If you read this article regularly you’ll know that January and February real estate sales numbers in SW Florida were ho-hum in terms of sales counts and prices.  In March, that all changed.  Agents wait for official numbers to be released around the 23rd-26th of each month, however we had some early indications things were going to be good even before that.  We are pleased to announce that Southwest Florida March real estate sales numbers rebound nicely.

One of the things we love about our current real estate company is that they are fully transparent with their numbers.  They must be because they profit share out to the agents.  As such, we get early numbers which is useful information.

Southwest Florida March Real Estate Sales Numbers Rebound Nicely

I noticed our profit share check was larger than month’s past, so I looked at our internal numbers.  Because we market properties for our clients, I like to compare our numbers versus the rest of the MLS to see how we’re doing.  In real estate, we don’t control the market.  The market could be good, bad, or sideways and either way agents need to sell their clients properties.  If an agent wants to increase their volume in a down market, they’ll need to go steal some market share from somebody else.  You can’t properly evaluate your numbers if you don’t know what they are.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Market numbers Southwest Florida March Real Estate Sales Numbers Rebound Nicely

So, here’s what we know.  The local board sales were up 18.1% from last year.  Our office was up 96.6%.  Median sales price was up 13.3% in March and average sales price was up 19.1%  This leads to dollar volume, a metric we’ve been talking a lot about lately.  It measures the overall health of the market.  Simply, if you multiply average sales price by number of units you’ll get the total dollar volume.  When both numbers are up, you know you’re going to have an increase over the past year.  It’s simple math.  Board dollar volume was up 40.6%. That’s a fantastic number.

Our office volume was up 101.3% for the same period.  Our agents killed it!  It’s important to track numbers because sometimes as humans we get lost in success.  For instance, let’s say your office was up 20% in sales over last year.  You might say wow, we’re doing everything right.  When you later learn, the board was up over 40% that number doesn’t seem so good.

On Wall Street investors would hammer a company that isn’t keeping up with the market.  Agents should never measure the market’s success by their own.  Often sellers will ask an agent how the market is.  Many agents don’t know.  Perhaps they personally had a good month last month so they say the market is on fire, when in reality the market may be down.  Clients deserve to know what’s really going on, not how the agent feels right now based upon personal production.

Southwest Florida March Real Estate Sales Numbers Rebound Nicely

It’s important to track overall market statistics.  Only then can you best guide a seller.  It’s also important to track your own numbers.  How will you know if your marketing is working if you don’t track?  How will you know if you’re pricing properties correctly?

Perhaps an agent out there is advertising somewhere that is producing results. Possibly there is a new technology driving sales you should be aware of.  Perhaps it’s just old-fashioned hard work, education, and proper pricing that’s working for an agent.

The point is, agents should always be studying what’s working and what’s not.  Eliminate the things that don’t work and do more of the things that do.  Just because you’re having a good month don’t assume it’s good enough.  If you’re having a bad month, don’t assume everybody else is.  Assume nothing.

Study the market.  Look at your company profit share checks.  If your company isn’t profitable, what could you do to change that? We owe it to our buyers and sellers to explain what’s really going on in the market so they can make good decisions.  Study how your company is doing against the market so you can explain your value proposition to them.  Clients want to know.  They need to know.

Feel free to call us at 239-489-4042 or Search the Southwest Florida MLS   We’ll get your home sold fast or help you buy a new one.  Put our marketing to work for you!

Not a day goes by that we don’t receive a call or talk to someone who’s frustrated by the rental situation in SW Florida.  Renter frustration mounting for several reasons.

Rents are sky high in SW Florida.  Many times, it’s less expensive to buy than to rent.  When you add back potential appreciation along with principal reduction, many renters realize they’re just throwing good money down the drain.

Renter Frustration Mounting

This past week was Uncle Sam day.  Renters miss out on nice tax deductions too on interest, and this time of year it bothers them.

The renter has no control over their home.  Many times, the owner decides to raise the rent, move back in, allow a family member to move back in, or sell the home.  This displaces the renter.  It’s not a fun place to be in when you can’t plan where you’ll be living next year.

Rental inventory is hard to find.  Your best bet is to call the agent who has the inventory, but how do you do that?  You can call an agent who has access to MLS.  Here’s the problem.  Many rentals are listed on MLS, but the compensation to an agent might be $50-$100.  That’s hardly worth an agent’s time and gas running a prospective tenant around town looking for a rental.  Add in the fact the tenant may not pass the landlord’s background check, credit report, or pet restrictions and you’ve got the potential for showing many more days.  Agents have bills to pay too and simply can’t work for free, or less.  These force renters to work with the listing agent of the rental.

Scams are rampant in Florida.  Many times, a tenant thinks they’re talking to the owner and they’re not.  It could be a scam.  If the rent seems like a great deal it might be a scam.  If they tell you to just drive by and send money to hold the unit if you like it, it’s probably a scam.

Renter Frustration Mounting

So what should a tenant do?  First, working with an agent to rent a property is probably safest.  If they are licensed and working for a broker there are some extra protections for you.

Check out large apartment complexes.  You may not like them, however there is little risk the owner will decide to sell next year.  They may jack your rent, but at least you can stay where you are if stability is important to you.

Check out your credit.  Good lenders can get you in touch with people who can help get derogatory credit off your report.  Late payments on credit cards and past due medical bills hurt the most but they don’t have to.  If you can get these cleaned off your report, you may be able to buy a house sooner than you think.  It all starts with a little planning.

We work with lenders who can help.  Buyers are simply amazed what can be done for them and they’re so grateful when we get them into a home they can call home.  They don’t have to worry about where they’ll be living next year.  Statistics show people who own their own home end up with a lot more financial freedom than those who rent.  Stop making your landlord rich.

The Right Lender

Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams 239-489-4042.  We’ll put you in touch with a lender that can either approve you or help you improve your credit.  Feel free to search the MLS www.LeeCountyOnline.com  You might find some homes that interest you.

We received a call this past week from an older couple who’s being displaced.  They want to find their forever rental.  Unfortunately, nobody can guarantee that.  We know they’re tired of moving and just want to rent one place.

Let us help.  Perhaps you can buy today.  If not, get help working on that credit.  Even if you never buy a home, better credit will lower the cost of borrowing on cars, credit cards, etc.  There’s no reason not to look into it.

Good luck and happy searching!

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Posted by Ellis Team – Keller Williams Realty Fort Myers & The Islands on Monday, February 23, 2015

There are several indicators to judge the real estate market in SW Florida.  A few of the things we look at are Inventory levels, pending sales, closed sales, and price changes. Real estate inventory levels grow in SW Florida.

Real Estate Inventory Levels Grow in SW Florida

A neutral market is considered to be 5.5 months.  When we last calculated month’s supply of inventory back in December 2016 the overall market supply for single family homes was 5.65 months.  That number has grown to 6.29 months.  That’s still a healthy number, however it is growing.  This could be an indication of a shifting market.

Market shifts are entirely normal.  They are as guaranteed as the weather changing, so it’s nothing agents fret about one way or the other.  Experienced agents are accustomed to dealing in shifting markets.  The way you market and sell does change as the market changes.  In fact, just last September the average supply was 5.07 months.  We warned months ago we’d be keeping an eye on these numbers to see if the trend continues.

Real Estate Inventory Levels Grow in SW Florida

Since September we’ve seen an increase of more than 1 month supply of homes on the market.  Because this index includes active listings plus pending sales with contingencies, we won’t get too excited because we have many pending from season that may close and help bring these numbers up.

So, what’s the take-away from these numbers?  Sellers have increased competition from other sellers.  The buyer is not your enemy.  Other sellers are.  Increasing inventory supply puts a damper on price increases.  At some point, it can stall price gains altogether.

It also pays to know where your home stands in the food chain.  For those that have a million dollar plus home, you realize there is almost a year and a half supply of competing homes on the market.  If your motivation is to sell, you have to price your home to best compete against all those other homes.

If you have a home in the $300,000-$400,000 range, you too need to watch the market as your price range is above the average.  Homes, $300,000 or less, are doing better than the overall market as there are more buyers fighting to purchase these homes.  Not everyone qualifies for the higher priced homes.

When bringing a home to the market you must ask yourself, what is your motivation?  Where are you going when you sell, and when would you like to accomplish this?  Look up your home’s price in the chart and evaluate it objectively.  Pretend you’re a buyer.  Would you buy your home right now for the price you’re asking?

Hire the Best Agent

If you don’t like the category your home is in, it’s imperative that you hire the best agent who has experience working in a shifting market, and brings serious marketing for your home.  The more buyers who are exposed to your home, the more your home will fetch at the sale.  In some cases, it may be the difference of selling at all.

The other thing you must do is price it correctly.  Your number can’t be what you’d like to get, or what you need to get.  It has to be what the market will bear.  The market has no sympathy.  It doesn’t care if your home is your retirement nest egg, or you owe a lot on it.  The market sizes up all the homes for sale and ranks each one.  The home’s that show the most value relative to their price sell.  Even if a home is super nice, if it is overpriced relative to its value, it will sit.

Think of a pro football player.  A team only has so much money to spend.  They have a budget.  If there is an all-pro quarterback available in the free agent market whose value is $10 Million per year, but he wants $30 Million because he’s special will a team pay it?  Probably not if they can get another all-pro quarterback in the $10 Million dollar range.  They’ll save that $20 Million and spend it on other players they need to fill out the team.  Tony Romo just retired because his value dropped.  He wants top money and while teams would love to have him as a backup, he’s not the franchise player anymore.  It’s sad, but it’s reality.

It doesn’t matter how nice a home is or what it has in it.  If you overprice it relative to the market, it won’t sell.  You can search the MLS like a pro for free at www.LeeCountyOnline.com Please call the Ellis Team 239-489-4042.  We’ll help you price it fairly, and market it aggressively.

Ellis Team Weekend Open House

Sunday 1-4 PM

Big Changes to Real Estate Sales Contracts Gulf Access Waterfront Pool Home
Gulf Access Waterfront Home

1516 SW 43rd St Cape Coral

Pool Home

3 Bedrooms, 3 Baths

$560,000

April 4, 2017 marks a big day in the real estate industry and we hope brokers, agents, buyers, and sellers are up on the changes.  There are big changes to real estate sales contracts, notably the financing clause that will change the way contracts are negotiated and processed.

Big Changes Coming to Real Estate Sales Contracts

In the past, most finance contingency contracts had a clause that said buyer had a certain number of days to obtain a loan commitment.  Lenders rarely use the commitment word any more, so it was changed to loan approval.

Big Changes to Real Estate Sales Contracts

Something else changed as well.  The buyer now has 30 days standard to obtain financing.  If they do not obtain it, they should notify seller or seller’s agent in writing because seller can cancel the contract.  If buyer fails to request an extension or terminate the contract, it is assumed they have loan approval and their escrow deposit could be in jeopardy.  I am writing this article prior to the April 4th unveiling, so we haven’t seen the entire clause yet.  There has been a flurry of activity on Realtor websites informing agents of the upcoming changes, so hopefully agents are aware.

We are not attorneys and we are certainly not giving legal advice.  Readers should be aware that there are big changes to real estate sales contracts in Florida and pay attention to timelines.

The agent you choose to work with as a buyer or seller will become even more important than it has in the past.  Not only will your agent need to be aware of these changes, they’ll also need to have systems and assistants to track and monitor timelines, and communicate with your lender.  A buyer can put themselves in legal jeopardy by simply not adhering to deadlines or communicating in writing as to the progress of the loan.

Hire a Full-Time Agent

Hiring a full-time agent is more necessary now than ever.  Part-time agents cannot keep up on market changes and inventory, nor have the skill, expertise, experience, and systems to keep up with contract changes that can place your escrow deposit in harm’s way.  We suggest you take a hard look at the agent you’re going to work with and ask questions about their knowledge of these contract changes and what systems they have in place.

Keep in mind, ultimately, it’s your responsibility.  You’re the buyer.  It’s your money.  You could lose the house and/or your escrow deposit by failing to timely communicate the process of your loan.

This may affect buyers in other ways too.  Let’s say a seller finds a buyer willing to pay more for the home.  The seller does not have to extend the financing clause if the buyer cannot obtain in the specified days.  If the seller has received no notification at all, the seller can cancel the contract within a 3-day window period after the buyer’s Loan Approval period has expired.

The seller seems to have picked up some rights and the buyer now has more responsibility to notify the seller about the loan process.  This places more responsibility on the lender you choose because now timelines are more important than ever.

Choose the Right Lender

Our team works with several lenders.  We work with lenders who not only offer great rates but also are known for service and meeting timeline commitments.  Interviewing lenders and evaluating their performance reputation will now be more important than ever.  Each buyer’s situation is different. Talk with a lender who has experience with the type of loan you’re going for and a track record of working with buyers with similar income and circumstances as yours.

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in SW Florida, always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty.  Knowledge and experience matters more than ever and we can refer you to lenders who can get the job done.  If you’re a seller, it pays to work with an agent who understands the market, has the muscle to market your home, and can help you evaluate which buyer’s offer is the best one to take.  You don’t have to accept an offer simply because it’s the only one you’ve got. Don’t forget our Free MLS search site www.LeeCountyOnline.com

Call us 239-489-4042 and let’s talk.

Ellis Team Weekend Open House

Sunday 1-4 PM

Big Changes to Real Estate Sales Contracts Gulf Access Waterfront Pool Home
Gulf Access Waterfront Home

1516 SW 43rd St Cape Coral

Pool Home

3 Bedrooms, 3 Baths

$560,000

SW Florida real estate agents were expecting big numbers this real estate season, and so far, we’ve seen SW Florida home sales flat this season.  The real key going forward will be March and April numbers when they are released over the next two months.

SW Florida Home Sales Flat This Season

We have a crystal ball that tells us how sales numbers might come in.  Pending listings leads to closed sales.  While not all pending sales close, we can generally track future closings by the level of pendings.

Pending inventory is down 5%, so it’s logical to believe that we won’t see a major increase in future closings unless many more homes go pending at the end of March.

SW Florida Home Sales Flat This Season Summary

Inventory levels have risen 6.1% from last year and month’s supply of inventory has risen 11.1%  While SW Florida is a large and diverse market, overall this tells us the market has cooled a bit as inventory is growing with fewer pending home sales.

We can’t judge a book by its cover.  The cover may say we have a healthy, slightly cooling market, and that’s OK.  This book however has many chapters, and each chapter tells a different story.  Collectively all the chapters combined give us the overall figures.

Homes priced below $300,000 are on fire, and even many homes priced higher are receiving multiple offers.  We have a good market and demand from buyers.  Prices have risen steadily in recent years and there is a cap to this.

Home sellers many times price ahead of the market.  In a rising market, each new seller prices just higher than the last sold and it seems to work, until one day it doesn’t.  This tells us either the market is taking a pause, or the market has capped relative to the income typical buyers have to qualify for that bracket of home.

Rising rates also influence home affordability and can cap prices.  We’ve seen a few rate hikes by the Fed with more coming.  On balance, we have a healthy market and I like where we’re sitting.

SW Florida Home Sales Flat This Season

As in any market, it’s imperative to price your home where the buyers are.  In a shifting market advertising and marketing plays a larger role as well.  Full market exposure brings the highest possible price, so don’t settle for inexpensive or non-existent advertising.

If the agent you interview tells you advertising doesn’t sell homes, it’s probably because they don’t advertise homes much.  Perhaps they prefer to advertise their public image, or perhaps they just don’t have the budget to market listings.  In any event, it pays to interview agents that do advertise so you get full market exposure.

We’d be happy to sit down with you and cover all the ways we advertise homes.  You’d probably be surprised at the difference, and this might explain why certain agent’s homes sell faster and for more money than others.

If you’re a buyer, we can help too.  Our market knowledge and monthly market statistics help you make the best decision possible.  When competing in multiple offer situations you need an agent that knows how to help your offer compete.  If the chapter you’re looking in happens to be a cooling market, you don’t need to stretch too much and overpay.  Let a seasoned professional from the Ellis Team help you.

You can search the MLS like a pro.  Our database is updated every 5 minutes and contains the latest listings, price changes, and information you need to compete.  If you’re a seller, you should check it out too.

Always Call the Ellis Team at 239-489-4042 and ask how we can make your dreams become reality.  It pays to work with professionals that know the market.  If you think working with a professional is expensive, just wait until you hire an amateur.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Ellis Team Open House

Open House Saturday 1-4 PM

15047 Balmoral Loop

Gated Community

3 Bed 2 Bath Pool Home

$317,000

Rising mortgage rates motivates home buyers in position to buy to do so sooner rather than later.  In a rising rate environment like we are in right now, It costs home buyers in two ways.

First, their purchasing power goes down about 10-11%.  Let’s say a buyer picks out a home at their max budget of $1294/mo.  This is the figure their lender approved them for based upon their income of $51,765  Not long ago rates were at 3.625%  Today they are at 4.25% and according to Ruben Gonzalez, staff economist at Keller Williams, rates should gradually increase throughout 2017.

Rising Mortgage Rates Motivates Home Buyers

If they go up another .4% or so, we’ll have had a 1% increase in a relatively short period of time.  Nothing has changed for the buyer.  If they were maxed out for a home at $200,000 a few months ago, they are now maxed out at $180,000.  Their job didn’t change.  Their finances didn’t change.  The only thing the changed was interest rates, so they just lost 10% purchasing power by waiting.

Rising Mortgage Rates Motivates Home Buyers

If the selection of homes didn’t look enticing at $200,000, it will look even worse at $180,000.  Waiting may have just cost this buyer a chance to buy a home at all.

Secondly, if this buyer was not maxed out at $200,000, buying the same home will now cost about $50 more per month.  Over 30 years that equates to $18,000 in extra interest payments simply because rates went up.

Rates are still historically low.  Many people remember back to double digit rates or even worse.  To think that we’re even warning people about rates in the 4’s is comical, except for the fact that it’s real money.  Home prices are much more today than they were when rates were in the high teens.  So many things cost much more today, like gas, health care, groceries, etc. than they did decades ago.  Even though rates are low by historical standards, we now have to stretch that money further because everything else has gone up so much.

It’s hard for young people to scrimp and save money for a down payment.  Add in homeowner’s insurance, rising rates, and high costs of everything, and we see the pressure on first-time homebuyers today.  First-time home buyers are a springboard to move-up buyers, so if we eliminate first-timers we one day won’t have move up buyers.

Don’t think that rising rates only affect first-timers.  It affects all segments of the market.  It may help cash buyers in that rising rates pay greater returns on savings, but it still affects all price ranges as it trickles up sooner or later.

If you’re a seller, you’ll notice someday there are less buyers for your home than there once was simply because less qualify at the higher rates.  Less buyers can be a drag on home prices.  If rates keep rising it could take some steam out of the housing market.  If you’re waiting for higher prices later, you may be sorely disappointed if they don’t rise at the pace you’re expecting.

Many sellers replace their current home with another home, and if they’re getting a new mortgage on that home they may be in for some sticker shock when they get that new loan.  It can cost you buying your next home, and selling your existing home.  Rising rates are no fun for buyers or sellers.  Low rates are one of the factors that have propelled the real estate market.

We feel the SW Florida real estate market is fairly valued.  We don’t see risk of decline like we had back in 2005.  However, rising rates may damper future gains.  Even though wages may increase, rising rates may offset those gains and help keep prices steady instead of rapidly rising.  In other words, if you’re waiting to make a move, be warned.  Whether you’re a buyer or seller, the risks are the same.  It will cost you to wait!

Feel free to search the MLS like a pro at www.Leecountyonline.com for your next home, or just get an idea of what homes are selling for.  To talk with a real Pro, Always call the Ellis Team at 239-489-4042  We’ll advise you so you can make a great decision for your family.

Don’t panic if your home hasn’t sold yet.  There’s still time.  Besides, season isn’t the only time homes sell in SW Florida.  Years ago, home sales peaked in the summer.  The last few years they’ve been higher in season and just after season as it takes a while to close a home once it goes pending.

Don’t Panic if Your Home Hasn’t Sold Yet

As you can see, closings tail off after June but there are still sales.  There are more eyeballs here in season so there is more potential however some are just lookers exploring opportunities for years in the future.  If you have a home you’d like to sell and it’s not selling, we offer some tips on getting it sold now.

  1. Hire the best Realtor you can find.  You want one with pro-active marketing.  One that advertises where the buyers are.  Targeted online advertising is a must these days.  If the agent you interview doesn’t understand this, keep shopping.
  2. Stage your home. No, you don’t have to hire a professional stager.  You do have to follow some simple guidelines.  Consulting with a Realtor or stager knowledgeable in bringing a home to market so it shows its best will help.
  3. Professional photos are a must. With so many buyers shopping online, having bad photos will simply turn them off.  Hire an agent that either hires a photographer or one that takes great photos and has a graphics design department touch up each photo.
  4. Fix repair items. Buyers imagine problems ten times worse than they really are.  Fixing a few simple items will go a long way to getting that contract.
  5. Make home easily available to show.  Nothing turns off a busy Realtor more than making your home hard to show.  Things like 24 or 48 hour notice reduce showings significantly.  Place your home on lockbox and allow your Realtor easy access and watch your showings multiply.
  6. Curb Appeal-Look at your home and see how it compares to the neighborhood. Does your home need paint, landscaping, or de-cluttering on the outside?  If so, an investment here can increase showings.
  7. Talk to your neighbors. If a neighbor has an un-kept yard or a boat in the yard, chances are it will affect the value of your home.  Sometimes working out a deal with the neighbor can pay big dividends.  If that doesn’t work, consider code-enforcement or the HOA.  No buyer wants to come in and inherit a mess of a neighbor.
  8. Price it Right. Don’t price it by what you need out of it. Price it as if you were a buyer.  Would you buy your property at your price?  If you over-price your home, you’re essentially buying back your property for the price you’re offering.  Being overzealous leads to you keeping your home because you value it more than the public does.  If that’s the case, maybe you’re not ready to move yet emotionally or financially.  If you really want to move, you can’t love your home more than the market does.  Price it at today’s market value and move on to your next home.
  9. Be gone for showings.  Nothing hampers a potential home sale more than a seller sticking around trying to help.  Buyers extract motivations and information from sellers that can only hurt.  As a seller, you don’t know what’s important to that buyer and saying the wrong thing can lose the sale.  Be gone if possible, or be invisible if not.  Let your Realtor answer any questions. If you don’t trust your Realtor to do this, then you’ve hired the wrong Realtor.  If no Realtor will ever be as good as you, then the Realtor accepted the wrong client.

You can always search for your next home at www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It’s updated every 5 minutes and it has the best photos available from MLS.  If you’d like to talk to experienced agents who know how to get homes sold, always call the Ellis Team at 239-489-4042.  We’d love to help you make your next move!

Ellis Team Open Houses

Gorgeous Pool and Spa

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

15830 Beachcomber Ave  $360,000

 

4 Bed 3 Bath Pool Home on Lake

Reflection Lakes

13795 Bald Cypress Cir    $420,000

 

Pool Home on Golf Course

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

Olde Hickory

14381 Hickory Fairway Ct    $450,000

 

Pool Home Close to Beaches

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

Iona Area

15271 Thornton Rd   $290,000

 

 

It’s that time of year again folks.  SW Florida home sellers begin reducing prices as season drags on.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  In season, homes fly off the shelves, but not all homes.  Each year some sellers get greedy and hope that an out of town buyer will overpay for their home because they just love it so much.  What’s different this year is that inventory levels are higher and the monthly supply of inventory has grown. Market data shows price decreases amid growing inventory.

Market Data Shows Price Decreases Amid Growing Inventory
SW Florida Market Watch

Motivated sellers are finding out that they cannot overprice a home and expect it to sell.  It’s been a seller’s market in years past.  This year it’s more of a balanced market.  We have perhaps one of the healthiest markets we’ve had in a decade.  By that we mean neither seller nor buy has an advantage.

When the market shifts like this it’s an opportunity for educated sellers to use their knowledge and jump ahead of other sellers before they figure out what’s going on.  It’s not that hard to do.  Many sellers are reluctant to hear the truth, so they tell themselves the market is better than it is.  They study neighbors asking prices and add some more simply because their home is nicer.  Never mind the fact their neighbor’s home has been on the market for over a year.  They judge their competition by asking prices instead of sold prices.

Market Data Shows Price Decreases Amid Growing Inventory Listings
Listing Inventory

The educated seller looks at other sellers who have won the home selling game.  It’s kind of like asking a group of fishermen how the fish are biting today.  You wouldn’t ask the ones going out in the morning who haven’t caught anything yet.  If you truly want to know how they’re biting, you’d ask the ones coming in at end of day with fish in their boat.

Market Data Shows Price Decreases Amid Growing Inventory Months Supply
Month’s Supply Inventory

The same is true with the real estate market.  We must look at actual sold data and compare to the subject property.  And we should look at what the conditions were at the time of those sales versus today.  If a home sold 5 months go back when we had less inventory to compete with we may have to discount that a bit now that we’re competing with many more homes.  We must take all conditions into account.  Otherwise we may misjudge the market, and that only hurts the seller in the long run.  Sure, they’ll feel better about themselves for a month or so until they realize the price they thought their home was worth was just pie in the sky.

Sellers may blame the market. They may even blame their Realtor for not selling it.  We’ve been through shifting markets before.  Many times, we’d call a seller and talk to them about market conditions.  Some just do not want to hear they need to reduce their price.  No Realtor enjoys that conversation anyway, but ignoring changing conditions can be at your own peril.

We have a good market right now.  Chances are if your home hasn’t sold yet it’s due for a pricing checkup.  Marketing becomes more important as inventory grows.  Pricing is equally important.  It could just be that you were a little too aggressive initially and re-positioning your home in the marketplace could do the trick.  As you can see, a lot of sellers are selling, and the one’s that aren’t are reducing their price.

If you need to get your home sold, call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams for expert pricing and marketing 239-489-4042.  If you’d like to shop and educate yourself online first, go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It has all the listings and it’s updated every 5 minutes.  No more looking at homes that sold months ago, or old prices.

If you’re looking to buy or sell, our team can help!  We make the process easy and we handle all the details.  Let us help you with your next SW Florida transaction.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Everybody knows fish tend to swim in schools.  The same is true with buyers.  93% of buyers search online, so knowing where they are and how to reach them is integral today. Targeted marketing attracts schools of online buyers.

This past month we’ve held some open houses.  We had one 3 weeks ago and 45 people showed up.  Last week we held one and 40 people showed up.  The lender who agreed to sit with us and help pre-qualify buyers who might need assistance was amazed.  He said he’d never seen anything like it.  He went to 6 open houses last weekend and none had that kind of traffic but ours.

Targeted Marketing Attracts Schools of Online Buyers
Last Week’s Open House Ad Online

We’ve developed a particular set of skills that finds specific buyers and brings them to your door.  We are targeting buyers, and they love it.  We asked each buyer who came through how they found us.  Many said the open house popped up on their phone, while others said they saw it online.  Were they mad they saw one of our ads?  Heck no, they were glad, and they acted and showed up.

In any advertising, you must target the right people, with the right message, at the right time.  If you fail at any of the three, you’re missing opportunities.  It’s not about how much you spend.  While it is true we spend more than other agents, spending alone won’t bring buyers.

There is blanket advertising and targeted advertising.  Advertising in the Super Bowl might cost $5 Million and blanket the US.  Sure it would attract attention for about a minute.  Targeted advertising hits the right audience, when they’re ready to purchase, with the right message.

First you must have a great page to send them to.  It must have compelling content, and either a call to action or a benefit to going there.  You can see from last week’s online ad there is compelling content with photos if you’re a buyer looking for such a home.  Our open houses generated 1,355 views of our two properties.

Targeted Marketing Attracts Schools of Online Buyers

Secondly, we chose buyers looking to purchase with the exact interests of each home.  We separated the buyers into different audiences so we could tailor each creative ad to each set of buyers.  We ran ads to 5 separate groups, and each group performed well.   Our Click-thru rate was over 15%.  This means that over 15% of people that saw the ad clicked on the ad.  The ad itself was engaging and was worth customers spending their time on.  The industry average is less than 2%.

Targeted Marketing Attracts Schools of Online Buyers Ad Performance
Ad Performance

Targeting worked.  I’ve heard people say they don’t like targeting.  We also put up open house signs on the road.  Those signs target people driving by.  Newspaper ads target readers for products and services.  Online ads are no different.  In fact, most people like it better because hey get to see ads for things they like or are interested in.

This is one reason why For Sale By Owners stand little chance of selling their own home.  They’re not reaching the whole market, and when you limit your market you limit the price you’ll get.  Imagine selling an item at an online auction.  If you have one bidder, you’ll get a certain amount.  What if you had 1,000 bidders?  Do you think you’d get a better price?

All Realtors are not the same.  It makes a difference which Realtor you hire.  We use both blanket marketing like newspaper, video, postcards, etc as well as online targeted ads on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, and more.  We corner the market.  Hiring the wrong Realtor could cost you thousands!

Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams 239-489-4042 to get your home sold fast and for top dollar, or visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com

By the way, we have two open houses this weekend in Reflection Lakes.  See our ad in News Press Homefinder, or find them at www.Facebook.com/Ellisteam

Good luck and Happy Home Selling!

Ellis Team Open Houses

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

Reflection Lakes Condo

13971 Lake Mahogany Dr #2623

Reflection Lakes  $215,000

Affordable Living in SW Florida

 

Reflection Lakes Pool Home

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

13624 Gulf Breeze St   Pool Home  $275,000

Brought to you by your Reflection Lakes Experts

2017 SW Florida State of the Market Report

From time to time we go on listing appointments whereby the seller doesn’t like their current market value, so they decide to wait until the market goes up to sell.  Waiting for market increase could cost you money.

3 Reasons Sellers Overprice Homes

We know why sellers overprice their home. It’s always one of three reasons.  Need, greed, or ego.  We all know the market doesn’t care what a seller needs to sell for, nor does it care how much a seller would like to get for the home.  This brings us to ego.  Some sellers want to sell at a certain price because they don’t want to lose money.  You might think this is greed, but it’s actually ego.  It’s an ego thing to hold out for break-even or better.  It feels good to tell people, or yourself, that you didn’t lose money.  If anything, you made money.

Sometimes ego can get in the way of a sound financial decision.  First, you’re not guaranteed to make money on every deal, and it’s not your fault.  The market can change, the economy can change, and demographics can change.  All are beyond your control.  You win some, you lose some.  And nobody else really cares how you did except yourself.

So if we’re into convincing ourselves what the best decision is, let’s look at the whole picture.  I took a real-life scenario and broke it down.  At the end, you can answer what the best decision is.

Waiting For Market Increase Could Cost You Money

Seller has a home that’s worth $400,000.  He really wants to sell for $420,000.  He knows it’s 5% above the market and home won’t appraise, so he figures he’s better off waiting until next year to get his money.  Is he better off though?

Waiting For Market Increase Could Cost You Money

The seller’s home is 12 years old.  At some point it will need a new roof, air conditioner, water heater, pool pump, etc.  This seller owes $350,000.  The principal and interest payment is $1,670.95/mo.  Additionally, they pay $4,000/yr in taxes, $2,000/yr in homeowners insurance, $500/yr flood insurance, and $3,600 yr in HOA fees.

The seller is waiting until the home goes up $20,000 in value.  Let’s say it takes a year.  In one year’s time this seller just incurred $30,151 in expenses. This does not include the yard, utilities, budgeted maintenance for things like a roof, AC, pool pump, paint, water heater, etc.  If anything breaks down it’s in addition to the $30,151.  If the seller waits a year, he actually loses $10,151 waiting for that extra $20,000.  Sure, his mortgage balance might be slightly lower than next year, but his cost of sale will be higher too (doc stamps, title insurance, etc. )

And there is no guarantee this home will be worth more next year.  In that case it would really cost the seller.  There is one more cost to think about as well.

Unless the seller already owns their next home they have to replace the current one.  If their home goes up 5%, it’s logical to assume their next home may go up about 5% too.  So did they really save anything?

And even if they already own their next home, did paying taxes on two properties and all the costs save them?  Definitely not.  So next time you’re forced with a decision on price, ask yourself this question.  Is my motivation based upon need, greed, or ego?  If the answer is yes to any one of these, calculate the cost of keeping your home versus the expected gain and evaluate.  Often the best answer will be to sell now, in which case you’ll have to decide what your bigger need is, a sound financial decision or a happy ego.

Talk to Your Ego

An ego doesn’t know any better.  It’s based upon the information you give it.  If you tell your ego you’ve come to a logical decision based upon facts, your ego will surprise you and reward you.

If you’d like to talk to us about your options, we’re here to help.  239-489-4042  If you’d like to surf for your next home, or get an idea of what nearby homes are selling for try www.LeeCountyOnline.com

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!  Always call the Ellis Team!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Golfer’s Dream – Low Golf Fees

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

14381 Hickory Fairway Ct

Olde Hickory   $465,000

4 Bed 3 Bath- 3 Car Garage on Lake  2,647 SQ Ft

 

Pool Home Close to Fort Myers Beach

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

15271 Thornton Rd

Iona Area  $300,000

3 Bed, 2 Bath- 2 Car Garage Pool Home

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