Just released home buyer’s data suggests tough times for limited services brokers and for sale by owners. 94% of home buyers used a real estate agent in the home buying process.  Those same buyers also used the Internet as a tool to find their home 94% of the time as well.

How Buyers Found Their Home Tough Times For Limited Services Brokers

Limited Service brokers are brokers who provide limited services to sellers to sell their home, presumably for a reduced fee.  This is not what the typical home buyer is looking for.  If anything, they require increased services.  They become frustrated at people who cannot answer their questions; all their questions.

The typical home buyer searches for 10 weeks before making their purchase.  This is a big reason why buyers shy away from For Sale by Owners and limited service brokers.  When they stumble upon a home, they’re not ready to decide for a while.  And when they do become ready, they want someone to help them with all the details.

The most difficult steps for buyers who purchased was finding the right property (47%) paperwork (27%) understanding the process and steps (15%) mortgage (13%) saving for down payment (9%) and appraisal of the property (4%)

Warning for Real Estate Agents

What Buyers Want From Agents Tough Times For Limited Services Brokers

 

Your job is not to find the buyer their home. In fact, even though buyers predominantly use real estate agents to purchase their home, only 40% found the home they bought from the agent.  51% of buyers want help in selecting the “Right” home.  Buyers love to search on their own.  They do so on average 3 weeks before contacting an agent.  Even then they love searching on their own, but they get overwhelmed with all the choices.  They don’t necessarily need an agent to find the home.  They need help selecting the best home amongst the choices.

Sure, buyers love websites like www.LeeCountyOnline.com that gives them a competitive advantage over other websites.  However, being notified of that hot new listing before anybody else, or that property that came back on the market, or a recent price change won’t help until they’re ready.

Number of Weeks Searched Tough Times For Limited Services Brokers

This is when an agent shines, and this is what buyers look for.  They want someone that will be with them those next 7 weeks while they search, and the weeks after that to help them close.  They want an agent who has a great reputation, is trustworthy, and knows the market, in that order.

This report from Florida Realtors is 198 pages and is filled with every imaginable demographic, statistic, chart, and insight you can think of.  It truly helps real estate agents determine what buyers are looking for and how they go about finding and purchasing it.

The report also covers sellers and what they look for in an agent.  If you’re a seller and not sure you’re asking all the right questions, or covering all the right angles, we’d be happy to show you this report.  Did you know only 19% of home sellers use their previous agent?  64% of home sellers contacted 1 agent to sell their home, while 20% contacted 2, and 10% contacted 3. Page 194 has some particularly shocking information regarding how sellers perceived their home was marketed.

It’s shocking to us because the agent either did more than the seller realized, or they didn’t market to the standards that we do on the Ellis Team.

If you’re thinking of selling, please call Brett or Sande Ellis at 239-489-4042.  If you’re looking to purchase, our team can help, and we definitely provide what buyers are looking for in this report.  Or feel free to search our website www.LeeCountyOnline.com  We know you may not be ready today, and that’s OK.  It’s a process.  We’re here when you need us, and our website is here 24/7 even when you don’t.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Paramount at the Shores- Gulf Harbour

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

Heritage Cove

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

As sure as the sun comes up each day in Southwest Florida, two things are certain this time of year. Sellers consider placing their home on the market in January and November begins the Southwest Florida real estate agents year end ritual.  Real estate agents consider their career options.  It is predictable and certain.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Agents Year End Ritual

January 2016 saw an increase in listings of 20.34%.  This past January we saw a rise of 12.1%, and it’s not uncommon to see more in February as well.  Sellers must all decide “season” is the best time to put home on the market.  The smart sellers place their home on the market before season as they have less competition from other sellers.  There are lots of buyers out there right now and getting a jump-start on them can help sellers win the selling game before others come on market in a few months.

December is also the season when real estate agents decide if they’re going to stay in the business, join a team, or change brokerages.  People are surprised to learn that the average real estate agent completes less than 1 deal per year, and thousands of agents don’t do any deals throughout the year.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Agents Year End Ritual

Board dues and MLS fees are due December 31 and total $725.  That’s a lot of money if you’re selling less than 1 home per year.  Everybody thinks real estate is easy and fun, so they jump in thinking they’re going to make a fortune and get to see a lot of nice homes.  What they find is acquiring customers is costly and time consuming, and people are hard to work with when you don’t know the business.

Real estate customers need to be led.  They come to an agent with experience in solving problems and advising on their best move.  The fact is, they don’t come at all though unless you go out and prospect for them.  Advertising is expensive, and most people just aren’t financially capable of shelling out the kind of money it requires.

Are All Agents the Same?

Customers think all agents are the same and they’re just sitting around waiting for the phone call.  They’re quick to ask for commission reductions not knowing the agent they hired may not eat next week.  Customers just don’t see all the costs associated with the real estate business, and neither do agents, until it’s too late.

Agents are much like consumers.  They seek the lowest cost place to work thinking that if they control costs, more will fall to the bottom line.  For Sale By Owners have a similar belief.  The less you pay the more you’ll receive.  This isn’t true for sellers and it’s not true for agents either.

Real estate agents shop brokers for highest commission split, lowest desk fees, etc. Sounds a lot like sellers shopping for a Realtor sell their home.

If you’re a seller, you should check out your agent’s sales for the year.  Ask them if they’re considering moving brokerages, joining a team, or leaving the business altogether.  This might influence whether you hire them, wouldn’t it?

Agents will want to reflect on 2017.  Was it a good year?  Are you at the best place for you? If you had only a handful of sales or less, what could you do differently in 2018?

Real estate is a tough business.  There’s always room for great people.  I wish people did more homework before getting licensed, jumping in and selecting a place to work.  I wish buyers and sellers did more homework on selecting the right agent.

Experience Matters

Experience matters when you’re competing against other buyers and sellers.  It certainly matters how your agent advertises.  If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling, Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042  Or search online for Free at www.LeeCountyOnline.com  If you’re thinking of getting into the business, call Sande or Brett Ellis and we’ll talk about how you can succeed in real estate, and things to think about Before you make your decision.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Estero Country Living Perfect for RV or Boat Owners

Open House Sat 1-3 PM

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

Olde Hickory Golf Course Open Houses

 

 

Olde Hickory Home Open Sat 1-3 PM

14381 Old Hickory Fairway Ct

$430,000

2,647 SQ Ft Living Area

 

 

Olde Hickory Golf & Country Club Open House Sat 1-3 PM

9071 Old Hickory Cir

$375,000

3 Bedrooms, 3 Baths

 

 

Did you know the average Realtor in Southwest Florida sells less than one home per year?  When you combine that fact with the fact that some realtors sell 25, 50, or 100+ homes per year you begin to realize that a large percentage of Realtors sell no homes at all. When looking at recent data I discovered Southwest Florida Realtors outnumber home listings, by a lot.

I called the Royal Palm Coast Realtor Association which is the largest board.  It services Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Estero, the Islands, etc.  They told me they have about 7,000 current members.  This doesn’t include all the members from Bonita/Estero or Sanibel/Captiva.  It does include some of them because some of them are secondary members.

Southwest Florida Realtors Outnumber Home Listings

So, we know there are 7,000+ Realtors in just one Realtor Board in  Southwest Florida.  Currently there are 5,364 single family home listings in Southwest Florida as of May 2017.  That breaks down to each Realtor having .76 listings.   When you factor in that many top agents who sell a lot of property have 10-20 or more listings, you realize a lot of Realtors have no listings.

You might be saying, what about condos and townhomes?  Good point. There were 3,417 of those on the market in May.  You’re still looking at a lot of Realtors with no listings.

To sum it up, the average Realtor sells less than 1 home per year and many sell none.  The average Realtor doesn’t have a listing, or 1 at best.  So how is a Realtor supposed to gain experience?

A Realtor might consider joining an established team with a mentor, leads, and listings.  You can only gain experience by working on deals.  You will make mistakes, and those mistakes will cost your customer a closing, time, or money, and sometimes all three.  By having a team that guides you through the process you can avoid making costly mistakes due to inexperience.

You also will want to join a company with a fantastic training program.  It is mandatory for success.  Lastly, you must have that drive, that indomitable spirit.  When people tell you that you can’t, you know you can.  You must be driven.  You are a leader, either today or in the making.  It is in you.

If you’re a seller, you want an established agent with lots of experience.  Sellers want agents who have seen everything, or enough to see problems coming before they arise and know how to avoid them or dig their way out of the problem to a successful resolution.  If you’re hiring a newer agent to sell your home you definitely want to know they have taken extensive training and have a mentor helping them always.  Your agent must have leads for your home.  They must have a database of buyers ready, willing, and able to buy soon.  Your agent must have marketing to sell your home.  If they have no marketing, how did they acquire all these ready, willing, and able leads?  Marketing and qualified leads go together.

Top Dollar

Experience matters!  If you want Top Dollar, you need a Realtor with leads, marketing, systems, drive, determination, honesty – to tell you the truth, and experience to put your deal together and keep it together.

If you’re thinking of selling, we’d love to talk to you.  Always call the Ellis team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042  The Ellis Team was Voted Best Real Estate Team by News Press Readers.

Search the MLS for Free  You can also see what your home is worth and get neighborhood reports.  Best thing is database is updated every 5 minutes, and has all the homes.

Good luck and Happy House Selling/Buying!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

Kelly Greens Golf Community

12871 Kelly Sands Way

$250,000

1,797 SQ Ft

Corner Lot

Open Sunday 1-3 PM

Provincetown in South Fort Myers

3284 Prince Edward Island Cir Unit 1

Affordable living with garage

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

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

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

 

Don't panic of your home hasn't sold yet
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

 

 

One of the common question real estate agents get from sellers centers around a home’s Zestimate on Zillow. Deep down sellers know what homes are selling for in their neighborhood and how their home compares.  Often, they just want to try a much higher price simply because Zillow says their home is worth more.  We attempt to answer the question, Are Zillow home value zestimates purposely inflated?

The buzz amongst real estate agents is they can’t believe how far off many Zestimates are these days.  Agents laugh anytime the words Zillow and home values are mentioned in the same sentence because they know they’ll have to explain how inaccurate these things tend to be.

Last weekend I had a conversation with one of our sellers.  She brought up her Zillow Zestimate.    Within 15 minutes after that conversation I went outside to work in my yard and my next-door neighbor asked me about his Zestimate.  He noticed it went up over $100,000 last month and wondered if the real estate market was that good right now.

Zillow Home Value Zestimates Purposefully Inflated

Of course, his value didn’t change $100,000 last month.  Perhaps you’ve heard the story of Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff.  His home was valued at $1,750,405 on March 1, 2015.  The funny thing is, it sold 1 day earlier for $1,050,000.  That’s a difference of $700,405.  Put another way, Zillow was off over 40% on their CEO’s own home.

Are Zillow Home Value Zestimates Purposefully Inflated?

So is Zillow’s data that bad, or could there be another motive?  Let’s remember where Zillow gets its revenue. Zillow charges agents, property managers, and lenders to appear on their website.  They are gathering leads to sell to agents.  Some agents pay several thousand dollars per month for these leads.  Zillow takes MLS and public records data and assembles them and markets that data to the public in the hopes of attracting eyeballs to its site.

To increase revenue and charge more to agents, brokers, and lenders Zillow must increase visits to the site.  One way to do that is advertise more on the Internet and TV.  Another way is to change up the values frequently in hopes of getting repeat viewers to come back often and see what’s going on with their value.

We get it.  The market changes every day.  It doesn’t typically change $84,000 in one day.  So, either Zillow’s algorithm for calculating values is off, the underlying data are off, or they are trying to create a buzz by getting people to check back repeatedly.  In the news business, they call it Click Bait.  Click bait is when editors write a sensational headline to get readers to click on the article.  It could be fake news, doesn’t matter.  If the headline works, it attracts readers which ups the hit count.  The higher the hit count, the higher the advertising rates.  Most reputable news organizations don’t utilize this tactic.  They don’t have to because they have valuable content.  Tabloids on the other hand use this with perfection.

Agents are paying top dollar presumably for new leads not realizing Zillow is stoking the fire by attracting the same old leads repeatedly.  Consumers may be unaware that Zillow now has data on everyone who has checked their home value, and they are selling data like that.

Zillow Admits Errors

Zillow says that nationally their Zestimates are off by 7.9% on average.  That’s a lot!  However, in Seattle where their CEO’s former home is located, they claim to be more accurate at only 6.1% off.  Can we really trust their numbers when they were off over 40% on their own CEO’s home?

If you’re thinking of selling, we have an automated valuation tool that may be more accurate.    More importantly, we will never sell your info to other agents and brokers.  Why would we?  We want your business.  We’d love to earn your business.

If you’re thinking of selling, call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams 239-489-4042 Ext 4  Let us show you how we put more money in your pocket at closing than other Realtors and how we sell homes Fast!  And, we’ll show you what true Top Dollar is for your home so you can make accurate decisions.

We’re here to help.  Always ask for Sande Ellis or Brett Ellis.

Read about Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Statistics to be released tomorrow.

Paint the Town Red

This weekend is the Keller Williams Paint the Town Red Event.  We’ll have around 100 homes open in a single day.  It’s the single biggest open house event of the year.  Check back as we’ll be posting the addresses here.

Ellis Team Featured Open Houses

Sunday 1-4 PM

Ellis Team Open House

6180 Winkler Rd

 

 

 

 

 13624 Gulf Breeze St Reflection Lakes Pool Home
Ellis Team Open House

Each year we tell home sellers not to get too excited about showings until about mid-January.  Showings and contracts tend to increase as the month goes on and builds throughout season.  2017 however is different.  Southwest Florida home sales are heating up earlier than past years.  Could it be there was pent-up demand from 2016?  We think so.

Southwest Florida Home Sales Heat Up in January

Our team set a goal to sell 4 homes this past week.  We sold 6.  Our agents have been out showing every day, sometimes working with 2-3 buyers per day this past week.  Sure, some of these are buyers in our pipeline we’ve been working with for weeks or months until they arrive.  Others are new buyers we’ve attracted to our website or referral calls.  In any event, activity has picked up earlier than past years.

Showing activity on our listings from other agents has picked up too.  Combining this with what our team is seeing leads us to believe the market is heating up.  So I went to MLS and did some checking.

In the first 10 days of January 309 properties have gone under contract.  The average list price is $317,843 and the median list price is $230,000.  These prices are pretty much in line with recent sales numbers.  What’s encouraging is the number of properties going pending so early in January.  This potentially bodes well for an excellent season.

2016 was a year in which the number of transactions was down.  It was a year in waiting.  It seems people were waiting on the election, waiting on the economy, waiting on something.  Now there is renewed hope and optimism and we hear it.

People have renewed confidence in jobs staying in America.  The U.S. has its swagger back and people are optimistic.  Even the people who threatened to leave if Trump got elected are staying.  This article isn’t a political post.  The United States is the greatest nation on the planet and people recognize that, even if their candidate didn’t win.

Southwest Florida Home Sales Outlook

We think 2017 is going to be a better year in real estate than 2016.  Prices were largely flat in 2016 and sales volume was down.  We think we’ll see rising sales volume, and who knows where prices will head.  Rising interest rates could dampen price gains, or not.  They’re still low.

Rising inventory could dampen price gains, or not.  Sometimes I think sellers haven’t listed because they didn’t know where they wanted to go.  As inventory rises, more choices open and it could spur more sellers to act.  It’s a cycle that could really get the economy moving again, raise tax revenue to the state, and sales tax revenue to local governments as people buy appliances, flooring, etc. for their new home.

Where 2017 goes is an open book yet to be written.  Way too early to predict or know for sure.  We are encouraged by the flurry of activity so early in the season.  It just seems like 2016 was a year in limbo and 2017 is a year of action.  People don’t wait forever.  They move on.  They move forward.

If you’d like to search for your piece of paradise, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com  You can search the MLS like a Realtor as our database has all the listings and it’s updated every 5 minutes.  You can also get a Free estimate of your home’s value.  If you like the value and want to talk to us about your options, call us at 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Brett or Sande will be happy to talk to you and make sense of the process.

If you don’t like your home’s value, don’t give up.  It’s just a computer, and it’s not 100% accurate.  How could it be?  It’s never been inside your home.  We’ll be happy to look at it with you.  Sande and Brett are experts at getting Top Dollar for your home, because our marketing works.  Just give us a call.

Whether you’re buying or selling, it pays to talk to the Ellis Team! 239-489-4042

Ellis Team Open Houses

Saturday 12-3 PM

Ellis Team Open House6180 Winkler Rd   $500,000

 

 

 

 

Sunday 12-3 PM

Ellis Team Open House

16585 Wellington Lakes Cir  $300,000

 

 

 

 

Ellis Team Seller’s Club Video

Agents use the SW Florida Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to search for homes for their buyers but what about searching for buyers for agent’s listings?  The Ellis Team has found that having a searchable buyers database helps sell homes.

Searchable Buyers Database Helps Sell Homes
Ellis Team Client Search Screen

There is no MLS for buyers.  That would be weird.  There is one for sellers but it does not include personal information like seller’s name, phone number, email address, search preferences, etc. because nobody would want that kind of information out to the public. The same is true for buyers.  No buyer would want a seller searching and contacting them. And it wouldn’t be just sellers.  You’d have every retail store, financial planner, lender, etc. calling these buyers if that data were out in the public.

There may never be a true MLS for buyers as buyers for the reasons stated above however, we do have a large database of buyers we can search upon when we list new properties.  One of the advantages we offer buyers is our MLS search site is updated every 5 minutes, so they can beat out other buyers to hot new properties.  It’s also consumer friendly, speedy, and easy to use.

Because the buyers benefit so much we’re able to capture crucial search data.  The system will email them property matches if they desire, and they can target exactly what they’re looking for.

Searchable Buyers Database Helps Sell Homes buyer search screen
Buyer Search Screen

Searchable Buyers Database Helps Sell Homes

Sellers often ask us if we have buyers looking for a home like theirs.  The answer is usually yes.  We can go into our database and search for buyers that matches our seller’s criteria.  We spend a lot of money on advertising each month.  We create a lot of buyers.  It’s possible the money we spent last month or 6 months ago has already created a buyer looking for a home just like the one we’re listing.

One of our databases has created about 1,407 leads in the past year.  Let’s say we’re on a listing appointment and the property is worth $250,000.  If I search our database, we currently have 304 leads searching in that $250,000 range.

Let’s say we’re listing a Million dollar property.  I just conducted a search and our database contains 58 people searching for properties.  Our agents can tag buyers, so we have the ability to pin it down to features like golf course or waterfront, or neighborhoods.

Each time we list a property we create marketing designed to find a buyer in that price range.  It does us no good to list a Million dollar home and create $200,000 buyers.  Our marketing never stops working.  Not only are we marketing today for a million dollar buyer, our past marketing may have already created the buyer.  Likewise, just because we didn’t have a $4 Million dollar home for sale in last 6 months doesn’t mean we don’t have some $4 Million buyers waiting for the right property to enter the market.  We create marketing for what we list.  If we list a $70,000 condo we’ll create some $70,000 buyers.

Each week we have a team meeting and we inform our agents the properties we’re listing soon.  Many times we have a buyer waiting for one like that to come to market.  I remember a few years ago we listed a property in Moody River Estates.  The seller asked me if we had buyers for his home.  I answered I don’t know, we could.  I went back to office and sure enough, one of our agents was writing an offer on another property a street over from the one we just listed.  I asked him to hold up and go show our home.  A day later our home was under contract with a buyer we already had.

No agent can promise you they have a buyer.  And even if they did, you don’t know what the buyer will pay or how they will like it.  The goal is to produce many buyers for the home.  If you’d like to check out our site go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com Buyers and sellers love the site.  Or call us at 239-489-4042  We’d love to help you buy or sell your piece of paradise in SW Florida.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

14457 Cypress Chase Ct Fort Myers Florida
Open Sunday 11-2

14457 Cypress Chase Ct Fort Myers, FL 33919

3 Bedroom 3 Baths

Located in South Fort Myers

 

 

 

 

San Carlos Park Open House 3 Bedrooms 2 Baths
Open Sunday 1-4 PM

17225 Johnston Dr, Fort Myers FL 33967

3 Bedrooms 2 Baths Home in San Carlos Park

Call Today-Will sell this weekend

This past week official SW Florida 2015 year end sales prices released and as expected single family home prices showed a price gain of 12.96%  Closed home sales were up 9.7% over 2014 numbers as well, so all in all we’d call 2015 a very successful year.

SW Florida 2015 Year End Sales Prices Released
Year End Sales Prices

As you can tell by the Year End Prices Graph our market has risen every year since the bottom in 2009.  We’re still not back at peak 2005 prices.  We have risen to mid 2007 levels when the market was in free-fall.

When prices rise it doesn’t mean they are guaranteed to rise at the same rate.  In fact, they’re not guaranteed to rise at all.  One of the steepest rises was in 2004 but once 2005 hit the party was over.  We started warning in Fall of 2005 the party was over but few would listen.

Today we aren’t warning anything like that, but we are seeing a shift in the market towards a more balanced market.  If you asked Realtors who have been in the business for any length of time most would probably say a healthy balanced market is the most fun to work because neither buyer nor seller have a leg up on the other and both must act rationally to accomplish their goals.  Of course, not every buyer or seller knows where we really are at any given time and are stuck on yesterday’s headlines sometimes.

One little report I like to look at from time to time is the Market Watch Report published when we log into MLS.  This can be customized.  I have mine set today to look at all activity in Lee County Florida within the past 24 hours.  This can be changed to homes only, condos only, etc and the time period can be adjusted as well.  I look at various time periods.

SW Florida 2015 Year End Sales Prices Released Market Watch
Market Watch

The graph I’m sharing with you today shows 24 hours.  One thing we notice is new listings are outpacing pending sales 84-66.  You’ll also notice sellers that have failed to sell are reducing prices.  There were 101 price reductions in the last 24 hours.  Now this could have been in response to last week’s article about a shifting market, but Realtors in general know when a listing is not receiving showings or losing out to other homes because of price.

Most Realtors will consult with their sellers if they believe the market isn’t responding to their asking price much the same buyer agents must consult with an unreasonable and unrealistic buyer.

Greed works in both directions.  Sellers want the absolute most for their home and buyers are afraid to make a mistake and want to pay the absolute least they can for a home.  It’s the Realtor’s job to educate their customer on the reality of the market.  A balanced market is always the most fun because you’re educating both sides versus scolding one side that refuses to acknowledge the major up or down trend.

A good way to research the market is to search active, pendings, and solds in a given area.  Our Blog blog.topagent.com gives weekly SW Florida market reports, and our MLS search site www.LeeCountyOnline.com lets you search all the listings and view Market Reports.  The market reports tell you what homes are selling for per sq ft in a neighborhood and the average days on market.  You can customize this search for any area.

If you’re thinking about buying or selling, there is no substitute for talking with a professional.  We hope the online tools give you some great information, but please call us and we’ll be glad to sit down with you and go over your options.

Always Call the Ellis Team, we’ll handle you with care!  239-489-4042

This Weekend’s Open Houses

Saturday 1-4 PM

6087 Waterway Bay Dr

Open Saturday 1-4 PM

12510 Kentwood Ave