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!

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11807 Bayport Ln #202

Avalon Preserve

2 Bed 2 Bath 2 Car Garage

$195,000

Gated Community

 

 

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.

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

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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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.

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

1516 SW 43rd St Cape Coral

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$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!

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Open House Saturday 1-4 PM

15047 Balmoral Loop

Gated Community

3 Bed 2 Bath Pool Home

$317,000

Official January 2016 real estate sales numbers are in for SW Florida and as expected single family home sales fell 5.5% Condo sales were down 7% from last year.

January 2016 Real Estate Sales Numbers Are In Home Prices SW Florida

Median sales prices were up 22.6% over last year; however they were only up .87% over last month.  We did see a big jump in mean average sale prices in January, going from $280,186 in 2015 to $427,536 in January 2016.  That’s a 52.6% jump.  One reason we don’t use the mean average is because one large sale can skew the numbers.

Pending inventory fell 13.6%.  Some say it is because we have fewer inventories to sell while others suggest the market may be taking a breather and leveling off.  Now that the stock market has recovered some and oil has rebounded off its lows, maybe we’ll have a sense of stability going forward.

January 2016 Real Estate Sales Numbers Are In Singe Family Homes Sold

Of course we have that election thing hanging out there and I think everyone can agree this election cycle is like nothing we’ve ever seen before.  If uncertainty creates confusion, we’ve got it in this election process.

Within the next few months perhaps the economy’s future will come into focus and people can start planning where they want to go with their real estate desires.  So many in SW Florida have options now that their mortgage has paid down and prices have risen.  Many feel like they’re no longer in jail and are free to explore their options.

We’ve seen an increase in local homeowners considering a move.  They need to properly value the current home they have and see what improvements or repairs are needed to make it most sellable.  They also want to know what they can buy if they do sell.

Our website www.LeeCountyOnline.com is great for both because you can search all the listings available for sell, as well as see sold and pending data in your neighborhood via the Market Reports section on our site.  There is even a button to receive an online computerized valuation of your home.

Deciding whether to sell a home and buy another home is like putting together a puzzle.  All the pieces have to fit, and when they do you have to decide if you like the finished puzzle.  There is no substitute for meeting with a professional Realtor who understands this process.  However, if you just want to turn all the pieces over and begin putting the corners and edges together first, our website is an excellent place to start.

If you’d like advice from a professional, give us a call.  239-489-4042 We’re friendly and never pushy.  We simply present you with your options and let you decide what’s best for you.  If you do decide to make a move, you’re not going it alone as you have someone by your side advising you and helping you with the process.  We turn a complicated process into a smooth transition for you and your family.

And we help you avoid some costly mistakes.  Please call, we’d love to help you.  We’re the name you know and the people you trust.  Always call the Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group. 239-489-4042

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2110 SW 13th St Cape Coral