That’s correct.  Your eyes aren’t deceiving you.  Southwest Florida home prices rose $100,000 since 2013.  We could end the story right there, and it would be a beautiful story.  As you know, there’s always more to the story.

We really like where this market is right now.  We would say it is fully valued.  By that we do not mean it’s headed down.  Our market is balanced.  It’s not all the way back for some homes and for others perhaps it is.  We do not see signs of distress we saw back in late 2005 that caused us concern.

Inventory across the US is down.  Inventory in Southwest Florida went down in May to 5,369 homes.  This was down from 5,719 in April.  The number of closed homes is slightly lagging 2015 and 2016.  This is partly because of limited inventory and partly because home prices have risen so much.  Inventory was down the last few years as well, so we can’t attribute it to that.

Southwest Florida Home Prices Rose Home Prices May 2017

Lower prices means more people can afford to purchase.  Let’s look back since 2013.  As you can see by the graph, the median price of a home in January 2013 was $140,000.  In May 2013, it was $176,333.  Fast forward to 2017, in January, our median price was $227,000. That is a difference of $87,000.  The May 2017 median price was $237,500.  That is a difference of $61,167. Going back 4 years and 4 months the difference is $97,500.  Pretty close to $100k in the headline.

Southwest Florida Home Prices Rose

When we look at average prices we see January 2013 came in at $215,873.  May 2017 official numbers came in at $346,559.  This is a difference of $130,686. Maybe this isn’t fair since it’s not the same months. May 2013 average prices were $288,547.  May 2017 numbers were $58,012 higher.

Southwest Florida Home Prices Rose Homes Closed

Either way you look at it, our market has done very well since 2013.  We’ve had a good run, and there’s no reason to believe we won’t have a good market a year from now.  We may not see $100,000 price gains going forward, and that’s OK.  Our market should move in lock-step with the general economy.  As incomes rise, so should housing.  If incomes were to fall or the economy falter, it could put pressure on the housing market.

So far 2017 has been off to a great start.  The stock market has done well and housing has done well.  Consumer confidence is higher and mortgage rates have remained low.  People have money and equity they didn’t have 4 years ago, or even one year ago.  More Southwest Florida homeowners have recently gained positive equity, such that they could now sell if they wanted to.  This wasn’t always the case.

As people’s lives change so does their housing needs.  When kids go off to college parents don’t always need that large home.  Growing families can’t stay in that tiny first home they bought, and so begins the housing cycle. Southwest Florida also has baby boomers buying 2nd homes for vacation enjoyment.  We also get people retiring from Northern states.  As America changes, so too can the Southwest Florida real estate market.  We are affected by local, national, and even world events.

You can search the Southwest Florida real estate market like a pro at www.LeeCountyOnline.com  Our database has all the homes for sale and is updated every 5 minutes.  You won’t be bothered seeing homes that sold 8 years ago or missing new listings that just came to market.  In a low inventory market, it pays to use the best search site and ours definitely is the Best!

You can always call us too at 239-489-4042.  We’ll be happy to walk you through what it would take to buy or sell a home in SW Florida. Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty!

This past week I had the chance to visit properties on Fort Myers Beach.  I’ve included a Fort Myers Beach Home Search for you here.  Here is a Fort Myers Beach Condo Search as well.

We previewed Grandview at Bay Beach.  We’ve created a special page for Grandview at Bay Beach for you here.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Gladiolus Preserve 4 Bedroom Home

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

9800 Gladiolus Preserve Cir

$ Bedrooms 2 Baths 2 Car Garage

Gated Community

South Pointe South Home

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

9950 Vanillaleaf St

2 Bedroom, 2 Bath, 2 Car Garage

 

Agents have been calling us asking if showings are down.  The answer always is some listings seem to receive more showings than others and it depends on your inventory mix at the time.  It is an interesting question though, so we did a little digging into the latest Southwest Florida showing activity in MLS.

CSS (Centralized Showing Service) is the predominant showing system used by Realtors across Southwest Florida.  We have reports and statistics we can search on using their system to glean information about showing activity.  This data can be useful to Realtors and sellers alike.

Southwest Florida Home Showing Activity $195,000 -$400,000

Here are two examples.  We tracked showing activity in the Fort Myers area for May by price range.  The average listing from $195,000-$400,000 saw 4.6 showings.  That’s roughly one per week.  Look at the $220,000 price range. Having a home listed at $220,000 rather than $225,000 saw a 57.29% increase in showings.  This tells us that is a price sensitive segment, and over pricing by just a dollar can cost a seller some showings.

Southwest Florida Home Showing Activity $400-600k Showing Report

Our next example tracked the same zip codes in the $400,000-$600,00 range.  We wanted to see if there was a significant change in showing activity.  On average, there was about a 25% drop in showings from May to June.

So why is that?  Has the market softened?  Perhaps.  However, it could just be that kids are out of school and people have concentrated on vacations, summer camps, working in the yard, etc.  We’d expect showings to be down from season.  Keep in mind, we selected the $400-600k price range.  Other price ranges may tell a different story.

The point is, your Realtor has access to all this information. For a $300k home in Cape Coral zip code of 33914, it may help to search and compare in 33914 and nearby zip codes.  If a trend emerges, this can be useful information to the seller.

If the MLS average is one showing per week in your price range, it can seem like an eternity waiting for showings.  There are ways to increase showings.

  1. Make home accessible. Turning down a showing because the home isn’t ready hurts your chances.  We had a seller turn down a showing last week and it cost them.  The buyer wasn’t available the next day, and who knows, they could have bought on that day.
  2. Consider re-positioning your home in the marketplace. Are you in a stale price range?  Is your home overpriced?  If the answer to either question is yes, you may need to take action.
  3. Freshen up your home. Consider changing the lighting to make rooms look brighter.  Clear out furniture that’s too big for the room to make the room look larger. Perhaps new paint and carpet would make a difference.
  4. Market your home. The more people who know about it the more chance you have a showing.
  5. Look at your home through the eyes of a buyer. Sometimes an owner can’t see the dirt or smell the dog because they’re used to it. Tour open houses and see how other sellers show their homes, then compare to your own.  It may open your eyes.
  6. Listen to your Realtor. Arguing your position about how great your home is versus your neighbors won’t sell your home.  The market either accepts your home or it doesn’t.  If your home shows well, is priced properly, and marketed effectively it should receive offers.  You picked your Realtor for a reason.  Listen to them.  If you’re not going to listen to them, find another Realtor.  It’s like anything, doctor, lawyer, Realtor.  If you don’t have confidence in them, you won’t take their advice.  It pays to take a professional’s advice.  It’s what you’re paying them for.

Feel free to search the MLS at www.LeeCountyOnline.com or call us at 239-489-4042  We’ll be happy to guide you through the home buying or selling process.  Always call the Ellis Team!

Ellis Team Open House

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

11807 Bayport Ln #202

Avalon Preserve

2 Bed 2 Bath 2 Car Garage

$195,000

Gated Community

 

 

Have you ever had a Realtor call you and say “We have a buyer for your property?”  Or perhaps you’ve interviewed agents to sell your home and you asked if they had anybody looking for a home like yours?

Chances are the Realtor said yes.  Chances are you weren’t sure you believed them.  What if there was a way to know for sure?  Would that pique your interest?

I remember a seller in Moody River Estates asking me that question a few years ago.  I answered as I typically did at the time “I don’t know, we very well could.”  They listed with us and I took the listing back to the Ellis Team and announced that we just got a new listing.  One of our buyer agents said he was writing an offer in there as he had just showed there yesterday.   It was literally right around the corner from our new listing.

I told him to hold up and go show ours before submitting that offer.  Buyer agreed to go see our new listing, and low and behold they liked ours better.  We sold our listing in 1 day simply because we did have the buyer, and yet I didn’t promise that.  I didn’t want to sound like all other Realtors.

We Have a Buyer For Your Property Reflection Lakes Buyer Search
Reflection Lakes Buyers

As I look through our leads, I realize we do have buyers for just about anything you can imagine.  This will be a great tool for our sellers.  For instance, let’s say we’re listing a new home in Reflection Lakes.  I can now go into our database and see how many registered buyers we have searching in Reflection Lakes.  Turns out we have 251 searching in our database.  That’s pretty good.  When we take the listing we can begin calling those buyers.  The buyers will appreciate the heads up on a new listing and so will our seller.

We Have a Buyer For Your Property Cape Coral Buyers
Cape Coral Buyers

I searched Cape Coral.  We have 1,015 people actively searching in Cape Coral.  That’s a nice stat to know when a Cape Coral seller is interviewing us.  I pulled up Town and River for fun.  We have 97 people searching for Town and River looking for homes above $400,000.  If we listed a property in there for $900,000 I could change the search to Town and River buyers over $850,000.  It would give me a list and we could call them.  Pretty neat stuff.

We Have a Buyer For Your Property Town and River buyers
Town and River Buyers

Perhaps we’re listing a $400,000 property.  When I search our database I see that we have 390 people searching in that price range.

We Have a Buyer For Your Property $300,000-$500,000
$300-$500K Buyers

We Have a Buyer For Your Property

Of course, you don’t list with us just because we have a buyer for your property.  We’ll create new marketing to get more buyers for you once we have it listed. We spend more money marketing homes than other Realtors.  Our present and past marketing can go to work for you on Day 1.  Hopefully we can create multiple buyers for your property.

When you interview agents, you want to see marketing success. Yes, Ellis Team listings sell faster and for more money.  We can show you that.  Our team can also show you how our marketing generates buyers, lot’s of them.  We have buyers’ name, email, and phone number.  Our team know’s what buyers are searching for and when they want to buy.  It’s good data.

So when an agent tells you marketing doesn’t sell homes, price does, end the interview and call the Ellis Team.  Marketing absolutely sells homes!  Anybody can give your home away.  Not everybody can sell it for what it’s worth!

If you’re thinking of selling, you should call the Ellis Team 239-489-4042  Ask for Sande or Brett.  Chances are we have your buyer for your home. We’ll still market is as if we don’t. Perhaps we can create multiple buyers, and that would be good!  Put our marketing to work for you.  We go for top dollar, and we get it.  Visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com to see why we have so many happy buyers and sellers.  Our website is updated every 5 minutes and has all the listings.  It’s more fun to use than other sites too!

Ellis Team Open Houses

Sunday 1-3 PM

1561 Cumberland Ct

3 Bed, 2 Bath 1,738 Sq Ft in Tanglewood

Open Sunday 1-3 PM

Sunday 1-3 PM

2636 SE 19th Pl

3 Bed, 2 Bath 2,096 Sq Ft  Sailboat Access Pool Home

Cape Coral Open House

Tune in to our Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Update for Sellers June 2017

 

Please be sure to vote us as the Top Team in Southwest Florida Real Estate

Best of News Press readers Poll Best real estate team Ellis Team
Vote for the Ellis Team

Southwest Florida real estate home prices increased 6% in April up to $249,000.  Median home prices had been $235,000 last April.  However, while the median price saw a rise, the average sale price only increased .9% over last year.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Home Prices April 2017

As you can see from the graph, in 2016 April’s numbers increased over March.  That didn’t happen this year.  The median price actually slipped $6,000 this April from March and the average sale price fell almost $15,000.

Pending inventory is down 10.1% and new pending sales were down 5.1%.  Active listings were up 4.6% although new listings were down 10.1%.

What does all this data mean for the Southwest Florida real estate home market?  We believe home prices have risen enough such that we’re in a fairly balanced market.  Our market is no longer rising because it had over-corrected and was undervalued.  Standard economic forces will be the driving factor going forward.  As we write this article today the Fed’s decision has not been announced.  It is widely expected they may raise rates .25% this week which would affect car loans and equity lines.  It may or may not affect 30 yr mortgage rates.

We do know that since the election over $4 Trillion dollars of wealth has been created in the stock market.  Home prices have risen as well.  Could we see some of that stock market money make its way over into the real estate market?  It’s happened before.

Rising interest rates typically erodes buyer purchasing power, so that’s not always good for the real estate market, although rates are low by historical standards.

Could baby boomers withdraw lofty 401k and investment money and move over to real estate?  It depends on their outlook of the stock market, interest rates, and the economy going forward.

Jobs are being created again too.  Over 700,000 have been created since the election.  This may be good news for the real estate market, although jobs are shifting.  Have you noticed retail sales are taking it hard?

Companies like Sears, Kmart, Lowes and others have struggled.  Shopping malls are closing across the country as shopping patterns are changing.  More are shopping online.

We’ll be keeping an eye on economic data as we think that will lead to consumer confidence.  We’ll also be looking at inventory supply numbers as well as builder inventory numbers.  We think there is an opportunity for builders to sell homes again.  If they build it, buyers will come.

Many local sellers would like to sell.  They just don’t know where they’d like to live yet, so they’re waiting.  In addition to touring available existing inventory, our team has been checking out new construction projects.  We think this may be the driver that unlocks home sales.  While inventory has risen some, it’s still low enough that home sellers don’t feel like they have enough choices to make a move.

It’s a double-edged sword though because as new construction inventory opens, there becomes more competition for existing home sellers.  Our economy needs both to fully thrive, but in the right proportions.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Home Prices Steady

I like where this market is right now.  The Southwest Florida real estate market is balanced depending on which price range you’re in.  If you’re thinking of making a move in Southwest Florida, give our team a call.  We know the existing inventory and the new construction projects.  You don’t pay more to use a Realtor when buying new.  Our fee is already built-in to their price.  It’s cheaper for them to pay realtors a commission than it is to advertise to bring in that many sales.  Plus, they know we have the ability to bring in more customers, so they treat our customers better.  It could cost you by not knowing all your options.

You need to know things like county versus city property taxes, CDD fees, homeowner and flood insurance rates.  These vary by location and age of the home.  We can help you sort all this out so you make a great decision.

Call our team at 239-489-4042 or visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com to search all the homes.  If you have a home to sell, call us and ask for Sande or Brett.  We’ll sell your home fast and for top dollar so you don’t miss that next opportunity.

Be sure to vote for the Ellis Team as Best Real Estate Team in News Press Readers Poll

Best of News Press readers Poll Best real estate team Ellis Team
Vote for the Ellis Team

 

Ellis Team Open House

Saturday 1-3 PM

2 Bed, 2 Bath $105,000

3284 Prince Edward Island CIR Unit 1, Fort Myers FL 33907

Provincetown $105,000

Watch the Future of Real Estate June 2017 Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Update

Last week we talked about the efficiency of the real estate market.  Simply put, the Southwest Florida real estate market isn’t as efficient as the stock market.  No real estate market is, because the information isn’t as readily available and we’re not dealing with apples and apples. So why do some homes sell below market Value?

Why Do Some Homes Sell Below Market Value

Let’s elaborate.  The stock market has what they call the big board.  Everybody can look up and see what a stock is trading at this second.  If you’re looking at class A common stock for a company, 100 shares of the same stock are exactly the same.  There is no difference.  Additionally, everybody has access to the same information on the company at precisely the same time.

The real estate market is different.  Even if you have two homes with the exact same floor plan, they are different.  They are located on separate lots, making potential differences in location value.  The upgrades can be different.  Their repair and maintenance may differ, and of course the decorating and appearance can affect the value of the homes as well.  One home may have a pool.  They may not be built the same year with the same materials.

And this assumes it’s the exact same floor plan.  We all know most homes aren’t the exact same floor plan.  So how would a consumer, appraiser, bank, property appraiser, seller, or agent fairly compare various homes against each other?  It’s a complicated process, because you’re not dealing with apples and apples like a stock.

The other component that affects what a home might sell for is the exposure to the market.  If the home is fully exposed, presumably everyone who is looking in that price range for those amenities would be aware of the home.  This just isn’t the case.

Have you ever driven by a neighborhood and said to yourself, “Wow, I didn’t even know this subdivision was here?”  Or open a newspaper and wonder where that home is located?  These are two examples whereby if the customer didn’t stumble upon the area or see an ad for the property, they wouldn’t even know it existed.

The agent you hire to expose your home to the market makes all the difference.  If you wanted to sell a widget online in an auction, do you think you’d get more if you had 1,000 bidders than just 1 or 2 bidders?  Of course, you would.  Full exposure equals full market value.  Partial exposure equals less than full market value.  This is one reason For Sale By Owners net 16% less on average than using an agent.

Not all agents are the same.  Some offer limited market exposure, which is better than sell by yourself.  Some offer much more exposure.  Of course, all this marketing costs money, so every agent can’t do it because they don’t have the money.

Agents get creative and clever and tell you that the home will be listed on 50-100 Internet sites and that’s all you need.  This isn’t full exposure.  Sure, it’s better than nothing but it’s not full exposure like we’re talking about.  Don’t assume all agents are the same, and don’t assume all marketing is the same.  It just isn’t!

Your home isn’t just like every other home.  It needs to stand out.  It needs someone to stand up for it and say Buy Me, I’m special!  The Ellis Team can do that for you.

Why Do Some Homes Sell Below Market Value?

Recently while doing some market research I stumbled upon a property that is undervalued.  It’s sad because the home should sell for more than it’s currently listed for.  It’s been on the market awhile.  It could use a few repairs that would make a big difference, but I presume it just may not have been marketed like it could be.  This seller will undoubtedly net less than they should simply because they didn’t do a few repairs and because the market doesn’t realize it’s a good deal.

The real estate market is not as efficient as the stock market.  If you’re looking for Top Dollar, Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams! 239-489-4042 or visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com and search the market like a pro.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Bell Tower Park Open House

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

5691 Kensington Loop

$330,000

 

Tanglewood Open House

1561 Cumberland Ct

Open Sunday 1-3 PM

$285,000

 

Reflection lakes Open House

13812 Lily Pad Cir

Open Sunday 1-3 PM

$250,000

Buyers and sellers always ask how the market is doing, and the answer depends on which agents you’re talking to.  It’s easy to conflate how the market is doing with how your personal sales numbers are doing for the month.  While it is human nature, it is often a mistake. Southwest Florida inventory rises in April as sales decline.

When an agent’s sales numbers are up the agent feels great and wants to shout from the mountain top how great the market is doing.  When an agent’s numbers are down it must be the market.  Both cases reflect the attitude of the agent not the actual market statistics.

Buyers and sellers don’t care about that stuff.  They want to know how the market is doing. They want it local.  Hearing how an agent’s numbers are up when the market is down is about like saying the national housing market is up, but our local market is in the tank.  They only care about one thing, and that is the local data.

Southwest Florida Inventory Rises in April

In SW Florida, single family inventory rose 4.6% in April. This isn’t because a bunch of new listings hit the market.  New listings were down 10.1%, so it must be that less homes sold in April.  We didn’t draw down as much inventory through sales as we’d hoped.  There are two ways to draw down inventory.  Sales or expired listings.  If an expired listing re-lists, then even that isn’t drawing down inventory.

Southwest Florida Inventory Rises in April closed sales fall

When we study closed sales in April we find that it did indeed drop.  Closed sales fell 2.5%.  One month isn’t anything to get worked up about, so we look at new pending sales and total pending inventory to get a clue as to what future months might bring.

New pending sales fell 5.1% in April which could be a warning sign for May and June.  Total pending inventory fell 10.1% in April.  So, what’s the takeaway from all this data?  Is this bad news for the local real estate market?

It simply means pricing and marketing are critical.  Prices have held steady but sales are declining.  Total dollar volume of sales was down 1.6%.  All in all this is a pretty steady market and nothing to be alarmed about.

Southwest Florida Inventory Rises

This is not the market to over-price a home.  The SW Florida real estate market is steady and stable.  You might call it healthy and balanced.  Over-priced sellers will probably be disappointed.  Sometimes even proper priced homes get lost in the shuffle as new inventory is added every day.  Therefore, we say marketing is critical too.  You don’t want to give your home away.

Reducing your home far enough will always guarantee a sale.  Once a home is at or below market value the market will scoop it up.  The real estate market isn’t as efficient as the stock market.  You can’t just look up on the big board and see the price, its P/E ratio, and all the other data available on the stock market.  This is why some homes will sell below market value.

Upfront proper pricing helps prevent this.  Marketing exposes homes so they don’t have to sell below market.  Advertising and marketing smooths out the inefficiencies of the real estate market.  Marketing exposes your home to more buyers, thereby guaranteeing a better sales price.  In the absence of a big board, marketing is key.  We’ll do a future article on this topic soon.

You too can search the MLS like a pro.  Check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com You can search every home in MLS.  you will receive the freshest data as our database is updated every 5 minutes.  Find out what your home is worth online for free, and get detailed neighborhood reports.

You can always call us at 239-489-4042.  To list your home, ask for Sande or Brett, or let our team of talented agents help you find your dream home.  We’d love to help you!

Are all Realtors the Same? Find out what it pays to talk with the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty Fort Myers & The Islands

Ellis Team Open Houses

2 Waterfront Homes Open Saturday 1-4 PM

2636 SE 19th PL Cape Coral Open House
2636 SE 19th Place, Cape Coral

Open House Saturday 1-4 PM

3 Bed 2 Bath Pool Home Direct Access Waterfront Cape Coral

 

1339 Longwood Dr

4 Bedroom 3 Bath Waterfront Pool Home

Most of us will be out celebrating the 3 day weekend and that’s a good thing, because who doesn’t deserve a break, right?

Memorial Day originally started as Declaration Day.  Several states lay claim to the first Memorial Day, and there was even dissent as the south refused to celebrate Memorial Day after the civil war.

Modern day Memorial Day represents honoring those that have served our country.  It’s always sad when some people refuse to honor certain veterans because they disagreed with a conflict or war.  We owe our freedom to veterans.  Our veterans didn’t get a chance to select which conflict or which war they would serve in.  They just served, for us, for the United States of America, just because.  They didn’t ask questions.  Nobody would listen if they did.

I know it’s not Veteran’s Day, but if you see a Veteran, thank them.  They may still be with us, and sadly many are not.   Many of these veterans mourn the loss of people they fought with.  They carry these scars for the rest of their life, and we owe them gratitude for our freedom.

We do hope you have fun too this weekend.  What better way to honor someone than having fun times with friends or family while we remember.  Take this weekend as an opportunity to build memories of some sort.

Memorial Day 2017

Many clients we talk with are in the midst of making decisions about life.  “Do we sell now or later?  The price isn’t quite where we’d hope for it to be just yet.”  Many conclude that they’re not going to wait on life anymore, they’re choosing to be happy now.

Waiting for the market to increase another $20,000 makes the pocketbook feel better, but the next place might go up in value too.  And what about lost time?  Some sellers want to accomplish something in life while they’re still healthy.  Nobody knows what the future brings, so many are choosing to go for it now while they can.

We don’t know if the market will continue to rise.  It’d be a shame waiting for the market to go up $20,000 only to watch it go down.  It’d be a shame to have a medical event in the future and look back with regret that we didn’t do something while we could have.  That $20,000 won’t seem so important later when you can’t do it anymore.

Whether you’re contemplating a big decision like buying or selling a home, or a fun decision like where to travel to or what to BBQ this weekend, use this weekend as a chance to live without regrets.  Make some memories.  Sometimes people get into a rut and let life just happen to them.  Go out and make life happen.  Live without regrets.

We can’t change the past.  All we can do is live in the present and plan for the future.  The Ellis Team can help you with your real estate dreams.  We might even have a good grilling recipe for you too.  It is our sincere hope that you go out this weekend and do something fun with the ones you love.  If you can’t be with them, call them.  Sometimes a simple call can make somebody’s day.

We all get bogged down in email that sometimes we forget that personal touch is what people need.  Perhaps shoot a video and send it to someone, or stop by an old friend and say HI.

If you’d like to search for homes for sale, the best place is www.LeeCountyOnline.com  If you’d like to talk to the Ellis Team about real estate the best number is 239-489-4042

Whatever your idea of fun is, we hope you do it this weekend and make those memories.  Post a photo or share your happy comments on our Facebook page www.Facebook.com/Ellisteam

Good luck and Happy Memorial Day 2017 from the Ellis Team!

One common belief among home sellers is that all Realtors do pretty much the same thing.  Sometimes we even get the question, “Are all Realtors the same?”  They put a sign in the yard, place it in MLS, and pray someone else sells it.

Are All Realtors the Same

I can understand why the public is confused.  They don’t see what really goes on in a real estate transaction, so how could they possibly know?  Years ago, the broker made all advertising decisions.  With the advent of higher splits to agents, brokers have less money to call the shots now.  They can’t deliver all the benefits they used to and still pay the agents top splits.

This fact began the decline in advertising.  Top splits should have gone to the highest producing agents, who would then take that money and re-invest into advertising.  Unfortunately, the high splits now go to anybody who can fog a mirror.

One might assume if an agent was receiving a higher split they’d have money to advertise, and that would be wrong!  The average agent sells than 1 home per year.  Even if they sell a home or two they don’t have money left over to advertise.

If they did have money to advertise, they wouldn’t know what’s effective.  We hear agents all the time say this doesn’t work and that doesn’t work.  The truth is, it doesn’t work the way they are doing it.  If you’re going to advertise, it pays to go big!

A $200 online budget will get you nowhere.  A small print ad with too much info crammed in will not produce.  Agents try these things and get no results, then they honestly say we tried that and it doesn’t work.

You’ve heard the term Go Big or Go Home.  It’s true in advertising.  The Ellis Team (230-489-4042) has always gone big.  Sure, we evaluate what’s working and what’s not all the time.  The point is, if you want results for your sellers, you must step up.  They are placing their trust in you.

There is a reason our listings sell faster and for more money.  It’s because we advertise.  We take pride in the fact that sellers net more using our services than they would on their own without paying a commission.  We expose their home to more people than they can, which results in higher prices and faster sales.

Agents wonder why buyers or sellers ask for part of the commission back.  In other markets, there are a few companies that have started doing that.  If an agent isn’t willing to go big and reinvest into marketing why not?  They’re not fully exposing the home and bringing top dollar.

Personally, I don’t think an agent should give back.  Agents earn it.  I do think some agents are worth more than others.  I think sellers should ask more questions about marketing and advertising so they better understand what they’re paying for.  Most agents give standard answers like the home will be advertised online and on a hundred websites, etc.

Are All Realtors the Same?

The truth is, many agents can’t answer the question because they don’t know.  When you interview an agent who understands and utilizes marketing and compare that to the agents who don’t, you begin to get an understanding what the differences are.  As a consumer, you might even learn more about home marketing than a lot of agents.

Agents are only taught how to pass the real estate exam, not how to effectively sell a home.  This knowledge must be obtained other ways, and it requires capital to invest in advertising.  Typical agents come into this business because of the low start-up costs but they don’t have the knowledge, expertise, or money to implement a plan, so they rely on the broker.  The broker isn’t much interested because they’ve given the splits to the agent to attract them to their company in hopes they turn out one day to be a high producing agent and stick with their company.  Don’t let the broker’s issue become your issue.  Hire a marketing pro.

If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.  Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams 239-489-4042 or search the MLS at www.LeeCountyOnline.com

Find out How Much Your Home is Worth Online for Free

There’s an old saying in real estate that says if your home is priced over the market then it’s not really on the market.  Essentially an overpriced listing is invisible to the buyer because it’s attracting the wrong prospects.  These are called invisible listings.

The correct prospects never see it on their radar because they search up to a certain point and cutoff anything over that.  The prospect that can afford the overpriced home is looking at other homes as well, and they quickly see other homes offer more value.  Perhaps it’s more size, better location, better condition, more amenities, etc. Overpriced listings miss the market both ways, and therefore they linger on the market.

Periodically we publish the local market’s month supply of inventory by price range.  We decided to take the monthly supply of homes in each category and consider how many homes are currently on the market in that category that exceeds the average monthly supply.

Invisible Listings Southwest Florida Real Estate market

When a home doesn’t sell it’s either overpriced or not marketed correctly.  Many times, it’s both.  If you have a home worth more than $ 1 Million we know there is a 22.58-month supply of homes on the market.  When you list a home you should ask yourself, when would I like to move?  If the answer is less than 22 months, you’d better price it and market it effectively.

The good news is only 8.3% of the homes over $ 1 Million are invisible.  The overall Lee County single family home market is 15.4% invisible.  This tells us that 15.4% of the home sellers have overpriced their homes such that they’re probably not going to sell unless the owner takes action.  They will expire.

Putting your home on the market is not a fun experience.  You have strangers coming through your home when they want and you must keep the home in show condition all the time.  Nobody would want to go through that experience unless they were serious about selling.  And yet, some are not serious because they overprice their home and it’s invisible.

When you list your home you not only want it visible, you want it to stand out.  Therefore marketing and pricing is critical.  The seller controls the price.  The market determines the value.  Not all Realtors market the same.  Some market very little while others do much more, and a select few market a lot.

Some Realtors don’t believe marketing sells homes and only price sells homes.  That’s simply not true.  If you were in the market for a new car I can guarantee you there are a few dealerships you’ve heard of.  Why?  Because they market and it works.  If you could buy a new car and get a TV or a cruise would you take it?  Only if you knew about it.  If you liked that brand and the value was there, you’d at least consider it, because their marketing works.

The same is true in real estate.  It’s not enough to have the lowest price and pray that’s enough to sell your home.  The world needs to know about it, and listing it in MLS isn’t enough.  Sure, listing in MLS can get your home on some websites, but it’s not promoting your home.  This is where Realtors who understand marketing stand out.  Besides, not every seller wants to give their home away just to sell it.

We believe you should receive fair market value.  To get that, you need marketing.  To expect more than fair market value insures it will not sell.  If we listed a home worth $300k and marketed it at $600k no amount of money spent on marketing would sell it.  To get full market value requires correct pricing and full-blown marketing.

If you have a home to sell, you should call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams. 239-489-4042  We’ll help you get Top Dollar and make your home visible, and stand out. You can also visit our website www.LeeCountyOnline.com and search for homes.  We look forward to meeting you!

See also Southwest Florida Real Estate Inventory Rises as Sales Grow in March

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Is it possible to have rising real estate sales at the same time as rising inventory levels?  Obviously, it is possible as Southwest Florida real estate inventory rises as sales grow in March.

Most people equate rising inventory levels to lower sales which is usually what leads to the rising levels in the first place.  However, in years past I can think of a few scenarios where this absolutely wasn’t true.

I remember back in the late 80’s and early 90’s talking about a subdivision called Eagle Ridge.  Back then we had discussions that every 3rd home in there was on the market.  Sales weren’t frequent enough to work down that inventory so it stayed relatively constant back then at every 3 houses on the market.

Fast forward to years later and there were very few sales and almost no homes on the market.  When one did come on the market buyers would ask if it was a tough neighborhood to sell in because there were no sales.  The reason there were no sales prior to that is because there was no inventory to sell.  Had there been inventory we would have sold them all.

This is an example of one subdivision at two points in time.  It had few sales, for very different reasons.  One was because of too much inventory and one was because of too little inventory.  You can’t always read too much into inventory levels.  This metric must be considered in perspective.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Inventory Rises

In March inventory levels grew to 6,100, a 5.1% increase over last year.  Month’s supply of inventory grew to 5.7 months, which was a 5.6% increase over March 2016.  We don’t get too excited about any one month numbers.  We like to look at market trends.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Inventory Rises Months Supply

As you can tell from last week’s article, sales were up 18.1% in March and average sales prices were up 19.1%  The Southwest Florida real estate market is strong if the seller has priced the property correctly and it is marketed to the buyer.

Today’s sellers want top dollar.  Today’s buyers just want to buy a home and pay fair market value.  These are not mutually exclusive.  We’ve been selling homes at full price in many cases.  The buyer is happy to land a nice home and the seller is happy because they got more money than their neighbors.

So why is it that some sellers get top dollar and some do not?  We believe it’s a combination of things.  Price, condition, and market exposure.  If an agent tells you that marketing doesn’t sell homes, you should call us.  Marketing absolutely sells homes.  It sells cars, homes, and everything else.  There is a reason a certain auto dealer sells more cars than anybody else.  It’s because he advertises more.

Marketing Works

There’s a reason our team sells homes for top dollar.  It’s not because we price them lower.  We price our homes for all they’re worth.  The reason our sellers receive more in their pocket at closing is because we expose their home to more people with more frequency than other agents.

You’re reading this article right now.  Perhaps you see our weekly newspaper ad, or our online ads.  Quite possibly you watch our videos, tour our 360 degree home tours, or receive targeted ads for a specific property we’re marketing.  Chances are you see our ads and you don’t even realize you’ve been targeted.

When we list a property, we don’t just sit back and wait for agents in the MLS to hopefully bring a buyer.  We don’t give your property away.  If we guaranteed a sale simply because you were priced under the market, we wouldn’t be getting you top dollar, would we?

Anybody can give a house away.  That’s not selling, that’s taking the low hanging fruit.  If you have a property to sell, always call the Ellis Team 239-489-4042  Ask for Sande or Brett.  We’ll show you what full market exposure looks like and help you get Top Dollar.  We’re your Top Dollar Realtors.

Feel free to search the MLS for free or research the market at www.LeeCountyOnline.com

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