Some agents say the number of home sales is up.  Some say it’s down.  The data show 2017 SW Florida home sales trending between 2015-2016 levels.  As you can tell by the chart, home sales fell off the 2nd half of the year the past two years.  Home sellers wishing to sell now might get a little nervous reading this chart, but don’t be.

In fact, this can be good news for home sellers.  We’ll let you in on a little secret.  There were 2,001 fewer listings last August than there were this February.  Some sellers make the decision to sell in season because an agent told them there were more home sales in season.

2017 SW Florida Home Sales Trending Between 2015-2016 Levels Homes Closed

It’s true, there were more home sales in season.  However, there were more homes to sell too.  When inventory goes down home sales go down.  Not because there isn’t demand, but rather because product isn’t there to sell.

If you’re a home seller contemplating selling, the end of summer and fall can be an excellent time because you’ll have less competition from other sellers.

2017 SW Florida Home Sales Trending Between 2015-2016 Levels Median Sales Prices

The median sales price is up 7.6% in June over last year, and the average sales price was up 6.1%. Not too shabby.  You can wait until season to sell your home, and there might be more lookers for your home.  There will also be more competition from other sellers for those lookers.

We’re seeing new construction coming in and competing now too, which is good in a way for sellers because many local sellers don’t want to sell until they know where they’re going.  Local sellers just couldn’t find an appropriate home to move into even though they’d like to make a move.

We can help with that.  Our team knows about several new communities and builders the public doesn’t always know about.  Why?  Because builders don’t advertise like they used to, so buyers don’t know where to find them.

Even when buyers do stumble on a builder or new community they don’t know if it’s a good deal.  That’s where a professional agent comes in.  Builders advertise to agents because they know we can bring in repeat business.  We find out about deals and incentives the public doesn’t hear about.

If you’re looking to make a move but you don’t know where, a free consultation with a friendly and informative Ellis Team agent might just do the trick.  We can show you how much we can sell your home for and what you would net out after sale paying all expenses and mortgages.  We can then calculate how much you’ll have to put down on the next home, and what you can buy for a similar payment.

Perhaps you’ve had a promotion, or perhaps a loss in income and you’d like to downsize.  Either way, you want a great home for the value.  We can help with that.

If you’d like to take your time and search on your own, try out www.LeeCountyOnline.com.  You can search all the homes for free and even find out what your home is worth.  If you’d like to sit down and talk to us, you can call us at 239-489-4042.  Brett and Sande are easy to talk to and we like to answer questions and solve issues.

We know buying and selling isn’t always as simple as picking up the phone and going shopping.  There are many factors to consider, and timing it all can be important.  We’re patient and helpful.  If you’d like to discuss your options, we’d love to talk.   Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty!  We’re here to help.

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By the time you read this article Thanksgiving will be a distant memory as attention turns to holiday shopping, upcoming family get togethers, office parties, etc.  We thought it might be an appropriate time to give thanks in SW Florida before the holiday rush.

Give Thanks in SW Florida

Give Thanks in SW Florida

I’m thankful the election is over.  I was over it months ago really and Election Day couldn’t get here soon enough.  Now that the election is over, we can reflect on what the results might mean for our real estate market.

Interest rates are rising.  This was the case regardless of who was elected president, so we have some headwind there that doesn’t help.  However, rates are still very low and shouldn’t pose a big problem anytime soon.

We are hopeful parts of Dodd-Frank will be repealed.  This would help the financing market as onerous regulations have made lenders cautious about lending.  The finance industry was to loose before the run-up and they’ve been too tight since.

Appraisal regulations are terrible.  We’d like to see these revamped as they don’t serve the buyers or the banks well.  They’re forcing buyers to lose homes to cash buyers or put more money down when the home doesn’t appraise.  It’s a shame because if the buyer loses out because the home doesn’t appraise and a cash buyer comes in and pays what the previous buyer contracted to pay, it proves the home was really worth it.  New regulations within the last few years prevent appraisers from reaching actual value, especially on homes that are highest in the neighborhood.  Just because there are not comps at that higher price doesn’t mean home isn’t worth it.  It just means a home that size perhaps hadn’t come on the market until now.

We’re already hearing Apple and Ford may build products in the US that were previously slated to be built out of the country.  This is good news.  We need manufacturing jobs to come back to the US.  Lowering corporate income taxes raises the tax base as more companies do business here, and they hire US job seekers versus lower paying jobs somewhere else.  It’s a win-win for the US.  More jobs mean a healthier real estate market.

We’d like to see the Affordable Care Act reworked so the coverage is actually affordable.  We talk to buyers who cannot afford to purchase a home because health care costs have gone up so much.  The Affordable Care Act didn’t do much to contain costs, only premiums on those that qualify for subsidies.  This didn’t address the problem.  We need to control costs, deliver a better product, and make it affordable to more people.  It is our hope that the president and congress can work together to solve this issue.

Right now many employers will not hire full-time workers.  Some small businesses cannot afford to pay under Obama Care either, so it’s a double-whammy.  Repealing and replacing that law could fix this and allow businesses to hire full-time people, which will help the economy and real estate markets across the country.

We’re not here to argue who would have made a better president, or whether the popular vote or Electoral College is best.  Now that we have a president, our focus is on what we can do to get the economy going again.  We’ve basically had free money for the last 8 years and that didn’t help like you would think.  Change is required, and change is on the way.

We think we have the potential to kick-start this real estate market.  It will only happen if the economy takes off.  Be thankful change is coming, and let’s all hope and pray that change will kick-start this economy.

You can search our website at www.LeeCountyOnline.com for some great bargains in SW Florida.  You can also find out what your home is worth online for Free!  If you’d like to talk to us, we can be reached at 239-489-4042

Don’t forget about our Ready For a Yeti promotion.  Enter to win a Yeti cooler.  Details available on our Ellis Team Facebook Page

SW Florida Real Estate Market Update December 2016

For months we’ve been telling sellers it may cost them to wait when selling their home.  This is true for a variety of reasons, but the two most important are when you sell, chances are the home you’ll purchase to replace your current home is also increasing in value, and because rising rates affects your buyer and your next loan too if you’re getting one.

That’s not the purpose of this article though.  While sellers wait for the absolute highest prices on their home, they should keep in mind that prices won’t rise 12% per year forever.  We’re predicting another good season.  Inventory is low, rates are still pretty low, and demand is high.  However, demand begins to fall off at certain prices.  So we ask the question, has a seller slowdown begun in SW Florida?  Let’s take a deeper look.

If you look at the graphs, you’ll notice that typically home prices peek around April each year and again in June.  Many times June is even better than April.  This year, we saw the peak in April but didn’t see the 2nd peak in June.

Has a Seller Slowdown Begun in SW Florida

Furthermore, homes closed in SW Florida usually peaks around May, and then we see some strength in July-August, albeit not quite at May levels.  This year August numbers fell off.  This could be due to lower inventory levels, but it could also be the start of a trend.

Has a Seller Slowdown Begun in SW Florida

We’re cautious not to read too much into any one month period, and moving forward this will be especially true as new Federal lending and closing guidelines will extend financed closings out longer.

Cash sales in August for single family homes were 37.4%.  This was a 20% decline from the previous year.  This is good news as financing has helped push prices higher.  We always said this market will not be fully healed until financing and capital comes back into the market.  We have that now, but with that come appraisal issues and closing delays.

We think we’ve got an excellent market.  Buyers are shopping though and are price sensitive.  Even with low inventory, if a property is over-priced buyers are sitting on the sidelines.

October begins the start of Season.  Last year we saw an uptick in buyer activity in October.  It used to be said Season was January-April but it’s started earlier.  We think we’ll have another great season, but sellers may not want to wait much longer.  The graphs may be a sign of things to watch, or they could just be a temporary blip.

Some economists are talking about recession starting in 2018 while others are talking about the end of 2016..  Nobody can predict accurately when a market will bottom or when it will top, but looking back there are generally signs that foretold the future and they were ignored.  People tend to follow the herd and ignore signs because when it’s all good, they want to believe.  And when a market is near bottom, nobody wants to believe it’s over until they see proof.  Thus, people usually miss the top and the bottom because they wait until they see the change on paper.  For this reason, most people will absolutely miss the top and the bottom unless they just get plain lucky.

Bottom line is we’ve got a great market.  Just don’t get too greedy and over-price your home.  Over-priced homes sit in any market, and you don’t want to look back and say I missed another boom market like 2006 simply because I got greedy again.

If you’d like to search the MLS, you can do so.  If you’re thinking of selling, it pays to talk to the Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group.  Our sellers net about $10,000 more than the average seller.  Call us and find out why. 239-489-4042

Good luck and happy house hunting!

Featured Property of the week!  102 Maple Ave S in Lehigh Acres FL

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Mortgage rates hit new lows for the year this past week as 30 year fixed rates averaged 3.97% The 15 year rate fell to 3.18%, and the 5-1 ARM sits at 2.92%

Mortgage Rates Hit New Lows

 

Mortgage Rates Hit New Lows

Forecasters have been prognosticating mortgage rates would begin to rise going into 2015 as the Fed tapers its bond buying program and most believe this is true.  However, we’ve heard fears of deflation and 10 year bond yields have fallen below 2%.  This is due to several factors including an economic slowdown in China, Europe, as well as fears of Ebola.  Ebola is one of those wildcards we’re thrown every once in awhile that makes it difficult to predict what will happen to the world economy.

Buyers are taking advantage of the dip in rates too as we listed and sold several homes this past week that sold in a day.  Buyers who have been shopping for any length of time are tired of getting beat out by other buyers for hot new properties that enter the market.

They’re also watching the interest rate market as a dip in rates means they can afford a larger mortgage with the same monthly payment with the new lower rates.  This is important in a rising price market like we have here in SW Florida.

When prices rise, it raises the monthly payment for a buyer if nothing else changes, or it drops them into a lower tier home if they cannot afford the higher payments.  Lower rates are a nice surprise, especially in a rising market.  Because home prices are expected to be higher next year than this year, and because rates are expected to be higher next year as well, it really pays to jump on that house when it hits the market and go after it hard.  Even if you overpay a little bit now, it can save you thousands in a few months when rates rise and prices rise.

At our team meeting this week our buyer specialists were talking about helping buyers in the $100,000-$120,000 range and how difficult it was for them as each home they were interested in had multiple offers.  Basically it’s come down to setting up alerts on the MLS and notifying our buyers instantly when a new home enters the market and writing an offer within hours.  Multiple offers are still a possibility, but it’s the only way these buyers are going to have a chance at landing a home.  They just can’t go higher and there is limited inventory.

This is happening in several price ranges.  We just had a home come on the market in the $450,000-$500,000 range and it went pending in one day and we have several more buyers begging for a call if anything happens on this transaction.  It’s good news for sellers and terribly frustrating for buyers.

Our advice is work with an agent who will study the market for you and guide you.  If what you’re looking for has limited inventory, jump on a new listing that fits your needs and will work for you, and is priced fairly in the market.  If it’s well overpriced you may not have to worry.  Some sellers are delusional even in a seller’s market and you just have to let those go.

However, the seller may not be as delusional as you might think in some cases.  If the property is unique or has something drawing you to it, chances are it may be drawing other buyers as well.  Views, extended lanais, or remodeled kitchens and baths might bring extra value.  You can’t just look at dollar per square foot.  Appraisers don’t work solely off that and neither should you.  Rather it’s best to make specific adjustments for certain items based on market conditions.

It pays to work with a Realtor that knows the market.  This is true buying or selling.  To search the MLS for free check  www.TopAgent.com  If we can help, please call us at 239-489-4042  Good luck and enjoy the interest rate break!

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!
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By Brett Ellis

RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907

239-489-4042

 

Aren’t all agents the same?  Isn’t it just a matter of posting my home on MLS and someone will sell it? Does It Matter Which Agent I Hire to Sell My Home?

These are common questions sellers have.  The answer is choosing an average agent could cost you thousands, and choosing the wrong agent could cost you even more.  You can be legally responsible for the actions of your agent, so choosing an experienced knowledgeable agent can make the difference between selling and not selling, or even a lawsuit.

Does It Matter Which Agent I Hire to Sell My Home

All agents do not work the same.  In fact, some agents don’t even work much.  Some agents treat real estate as a business and don’t have any other jobs.  Their sole income is derived from working with buyers and sellers.  Some agents even invest money into their business by advertising more, sending out mailers, online advertising, etc.  Sure, sometimes the broker pays for this and splits up the services amongst all their agents, and sometimes the agent pays for all this.

Some agents attend seminars out of town to learn from top agents throughout the country, and others stay home and listen to agents in their office complain.  Education is an investment back into the business that can pay dividends for your clients.

Some agents take their broker provided advertising and that’s really all they do, while others spend their own money and really promote their listings.  Some agents hire assistants to help out with tasks that could bog a busy person down freeing their time up to close more sales while some agents spend time doing tasks that are not a productive use of their time.

Some agents get a better price for their sellers’ homes because they are better negotiators, and because they expose the home to more buyers.  Some agents over-price homes just to get the listing ensuring the property sells for a lower price later on versus a higher price sooner into the listing.  Sometimes the over-priced home doesn’t sell at all.

Often times we generate multiple buyers for a property.  Choosing the best offer usually takes an experienced agent to evaluate all the fine details of the offer and read into the situation.  Wisdom and experience are invaluable at this stage.  Less experienced agents many times accept the highest price without regards to whether the buyer can actually close and what pitfalls might be involved rather than asking questions and perhaps countering the stronger buyer.

When asked the following question “Can hiring the wrong agent cost a seller money?” I think it was Shakespeare who replied “Let me count the ways!”  OK, so maybe Shakespeare didn’t answer that question but if he did that answer would have made sense.

There is a big difference between the skills of agents, and there is a remarkable difference in the ways agents present homes to the public.  I remember sitting through a class taught to Realtors on how to convince sellers that advertising doesn’t sell homes.  Today I came across a website by a local broker and he was stating those same reasons on how advertising won’t sell your home, presumably because he doesn’t invest much in advertising.

We’re currently tracking dozens of sellers who listed with less experienced agents, sometimes at inflated prices, and their homes are still on the market.  They’re locked into listing agreements and they regret their choice.  The time to really ask questions is upfront, and make sure you ask probing questions to seek answers, not to hear what you want to hear.

Everyone likes to choose people based upon who makes them feel good, but in real estate feeling good is best defined at the closing table, not who lists the home at the highest price or tells you what you want to hear.

If you list your home and go to the bother of keeping it clean so people can march through your home at anytime wouldn’t it make sense to work with someone who can shorten that process and get you top dollar, not bottom dollar after the market has rejected your home because it was over-priced?

If you have a home to sell, give us a call.  We’ll give you the facts so you can decide, and we’ll get your home sold for top dollar!  Not Peter Pan money, but real money!

If you’re considering buying or selling in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Estero, Ft Myers Beach or anywhere in Lee County Florida, give us a call. 239-489-4042 or visit our website www.Topagent.com

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For the 3rd month in a row median sales prices increased in SW Florida.  Median sales prices are up 24.8% over last year so it’s safe to assume all properties in SW Florida are sky rocketing, right?  Not so fast.  Media prices county-wide are increasing, but that doesn’t mean every property is going up.

September 2013 Real Estate Sales Numbers Just Released for SW Florida

September 2013 Real Estate Sales Numbers Just Released for SW Florida

Average sales prices are coming down.  Since April the average sales price is down about $60,000.  So how can two sets of data tell two very different stories?  The answer is, they’re not telling two stories.

Average sales price is influenced by high end sales.  If there are several multi-million dollar sales it can skew the average up.  When using the median price, it really doesn’t.  Let’s say for example there are 10 sales of 5 million dollars+.  That’s at least $50 million in sales in just those 5 sales.  By using the average, that adds $50 million to the total number, but by using the median it just counts as 5 sales at the top.  Remember, median sales are the number in which half the sales occur at or below a certain price and the other half are at or above that price.  When we use average they all get thrown in together and divided by the total.

The average price is more seasonal because that’s when our high end buyers are visiting Florida and purchasing higher end homes.  This is why you’ll always see the peak of the average market around March-May.  They typically go to contract January through April and close March through May, sometimes even June.

Realtors like to use the median price because it’s more stable and less affected by a few sales.  Median prices have been fairly constant to the upside.  Even the median can have fluctuations if certain closings get delayed.  A government shutdown for instance could delay certain types of loans which would disrupt closings.  One year we had flood insurance coverage lapse and we couldn’t close until the program opened up again.

Speaking of government shutdown, the government is open since last time we wrote an article.  Yeah!!!!  Don’t hold your breath though as we might be right at it again in a few months.  November is shaping up to be a big month for the Ellis Team.  Let’s hope that’s indicative of the entire market.  Buyers have been particularly active in recent months.  October has been a good month too, but November is shaping up to be fantastic.

Inventory is on the upswing, which is good.  We need more inventory to sell.  We’ve even been going out to developers and builders looking over their inventory as sometimes we just don’t have much to sell in certain price points with certain features.

If you’re considering selling, now might be a good time to call us. 239-489-4042  We recently listed a home that was previously on the market but failed to sell with another Realtor.  We raised the price and marketed it using our advanced marketing system and it sold in 19 days.  If you price it correctly and market it where the buyers are, it should sell today.  Call us while prices are rising and before interest rates creep up next year.  Good luck and Happy Home Selling!

To search the MLS for properties go to www.TopAgent.com or give us a call at 239-489-4042     Good luck and Happy House Hunting!!!

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