a new home.  We can discuss financing options and how we’d structure the deal to make it work for you.  You never know until you speak with us.

Or, you can search the market online at www.LeeCountyOnline.com We’re here to help you today, tomorrow, or down the road when the stars align for you. We just want you to have the best information available, so you can make the best decision for your family.

Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty Fort Myers & the Islands!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Big Online Advertising Changes Affecting Realtors Marketing Results Visitors by Country

We knew online advertising changes were coming.  Facebook, under increasing pressure from the government, changed its targeting of consumers to avoid discrimination claims for things like housing and other industries.  Let’s talk about big online advertising changes affecting Realtors marketing results.

The funny thing is, many of the things we were targeting were not discriminatory at all.  For instance, we used to target a group in Facebook “Likely to Move” or renters.  Renters are always a good group of people to target as eventually many of them would love to own a home.  Many Realtors would send out mail pieces to apartment complexes specifically targeting renters.  I don’t see how targeting renters on Facebook is any different, but whatever it takes to satisfy the government, I guess.

Big Online Advertising Changes Affecting Realtors Marketing Results

We believe going forward realtors will give up on Facebook advertising when they no longer get the results they’re used to, but they shouldn’t.  This past week we had 4 open houses which we advertised in the newspaper as well as several online sites.  Additionally, we selected 4 Facebook target groups.  2 groups were accepted.  Facebook denied 2 groups even though I made the appropriate changes they suggested.  Their system just wasn’t equipped to allow the ad.

So, I spent most of the day yesterday studying their system.  I was able to crack the code and I’ve identified several new targeted audiences I think will produce good results for our sellers.  With every obstacle an opportunity is presented.  Not only will these new audiences present opportunities, so will the failure of other online ads.  When other Realtor’s ads are rejected, and they surely will be because Facebook doesn’t know any better, Realtors will give up.  Their ads will either be less effective or won’t run at all.

By spending a whole day studying the system, we’re betting this will pay off big for our clients.  The other thing I think is important is we don’t put all our online eggs in one basket.  The Ellis Team are huge advertisers on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and many other effective sites.  We advertise where they online eyeballs are.  If they shift, we shift.

Big Online Advertising Changes Affecting Realtors Marketing Results Visitors by Country

Facebook made these changes in August, and yet I just pulled up our online numbers.  We have many websites, so I just picked LeeCountyOnline.com for a look.  In the past 30 days we had almost 5,000 unique visitors.  We’re able to track which country they come from, and even what state.  We can track which pages they like, if they’re on desktop or mobile, and lots more.

Big Online Advertising Changes Affecting Realtors Marketing Results Visitors by State

Top Countries

It’s interesting to note that Germany and Brazil are generating lots of visitors followed by Canada and France.  Inside the United States we note that New York and Wisconsin are the most popular outside of Florida.  One of our buyer agents commented on how many people they are working with recently from Wisconsin.  The online numbers bear that out.

New York and New Jersey both made the top 10 list.  It’s no surprise as taxes are high in those two states because they limit out on the SALT deduction, more are moving to Florida from those states.

If you wish to attract foreign buyers, or buyers from other states you must have an effective online advertising strategy.  As you can see from the stats, The Ellis Team has figured it out.  Much of what we do is effective organic content, and much is paid search advertising.  One without the other is only half a strategy.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, please contact Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  We’ll show you how we can put our print and online advertising to work for you, so you too can reach these buyers.  If you’re a buyer and you’ve found us, you can call us too, as we enjoy helping people buy their dream home in paradise.  Remember, Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty!

Visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com for a FREE online valuation of your home.  It’s a great place to get started before you’re ready to meet with a Realtor.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

Cape Coral Pool Home

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

San Carlos Park New Construction

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

If you’ve noticed a lack of housing options in your home search, you’re not alone.  Home prices have been climbing nationwide since 2011.  It’s no coincidence that new home construction has played a role in the surge in home prices nationwide.

Lack of New Home Construction Nationwide Fueling Housing Shortage

Lack of New Home Construction Nationwide Fueling Housing Shortage

Many homeowners in SW Florida would love to sell their home and move to another.  They’re caught in a catch 22 situation because their home is sell-able, and yet they haven’t found a suitable place to move to.  Because housing inventory is so light, many sellers won’t accept a contingency offer, because they don’t have to.  So, when a homeowner finds a home they like, they don’t have time to place their home on the market and act.

Lack of New Home Construction Nationwide Fueling Housing Shortage Rising Prices

If the kids are grown and moved out of the house, some sellers have options.  If their home is no longer working for them, they can sell and move into a rental while they shop for a new home.  They can build a new home, or they can wait for a resale.  These homeowners are in an advantageous position right now because we can get top dollar for their home, and they’re ready to pounce when the right home hits the market.

If they wait, they must put their home on the market fast, and perhaps take less for their home just to make the speed part of the deal work.

Nationwide, the historical average of new homes being built is 1 million.  Since 2011, we haven’t hit 1 million yet.  Each year, we’re adding to the deficit of what the market needs.  The lack of supply puts pressure on the resale market and prices rise.  The rub is that prices are rising at 6% while incomes are only rising at 2-3%.  There is a top, and this is where new construction can help ease the burden.

Experienced Agents Get Creative in Low Inventory Markets

The Ellis Team at Keller Williams has gotten creative in finding housing for our buyers.  The first thing we do is provide the area’s best website for house shopping.  Our website www.LeeCountyOnline.com updates every minute, so you’re looking at homes in real-time.  Speed wins and beating out other buyers to hot new listings is the name of the game.  We have some new mortgage options too that are saving buyers thousands of dollars on their transaction.  This has enabled some buyers to purchase now and list their home after they’ve secured their next home.

We’ve also put a few deals together with a home sale contingency.  Sometimes it makes sense, and when it does we’re able to negotiate that, so it works for buyer and seller.  It takes a skilled and experienced agent to negotiate this, so don’t try this with a newer agent.

If you’ve thought about selling, but not sure where you would go if your home did sell, you should call Sande or Brett Ellis (239-489-4042 Ext 4) for a free quick meeting.  After listening to your situation, we may be able to find a solution that suits your needs.  We have a secret list of buyers just waiting for the right home to come on the market too, so we might already have your buyer.  If you’d like to get an idea of what your home may be worth, check out www.swflhomevalues.com 

Selling now can be a big advantage while inventory is low.  Many sellers will place their home on the market as season approaches.  Having buyers all to yourselves for a few months is fun, and quite possibly you’ll have your home sold before other sellers.

Call the Ellis Team today and see how we can accomplish your goals.  Good luck, and Happy Home Hunting!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

15118 Cloverdale Dr

15118 Cloverdale Dr Parker Lakes Ellis Team Weekend Open House
Parker Lakes Open House

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

2008 Bolado Pkwy Cape Coral

Cape Coral Pool Home Ellis Team Weekend Open House

Buyers choose to buy all year long for various reasons.  Leases expire, their existing home goes under contract, or a new job opportunity in SW Florida presents itself for an out of state buyer.  People retire, relocate, and buy vacation homes 12 months out of the year.  Florida is a net gain state, meaning it’s gaining more residents than it loses each year.  So, we decided to answer the question, “Are certain months better to list your home for maximum results?”

Certain Months Better to List Your Home for Maximum Results

As you can see from the graph, listings pick up each year around October.  In 2016 it started in September, but only modestly.  As a seller, you have a distinct advantage of being on the market in August and September over those that enter the market in October.

With limited choices for buyers, they are forced to scoop up homes that meet their criteria quickly for fear of losing out to other buyers.  This fear disappears when more listings enter the market.  In fact, when buyers lose their fear of missing out on a home, they become indifferent.  When this occurs, we know we’ve hit a pricing plateau and buyers have turned off.  The market must re-balance itself, and correct.  The sellers that react and respond quickly get out.  The sellers that do not, linger on the market wondering what it’s going to take to sell their home.

Thankfully we don’t have that market right now.  Buyers are motivated because many sellers have made price corrections.  Interest rates are rising, and it’s costing buyers to wait.  They need a home, and they want one now, within reason.  Buyers aren’t acting stupid today.  They are educating themselves, studying the market, and acting when they need to.

And this is precisely why sellers who are on the market in August and priced correctly have a distinct advantage to sellers who wait until October.  Ask yourself two questions?

When is the best time to sell an item?  The answer is when there are fewer items on the market. When is the best time to purchase an item?  This answer is when there are more items to choose from.  It’s simple supply and demand.

The listings are coming, we know this for sure.  It happens every year.  If you’re a seller contemplating a sale, wouldn’t it make sense to beat the seller rush and put your home on the market now?  Buyers are out there, and they’re motivated.  Many buyers are frustrated because they can’t score a deal.  They’re getting beat out by other buyers and watching home after home come off the market while they have none.  They need a home, they’re watching rates go up, and yet they can’t catch a break.

Sellers can take advantage of this mismatch, but time is running out.  Soon, other sellers will have the same idea and place their home on the market, and you lose your advantage.  Oh, you can still sell in October-December.  It’s just more fun when less sellers are competing with you.

Imagine being a high school girl waiting for a guy to ask you to prom.  Wouldn’t it be nice if there were 5 girls in the class and 30 boys?  You’d practically have your pick of which offer to choose.  You wouldn’t settle for the 1st offer if it wasn’t right, because you know better options are a moment away.  It wouldn’t be so good for the buys though.  Only 5 would get dates, and the other 25 would be waiting for a new girl to move to town.

This is what it’s like in August in the SW Florida housing market.  Buyers are looking.  Supply is limited in certain price ranges.  Our team is having another record month in August.  We need more listings.  Our marketing is working.  If you’re thinking of selling anytime soon, we should probably talk.

Call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get an instant free idea of what your home may be worth.  Let us show you how we can save you thousands on your next transaction!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

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

A question we get from time to time is what are the common pitfalls of selling by owner?  It’s a great question, so let’s dive in.

Common Pitfalls of Selling By Owner

Common Pitfalls of Selling By Owner

The first pitfall is legal.  Most sellers don’t realize the regulatory pressures they are under, whether they sell by owner or with an agent.  The state has jurisdiction over property, homeowner, and condo disclosures.  The federal government has jurisdiction over issues like lead-based paint disclosures, waterways, docks, etc.  We’re lumping the Army Corps of Engineers in with the federal government.  Missing any one of these important disclosures could cost you a sale, or worse, a lawsuit or fine.

Security is another issue that concerns sellers.  They want to know who is coming into their home.  Sellers are concerned if the prospect is an actual buyer, or someone who is looking over the contents of the home only to come back later and rob the place.

The Buyer’s ability to pay for the home might be one of the largest concerns sellers have.  When selling by owner, asking this question can be tenuous.  The buyer feels like it’s none of your business and their finances are their business.  But it is the seller’s business.  As a Realtor, we can ask those tough questions and demand proof.  It’s what we do, and if a buyer is skittish about answering, it bears more questions.  Realtors with experience can read more into what’s being said and uncover more facts.  Red flags should never be ignored.  Newer agents, and For Sale By Owners don’t always see the red flags, and when they do, they don’t know how to handle them.  Security might be the biggest of the common pitfalls of selling by owner.

Marketing is critical to getting top dollar.  It doesn’t do much good to save a commission and lose money at the same time.  I’ve seen 3 studies that show For Sale By Owners sell for 6%-16% less than using a real estate agent.  Essentially it costs you nothing to use an agent but could cost you thousands not to.  Placing your home online in a few places isn’t marketing.  It’s simply listing it in a directory.  A few buyers might notice it, but you’re not getting it out to the masses.

Sure, you’ll get some calls from people looking to flip homes and unqualified buyers, but nothing that is going to close or gain you top dollar.  If you doubt us, just try it and see how you fare.  Then call us after a few weeks and we can change that for you.

Are All Realtors the Same?

All Realtors are not the same.  If some Realtors have a hard time marketing a home, imagine how hard it is for a For Sale By Owner.  Again, just placing it in MLS and putting a sign up is not marketing.  You need much more than that to get the word out.  If all you attract are unqualified buyers and just a small percent of the market, you’re not attracting top dollar.

Imagine putting an item for sale in an online auction.  If you had one bidder, you might sell it.  If you had 10 bidders, it’d probably go for more money.  If you had 1,000 bidders, it would sell for more than if you had just one bidder.  Full market exposure equals Top Dollar.  Less than that equals less than Top Dollar.

The Agent You Hire Matters.  The Ellis Team markets your home for all it’s worth.  We shoot for Top Dollar.  Why be satisfied with one buyer when you could have several to choose from? Our marketing generates lots of buyers.  We can bring all the buyers you’ll ever need, but if the home is not priced correctly, they’ll just go buy something else. We’ll help you avoid the common pitfalls of selling by owner.  See also 3 Reasons Why Homes Fail to Sell.

Check out www.swflhomevalues.com to get an idea of what your home may be worth.  Our computer is very good.  In fact, it’s the best we’ve ever seen by an automated valuation service.  However, it it not perfect and there is no substitute for having Sande or Brett come out to your property and doing a comparative market analysis.

Or you can Search the MLS like a pro at www.LeeCountyOnline.com

If you have a home to sell Always Call the Ellis Team, your Top Dollar Realtor!  239-489-4042 Ext 4  ask for Sande or Brett.  We’re here to help.  Sande Ellis and Brett Ellis are a mother-son team and have over 30 years experience selling homes in Southwest Florida.  Brett and Sande personally visit each property and do an in-depth analysis of the price as well as strengths of the property.  This is important because if we’re going to reach the best target buyer for the home, it pays to know every detail that may attract that best buyer.

Of course, many times our marketing attracts multiple buyers.  This is good news for sellers when we’re able to do this as it typically brings a better price for our sellers.  Imagine an online auction.  If you had  an item to sell and had 10 buyers, you’d fetch a certain price.  But if you had 1,000 buyers, the price your item would fetch might be much more, wouldn’t it?

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday & Sunday 1-3 PM

San Carlos Park

18449 Phlox Dr

San Carlos Park Home Ellis Team Featured Property
San Carlos Park Open House Saturday & Sunday 1-3 PM

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Cape Coral

2709 SW 12th Ave Cape Coral

Cape Coral Pool Home Open House