The number one question real estate agents get asked is “How is the market?”  Often, people wish to know what it means, and how we’re doing against other parts of the state, especially nearby counties.  Today we’ll look at Fort Myers-Cape Coral home sales versus Naples and Florida real estate sales to get an idea.

Fort Myers-Cape Coral Home Sales Versus Naples and Florida Real Estate Sales

In March, Florida home sales were unchanged and median prices were up 2% over last year.  Year to date numbers tell a similar story.  In Fort Myers-Cape Coral, home sales were down 4.4% in March while median prices were down 3.7%.  These are continued signs of a shift occurring in our market.  Year to date numbers show home sales down 8.5% while median prices rising 1.4%, but we think median prices will reflect lower numbers going forward.

Naples homes sales were down .4% in March while median home prices were down 7.9%.  Year to date numbers show closed sales up 1.1% and median prices down 7.7%

Because these numbers reflect year over year numbers, many customers, and agents alike don’t understand what’s been going on in the market.  When a market begins to shift, it takes up to a year for people to see it in the numbers, even though the trend has shifted.

Market Shift

For instance, the Fort Myers-Cape Coral market began shifting last Fall, but because we compare year over year numbers people didn’t see the negative numbers until now.  Agents felt it as sales slowed and listings began to expire.  Seasoned agents knew and adjusted.  The sellers that listened to their seasoned agents got out and the ones that didn’t listen, or weren’t working with a seasoned agent who’d been through a shift before could still be on the market or expired.

Perhaps we’ll do another story about invisible inventory.  Invisible inventory refers to the old saying that if your home is priced over the market then it’s not really on the market.  It’s overpriced and won’t sell.  It’s invisible to buyers because it’s attracting the wrong buyers.

So, what are sellers to do in a shifting market?  They could wait it out.  Some sellers decide to wait a few years until the market recovers to a price they like.  The thing about that is they miss out on low interest rates today if they’re financing their next home.  And, while they wait for their home to go up in value, their next home is probably going up too, so they don’t gain anything, only lose.

Sellers could try to sell themselves and save the commission.  This rarely works out as only 4% of lookers can actually buy now.  We have a free report on how to sell your home without an agent should you like to try.  It’s packed with helpful tips, so just email me and let me know Brett@topagent.com

Sellers could try a discount broker.  Problem is, you can’t save your way out of a shift.  I can’t tell you how many homes we’ve listed and sold after a seller has tried the discount route.  You might as well try it yourself than pay an agent for little to no service.

Marketing Matters

Marketing matters now more than ever.  Like we’ve said, just listing a home on 100 websites isn’t marketing.  We have a database of thousands of buyers because we market so much.  Call us and we can see if we have a buyer right now looking in your neighborhood.  Chances are we do, and we can do an instant search to see who they are.  If not, our marketing creates buyers specifically for our listings.  Let us show you how we use cutting edge technology and marketing muscle to market your home.

Call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 You’ll be glad you did.  Or go online www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get an instant estimate of your home’s value.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

You might wonder how a successful real estate team who just had breakout sales this 2019 season could call this year’s season a bust.  The market wasn’t terrible, it just didn’t live up to many sellers’ expectations.  This is the exact reason why the market had so many expired listings and fewer closings this season.

2019 SW Florida Real Estate Market Officially a Bust

In fact, of the 12 market measures we track each month, all 12 went negative in March.  This is the first time in as long as we can remember that every single measure went negative.  Earlier this year we pondered whether season was going to mask the shifting market we were experiencing going into season, and the answer is in.

Sellers generally want to list their home with a Realtor that is confident and positive.  There is a difference between being positive and knowing the market.  The Ellis Team is positive in any market.  We know marketing sells homes, and when the market shifts that becomes even more important.  Sellers can’t discount the commission away enough to make up for what’s going on in the market.

Sellers often think if the market is slow, I’ll just list with a discount broker and that’ll enable me to sell.  The reality is they’re giving up marketing, which is the precise thing you need when the market shifts. Saving a few commission dollars can cost you thousands on your sale price due to lack of marketing and limited buyers.  Some Realtors hold a few open houses, place the home in MLS and a few hundred websites and call that marketing.  That’s not marketing.  Every home is on a few hundred websites. That part is automated by the MLS.

If you go back and read our Blog http://blog.topagent.com you’ll see we’ve been discussing the market for months and what’s really going on.  There is a fine line between hiring a Realtor that is positive and one that is real.

For instance, our team has been though several market shifts.  The average Realtor hasn’t.  We know what it takes to sell a home when the market shifts.  The first thing you must do is identify the 12 market measures, then identify where we are today.  You can’t counsel a seller on how to market their home and where to price it unless you understand where the market is and all the factors influencing it.

This is the silly season for Realtors.  Many Realtors didn’t accomplish their goals this season.  Total dollar volume of sales was down 13.6% in March alone.  This means Realtors are hurting too, and they’re going to be making moves now that season is over.

Some agents will move to less costly brokerages in hopes of a higher commission split.  They’ll receive fewer benefits for themselves and their clients. It will be a last-ditch effort to cost-cut and save their career.  If you’re interviewing agents to list your home, ask them if they plan on making a move.  If they do, can you get out of your listing contract?

Other agents will seek to join a team, or move to a company where the technology is better, or pays for more things like marketing, photography, brochures, assistants, etc.  Sellers need to know who they’re listing with and exactly what services will be provided.  Remember, the broker owns your listing, not the agent you sign with.  Be sure to get clarity and in writing whatever you agree to.

Study the market measures.  Ask your agent to show you how the market is performing.  You’ll want monthly updates on new pending sales, time on market, median and average prices, inventory supply and market absorption to name a few.  If the agent you’re interviewing can’t provide this, interview another agent.  This market is changing, and you want a Realtor that will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.  This market has enough sellers that listened to what they wanted to hear. They still own their home, which is not what they really wanted.  Ask for our Free Report on which agents had the most expired listings in the past year.

You can call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 to talk about selling your home or go to SWFLhomevalues.com to get a free online report of your home’s value.

Good luck, and Happy Selling!

SW Florida real estate inventory drops in April.  Back in February we calculated 6,677 listings from MLS and today we have 6,283.  Either more homes are selling to cause this drop, or homes are expiring and have not re-entered the market yet.

SW Florida Real Estate Inventory Drops in April

So, let’s dig deeper, find out what is causing this, and look at the opportunities.  We run a 365-day moving average tracking the SW Florida home sales.  Back in February we tracked 13,083 sales compared to 12,986 today.  What this tells us the inventory levels are not coming down from increased sales.  In fact, sales have lightened up a bit.  The other thing it could be is increased pending sales taking inventory off the market, but they haven’t closed yet.

Official pending numbers for March will be released next week, so we’ll study those.  We watch the expired listings hitting the market each day and we noticed a large number at the end of March.  With listing numbers down almost 400 we can assume some sellers gave up when they didn’t get their price.

We can also assume that many of those same sellers would like to sell.  Perhaps they have another property they’d like to move to.  Perhaps they’re tired of the HOA or condo fees where they live now.  Maybe it’s just time.  In any event, there may be a way to get your property sold.

Sometimes sellers just hire the wrong Realtor.  They assume all Realtors market the same, therefore they will all fetch the same price for their home.  Reality tells us this isn’t true.  Some Realtors practice the 3 P’s of marketing.  1.  Put a sign in the yard. 2.  Place it on MLS. 3. Pray that another Realtor sells it.

Placing a home on 100 different Internet sites is not marketing.  Anybody can do that.  It’s easy, and I’ll show you how.  The real marketing is finding buyers for your home.  This entails calling a database of buyers looking in your neighborhood.  That’s right!  We have a database of buyers looking for homes in your neighborhood.  If you doubt me, I’ll show you the database.  I’ll show you the buyers.

Secondly, we want to create new buyers not already in the database.  We target buyers online who are looking for a home or condo just like yours.  You can’t wait for the market to come to you.  You must go and get the market.  This is why so many homes expire and never sell.  The Realtor didn’t go and get the buyer.

Sellers do not want to reduce their price until they’re satisfied that all the marketing is being done.  They only want to reduce the price when they’re convinced it is the price, not the marketing.  When you hire marketing gurus when you list the home, you’ll know.  Hiring the wrong Realtor can cost you valuable time on the market with no sale.

Lots of people call us the 2nd or 3rd time around.  Why not call us 1st?  If you’re thinking of selling, or tried to sell and failed, give us a call.  It might not be the price.  You might have simply selected the wrong Realtor.

Open House App 

We have an app that will show you all the open houses in your area, no matter where you live.  It even works up North.  Simply go to www.SWfloridaopenhouse.com and download the app. Sellers like it so they can explore the competition.  Buyers love it so they can see today which homes will be open house next weekend.

Ellis Team Open House App
Ellis Team Open House App

Free Home Value

You can also check out your home’s value online for Free.  Go to www.SWFLhomevalues.com This site does a pretty good job of estimating your home’s value.  It’s scary how accurate it is many times.  Of course, if you’re thinking of selling, always call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and we’ll be glad to visit your home and verify its value.  We’ll show you how we go out and find the buyer.  We don’t wait for the buyer to find you!

Happy Easter, and Happy House Hunting!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses


Boosting your credit score can reduce borrowing costs, and we’ve got some tips to help you do that.  We’ve found three new products to help you achieve a higher credit score.  One is approved for home mortgages, while the other two will help with all other types of loans.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may accept the other two in the future.

Mortgage Credit Score Tool

Let’s start with the tool that helps with mortgages.  CreditXpert Wayfinder works like this.  With your lender, you determine how much of an improvement you need to qualify for a loan, or to reduce your rate.  The higher score you have the lower rate you qualify for.  A lower rate means you either save money on your payment or qualify for more home.  Why pay more for less of a loan?

Boosting Your Credit Score Can Reduce Borrowing Costs

The software comes up with options and a plan to achieve a higher score within 1-2 months.  The average credit score goes up about 27 points on this program, which can save you lots of interest on the money you borrow.

In the promotional video for this program, it shows you which credit cards to cancel or pay down and by exactly how much to improve your score. Sometimes cancelling a credit card can lower your score.  It’s always been a complicated business figuring out exactly what credit bureaus are looking for.  They look at available credit, credit history, credit utilization, etc.  The consumer had no good way of figuring what methods would help their score.

This plan comes with a fee of about $15-$18 at each of the credit bureaus plus a rapid re-score fee by an outside vendor when it’s completed, but the fees more than pay for themselves in lower borrowing costs.  Check with your lender to see if they offer this service, and if you need it.  Borrowers are sometimes surprised to find out they can borrow with their existing credit.

We Work With Several Lenders

We just got a buyer a home with a 550-credit score on a FHA loan.  Actually, we didn’t do anything.  The lender did.  We have great lenders with a proven track record of closing loans.  There is nothing more frustrating than picking the wrong lender and finding out your deal is dead after spending money for appraisal, inspection, etc.  If you’re working with an Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty agent, we can recommend lenders with proven track records.  We know who they are.

Another option is Experian’s new Boost product.  It imports your utility and phone bills history into your score.  If you’re paying those bills on-time, this can raise your score in a majority of cases.

FICO Ultra Score is a new product rolling out soon.  It imports your banking, savings, checking, and money market accounts into your score.  If you pay your bills and have some extra money in the bank somewhere, this may help your score.

So far mortgage loans are not utilizing Experian’s Boost program or FICO’s Ultra Score program yet, but other consumer credit like auto and boat loans, credit cards, and revolving credit might.  Who knows, perhaps in a few months mortgage loans will benefit from these programs too.

It pays to know your options, and work with people who know their stuff.  The first step in the home buying process is picking which resources can help you.  We offer 3 great resources, so you’ll never have to wonder.

Always Call the Ellis Team

Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty. 239-489-4042.  We can help you find the right lender and find the right homes.  Our website www.LeeCountyOnline.com is another great resource.  It has all the homes, has neighborhood data, and home value data.  It’s updated every few minutes unlike some of the other online search places.  Getting bad and outdated search data is as frustrating as picking the wrong Realtor or wrong lender.

Give our team a call.  We can help, and you’ll notice the difference.  Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

SW Florida Real Estate Market Update March 2019

Open House App

See where the open houses will be this weekend anywhere in the country.  Download our Open House app at www.SWfloridaopenhouse.com

Ellis Team Open House App
Open House App

 

An unexpected mortgage rate drop benefits buyers, but for how long? We had a temporary inverted yield curve, which means long-term rates were less than short term rates.  30-year mortgages are most often pegged to the 10 year note, and when the yield curve inverts, it throws the market into bewilderment.

Unexpected Mortgage Rate Drop Benefits Buyers

There were fears of slowdown and recession, which led many to believe perhaps the Fed was overzealous in raising rates this past year.  Then earlier this week, global economic news started coming in stronger than expected, which set recession fears at ease.

Earnings are due out soon and the thing to watch will be guidance in these reports.  Couple that with listening to what the Fed indicates, and the interest rate uncertainty may start to clear up.  Therefore, we don’t know how long this drop in rates will last.

What we do know is buyers should not squander this opportunity.  Last week we saw the largest and fastest rate drop in history in a week.  Rates are down almost a full percent since last Fall, and about ½ percent since January.  A buyer today qualifies for about 11% more home than they did 6 months ago.  The best part is, not only do they qualify for 11% more, it won’t cost them to borrow 11% more either.

Buyers should lock-in rates right away.  If your lender allows you to lock and shop, that might be a good idea.  If they don’t, get your home under contract and make loan app right away.  Waiting to purchase could cost you much more in interest than you could ever save negotiating with a seller.  Get your negotiations locked up today so you begin the mortgage process.

Sellers, you’ve got a tight window too.  More buyers just entered the pool that can qualify for your home.  If rates go back up, that pool will dwindle to what it was last week.  Don’t bet on the fact all buyers will read this story.  By the time home buyers figure this out, it might be all over.  We just don’t know where rates are headed, and neither does the market.  We are in uncertain times, but rest assured, the market will figure this out.

The Ellis Team still has 20 pending sales, even after the big 1st quarter we had.  With the interest rate drop, we’re looking to add to this number.  We’re down to just 11 homes and condos on the market right now.  Everything else is pending or sold.  We need listings.  Our marketing is working.

Sellers are astounded when their listing expires to find out there is a difference in marketing.  The perception is all Realtors work the same.  Just list it in MLS and on all the websites, and it will sell.  That’s not marketing at all.  Any Realtor can do that.  That’s the bare minimum.  That isn’t what’s going to sell a home.

Unfortunately, too many Realtors have sold the idea that having sellers’ homes listed on all these platforms will sell a home.  The truth is they do this because it’s Free.  That’s right, it typically doesn’t cost the Realtor anything to list a home on all these portals.  What isn’t Free is the lead generation and finding buyers for the properties.  There is a reason the Ellis Team sells so many homes.  It’s because we don’t take the Free route.  We spend a lot to create these buyers for our listings, and we have people on our team to work them.

If you’re thinking of selling, call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4, or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com  If you’re looking to buy now at today’s low rates, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com or call our office and we’ll get you locked in to a good deal and low rates today.  There is still a good selection of homes on the market right now, even if they’re not our listings.  We’ll be happy to find you the best values.

We track 12 major measures plus some other measures to evaluate health and direction of the local real estate market.  10 SW Florida real estate measures were negative in February, which is better than the 11 in January.

We look at things like closed sales, prices, time on market, inventory levels, pending inventory, time to sell, total money in motion, and others.  It gives us a pretty good indicator of where the market is and where the market is headed.  This is a blueprint for sellers on how to market their property today.

10 SW Florida Real Estate Measures Were Negative in February

We’re able to sit at the kitchen table and show sellers exactly where we are.  Sellers armed with this information can make decisions that will insure a sale and put more money in their pocket at closing.  Sellers who ignore key statistics generally sell for less while their home sits on the market longer.  Some never sell at all, and that’s a shame because people who list their home generally want to sell, and for top dollar.

We’ve still got a pretty good market for those that know their numbers.  We have a good selection of buyers.  Season has been good.  We’ve sold lots of homes.  Unfortunately, season can mask the underlying weaknesses this year compared to last year.  When all the visitors go home in a few weeks, you may find lots of sellers who didn’t sell this season wondering what happened.

What happened was the market shifted and because it was season, sellers didn’t notice.  Marketing becomes even more critical in a shifting market, along with proper pricing.  Getting ahead of the game is paramount.  If you were playing a basketball game with 5:00 left in the game, would you rather be up 10 points or down 10 points?

The game is not over, but our seasonal visitors will be leaving.  If you didn’t market your home to the max, and if it wasn’t priced properly, you might feel like you’re down 10 points.  Not ideal.  You’re behind, but not out.  Homes sell year-round.

If you’re thinking of placing your home on the market, you need an agent that knows exactly where we are in the market, and exactly what to do to get your home sold.  If you’re looking for top dollar, you need aggressive marketing.  Sure, you can price your way into a sale just by being the absolute best value around.  If you want fair market value, that may take aggressive marketing along with a pricing strategy.

When you sit down with an agent, go over the 12 market indicators.  Look at the trend.  Focusing on just one month can mislead you sometimes.  If you did sell, where will you go?  How soon would you like to be there?  How does that compare with the average marketing time of the market, and your price range?

We have all these statistics so we can help you make the best decision for you.  We have the aggressive marketing you’re looking for, whether you realize it or not.  All Realtors do not market the same, just as they don’t price the same.  Making a mistake on either can cost you thousands.  It could even cost you a sale.

To get a rough estimate on what your home could sell for, go to www.SWFLHomevalues.com  It’s free, and fast.  It will give you a good idea, but it’s not perfect.  That’s where we come in.  No, we’re not perfect either, but we can give you a better idea than a computer can.  We can also share with you the 12 real estate measures and show you an aggressive marketing plan nobody else can match.

You can always call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4  We’d love to answer your questions and get you to your next home.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-4 PM

Pelican Preserve

10410 Prato Dr

Pelican Preserve Open House Saturday 1-4 PM

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

14077 Danpark Loop

Daniel’s Park Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

13 High Point Cir #302

High Point Place Open House Sunday 1-4 PM Naples

The real estate market is always changing, so too must we to keep up with changes.  We’ve been hard at work selling property in SW Florida even though most agents realize there is a shift occurring in the market.  Our marketing is world-wide, and because Germany has overtaken the 2nd spot as most visitors to our website, we’ve decided to add a German division to handle this overseas demand.

Yesterday we pulled up our sales report and noticed we have 21 pending sales.  Not bad when agents are complaining the market has shifted and listings are tougher to sell.  We agree the market has shifted, and listings are tougher to sell.  Where we don’t agree is what to do about it.

When the market shifts, you don’t cut back marketing.  And you don’t stop lead generating.  In fact, you increase it.  The Ellis Team doesn’t stop there either.  We must react to shifts in consumer activity as well.  We have a mobile app that buyers and sellers really love.  It’s awesome, and in the 2nd Qtr. it’s going to get even more awesome.  I’ll tell you about the cool new stuff coming in a future article.  In the meantime, if you’d like to download it, you can at http://app.kw.com/KW2TGVZZ3

Dennis Muchow is going to lead our German division.  Dennis comes to the Ellis Team from Berlin Germany where his family has operated hotels in both Germany and the U.S.  He is not only a hard worker but a fast learner.  When we first met Dennis, we couldn’t even tell he was from another country.  He had no accent even though he only moved to the U.S. 4 years ago.  Maybe it’s because he spent so much time in SW Florida growing up as his parents spent 6 months in Germany and 6 months in Cape Coral.

Ellis Team Adds German Division to Handle Overseas Demand

Last year Germany was in 3rd position for www.LeeCountyOnline.com visitors and Canada was number 2, but that’s changed this year.  Despite the shifting market, SW Florida remains popular with international visitors and U.S. visitors alike.  We’re a tax friendly state, and of course we have gorgeous weather.  U.S. News & World Report just recognized Fort Myers as one of the best places to live near a beach because of most access to ocean, sand and sunshine, as well as being a great place to live.

If you’re thinking of selling, call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and see how our marketing can help sell your home.  Ask for Sande or Brett.  If you’d like to speak with a German speaking agent, we can help with that too.  If you’re buying, our team of talented buyer specialists can help you find your piece or paradise, and the best news is, it’s all right here.  You don’t have to travel around the world to find it.

And don’t forget that app.  You’ll appreciate the Open House search and Nearby Homes lookup.  You’ll even find out how you can save thousands on your next mortgage loan.  The app will automatically update to the cool new stuff coming out.  You don’t want to miss that, so go ahead and download it now.

Real estate is local, and it doesn’t matter where you’re from or where you’ve been.  The Ellis Team is here to explain what makes SW Florida so special, and how we can make your dream a reality.  We enjoy helping people, so let our team help you.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Be sure to download our Free Real Estate App

Brett Ellis Keller Williams App
Keller Williams App

You’ll be able to see all home for sale, and all see which homes are open house this weekend.  Try it out.

At last week’s Ellis Team meeting we asked our buyer specialists how they did the past week and what they were working on this week. One agent just sold 3 homes that week, and another sold 2, and another sold 1.  Each agent was working with 3-4 buyers that were going to purchase in the next week to 10 days.  Suffice it to say, home sales are heating up in SW Florida just like the weather.

It is mid-March, so home sales should be heating up.  If they weren’t, we’d have a problem.  This is peak season after all.  For the past few weeks we’ve noticed pending sales outpacing new listings.  As we write this article, we notice new listings outpaced new pending sales again.

By our count we see about 6,625 listings in Lee County.  This is down from the 7,100 we saw in January, however there may be a few more when official numbers are released because listings from outside agents in other MLS boards can increase this figure.  Believe it or not, sometimes a Miami or Jacksonville agent will list Lee County properties in their MLS and not here.

So, what is all this telling us about the market?  Overall, we’ve got a good market.  If you price it right and market it correctly, homes should sell.  Is it still a seller’s market?  No.  Is it a buyer’s market?  Possibly, but maybe it’s shifted back to neutral.  We won’t know until numbers come out next month.

For us, it really doesn’t matter.  A buyer’s or seller’s market is just a term.  It’s close either way.  What’s more important is how buyers and sellers are reacting to the information available.  All real estate is local, and usually hyper-local.  If the overall market sits at 6.18 months supply of homes, and the home you like is in a neighborhood with 2 months supply, it changes the dynamic.

Numbers are constantly changing.  Buyers who fail to recognize this may find themselves missing out on great homes.  It’s frustrating to miss out on home after home.  If this keeps happening to you as a buyer, you need to take a step back and evaluate the advice you’re getting and your reaction to it.  Perhaps you’re listening to family members or friends, and while their advice is well intentioned, it could be bad.  Or perhaps your search online isn’t considering up to the minute trends.  Is the agent you’re working with full-time?

Sellers, you too always need to know what’s going on.  The market can change in an instant. New listings enter the market, or current sellers drop their price.  Far too often sellers set their price and believe they’re done.  The seller sets the price and the market determines the value.  If the home doesn’t sell, constant monitoring is required to see what your competition is doing as well as sales activity.

Lee County Florida March Home Sales Heating Up

One way buyers and sellers can study a neighborhood is using our Neighborhood Market Reports Site.  http://www.leecountyonline.com/sw-florida-market-reports/ This site provides data for active listings, pendings, and solds.  No other site can do all that.  But wait, there’s more.  It also has the photos and key data buyers and sellers like.  And of course, our Blog has weekly articles going back years.  http://blog.topagent.com

In the end, your success is determined by the agent you work with, the research you do, and the advice you listen to.  Consumers mistakenly believe all agents are the same, so it doesn’t matter who they work with.  Are all doctors the same?  How about attorneys?  Of course not, and neither are Realtors.

Making any of these common mistakes could cost you thousands, or worse?  It could cost you a sale.  Your dreams are too important.  Life is too short.  You don’t want to wait for the next market cycle to make that move.  The time is now.

We hope you find this information helpful.  If you need to talk to us, call us at 239-489-4042.  We’re experts at listening, and offering ideas based on your goals.  We look forward to speaking with you.

Happy Selling!

This past week I was having a conversation with an agent who just lost a listing to an agent from another company.  They said I wish the seller knew that over half that agent’s listings expire and never sell.  That statement got me to thinking, that is a great topic to write an article on.  We’ve created the real estate agent expired listings ratio database.

Real Estate Agent Expired Listings Ratio

On TV and radio, you hear about all these rating services that want you to contact them as they rate real estate agents by production and sales.  Presumably they want to get in the middle and collect an advertising or referral fee for their service.  Rating agents on sales is one thing, but has anybody ever looked at how many of their listings sell versus expire?

Well, we just did it.  I downloaded 11,280 expired listings in the past year in Lee County from the MLS.  I imported all listings into a sortable database. We searched for expired, terminated, and withdrawn listings as some agents try to skirt the system and withdraw them, so they don’t show as expired.  After running the numbers, we found some astonishing numbers.  One agent had 88 such listings.  Other agents had 76, 69, 52 and so on.  Wouldn’t this be information sellers would want to know about?

We went one step further and created an expired ratio category.  Imagine if you were drafting a basketball team and a guard was available that averages 20 points per game.  Sounds pretty good, that’s roughly 10 field goals per game plus or minus free throws and 3-point shots.  Assuming he or she makes 10 shots per game, would it alarm you to know they took 50 shots per game to make 10?  That would be only a 20% FG%, or put another way, an 80% fail rate.

Therefore, we created the Expired ratio. We know these agents have a ton of listings expire, so let’s look at their expireds compared to their successes.  The agent with 88 expired listings had a 46.81% expired ratio.  Not good!  The agent with 76 expired had a 56.30% expired ratio, even worse.  The worst ratio we saw in the database of top expired agents was 84.21% That’s horrific.  Imagine if you were interviewing agents and they told you over 84% of their listings never sell?

Agents will never tell you this information, and chances are they don’t even know the number.  It’s bad, and they know that, but they don’t know their numbers.  I didn’t until today.  For the record, ours is very good.

I also looked at company data.  Not surprisingly, many of the limited service brokers were high on the list.  Limited service brokers do a lot less, and for that they probably charge less, but who knows?  Sometimes you only get a sign and your listing syndicated to the national data aggregators.  Showing agents may have to contact seller directly to negotiate offers, setup showings, etc.  Showing agents aren’t compensated for the extra work.  It takes extra time and skill to educate both the buyer and seller, negotiate through inspection issues, etc.

I’m not going to publish this list publicly.  We’re not here to put anybody down or call agents out.  We do feel however that sellers should be armed with this information.  It should be part of the decision process.  Sellers are making a large financial decision, and they want honest information in which to evaluate agents in that decision.

If you’re thinking about selling and are interviewing agents, email me Brett@topagent.com with your address and the agents you’re considering and I’ll look them up and let you know how they stack up.  This way, you’ll know if the agent you’re considering has a good track record of actually selling their listings, not just listing them.

You can always call us 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Ask for Sande or Brett, or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get an idea of what your home is worth for Free!

Good luck and happy selling!

See Last Week’s Article- Blame it on the Marketing

At a time when real estate markets across the US and Florida began to shift, the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty began to shine.  Nationally, home sales began to slide in the 2nd half of the year.  Locally, home sales began to slide in the 4th qtr. of 2018.  Ellis Team sales rose 55% in 2018.

Ellis Team Sales Rose 55% in 2018- Marketing to Blame

So why do some agents shine when others begin to fail in a changing market?  Successful agents who’ve been through many cycles know one thing.  You don’t stop marketing in a shift.

Typical Agents

The typical agent cuts back on everything in a shift.  Sales begin to slow, and it proves their point that the market isn’t what it used to be, and sellers just need to get more realistic.

The Ellis Team has been called in many times after a home has expired and sold it.  We’ve had several already this year, and we’ve already closed on them.  Price wasn’t the issue.  Let me say that again.  Price was not the issue.  We did not lower the price. It was the marketing, and experience in handling negotiations to get it done.

While pricing is important, marketing is the other single most important thing a Realtor can do to get your home sold.  Sellers are tempted to hire a Realtor with lower commissions only because they believe they’ll end up with more in their pocket at closing. Naturally you would think that.  Pay less, net more, right?  The truth is marketing is what brings in more buyers.  When you have more buyers to choose from, you get a better selection of offers.

You must also think about the co-broke fee.  That is the fee a listing agent pays out to other agents in MLS.  If the co-broke fee is lower, you must wonder if agents will be as motivated to show your home.  We want the best agents highly motivated to show our listings.   Agents in SW Florida know the Ellis Team has been around for years and we’re professionals, so they like to show our listings.  It’s much easier to cooperate with a pro than a beginner or part-timer.  Some agents even have a reputation of being difficult to deal with, so agents don’t show their listings as much.

The Agent You List With Matters

The agent you list with matters.  Ellis Team listings net more on average than other agents. Source:  MLS Data  That’s why it can cost you to list with an agent that doesn’t market like we do.  Our listings sell Fast too, in fact about 20% faster than the average agent.  Source:  MLS Data

Pricing is the other critical step.  Sellers don’t want to reduce until they’re satisfied the home isn’t selling because of the marketing.  Only then will they reduce their price.  The question we have is this:  If you have to question whether it’s the marketing or the price, you’ve probably selected the wrong Realtor.

There should never be a question if it’s the marketing.  Of course, when there isn’t much marketing, it’s always a question.  Here’s a little tip.  Simply placing a home on Zillow, Realtor.com, MLS, Homes.com, and placing a sign in the yard is not marketing.  A for sale by owner or discount broker could do all that, and 92% of for sale by owners give up and hire a Realtor to sell their home anyway.

The Difference Can Cost You Money

There is a difference between a full-service Realtor and a full-marketing Realtor.  The truth is, most Realtors don’t do all the marketing we do, or even know about some of it.  And they certainly won’t pay for it.  You see, our broker doesn’t pay for our marketing.  We pay for it out of our own pocket, so we know it works.  And we do a lot of it, so it Really works.

Call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042  Ext 4 and let us show you how our marketing is different.  Don’t forget to ask about our new secret weapon too!  We look forward to helping you.

Thinking of selling?  Find out what your home is worth for Free www.SWFLhomevalues.com