The latest news release from Florida Realtors show Lee County Florida home sales down 6.8% in April but still up from 2016 and 2017 levels.  We are seeing increasing inventory and time on the market, and home prices are flat.  Total dollar volume of sales was down 12.3%, so we’re definitely experiencing a shifting market.

Lee County Florida April Home Sales Down 6.8%
Lee County Florida April 2019 Home Sales Down 6.8%

How you look at the market might just depend on your expectations.  If you look at it over the last 4 years, this is the 2nd highest rated market.  You can also look at it as down versus last year, and the fundamentals propelling the market are down as well.

So where do we go from here?  A lot of that will depend on the economy, interest rates, and consumer sentiment.  Right now, consumer confidence is fairly strong.  Interest rates have declined, and the economy is doing well.  The wild cards right now are the trade wars and their effects on the overall economy moving forward.

Trade between Mexico and Canada has a chance at improving significantly depending on if congress passes the latest revision to NAFTA.  Trade with China has the potential to increase drastically or go South in a hurry.  Long term it’s in our best interests to hold tight, but there is pressure on farmers and retail to wrap it up sooner rather than later.  There could be long-term winners and short-term losers in that deal.

We don’t control what happens in the future.  What we know is many want to buy here, and many want to sell.  As in any market, the trick is pricing homes at today’s market and then marketing the home so as many prospects as possible see it.

One of the best websites to search for properties is www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It’s great because it’s updated in real-time and includes all the listings.  Additionally, there are neighborhood market reports, so buyers and sellers can get an idea of what’s going on at the neighborhood level too.

Memorial Day weekend is a great weekend to enjoy the outdoors.  It’s going to be hot.  Perhaps you’re looking to purchase a home with a big back yard so you can entertain friends and family, play games, and enjoy some BBQ on the grill.  Perhaps you’re looking for a pool home in this hot weather.  Or you’re looking for a waterfront home or condo so you can go out on the boat right from your back yard.  We’ve got it all on our website.

And if you’re looking to sell, we can give you a free online estimate of your home’s value.  Simply go to www.SWFLhomevaues.com and it will show you instantly.  Or call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4  Many buyers need to sell their home first, and that’s where we can help.  We can time it, so we sell your home and find you a property to purchase as well.  All this takes coordination with the lender, title company, and the next home you’re purchasing.  We handle all the details for you so you can enjoy the process.

So, this weekend go out and enjoy the outdoors.  When you’ve had enough sun and heat, check out our websites and search for the next home that will meet your needs better.  We’ve even got boat clubs we can recommend, which might save you some money.  Some buyers elect to go this route and not buy a waterfront home and still enjoy the fabulous boating we have here in SW Florida.  Others want that boat right at their house.  Either way, we can help.

Stay safe, enjoy the weekend, and Happy House Hunting!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-4 PM

1742 Ardmore Rd

$273,240

Edison Park Home

Open House Sunday 12-3 PM

3681 Gloxinia Dr

$225,000

Sabal Springs Home on Private Lot

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

914 El Dorado Pkwy E

$925,000

Cape Coral Waterfront Open House

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

14528 Aeries Way

$450,000

Eagle Ridge Home on Private Lot

 

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

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

Selecting Correct Listing Agent Critical When Market Shifts

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

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

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

Selecting Correct Listing Agent Critical When Market Shifts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Sunday 12-3 PM

7152 Reymoor Dr

7152 Reymoor Dr Riverfront Home
Riverfront Home

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

The month’s supply of SW Florida real estate inventory supply declined in July from April levels.  There are many reasons for this which we’ll go into detail.

Sellers are listening.  Buyers’ motivation topped out about 9 months ago and sales suffered.  We’ve seen instances in the past where buyers were at one level, and sellers were at another level, and there was a standstill.  The longer the standstill, the longer homes sit on the market and inventory grows.

SW Florida Real Estate Inventory Supply Declined in July

This time around, word got out and sellers didn’t want to be caught holding the bag.  They made the adjustments quicker, and it’s paid off.  Sure, nobody is happy to reduce their asking price.  Without movement, nothing would happen.  If a seller’s true desire is to sell, then you’ve got to find that price point where price equals value in the market’s eye.  It looks like sellers have been doing that.

For the most part, inventory has declined, and sales have increased.  Inventory declined in all price ranges in Lee County Florida.  Closed sales increased in all price ranges except the less than $100k and $100-150k ranges.  This decline could simply be a matter of not as much inventory to sell, therefore not as many closed sales.  With months supply of 1.25 months or less, it’s hardly worth mentioning except to be factual.

Buyers should take note.  You’re no longer in the driver’s seat.  With 4.57 months’ supply of overall inventory we’re back to a seller’s market, statistically speaking.  Sellers, don’t get too excited either.  It really depends on which price range your home is located.  Once your home crosses that $300,000 threshold you enter neutral to buyers’ market territory.  If you’ve got a home that’s been on the market awhile, it’s probably time to adjust to where the buyers are.

If you’re a seller priced under $300k and your home is not selling, there is a problem.  An immediate adjustment may be in order.  If it is priced correctly, it should be getting action.  We tell sellers we should be getting offers about every 4-5 showings.  If we’re getting showings and no offers, the marketing is working.  The price or condition isn’t.  If a seller isn’t getting showings, it’s either the price or the marketing.  It could be both.

As a seller, you’re really in charge of two things.  Setting the correct price and selecting the best agent.  Mistakes in the MLS, bad photos, or lack of marketing muscle can be a turnoff to buyers or make your listing invisible.  We’ve seen lack of good marketing cost sellers a sale, or thousands in their pocket at closing because they didn’t attract the highest and best buyers for their home.

If your home is overpriced, you’re just adding to the marketing time and kidding yourself.  Typically, in the end you’ll end up taking a lower price than you otherwise would have had you priced it correctly upfront.  If your agent recommends taking action on price, listen.  If you aren’t having that conversation with your agent, perhaps it’s time to be proactive.  Perhaps your agent recommended a lower price at tie of listing, but you were stubborn or convinced it should be higher.  Perhaps your agent has recommended price adjustments and you’ve declined.  Whatever the case, ultimately, it’s on you as the seller.

If you decline your doctor’s advice, the results are on you as the patient.  If you decline your attorney’s advice, the results are on you as the client.  The same is true in real estate.  It’s your home.  If you’re OK with owning it and not selling, then that’s fine.  If you’re not OK and would like to move on, it’s time to adjust.  It’s either the marketing or the price.

If your home has expired, or if you’re considering putting your home on the market, perhaps it’s time to get a 2nd opinion.  Always Call the Ellis Team.  We specialize in getting homes sold the 1st time.  We’d be happy to look at your home and figure out what we can do to sell it.  239-489-4042 Ext 4 or www.LeeCountyOnline.com  Ask for Sande or Brett Ellis.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

13460 Marquette Blvd

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

1462 Claret Ct

Everybody seems to agree that the best negotiations are when it’s a win-win situation for buyer and seller.  And yet, most buyers and sellers negotiate from a win-lose proposition.  Everybody wants to win, and they don’t care if it’s at the expense of the other party.  Furthermore, if the other party doesn’t lose, some people don’t feel as if they’ve won.  They feel like they left money on the table.  New program helps sellers net more money at closing and buyers save more money too at closing.

New Program Helps Sellers Net More at Closing

Other buyers and sellers are just happy to get a deal done that works.  Perhaps a financed buyer would love to purchase a home but keeps getting beat out by cash buyers or other buyers putting more down. Other buyers have the down payment saved up; they just don’t have the closing costs saved on top of it.

Typically, a buyer might ask for the seller to pick-up and pay for some or all the buyer’s closing costs.  Not out of greed, rather out of necessity.  This costs the seller money to do this.  If the home appraises at the higher price, they could have sold to someone else and not paid their closing costs.  It’s a way to put a deal together, but if the seller has other options they usually choose the other option.

What if the buyer needs help with closing costs and the seller didn’t have to pay it?  The seller could keep the sale at full-price and net all the proceeds.  The buyer wouldn’t have to pay them either.  So, you might ask, if seller isn’t paying, and buyer isn’t paying, who is paying?

What if lender fees didn’t need to be paid at all?  What if they weren’t charged?  We’ve seen some lenders who don’t charge lender fees and they make up for it in a higher rate.  In that case, the buyer ultimately pays.  We’re talking about a low rate without higher premium and no lender fees.  Add in a closing credit to the buyer, and you’ve got the best of both worlds.

Win-Win

 This is taking win-win to a new level.  Even for buyers who don’t need help with closing costs, this is a win.  Anytime the buyer can save thousands in closing costs it’s a win.  The cost savings may help the buyer purchase more house, which may make the difference between getting that extra bedroom or family pool.  We’re able to help buyers qualify for more home which brings more buyers to the table for sellers.

Sellers not only benefit on the sale of their home, we can also offer this to them on their next purchase.  Sellers save money by not having to pay for buyer closing costs, and they can save money on their next purchase.  Imagine saving $5,000 or more on your next loan.

So, what’s the catch?  No catch really.  Not everyone can offer this.   If we’re the listing agent, we can offer it to the buyer, no matter who the buyer is working with.  If you’re the buyer, you must work with a Keller Williams Realty agent.  It’s pretty simple.  Loans close on-time, buyers save money, and sellers win too because they get to keep more money at closing.

Buyer saves money, seller saves money, and everybody wins.  Now that’s a deal that’s hard to refuse, and why would you?  Simply give us a call at 239-489-4042

Feel free to search the MLS like a pro at www.LeeCountyOnline.com When you find something you like, give our agents a call and we’ll get you on your way to your dream home.  Better yet, let’s get you pre-approved upfront.  That way you can go shopping knowing you’ll save money, close within 30 days, and your offer will more likely be accepted because you’re approved, not just pre-qualified.  If you’ve got questions, give our team a call.  We’ll be glad to help!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Danforth Lakes Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

Whiskey Creek Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Cape Coral Waterfront Condo Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

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

 

 

 

We were having a one on one training session with one of our agents this week and the conversation came up about summer home sales.  He was excited because he thought this summer was going to be good for home sales.  And yet, so many agents out there talk about spending summers up north and taking time off because sales are slow in the summer.  Their perception becomes their reality.  Read on to find out why summer great time for Southwest Florida home sales.

If they believe sales are slow and take the summer off, sure enough, their sales will be slow to non-existent.  And they will be right, and their decision to take the summer off will have been justified.  Over the years my mother Sande and I would just laugh, as we raked in sale after sale in the summer.  For us, year-round sales were good, and summer was better.

Summer Great Time For Southwest Florida Home Sales

I went back and looked at MLS sales stats from 2000-2003.  As you can tell, home sales would begin climbing in Feb and generally peak during the summer.  After 2005 we began a steep decline in prices which ultimately led to the foreclosure crisis.  This article isn’t about all that.  We have plenty of other articles on our Blog about that.  During the recovery, the typical home buyer changed.

We see signs that we’re returning to the normal home buyer process.  It would be too easy to assume that all home buyers relocated from up north.  For a period, it seemed that way, but things are not always as they seem.

Traditionally Southwest Florida homeowners made their moves in the summer.  They owned businesses or worked in the service industry and were quite frankly too busy in season to think about moving.  Kids were in school, work was busy, and buying or selling a home couldn’t be the top priority, until summer came.

Keep in mind, summer is the busy selling season up north too, so any relocations were dependent on that sale up north.

After the housing correction, many SW Florida homeowners were trapped in their homes.  They couldn’t make a move.  They lost so much equity they couldn’t afford to sell, and they were busy working on their businesses too that may have suffered.  As years have progressed, we’re seeing signs now that many homeowners are choosing to make a move.  They finally have equity back in their home.  Their incomes have returned to normalcy.

Some wish to downsize, while others have growing families.  Many homeowners wish to change lifestyle or prefer a different location.  Whatever their reason, summertime is the best time for locals to address their situation.

Our agent was correct.  Summertime is a great time for home sales, if you’re present and working the market.  The numbers don’t lie.  Sales are happening in the summer.  The only real question is who’s going to make them.

I remember hearing an agent say years ago that nobody wanted to buy in Lehigh.  Really?  I looked in MLS and found there were lots of sales in Lehigh, so clearly somebody was buying there.  The truth is, that agent didn’t want to sell in Lehigh because they didn’t know the market, it was too far out, or they didn’t like the price point.  The reality is that agent found a way to justify why not to sell.  It’s like the argument that nobody buys in the summer.  If you want to tell yourself that, then indeed sales will be down for you, and you’ll be right.

Many sellers need to sell in the summer.  Realize that home sales occur all months of the year, and really any month is a good time to sell if your home is priced correctly and marketed heavily.  Sure, a hurricane might disrupt a month here or there, but overall, we have a pretty stable and steady market.

To shop for your dream home, go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com  If you have a home to sell, call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  And don’t forget to vote us Best Real Estate Team in SW Florida in the News Press poll.  www.bestswfl.com

Good luck and happy home selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Between McGregor and the River

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

1281 Biltmore Dr

Priced to Sell!

Parker Lakes Pool Home

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

14941 Lake Olive Dr

Parker Lakes Pool Home

Waterfront Condo With Boat Slip Availability

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

1627 Beach Parkway Unit 208

Gulf Access with Boat Slip

 

Home prices in Southwest Florida have been stagnant for the better part of a year now, but nobody believes it because headlines tell us how wonderful homes are appreciating in Florida. We were waiting to see how season went to see if that trend would continue.  What we found is more of the same, SW Florida home price gains remain elusive compared to Florida in general.

SW Florida Home Price Gains Remain Elusive Compared to Florida

The Cape Coral- Fort Myers MSA median home prices increased .6% in the 1st quarter compared to 9.7% statewide.  Our condos and townhouses showed no price change whatsoever from last year, compared to 7.8% gain for the state.  Cape Coral-Fort Myers is the 6th largest MSA in the state, and yet each of the 5 larger MSA’s all had gains of 4.8% or better.  Some much higher.

We go on listing appointments where the seller believes their home has appreciated 9% in value each of the past few years.  Unfortunately, if you interview enough agents you will find one that agrees with you and takes the listing.  Getting the listing isn’t the end of the sales process, it’s simply the first step.  The seller sets the price and the market determines its value.

If a seller sets the wrong price, one thing happens, doesn’t it?  You guessed it, it sits on the market like a lonely school child watching all the other kids play.  Oh, it may have some friends.  Misery loves company.  They hang out with all the other kids who have overpriced their home too.  The strange thing is, nobody really wants to be in this club.

So, they turn on each other, and start lowering their prices to get out of the club.  Each watch what the other is doing, looking over their shoulder each time they make a reduction.  The only problem is, they’re looking the wrong direction.  They should be looking at all the kids playing.  Wherever that group is, that’s where they should head.  While they’re busy looking over their shoulder at where they’ve been, their eye still isn’t on the market.  It’s looking backward instead of forward.

The market rarely sits idle.  It is moving.  While they’re looking over their shoulder, the moving target in front of them just moved someplace else.  Wouldn’t it save so much time to just find that group of kids on the playground and get right in there?  Skipping a half mile behind them means you did spend time on the playground, but when recess is over, you never had any fun.  If you’re going to the trouble of placing your home on the market, you want results.  The quicker you get there, the more fun you have.  If the market is on the move, you never want to get caught chasing the market.

Chasing will not only wear you out, it can cost you money.  When all the overpriced homes figure it out and finally make their move, you now have more competition.  Setting your home price correctly upfront and reacting quickly if it doesn’t sell is a recipe for faster to the fun.

If you’re thinking of selling in the next year, check out www.SWFLhomevalues.com You’ll be able to get approximate current values for your home.  Of course, to be most accurate, always call Sande or Brett Ellis and we’ll be happy to come out and view your home and tell you what we think it would sell for.  You might have some questions about how the process works, timing, or where you would move to.  We’d be happy to sit down and discuss all this with you.  You’re more than a transaction to us.  We’re interested in getting you to your next destination safely.  Hopefully you’ll have some fun on the playground while we sell your home for you.  Call Brett or Sande at 239-489-4042 Ext 4

Good luck and happy selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

Parker Lakes Pool Home $300,000

14941 Lake Olive Dr

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13460 Marquette Blvd     3 Bed 2 Bath Waterfront Home

The value of your home is determined by what able buyers are willing to pay for your home and what the appraiser will appraise it for.  It is not determined by what your neighbor down the street is asking for their home.  Today we’ll explore the dangers of pricing homes compared to neighbors listing.

Dangers of Pricing Homes Compared to Neighbors Listing

Often, we go out on listing appointments and we give our opinion of value after studying the property and the comparable sales.  It’s not unusual for a seller to say “But the home down the street is listed at X and my home is much nicer.”  Then we hear the list of upgrades, and the routine maintenance items the seller has made, like trimming the bushes last week, new light bulbs, new AC in 2005, and new roof 10 years ago.

All these details are important for the MLS sheet, and some are important as selling features, so don’t forget to bring anything up you feel might be important. Just don’t expect extra value for routine maintenance on your home and even some upgrades don’t provide value.  It may make the home stand out against another.

Some upgrades do add value.  Most upgrades don’t add 100% of the cost though.  I blame TV shows for painting the picture of putting $50,000 in upgrades into a home and expecting an increase of $200,000 in value.  This isn’t how it works, unless you somehow bought the property for way under value.

We’re watching a few neighborhoods right now where sellers are pricing compared to their neighbors.  There are no sales in the last 4 months and yet there are 5 new listings within 4 months and 1 older than 4 months.  None have gone pending either.  We see price reductions, but they are all still significantly over priced.  A few came on the market in the last 2 weeks and they are overpriced as well.

Each seller is convinced that previous sellers have set the market.  The reality is the first few sellers are like lost beacons in space, and each new seller follows their light.  The problem is they’re going in the wrong direction and their buyers are in another galaxy.

As soon as a seller puts their home on the market at the correct price, it will sell, if marketed correctly. All their neighbors will tell them they priced it too cheap, because they all want a higher price.  This is human nature; however, it doesn’t help anybody.  Just because everyone is overpriced, and no homes are selling in your neighborhood doesn’t mean a buyer will come along and overpay.

After a while, buyers begin to ask what’s wrong with the neighborhood.  All these homes are on the market and there are no sales.  We’ve got a decent market here in Southwest Florida.  If a home is priced correctly, there is a market.

Unlike towns where a plant closing affects the market, we have buyers.  The market has changed from last year.  Buyers are ready, willing, and able, but they’re cautious.  They don’t want to overpay.  This is a sign that our market is fully recovered, as much as it’s going to, and that prices have leveled out.  Now market forces take over, like interest rates, incomes, consumer confidence, etc.

We are not in jeopardy of crashing like back in 2006.  We will not see rapid price gains either.  SW Florida has a balanced market dependent on market forces, and that’s an awesome thing.

When you’re putting your home on the market, you must ask yourself.  Am I pricing my home at today’s value, or pricing it compared to what my neighbor down the street is asking?  We’d better go find some actual sales and base it off those who have won the home selling game versus those who want a certain number, or think their home is worth a certain number because that’s what their neighbor is asking.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  We’ll give you the straight scoop.  We’ll get you Top Dollar, and we’ll get it Sold. You’ll be moving on while your neighbors wonder if their house will ever sell.  You can visit our website www.LeeCountyOnline.com to see all the homes in MLS.  Call Brett and Sande and start packing!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-4 PM

1465 Arglye Dr

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

1281 Biltmore Dr

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13994 Reflection Lakes Dr

Reflection Lakes Gated Community

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18 NE 1th Ave Cape Coral

Cape Coral Open House Sunday 1-3 PM