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

You’ve heard the movie quote “Build it and they will come” from Field of Dreams.  The saying for the SW Florida real estate market is price at market value and buyers will come.

Pending sales were up 2.2% in June which should lead to some nice closing numbers going forward.  However, if you look at the pricing trends for the past few years, you will notice prices have not moved much.  Every year around May or June home prices are lower, primarily because the larger sales happen in season.  2020 was different because season was interrupted by covid-19 and we were under a stay-at-home order in April.

Price at Market Value and Buyers Will Come

Price at Market Value and Buyers Will Come

What is selling today is pretty much anything that is priced correctly.  We are selling low, middle, and high-end homes.  The key is, buyers are looking for housing amongst low inventory, but they don’t want to overpay.  Buyers never want to overpay, and sometimes it seems like they must in low inventory markets.  We do think there has been some upward price pressure, but we are not seeing it yet in the overall numbers.  We may see it in the June or July closings when those numbers are released.

Sellers must weigh to counterbalancing ideas.  One is you have got a hot commodity in a lower inventory market.  The other is you don’t want to be greedy and miss this market.  Inevitably some sellers miss a seller’s market because they get too greedy and think the hot market conditions are going to last forever.  These sellers always say, “I wish we had that hot market back” when they own their home 4 years later but wished they had sold 4 years ago.

We can sell a home in a hot, warm, or cold market.  The fact is some sellers succeed while others fail to sell even in the hottest of markets.  It is always nice to sell in a hot market, and it stinks to miss it because you thought it was going to go even higher.  It’s happened before, and it will happen again.  The question is, is it going to happen to you?

Market Where the Buyers Are

The other key ingredient is knowing who your market is and knowing how to reach them.  We’ve had great success with out of state buyers, so we’ve marketed out of state.  You have to go where the buyers are, and the Ellis Team knows how to do that.

Our listing inventory has shrunk because we have sold most of it.  Sure, we have new listings coming in all the time, but not as many as we are used to marketing.  If you have a property to sell, you might want to give Brett or Sande Ellis a call. 239-489-4042 Ext 4. We have over 3 decades experience marketing in changing markets, and we’re definitely experts at reaching buyers where they are.

The Ellis Team has been voted Best in Real Estate for 5 straight years in the News Press Reader’s poll, and that does not happen by accident.  We’d like to sit down and discuss your goals and see if we can make your goals a reality.  It all starts with an idea.  Some ideas are available right now, especially since rates are so low.  Chances are you might qualify for more home for less monthly payment than you have right now.  Other ideas might take some planning, but with expert help we can put your ideas into motion and make that next step a reality much sooner for you.

Curious About Selling?

If you are simply curious about your home’s value. Check out www.SWFLhomevalues.com You can check on your home’s value without having an agent out to your home.  This preliminary step might help get the wheels turning for you.  Of course, Brett and Sande are just a phone call away if you need us.

Good Luck, and Happy Selling!  Call us if you need us 239-489-4042 Ext 4

See last week’s article “Advantage Southwest Florida Sellers as Sales Outpace New Listings

It is time for another Southwest Florida real estate market update. It seems everyone I talk to asks how the real estate market is doing during this Coronavirus shutdown. During the last 7 days in Lee County 212 homes came on the market and 301 went pending. 289 closed in the last week.  This tells us that we’re pending and closing more homes than are actually coming on the market.

This also tells us that now is a great time to sell. You have less competition from other sellers, and homes are actually selling. This past week our team held 9 virtual open houses. All open houses received over 200 video views and our best one had 3,300+ people tuning in. You might ask how do we get so many people to view our open houses online. We will answer that later in the story.

As you can see from the graphs, inventory levels were falling pre-Coronavirus. In other words, this is not a new trend. More homes have been selling than what is coming to the market. This was indicative of a strong housing market locally and a strong economy. Given the shutdown, we have no idea what shape the economy is in today. What we do know is the housing market has remained strong.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Closed Sales by Year

We have official sales numbers through March, and you can see that 2020 was on pace to eclipse the previous 4 years. Some people feared we would lose closings in March as buyers became fearful of the unknown. That scenario did not play out. The question going forward will be how does the disruption affect the market going forward?

Nobody knows for sure the answer to that. Hopefully answers about when states will open back up and to what degree will become clearer soon.  What we do know is that it is a good time for sellers right now! It’ always more fun to sell when there is less competition from other sellers.

Buyers still need to buy, and when you see low inventory and buyers buying sight unseen, you know it’s a good time to sell.  What will happen when this virus thing is over and all those sellers who did not want to put their home on the market during the pandemic decide to sell?  Sellers will have more competition. It does not mean the market will be bad, it just means it may take longer to sell as they’ll have more competition.

Pricing is still a critical component. The market either accepts or rejects the price, and some sellers will never get that point regardless of if the market is up, down, or sideways. Proper pricing is important.

Back to the question about how we drive so many people to our online open houses. It’s all about the marketing. The Ellis Team are Southwest Florida real estate experts at driving traffic, whether it be old-school like print marketing or cutting edge like targeting buyers. Our brand is wide and our reach is deep because we have a large digital footprint to draw from.

If you are considering putting your home on the market today, you want it sold for top dollar and fast.  You want to limit the in-person showings. The faster we get your home sold for market value, the better it is for everyone. The Ellis Team digital reach can help you achieve that.

If you’d like to get a quick feel for the value of your home, visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com  It you’d like to setup a meeting with Brett or Sande to talk about the market, your home, or your options, we can jump on a video call and talk about it. Simply visit www.Virtual-Listing-Appointment.com and fill out the form, or call 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and ask for Brett or Sande.

If you are thinking of selling, let’s talk about your opportunity today versus waiting and figure out what’s best for you.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

See last week’s article “Virtual Open Houses Sells Homes in a Virtual World

Check out this weekend’s Virtual Open Houses

The Ellis Team was supposed to have a closing December 31.  We represented the seller. The buyer selected a lender from CA who gave a pre-approval letter.  It turns out, the buyer had no chance of closing with that lender. They said they were just waiting on IRS tax transcripts, and since the government was shutdown, they had to put the loan on hold.  So, even with IRS transcripts, the loan would never have closed under the program they selected. Has government shutdown affected mortgages and closings?

Has Government Shutdown Affected Mortgages and Closings

Upon missing the closing date, we decided to get a lender we use regularly involved.  The buyer agreed, as they wanted to buy the home.  Our lender looked at the file and said they would not qualify, even if they added a co-borrower.  However, if we switched them to an FHA loan, we’d have a chance as they are more forgiving on loan ratios.

Many lenders cannot do a FHA loan with a government shutdown.  Many lenders can’t do a loan without an IRS transcript.  We were able to get an FHA loan in 13 days, bypass the transcript issue, and get flood insurance, all during the government shutdown.  How did we do it, and in 13 days nonetheless?

It took some hard work on everyone’s part, especially the lender.  We worked with a direct endorsement FHA lender who does not need an FHA underwriter to approve the loan.  Secondly, they made this loan a priority for us.  Lastly, we had the buyer assume the seller’s flood policy, so we were good to go, even amidst a government shutdown.  Both buyer and seller were ecstatic.  We could not have done it without the help of our lender, title company, and a buyer and seller working together to make it happen.

Has Government Shutdown Affected Mortgages and Closings

So, let’s give you an update on how the government shutdown is affecting other real estate closing throughout the country.

Flood Insurance – FEMA announced on December 28th that they would resume selling new policies and issuing renewals again.

IRS Tax Transcripts- Many top lenders are waiving IRS (4506-T) tax transcript verifications to fulfill a loan as they are unavailable now.

Nationally Realtors say that 9% of transactions involve a federal employee and the transaction is on hold.  13% have been impacted by the transcript issue, although there are workarounds for this with certain lenders.

The bottom line is the government shutdown isn’t having a huge impact on closings yet.  Any disruptions in closings can have a large impact on the overall economy as real estate generally impacts about 32% of GDP.

In uncertain times it pays to work with real estate professionals and lenders who have a track record of solving issues as they pop up.  Good Realtors know who the good lenders are.

Rising Inventory

Inventory has been rising, so selecting a professional who will market your home and make it stand out is important today.  Hopefully that same agent also knows how to get the home closed once they find a buyer, because in a rising inventory environment, you never want to have to sell the home twice. It pays to get the home closed the first time.

If you’re looking to buy a home, give our team a call.  We can get you pre-approved and get your home closed.  Just because a lender approves you doesn’t mean they can close you.  Experienced agents know that a mortgage pre-approval does not mean you have a guaranteed closing.  We can get you working with a lender with a track record of closing loans.

If you’d like to search for your dream home, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It has all the homes on the MLS, and it’s updated every 5 minutes.  No more missing out on hot new properties because the site you’re using doesn’t have it.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, always call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Brett and Sande handle the listings on the team. Let us show you how our marketing will set you apart and get your home to the closing table.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

111 NW 33rd Ave

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

1742 Ardmore  Rd

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

2008 Bolado Pkwy

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

 

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

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

8 Seller Mistakes When Putting Home on the Market

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

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

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

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Reflection Lakes 5 Bed 3 Bath Pool Home on Lake

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

13994 Reflection Lakes Dr

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Bella Lago 4 Bed 3 Bath Pool Home

3 Car Garage, Granite Counters, and more

19790 Maddelana

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

Cape Coral Direct Access Waterfront Pool Home

Direct Access Cape Coral Waterfront Pool Home

1933 SE 36th St

 

 

 

In February we reported that the housing supply in Southwest Florida stood at 5.48 months.  We are happy to report the Southwest Florida housing supply declines since February, down to 5.28 months.  This occurred for two reasons.

Active inventory fell from 5,705 homes for sale in February down to 5,552 in late April.  Closed sales in last 365 days back in February were 12,487.  Today that number rose to 12,612.  Both statistics helped reduce the months’ supply of inventory in SW Florida.

Southwest Florida housing supply declines

Sometimes sales are low because of rising prices, and sometimes they’re low simply because there isn’t enough inventory.  Inventory has grown in the last few years a bit.  Closed sales fell 2.7% in March from previous year. Closed sales in February were up 10.7%, and its possible closed sales in April are up too which affects that number.  We won’t have official closed sales numbers for April until late May.

In almost all price ranges housing supply fell except for the $200-$250k price range, which actually grew from 3.72 months’ supply to 3.85 months’ supply.

These numbers tell us our market is balanced and healthy.  Most experts agree that a balanced market is around 5.5 months supply. At 5.28 months we’re right there.

Of course, markets vary by neighborhood amenities, location, price range, and more.  The chart shows you how each price range is faring right now. Obviously, it you have a $1 Million plus home, it will take longer to sell on average than lower priced homes.  There just aren’t as many buyers as there are sellers.  The Ellis Team just sold a $1.1 Million condo in Gulf Harbour in 122 days.  It takes aggressive marketing and proper pricing to make that happen.  Currently there are 6 active listings in this building and no pending sales.

We’ve had a great season so far. Our sales have doubled over last year even though the Board of Realtors membership has only increased 4.3%.  I’ve spoken with a few other top agents who are also having a banner year. This tells us that experienced agents who spend money advertising and have been through up, down, and sideways markets are getting it done.  Experienced agents have the knowledge to navigate their sellers though any kind of market.

Listing your home with a family friend, neighbor, or relative can cost you thousands on your sale, and might cost you a relationship as well.  We don’t have the burden of trying to get the number you want or need.  We can objectively investigate what the market is paying for your home.  Then we target buyers online and through our networks to find that buyer.  The days of sticking a sign out front or placing it in MLS and hoping someone will sell it are gone.  To get Top Dollar you must go out and find the buyer.

If you’re a buyer, you want to know how prices are performing in a community, how fiscally solid the homeowners association is, and other factors that may be influencing the market.  Working with a skilled, full-time, knowledgeable Realtor is key.  You won’t realize how much it costs you to hire an inexperienced agent until you run into issues, and then it will be too late.

We’re keeping our eyes on interest rates in the coming weeks.  If they rise it will put pressure on buyers to make a move this summer.  They’ve already risen, and we believe there is room to rise much more over the next few years.  Waiting to buy or sell will cost buyers and homeowners with higher rates and will put pressure on affordability.

We encourage you to check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com where you can search for all the homes on MLS.  Or, you can call us at 239-489-4042.  Ask for Sande or Brett Ellis if you’re thinking of selling.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Whiskey Creek Open Saturday 1-3 PM

1455 Claret Ct

Reflection Lakes Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

13994 Reflection Lakes Dr

South Pointe South Open Sunday 1-3 PM

9721 Deerfoot Dr 3 Bed 2 Bath Home

9721 Deerfoot Dr

 

We’re hearing from a lot of sellers who are concerned that their home has been on the market awhile and it didn’t sell this season.  They’re calling asking how we market homes and what they can do to get their home sold before their listing expires.  This article includes tips on how to sell your Florida home out of season.

How to Sell Your Florida Home Out of Season
Win the Beauty Contest

We get it.  Sellers who weren’t successful are frustrated.  The sellers who listed and sold are happy, and the ones who listed and sat are not.  Putting your home on the market is a lot like entering a beauty contest.  Even though your home is beautiful, it may get skipped over by other beautiful homes that compete more favorably.  The other contestants take the prize.  Two weeks pass by and another bevy of beauties hit the market before you get the chance to reduce your price.  Your beautiful home never really got the chance to be the new beauty on the market.

Sometimes a new beauty comes on the market and it attracts multiple offers.  Before you know it, it sells for full price, maybe even more. It’s frustrating to watch other homes take the crown while yours is left standing on stage.  The good news I guess is that there’s a new beauty contest upcoming, but you’ve got to make some changes, or you’ll suffer the same fate as the last contest.  After awhile they’ll start asking what’s wrong with you, why are you still here?

We’d like to help you avoid this madness.  Before we begin, let’s just state that we too have some homes that occasionally don’t sell.  When sellers take our advice, their home sells.  You have to want to be the winner.  Here’s our formula to win the next beauty contest.

  1. Hire the right Realtor.  Not all Realtors are the same.  They don’t advertise the same, have the same number of leads, or have the experience necessary to lead you through the process.  You’ve seen very talented teams lose the big game due to coaching mistakes.  Hiring the right coach can make all the difference.
  2. Price your home correctly. If the market doesn’t respond, adjust.  The market doesn’t stand still, and neither does your competition.  New homes enter the market, and existing homes make price adjustments. If you list a home and never change, you may get left on stage.
  3. Make sure your home looks as good as it can. You don’t have to remodel.  Simple things can make a big difference.  Talk to us and discover how certain minor changes can make a big difference in the judge’s eyes.
  4. Listen to your Realtor. If you did the research and hired the best Realtor, it’s crazy not to take their advice.  If you’re not going to listen to your Realtor, I guess it doesn’t matter who you hire.
  5. Listen to the market. The market speaks to you.  If you’re getting lots of showing but no offers, a small price adjustment may be necessary.  If you’re not getting showings at all, you either have a large adjustment to make, or something is off with the marketing.  Perhaps there is a field wrong in MLS.  Is your home being advertised in the paper, online, and to other Realtors?  Perhaps a highly advertised open house may be necessary.
  6. Don’t be afraid to make a change. Sometimes owners list with a friend or relative.  This is dangerous because they often want to please you.  They may be afraid to tell you the market has shifted, or they may miss it because of their love for you.  Listing with a friend or relative can destroy your relationship.  If that is your situation, give us a call.  We have a way of handling this for you and getting your home sold without offending your friend.

If you have a home to sell, we’d love to help you.  Simply go to www.SWFLhomevalues.com and enter your address.  We’ll provide you with a free online market evaluation.  If you’d like to go to the next step, we can schedule a time to meet your and view your home.  Or, you can always call Sande or Brett Ellis at 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Always Call the Ellis Team!  We’ll get your home Sold!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Reflection Lakes – Open Sunday 1-4 PM

13994 Reflection Lakes Dr

14016 Shimmering Lakes Ct

Colony Lakes – Open Sunday 1-3 PM

16804 Colony Lakes Blvd