We get calls all the time from discouraged sellers asking for our help.  They placed their home on the market with another agent and it didn’t sell.  They just can’t understand why their home wasn’t liked enough by a buyer to make an offer.  We tell them there are 3 reasons why homes fail to sell.

3 Reasons Why Homes Fail to Sell

  1. A home must be marketed everywhere to attract top dollar.  Simply placing it in MLS or adding a few yard signs may not get the job done.  Even though your home is on MLS, it’s not reaching the whole market.  It also doesn’t stand out.  Buyers have choices, and if you’re just on a list, your home better stand out as a bargain or offer something they really want.  Getting your home out to the right people at the right time in their buying cycle is key.  We can’t tell you how many times a buyer has said we wished we’d known about this other home when we were buying.  It was on MLS, but it didn’t stand out.  It was just a home on a list.
  2. So, you’ve got your home on the MLS.  Does the description make the buyer want to call and ask more questions?  Are all the fields perfect in MLS.  If a Realtor, or buyer for that matter, is searching for a particular field and yours is missing, your home is invisible in that search.  Do you have all the required documents uploaded into MLS at time of listing?  This isn’t the time to be lazy.  Many times, buyers have questions about the HOA, the rules, the finances, etc. and they like to see the answers immediately. If they’re absent, they move on and you lost your chance.
  3. Your home must be priced at market. If it is over the market, it’s not really on the market.  Finding the true market price can be tricky, we get it.  It takes years of experience and studying the market daily as the market is always in flux. We tell sellers we should receive an offer about every 4-5 showings.  If we’re not getting offers, something is wrong.  If we’re not getting showings at all, something bigger is wrong.  We’ve either got an error in the details, or our price is off more than originally thought.  If you’d like to get a pretty good ball park idea of your home’s worth, go to www.swflhomevalues.com It is a computer and does a pretty good job, but it’s no substitute for us looking at your property.

Many people say it’s not price, it’s the condition or the location.  It’s true, you can’t change the location.  You’re locked in by location, and if you’ve got a neighbor that isn’t keeping up their property, it could affect your value.

If your condition isn’t up to par, it too could affect your value. Notice the key words here?  Your value.  Value is determined by the market.  You set the price, the market determines the value.  If your price isn’t at value, it will sit.  You can improve your condition, and that may help.  You may not get dollar for dollar back on improvements, but they may help protect your downside if your home has some objections from buyers.

3 Reasons Why Homes Fail to Sell

It pays to hire a professional.  Failing at any one of these 3 critical components can kill a sale, or worse, cause you to sell it for less than it’s worth.  Why reach 1 buyer when you can reach hundreds? A Realtor with years of experience can help you price it properly, market it for all it’s worth, and handle all the details so you have a smooth move.

If you’re thinking of selling, Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042 Ext 4  ask for Sande or Brett.  If your home failed to sell the first time, we can help fix that and get you on your way.  Good luck and Happy Selling!

If you’re buying, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com  We’ve got all the homes for sale in MLS, and it’s updated instantly.  No more looking at homes that aren’t really on the market anymore.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Reflection Lakes 5 Bedroom 3 Bath Pool Home on Lake

Reflection lakes Pool Home

13994 Reflection Lakes Dr

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Daniel’s Park 4 Bedroom 3 Bath Home With 3 Car Garage

Daniel’s Park 4 Bedroom 3 Bath Home With 3 Car Garage

14077 Danpark Loop

 

 

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

Real estate agents across SW Florida have been complaining that sales have been sluggish, however the numbers show that 2018 Lee County Florida home sales shaping up to be decent year. Both April and May numbers have topped previous years, and January, February, and March are right in there.  If things keep progressing, we’ll have a chance to top 2015 sales levels.

What is fueling the increase in home sales?  Two things come to mind right off the bat.  Higher inventory and price reductions.  Inventory 7.8% this year to 5,787 listings compared to 5,368 last year.  This opens up more choices for buyers.

7 Day Market Watch 2018 Lee County Florida Home Sales Shaping Up

We’re seeing as many price reductions as new listings in a typical 7-day period.  In the past 7 days we saw 440 price reductions compared to 323 new listings and 376 pending sales.  This tells us sellers have recognized the need to adjust their price and are making the adjustments.  When this happens, sales occur.

2018 Lee County Florida Home Sales Shaping Up

Official numbers released this week show median price and sales price increasing in May.  You might ask, how is it possible to have increasing prices while sellers are decreasing their asking prices?  Median price is defined as the price where half the sales occur over that price and half occur under.  If most of the upper end sellers overprice their home, there are fewer sales up there and it forces the median price down, because that’s what’s selling.  Lower priced sellers were more in-tune with the market.  As the mid and upper ranges accepted that change needed to occur, more sales started happening.  As this occurs, it pulls the average and median price upward.

Many will read the headlines and infer that prices are rising when in fact prices have not been rising.  It’s the fall in prices that created the sales.  It is the reluctance of mid to upper sellers to adjust sooner that stalled the sales.  There were only so many mid to lower listings to go around.

We expect to see good sales numbers the balance of 2018 as the market adjusts to the shift.  The market always adjusts.  It’s only a matter of how long it takes to do so.  It’s kind of like pulling off a band-aid.  You can pull it slowly or rip it off.  Either way it comes off, it’s just a matter of how long you want the pain to last.

Buyers can rejoice now because there are some pretty good deals out there.  For instance, we’ve got a 5-bedroom, 3 bath pool home on the lake in Reflection Lakes for just $459,000.  Last year that same home would have sold for $525,000.  We’ve got a 4-bedroom 3 bath home in Belle Lago for $465,000.  It was on the market with another broker last year for well over $500,000.  Imagine getting a 4-bedroom home in Paseo for $500,000.  We’ve got that too.  We even have a 4 bedroom home in Reflection Lakes for $375,000.

In fact, if you want to see a list of Hot Buys, go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com and click on the Featured Listing Section.  If you’re interested in how a neighborhood is doing, check out the Market Reports section.

Sellers who are curious as to their home’s value will appreciate the property valuation tool.  It’s free, and provides a detailed report on your home within seconds.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling, we should probably talk.  We’ve got a way for you to save thousands when getting a mortgage.  We have options for you to save thousands too when selling.  If you’re thinking of selling, ask for Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  If you’re buying, we have a team of buyer agents ready to help you find your dream home and save money on the loan too.  Always Call the Ellis team!  We’re here to help.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

17970 Maddelena Cir  Belle Lago Open House

Open House Sunday 11AM – 1PM

5970 Trailwinds Dr Unit 121

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

Like clockwork Lee County summer real estate sales are heating up.  So why aren’t Lee County home sellers jumping for joy?  Many home sellers are happy, because their home was on the market all season and now it’s selling.  Others are happy because their home just sold while their neighbor’s home sits on the market.

This past season we saw many sellers priced at one point while the buyer’s perception of value was at another.  In many cases, the seller’s perception exceeded the buyer’s perception by 10% or more.  Sellers didn’t want to accept this reality, so homes sat on the market.  You’ll always have some sellers that refuse to accept today’s market prices, but when you have many, it causes the market to take note and listen.

The market always speaks to us.  It’s up to us if we’re ready to listen.  We’re humans, and we don’t always want to accept change.  For those that accept change and react quicker, the opportunity is the greatest.

Lee County Summer Real Estate Sales Are Heating Up 7 Day Market Watch

Right now, home sales are brisk $300,000 and below.  This makes sense because that’s where the bulk of the buyers are.  That’s what more people can afford. We just pulled up the 7-day market watch from MLS, and we notice there more pending sales (379) than new listings (365).  You’ll notice too there were more price reductions (385) than either.  These price reductions are leading to more pending sales as sellers get their home down to where the buyers are.

Selling a home is kind of like fishing.  If you place your bait 20 ft above where the fish are, you get nothing.  Lowering the bait 10 ft above where the fish are still yields nothing.  Fish tend to swim in schools.  You’ve got to place the bait where the fish are, not where you want them to be.  Pricing a home is the same.

If you price your home above where the buyers are, they don’t even look at it.  Typically, you should expect an offer with every 4-5 showings.  If you’re not getting offers, your home is probably still overpriced.  Sellers say, “We just reduced our price $10,000” so that can’t be it.  It can.  If you were $30,000 overpriced, that $10,000 reduction still places you 20 ft above the fish.  Until you get down where the fish are, you’ll attract few showings and little to no offers.

Lee County Summer Real Estate Sales 7 Day Market AveragesAre Heating Up

Of the 379 new pending sales, the median price was $249,000.  The average price was $335,540.  This confirms the $300,000 range and below as being the sought-after part of the market.  If you have a home $400,000 or more on the market right now, you’re probably still fishing for the correct asking price.  You may be wondering why buyers just are not accepting your price.  Your neighbor’s home may be sitting on the market too.  Occasionally one will sell, and you’ll be wondering what they did to attract that buyer.

It takes aggressive marketing.  Aggressive marketing alone won’t work.  Together with your agent, you’ll need to adjust that bait until you find where the fish are.  When you do, it will sell.  The SW Florida real estate market isn’t suffering from a lack of buyers.  The buyers are not aligned with some sellers’ asking prices.  When the seller gets down to where the buyers are, the buyers are biting.  This past week or so the Ellis Team has placed 7 properties under contract.  Some agents believe the summer is the slow time, but that’s a bad assumption.  We have buyers in all price ranges.  We just closed a property over $1 Million.

The agents out there hustling are selling homes.  It’s a great time to sell, so long as you’re willing to price your home at the market. Isn’t that always the case though?  Together with your agent you should ask yourself, “Am I willing to price my home at a price that will cause it to sell?”  If the answer is no, then why are you putting it on the market?

If you’d like to talk to Sande or Brett Ellis about selling your home, call us at 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Next week we hope to share some exciting news that may make your home stand out and sell faster. Find out what your home is worth online.

Search the MLS like a Pro!  Get real-time updates, price changes, new listings, and All the MLS listings.

Don’t forget our Neighborhood Market Reports

 

Alva

River Hall

Fort Myers

Botanica Lakes

Caloosa Trace

Carillon Woods

Cross Creek Estates

Danforth Lakes

Daniels Park

Fiddlesticks

Gulf Harbour

Highland Pines Estates

Fort Myers Waterfront Homes

Palmetto Point

Reflection Lakes

River District Fort Myers High Rise Condos

San Carlos Park

Shadow Wood Preserve

Tanglewood

Town and River

Whiskey Creek

 

Cape Coral

Tarpon Point

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

 

April was a strong month in the Southwest Florida real estate sales market.  Closed sales were up 23% over last year, and that’s not all.  Not only were the number of sales up, so were the prices.  The median price was up 5.4% in April to $262,500, up from $249,000 the previous year.  The average sales price was up 8.1%

Because the number of homes closed was up, and prices were up, naturally too was the total volume of sales.  Total volume this April was $545 Million, up from $410 Million last year.  That’s a 32.9% increase.  We’ve mentioned in previous articles that top agents across SW Florida are reporting an increase in their business this season over last.

So, does this mean the market is shooting up?  If you read the headlines, you would think so.  Pockets of the market are doing well and other pockets not so much.  We believe May numbers could be good too when they are released next month, only because our numbers are better than last years.  That doesn’t mean a good April and May will translate to the whole year, nor to every neighborhood and price range.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Sales

One thing the latest numbers show us is new listings are up 19.8%.  Inventory is up 5.1%.  This is one of the reasons you’re seeing more sales, because we finally have more property available for buyers.  The hottest segment of the market is below $400,000, and some would say lower than that.  If you look at the chart, we’ve seen a tremendous increase of new listings in that affordable range.  When that happens, sales increase.

Homes priced over $400k are just not as hot right now.  Sure, we had some April sales because it was season.  Those closed sales occurred in February and March.  Since then we’re not seeing as many.  We are seeing sales across all prices ranges for homes that are priced correctly.  Because the market is shifting right now, it’s sometimes hard to get a fix on what is priced correctly and what isn’t.

Showings in May are down.  And yet, many homes are still selling.  If your home is getting lots of showings, it’s probably priced close to the market.  If not, you’re probably priced over the market.

Last week I went out to preview new builder inventory.  As a Realtor we see the incentives the public doesn’t always see.  Home builders want to get as much money as they can for their homes.  However, home builders are less emotional and react quicker to market changes than regular sellers.  Home builders are not emotional like a home seller is.  They have no ties to the property.  It’s just a number to them.  Granted, they want that number to be the highest it can be.

I was amazed at some of the prices I saw.  Builders are not lowering because they’re kind.  They’re lowering because they are seeing changes. New construction pricing and incentives affects resale pricing.

Sellers need to know that buyers don’t just look at one home.  They look at 20 or more, and online sometimes it’s hundreds.  They learn the market.  They’re using sites like www.LeeCountyOnline.com and seeing all the listings in real-time.  Fairly quickly they can see what’s going on and make decisions.  Sellers tend to set a price and forget about it.  They get mad at their Realtor, mad at their neighbor who just reduced their price, and mad at the market when it doesn’t sell.  Instead of getting mad, we’d like to see you have success.  When your price matches the market, it will sell, assuming it’s marketed correctly.

If you’re looking to sell your home, please call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  We can help you purchase too.  And don’t forget to vote for us as best real estate team in SW Florida.  We’re going for a 3 peat and could use your vote.

Top Real Estate Bargains in SW Florida

See homes in Southwest Florida $300,000 and below

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

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

13460 Marquette Blvd     3 Bed 2 Bath Waterfront Home

Unbelievable changes are coming.  I remember having a conversation the other day.  I told my wife that our kids would freak out if we told them we didn’t have Internet growing up as kids.  The Internet today just seems fundamental, and certainly to a Millennial, they wouldn’t understand the concept of its absence.  Just as the Internet changed our lives, so too will artificial intelligence.  Artificial intelligence will change real estate shopping and everything else too.

Artificial Intelligence Will Change Real Estate Shopping

I just watched a live video whereby you take out your smartphone and open the camera.  In your screen is a lamp.  Your phone will show you other accessories that match that style, so you could shop for and put together a room that matches.  I watched another video where the camera showed a woman in an outfit.  Artificial intelligence scanned billions of images and within a second pulled up where you could buy that outfit, along with other similar outfits, and prices.

So, imagine walking down the street and noticing a home that looks good to you.  It’s not for sale, but you like the look.  Your phone could instantly find other homes on the market right now that look just like the one you love, show you the price, and even setup a showing appointment to see it.  Sound futuristic?  Perhaps, but it is coming.

Keller Williams has already been working on this for its agents.  Currently I can ask our artificial assistant Kelle many things, and instantly she will give me results that used to take hours.  Let’s say I have a client moving to Bowling Green, KY.  I whip out my phone and tell Kelle, “show me Bowling Green agents with the CRS designation.”  Kelle spits out agents with their CRS designation.  There is a ton of activities I can ask Kelle to do while I’m in the field and Kelle only gets smarter.  As we ask her to do things, she learns and becomes capable of more.

Google held its I/O conference this week and announced some amazing things.  Companies like Google, Microsoft, IBM, etc are all working on artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence offers the ability to ask, scan, analyze, and deliver billions of pieces of information instantly.  Our military is scanning and analyzing photos on video and delivering results with over 90% accuracy.  It used to take people days and months to scour video.  Now our defense department can search for and do things in minutes.

Our company is working on analyzing photos in MLS.  Let’s say you like a certain kind of counter-top, or a certain color cabinet.  We’ll be able to ask, show me all kitchens with Black Quartz priced below $450,000.  Having the ability to scan photos and deliver results would save an agent or consumer many hours perusing photos of listings.

We use big data to search for buyers for our listings.  When we list a home, we serve up ads on that home to consumers that match certain criteria.  For instance, we just listed a nice 4-bedroom pool home in Belle Lago.  We’ll be holding it open this Saturday from 1-3 PM.  We’ll serve up online ads for buyers looking to purchase in the Estero area.  Big data allows us to target specific buyers.  It helps us sell homes faster and for more money for our clients.

Big data is great, but artificial intelligence is what will tie it together.  The pentagon can have all the videos it wants, but what good is it when it sits in a vault and is too big to work with?  The same is true for real estate.  Being able to ask and analyze data is key.  Many sellers interview agents and ask which one can save them 1%.  The real question should be, which agent can sell my home for 3% more and 20% faster.  Saving 1% doesn’t save anything if they sell it for less and take longer.

If you want to search the MLS like a pro go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com.

If you’re thinking of selling, call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 and find out how Today’s systems just might help sell your home faster, and for more money.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Belle Lago

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

19790 Maddelena Cir

Daniels Park

Open Saturday 1-4 PM

14077 Danpark Loop