Buyers choose to buy all year long for various reasons.  Leases expire, their existing home goes under contract, or a new job opportunity in SW Florida presents itself for an out of state buyer.  People retire, relocate, and buy vacation homes 12 months out of the year.  Florida is a net gain state, meaning it’s gaining more residents than it loses each year.  So, we decided to answer the question, “Are certain months better to list your home for maximum results?”

Certain Months Better to List Your Home for Maximum Results

As you can see from the graph, listings pick up each year around October.  In 2016 it started in September, but only modestly.  As a seller, you have a distinct advantage of being on the market in August and September over those that enter the market in October.

With limited choices for buyers, they are forced to scoop up homes that meet their criteria quickly for fear of losing out to other buyers.  This fear disappears when more listings enter the market.  In fact, when buyers lose their fear of missing out on a home, they become indifferent.  When this occurs, we know we’ve hit a pricing plateau and buyers have turned off.  The market must re-balance itself, and correct.  The sellers that react and respond quickly get out.  The sellers that do not, linger on the market wondering what it’s going to take to sell their home.

Thankfully we don’t have that market right now.  Buyers are motivated because many sellers have made price corrections.  Interest rates are rising, and it’s costing buyers to wait.  They need a home, and they want one now, within reason.  Buyers aren’t acting stupid today.  They are educating themselves, studying the market, and acting when they need to.

And this is precisely why sellers who are on the market in August and priced correctly have a distinct advantage to sellers who wait until October.  Ask yourself two questions?

When is the best time to sell an item?  The answer is when there are fewer items on the market. When is the best time to purchase an item?  This answer is when there are more items to choose from.  It’s simple supply and demand.

The listings are coming, we know this for sure.  It happens every year.  If you’re a seller contemplating a sale, wouldn’t it make sense to beat the seller rush and put your home on the market now?  Buyers are out there, and they’re motivated.  Many buyers are frustrated because they can’t score a deal.  They’re getting beat out by other buyers and watching home after home come off the market while they have none.  They need a home, they’re watching rates go up, and yet they can’t catch a break.

Sellers can take advantage of this mismatch, but time is running out.  Soon, other sellers will have the same idea and place their home on the market, and you lose your advantage.  Oh, you can still sell in October-December.  It’s just more fun when less sellers are competing with you.

Imagine being a high school girl waiting for a guy to ask you to prom.  Wouldn’t it be nice if there were 5 girls in the class and 30 boys?  You’d practically have your pick of which offer to choose.  You wouldn’t settle for the 1st offer if it wasn’t right, because you know better options are a moment away.  It wouldn’t be so good for the buys though.  Only 5 would get dates, and the other 25 would be waiting for a new girl to move to town.

This is what it’s like in August in the SW Florida housing market.  Buyers are looking.  Supply is limited in certain price ranges.  Our team is having another record month in August.  We need more listings.  Our marketing is working.  If you’re thinking of selling anytime soon, we should probably talk.

Call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get an instant free idea of what your home may be worth.  Let us show you how we can save you thousands on your next transaction!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

All Realtors are not the same.  Who you work with matters.  In fact, it can cost you thousands to use the wrong agent.  People don’t realize this until it’s too late.  Here are some tips on how to select the best real estate agent on your next transaction, and why it’s important.

Select the Best Real Estate Agent on Your Next Transaction
Voted Best Real Estate Team in SW Florida 3 Years in a Row

The Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty was just awarded the best team in SW Florida by the News Press readers for the 3rd straight year, so hopefully we have some good ideas on what to look for in an agent for you.

Full-Time-We believe working with a full-time agent is critical.  It’s difficult enough keeping up with all the education requirements, regulatory and legal changes, and ever-changing inventory. A part-time agent just can’t keep up.  You have to wonder about the agent’s commitment level to the profession when they only devote part-time to it.

Experience-There is no substitute for experience. An agent develops a reputation in the community, both by consumers and by fellow agents alike. Trust plays a big part.  If other agents trust your agent, they’re more likely to accept your offer as your agent puts their reputation on the line on each deal.  They are trusting that we are experienced and know how to handle our customer.  If an agent gets the reputation of not being able to properly educate and counsel their customer, agents are less likely to want to take deals from them in the future.  Newer agents combat this because experienced agents know newer agents may lack the skills necessary to successfully navigate a deal all the way from contract to closing.  At the very least, newer agents should be in daily contact with their broker and/or mentor to assist them.

Negotiating-Every agent thinks they’re a great negotiator.  Negotiating skills take lots of education, and lots of practice.  It doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s not true just because you think it’s true.  Every singer on American Idol believes they’re great, and some of the best episodes are watching those that believe they’re great, and clearly, they are not.  It will cost you to hire an amateur that thinks they’re the next American Idol.

Marketing– If you’re selling, you want an agent that’s willing to invest their own money into your advertising.  If they’re going to collect a commission from you, you want someone who’s invested along with you.  Not only does marketing work, it shows commitment.  If they’re not willing to spend money on your listing, it tells you their degree of confidence in selling your home.  Ask to see the marketing plan and compare against other Top marketing plans out there.  There is a huge difference in marketing that will become apparent to you if you interview the right people.

Track Record– Compare track records of the agents you interview.  Ask to see their sales in the past year.  How many listings did they sell?  If they only work with buyers, they may not have the experience necessary to successfully represent a seller.  There is a lot of ground-work that needs to be done, like obtaining rules and regulation, HOA docs, financials, disclosures, etc.  And all this before we even begin talking about pricing strategies.

Company-Each company has its unique set of benefits.  Are you looking for a boutique company, or an International powerhouse with connections all over the world?  How many referrals does the company receive each month from out of town?  Does the company advertise outside the area?  All questions you want answers to.

In summary, buyers and sellers want someone they can trust and someone that will dedicate their time and experience to helping them.  They want attention, diligence, knowledge, experience, and honest feedback.  Hire an agent who is strong enough to listen to you and tell you you’re on the right track, or another track is necessary for success.

If you’re looking to list your home, please call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Our team of buyer agents can help you purchase as well.  Or visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com for the best real estate website in SW Florida.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open Sunday 1-3 PM

13994 Reflection Lakes Dr – Reflection Lakes

1462 Claret Ct – Whiskey Creek

14941 Lake Olive Dr – Parker Lakes

A question we get from time to time is what are the common pitfalls of selling by owner?  It’s a great question, so let’s dive in.

Common Pitfalls of Selling By Owner

Common Pitfalls of Selling By Owner

The first pitfall is legal.  Most sellers don’t realize the regulatory pressures they are under, whether they sell by owner or with an agent.  The state has jurisdiction over property, homeowner, and condo disclosures.  The federal government has jurisdiction over issues like lead-based paint disclosures, waterways, docks, etc.  We’re lumping the Army Corps of Engineers in with the federal government.  Missing any one of these important disclosures could cost you a sale, or worse, a lawsuit or fine.

Security is another issue that concerns sellers.  They want to know who is coming into their home.  Sellers are concerned if the prospect is an actual buyer, or someone who is looking over the contents of the home only to come back later and rob the place.

The Buyer’s ability to pay for the home might be one of the largest concerns sellers have.  When selling by owner, asking this question can be tenuous.  The buyer feels like it’s none of your business and their finances are their business.  But it is the seller’s business.  As a Realtor, we can ask those tough questions and demand proof.  It’s what we do, and if a buyer is skittish about answering, it bears more questions.  Realtors with experience can read more into what’s being said and uncover more facts.  Red flags should never be ignored.  Newer agents, and For Sale By Owners don’t always see the red flags, and when they do, they don’t know how to handle them.  Security might be the biggest of the common pitfalls of selling by owner.

Marketing is critical to getting top dollar.  It doesn’t do much good to save a commission and lose money at the same time.  I’ve seen 3 studies that show For Sale By Owners sell for 6%-16% less than using a real estate agent.  Essentially it costs you nothing to use an agent but could cost you thousands not to.  Placing your home online in a few places isn’t marketing.  It’s simply listing it in a directory.  A few buyers might notice it, but you’re not getting it out to the masses.

Sure, you’ll get some calls from people looking to flip homes and unqualified buyers, but nothing that is going to close or gain you top dollar.  If you doubt us, just try it and see how you fare.  Then call us after a few weeks and we can change that for you.

Are All Realtors the Same?

All Realtors are not the same.  If some Realtors have a hard time marketing a home, imagine how hard it is for a For Sale By Owner.  Again, just placing it in MLS and putting a sign up is not marketing.  You need much more than that to get the word out.  If all you attract are unqualified buyers and just a small percent of the market, you’re not attracting top dollar.

Imagine putting an item for sale in an online auction.  If you had one bidder, you might sell it.  If you had 10 bidders, it’d probably go for more money.  If you had 1,000 bidders, it would sell for more than if you had just one bidder.  Full market exposure equals Top Dollar.  Less than that equals less than Top Dollar.

The Agent You Hire Matters.  The Ellis Team markets your home for all it’s worth.  We shoot for Top Dollar.  Why be satisfied with one buyer when you could have several to choose from? Our marketing generates lots of buyers.  We can bring all the buyers you’ll ever need, but if the home is not priced correctly, they’ll just go buy something else. We’ll help you avoid the common pitfalls of selling by owner.  See also 3 Reasons Why Homes Fail to Sell.

Check out www.swflhomevalues.com to get an idea of what your home may be worth.  Our computer is very good.  In fact, it’s the best we’ve ever seen by an automated valuation service.  However, it it not perfect and there is no substitute for having Sande or Brett come out to your property and doing a comparative market analysis.

Or you can Search the MLS like a pro at www.LeeCountyOnline.com

If you have a home to sell Always Call the Ellis Team, your Top Dollar Realtor!  239-489-4042 Ext 4  ask for Sande or Brett.  We’re here to help.  Sande Ellis and Brett Ellis are a mother-son team and have over 30 years experience selling homes in Southwest Florida.  Brett and Sande personally visit each property and do an in-depth analysis of the price as well as strengths of the property.  This is important because if we’re going to reach the best target buyer for the home, it pays to know every detail that may attract that best buyer.

Of course, many times our marketing attracts multiple buyers.  This is good news for sellers when we’re able to do this as it typically brings a better price for our sellers.  Imagine an online auction.  If you had  an item to sell and had 10 buyers, you’d fetch a certain price.  But if you had 1,000 buyers, the price your item would fetch might be much more, wouldn’t it?

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday & Sunday 1-3 PM

San Carlos Park

18449 Phlox Dr

San Carlos Park Home Ellis Team Featured Property
San Carlos Park Open House Saturday & Sunday 1-3 PM

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Cape Coral

2709 SW 12th Ave Cape Coral

Cape Coral Pool Home Open House

We get calls all the time from discouraged sellers asking for our help.  They placed their home on the market with another agent and it didn’t sell.  They just can’t understand why their home wasn’t liked enough by a buyer to make an offer.  We tell them there are 3 reasons why homes fail to sell.

3 Reasons Why Homes Fail to Sell

  1. A home must be marketed everywhere to attract top dollar.  Simply placing it in MLS or adding a few yard signs may not get the job done.  Even though your home is on MLS, it’s not reaching the whole market.  It also doesn’t stand out.  Buyers have choices, and if you’re just on a list, your home better stand out as a bargain or offer something they really want.  Getting your home out to the right people at the right time in their buying cycle is key.  We can’t tell you how many times a buyer has said we wished we’d known about this other home when we were buying.  It was on MLS, but it didn’t stand out.  It was just a home on a list.
  2. So, you’ve got your home on the MLS.  Does the description make the buyer want to call and ask more questions?  Are all the fields perfect in MLS.  If a Realtor, or buyer for that matter, is searching for a particular field and yours is missing, your home is invisible in that search.  Do you have all the required documents uploaded into MLS at time of listing?  This isn’t the time to be lazy.  Many times, buyers have questions about the HOA, the rules, the finances, etc. and they like to see the answers immediately. If they’re absent, they move on and you lost your chance.
  3. Your home must be priced at market. If it is over the market, it’s not really on the market.  Finding the true market price can be tricky, we get it.  It takes years of experience and studying the market daily as the market is always in flux. We tell sellers we should receive an offer about every 4-5 showings.  If we’re not getting offers, something is wrong.  If we’re not getting showings at all, something bigger is wrong.  We’ve either got an error in the details, or our price is off more than originally thought.  If you’d like to get a pretty good ball park idea of your home’s worth, go to www.swflhomevalues.com It is a computer and does a pretty good job, but it’s no substitute for us looking at your property.

Many people say it’s not price, it’s the condition or the location.  It’s true, you can’t change the location.  You’re locked in by location, and if you’ve got a neighbor that isn’t keeping up their property, it could affect your value.

If your condition isn’t up to par, it too could affect your value. Notice the key words here?  Your value.  Value is determined by the market.  You set the price, the market determines the value.  If your price isn’t at value, it will sit.  You can improve your condition, and that may help.  You may not get dollar for dollar back on improvements, but they may help protect your downside if your home has some objections from buyers.

3 Reasons Why Homes Fail to Sell

It pays to hire a professional.  Failing at any one of these 3 critical components can kill a sale, or worse, cause you to sell it for less than it’s worth.  Why reach 1 buyer when you can reach hundreds? A Realtor with years of experience can help you price it properly, market it for all it’s worth, and handle all the details so you have a smooth move.

If you’re thinking of selling, Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042 Ext 4  ask for Sande or Brett.  If your home failed to sell the first time, we can help fix that and get you on your way.  Good luck and Happy Selling!

If you’re buying, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com  We’ve got all the homes for sale in MLS, and it’s updated instantly.  No more looking at homes that aren’t really on the market anymore.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Reflection Lakes 5 Bedroom 3 Bath Pool Home on Lake

Reflection lakes Pool Home

13994 Reflection Lakes Dr

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Daniel’s Park 4 Bedroom 3 Bath Home With 3 Car Garage

Daniel’s Park 4 Bedroom 3 Bath Home With 3 Car Garage

14077 Danpark Loop

 

 

The month’s supply of SW Florida real estate inventory supply declined in July from April levels.  There are many reasons for this which we’ll go into detail.

Sellers are listening.  Buyers’ motivation topped out about 9 months ago and sales suffered.  We’ve seen instances in the past where buyers were at one level, and sellers were at another level, and there was a standstill.  The longer the standstill, the longer homes sit on the market and inventory grows.

SW Florida Real Estate Inventory Supply Declined in July

This time around, word got out and sellers didn’t want to be caught holding the bag.  They made the adjustments quicker, and it’s paid off.  Sure, nobody is happy to reduce their asking price.  Without movement, nothing would happen.  If a seller’s true desire is to sell, then you’ve got to find that price point where price equals value in the market’s eye.  It looks like sellers have been doing that.

For the most part, inventory has declined, and sales have increased.  Inventory declined in all price ranges in Lee County Florida.  Closed sales increased in all price ranges except the less than $100k and $100-150k ranges.  This decline could simply be a matter of not as much inventory to sell, therefore not as many closed sales.  With months supply of 1.25 months or less, it’s hardly worth mentioning except to be factual.

Buyers should take note.  You’re no longer in the driver’s seat.  With 4.57 months’ supply of overall inventory we’re back to a seller’s market, statistically speaking.  Sellers, don’t get too excited either.  It really depends on which price range your home is located.  Once your home crosses that $300,000 threshold you enter neutral to buyers’ market territory.  If you’ve got a home that’s been on the market awhile, it’s probably time to adjust to where the buyers are.

If you’re a seller priced under $300k and your home is not selling, there is a problem.  An immediate adjustment may be in order.  If it is priced correctly, it should be getting action.  We tell sellers we should be getting offers about every 4-5 showings.  If we’re getting showings and no offers, the marketing is working.  The price or condition isn’t.  If a seller isn’t getting showings, it’s either the price or the marketing.  It could be both.

As a seller, you’re really in charge of two things.  Setting the correct price and selecting the best agent.  Mistakes in the MLS, bad photos, or lack of marketing muscle can be a turnoff to buyers or make your listing invisible.  We’ve seen lack of good marketing cost sellers a sale, or thousands in their pocket at closing because they didn’t attract the highest and best buyers for their home.

If your home is overpriced, you’re just adding to the marketing time and kidding yourself.  Typically, in the end you’ll end up taking a lower price than you otherwise would have had you priced it correctly upfront.  If your agent recommends taking action on price, listen.  If you aren’t having that conversation with your agent, perhaps it’s time to be proactive.  Perhaps your agent recommended a lower price at tie of listing, but you were stubborn or convinced it should be higher.  Perhaps your agent has recommended price adjustments and you’ve declined.  Whatever the case, ultimately, it’s on you as the seller.

If you decline your doctor’s advice, the results are on you as the patient.  If you decline your attorney’s advice, the results are on you as the client.  The same is true in real estate.  It’s your home.  If you’re OK with owning it and not selling, then that’s fine.  If you’re not OK and would like to move on, it’s time to adjust.  It’s either the marketing or the price.

If your home has expired, or if you’re considering putting your home on the market, perhaps it’s time to get a 2nd opinion.  Always Call the Ellis Team.  We specialize in getting homes sold the 1st time.  We’d be happy to look at your home and figure out what we can do to sell it.  239-489-4042 Ext 4 or www.LeeCountyOnline.com  Ask for Sande or Brett Ellis.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

13460 Marquette Blvd

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

1462 Claret Ct

Real estate agents across SW Florida have been complaining that sales have been sluggish, however the numbers show that 2018 Lee County Florida home sales shaping up to be decent year. Both April and May numbers have topped previous years, and January, February, and March are right in there.  If things keep progressing, we’ll have a chance to top 2015 sales levels.

What is fueling the increase in home sales?  Two things come to mind right off the bat.  Higher inventory and price reductions.  Inventory 7.8% this year to 5,787 listings compared to 5,368 last year.  This opens up more choices for buyers.

7 Day Market Watch 2018 Lee County Florida Home Sales Shaping Up

We’re seeing as many price reductions as new listings in a typical 7-day period.  In the past 7 days we saw 440 price reductions compared to 323 new listings and 376 pending sales.  This tells us sellers have recognized the need to adjust their price and are making the adjustments.  When this happens, sales occur.

2018 Lee County Florida Home Sales Shaping Up

Official numbers released this week show median price and sales price increasing in May.  You might ask, how is it possible to have increasing prices while sellers are decreasing their asking prices?  Median price is defined as the price where half the sales occur over that price and half occur under.  If most of the upper end sellers overprice their home, there are fewer sales up there and it forces the median price down, because that’s what’s selling.  Lower priced sellers were more in-tune with the market.  As the mid and upper ranges accepted that change needed to occur, more sales started happening.  As this occurs, it pulls the average and median price upward.

Many will read the headlines and infer that prices are rising when in fact prices have not been rising.  It’s the fall in prices that created the sales.  It is the reluctance of mid to upper sellers to adjust sooner that stalled the sales.  There were only so many mid to lower listings to go around.

We expect to see good sales numbers the balance of 2018 as the market adjusts to the shift.  The market always adjusts.  It’s only a matter of how long it takes to do so.  It’s kind of like pulling off a band-aid.  You can pull it slowly or rip it off.  Either way it comes off, it’s just a matter of how long you want the pain to last.

Buyers can rejoice now because there are some pretty good deals out there.  For instance, we’ve got a 5-bedroom, 3 bath pool home on the lake in Reflection Lakes for just $459,000.  Last year that same home would have sold for $525,000.  We’ve got a 4-bedroom 3 bath home in Belle Lago for $465,000.  It was on the market with another broker last year for well over $500,000.  Imagine getting a 4-bedroom home in Paseo for $500,000.  We’ve got that too.  We even have a 4 bedroom home in Reflection Lakes for $375,000.

In fact, if you want to see a list of Hot Buys, go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com and click on the Featured Listing Section.  If you’re interested in how a neighborhood is doing, check out the Market Reports section.

Sellers who are curious as to their home’s value will appreciate the property valuation tool.  It’s free, and provides a detailed report on your home within seconds.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling, we should probably talk.  We’ve got a way for you to save thousands when getting a mortgage.  We have options for you to save thousands too when selling.  If you’re thinking of selling, ask for Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  If you’re buying, we have a team of buyer agents ready to help you find your dream home and save money on the loan too.  Always Call the Ellis team!  We’re here to help.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

17970 Maddelena Cir  Belle Lago Open House

Open House Sunday 11AM – 1PM

5970 Trailwinds Dr Unit 121

Everybody seems to agree that the best negotiations are when it’s a win-win situation for buyer and seller.  And yet, most buyers and sellers negotiate from a win-lose proposition.  Everybody wants to win, and they don’t care if it’s at the expense of the other party.  Furthermore, if the other party doesn’t lose, some people don’t feel as if they’ve won.  They feel like they left money on the table.  New program helps sellers net more money at closing and buyers save more money too at closing.

New Program Helps Sellers Net More at Closing

Other buyers and sellers are just happy to get a deal done that works.  Perhaps a financed buyer would love to purchase a home but keeps getting beat out by cash buyers or other buyers putting more down. Other buyers have the down payment saved up; they just don’t have the closing costs saved on top of it.

Typically, a buyer might ask for the seller to pick-up and pay for some or all the buyer’s closing costs.  Not out of greed, rather out of necessity.  This costs the seller money to do this.  If the home appraises at the higher price, they could have sold to someone else and not paid their closing costs.  It’s a way to put a deal together, but if the seller has other options they usually choose the other option.

What if the buyer needs help with closing costs and the seller didn’t have to pay it?  The seller could keep the sale at full-price and net all the proceeds.  The buyer wouldn’t have to pay them either.  So, you might ask, if seller isn’t paying, and buyer isn’t paying, who is paying?

What if lender fees didn’t need to be paid at all?  What if they weren’t charged?  We’ve seen some lenders who don’t charge lender fees and they make up for it in a higher rate.  In that case, the buyer ultimately pays.  We’re talking about a low rate without higher premium and no lender fees.  Add in a closing credit to the buyer, and you’ve got the best of both worlds.

Win-Win

 This is taking win-win to a new level.  Even for buyers who don’t need help with closing costs, this is a win.  Anytime the buyer can save thousands in closing costs it’s a win.  The cost savings may help the buyer purchase more house, which may make the difference between getting that extra bedroom or family pool.  We’re able to help buyers qualify for more home which brings more buyers to the table for sellers.

Sellers not only benefit on the sale of their home, we can also offer this to them on their next purchase.  Sellers save money by not having to pay for buyer closing costs, and they can save money on their next purchase.  Imagine saving $5,000 or more on your next loan.

So, what’s the catch?  No catch really.  Not everyone can offer this.   If we’re the listing agent, we can offer it to the buyer, no matter who the buyer is working with.  If you’re the buyer, you must work with a Keller Williams Realty agent.  It’s pretty simple.  Loans close on-time, buyers save money, and sellers win too because they get to keep more money at closing.

Buyer saves money, seller saves money, and everybody wins.  Now that’s a deal that’s hard to refuse, and why would you?  Simply give us a call at 239-489-4042

Feel free to search the MLS like a pro at www.LeeCountyOnline.com When you find something you like, give our agents a call and we’ll get you on your way to your dream home.  Better yet, let’s get you pre-approved upfront.  That way you can go shopping knowing you’ll save money, close within 30 days, and your offer will more likely be accepted because you’re approved, not just pre-qualified.  If you’ve got questions, give our team a call.  We’ll be glad to help!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Danforth Lakes Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

Whiskey Creek Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Cape Coral Waterfront Condo Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

As real estate agents I think we tend to forget that people really don’t know how to sell their home. What seems basic to a veteran agent is not basic to all, and even many newer agents don’t know all the best tips.  We decided to cover 8 seller mistakes when putting home on the market.

8 Seller Mistakes When Putting Home on the Market

  1. Don’t be present for showings.  If you absolutely must be home for showings, don’t say a word.  Take a walk, drive around the block, or anywhere you can to avoid conversation with the buyers.  Sellers believe they know their home better than anyone; therefore, they can sell it better than anyone.  Be aware of the $1,000 rule.  Practically every word you speak to the buyers costs you $1,000.  I’d say try it, but it’ll cost you.
  2. Don’t photograph everything. There is no rule you must provide a photo of everything.  Leave a little to the imagination.  Make them want to get inside and see everything.  Most bathrooms don’t need to be photographed, unless they are spectacular, stand out, and are a selling feature.
  3. Set correct listing price and negotiate firm. You’ll get a better sales price if you set the correct list price.  Overpricing drives buyers away.  You’re not going to fool a buyer today, so you might as well price correctly upfront.  Buyers typically don’t want to insult a seller, so they just move on to other better values.  Or worse yet, they never view inside of your home because it’s not on their radar.
  4. Select the best agent to market your home, not the least expensive. Selecting the least expensive can cost you thousands.  It’s not what an agent charges that matters, it’s what ends up in your pocket at closing.  All Realtors are not the same.  Some agents sell homes faster and for more money.  Enough to cover the difference in rate, and then some.
  5. Make your home accessible. We live in the online age.  People expect fast access, both online and in person.  Some buyers are buying today and won’t come back tomorrow just to see your home.  By the time your home is available and picked up, they bought something else.  It just repeats with the next buyer.
  6. Check with your condo or HOA. There are many required disclosures and documents you must pass on to buyer at contract.  Failure to do so can cost you a sale. Get these documents upfront.  It’s a pain, but you’re going to have to do it anyway, so don’t lose a buyer and get them now.
  7. Disclose defects. Better yet, repair problems so next buyer doesn’t have to deal with it.  Most buyers want a problem free home.  They want to move in and not have to repair a bunch of things.  Their time and budget is stretched enough, and having to repair other peoples’ existing issues kind of takes the fun out of home shopping.  If you don’t want to do the repair, chances are you next buyer may not either.
  8. Market your home everywhere! Newspaper, online, social media, etc.  Make sure your home is target marketed to home buyers looking for what you have.  Throwing a sign out there and posting on an online site won’t cut it.  Everyone does that.  You want to stand out.

Wish we had more room.  If you’re thinking of selling, always call the Ellis Team.  We’ll go over our entire list and expose your home to more people.  Call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4  To search the MLS like a pro, visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com

Don’t forget to vote us Best Real Estate Team in SW Florida in News Press Reader Poll.  www.Bestswfl.com

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Reflection Lakes 5 Bed 3 Bath Pool Home on Lake

Large Reflection Lakes Pool home priced to sell and ready to go

13994 Reflection Lakes Dr

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Bella Lago 4 Bed 3 Bath Pool Home

3 Car Garage, Granite Counters, and more

19790 Maddelana

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

Cape Coral Direct Access Waterfront Pool Home

Direct Access Cape Coral Waterfront Pool Home

1933 SE 36th St

 

 

 

We were having a one on one training session with one of our agents this week and the conversation came up about summer home sales.  He was excited because he thought this summer was going to be good for home sales.  And yet, so many agents out there talk about spending summers up north and taking time off because sales are slow in the summer.  Their perception becomes their reality.  Read on to find out why summer great time for Southwest Florida home sales.

If they believe sales are slow and take the summer off, sure enough, their sales will be slow to non-existent.  And they will be right, and their decision to take the summer off will have been justified.  Over the years my mother Sande and I would just laugh, as we raked in sale after sale in the summer.  For us, year-round sales were good, and summer was better.

Summer Great Time For Southwest Florida Home Sales

I went back and looked at MLS sales stats from 2000-2003.  As you can tell, home sales would begin climbing in Feb and generally peak during the summer.  After 2005 we began a steep decline in prices which ultimately led to the foreclosure crisis.  This article isn’t about all that.  We have plenty of other articles on our Blog about that.  During the recovery, the typical home buyer changed.

We see signs that we’re returning to the normal home buyer process.  It would be too easy to assume that all home buyers relocated from up north.  For a period, it seemed that way, but things are not always as they seem.

Traditionally Southwest Florida homeowners made their moves in the summer.  They owned businesses or worked in the service industry and were quite frankly too busy in season to think about moving.  Kids were in school, work was busy, and buying or selling a home couldn’t be the top priority, until summer came.

Keep in mind, summer is the busy selling season up north too, so any relocations were dependent on that sale up north.

After the housing correction, many SW Florida homeowners were trapped in their homes.  They couldn’t make a move.  They lost so much equity they couldn’t afford to sell, and they were busy working on their businesses too that may have suffered.  As years have progressed, we’re seeing signs now that many homeowners are choosing to make a move.  They finally have equity back in their home.  Their incomes have returned to normalcy.

Some wish to downsize, while others have growing families.  Many homeowners wish to change lifestyle or prefer a different location.  Whatever their reason, summertime is the best time for locals to address their situation.

Our agent was correct.  Summertime is a great time for home sales, if you’re present and working the market.  The numbers don’t lie.  Sales are happening in the summer.  The only real question is who’s going to make them.

I remember hearing an agent say years ago that nobody wanted to buy in Lehigh.  Really?  I looked in MLS and found there were lots of sales in Lehigh, so clearly somebody was buying there.  The truth is, that agent didn’t want to sell in Lehigh because they didn’t know the market, it was too far out, or they didn’t like the price point.  The reality is that agent found a way to justify why not to sell.  It’s like the argument that nobody buys in the summer.  If you want to tell yourself that, then indeed sales will be down for you, and you’ll be right.

Many sellers need to sell in the summer.  Realize that home sales occur all months of the year, and really any month is a good time to sell if your home is priced correctly and marketed heavily.  Sure, a hurricane might disrupt a month here or there, but overall, we have a pretty stable and steady market.

To shop for your dream home, go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com  If you have a home to sell, call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  And don’t forget to vote us Best Real Estate Team in SW Florida in the News Press poll.  www.bestswfl.com

Good luck and happy home selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Between McGregor and the River

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

1281 Biltmore Dr

Priced to Sell!

Parker Lakes Pool Home

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

14941 Lake Olive Dr

Parker Lakes Pool Home

Waterfront Condo With Boat Slip Availability

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

1627 Beach Parkway Unit 208

Gulf Access with Boat Slip

 

Unbelievable changes are coming.  I remember having a conversation the other day.  I told my wife that our kids would freak out if we told them we didn’t have Internet growing up as kids.  The Internet today just seems fundamental, and certainly to a Millennial, they wouldn’t understand the concept of its absence.  Just as the Internet changed our lives, so too will artificial intelligence.  Artificial intelligence will change real estate shopping and everything else too.

Artificial Intelligence Will Change Real Estate Shopping

I just watched a live video whereby you take out your smartphone and open the camera.  In your screen is a lamp.  Your phone will show you other accessories that match that style, so you could shop for and put together a room that matches.  I watched another video where the camera showed a woman in an outfit.  Artificial intelligence scanned billions of images and within a second pulled up where you could buy that outfit, along with other similar outfits, and prices.

So, imagine walking down the street and noticing a home that looks good to you.  It’s not for sale, but you like the look.  Your phone could instantly find other homes on the market right now that look just like the one you love, show you the price, and even setup a showing appointment to see it.  Sound futuristic?  Perhaps, but it is coming.

Keller Williams has already been working on this for its agents.  Currently I can ask our artificial assistant Kelle many things, and instantly she will give me results that used to take hours.  Let’s say I have a client moving to Bowling Green, KY.  I whip out my phone and tell Kelle, “show me Bowling Green agents with the CRS designation.”  Kelle spits out agents with their CRS designation.  There is a ton of activities I can ask Kelle to do while I’m in the field and Kelle only gets smarter.  As we ask her to do things, she learns and becomes capable of more.

Google held its I/O conference this week and announced some amazing things.  Companies like Google, Microsoft, IBM, etc are all working on artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence offers the ability to ask, scan, analyze, and deliver billions of pieces of information instantly.  Our military is scanning and analyzing photos on video and delivering results with over 90% accuracy.  It used to take people days and months to scour video.  Now our defense department can search for and do things in minutes.

Our company is working on analyzing photos in MLS.  Let’s say you like a certain kind of counter-top, or a certain color cabinet.  We’ll be able to ask, show me all kitchens with Black Quartz priced below $450,000.  Having the ability to scan photos and deliver results would save an agent or consumer many hours perusing photos of listings.

We use big data to search for buyers for our listings.  When we list a home, we serve up ads on that home to consumers that match certain criteria.  For instance, we just listed a nice 4-bedroom pool home in Belle Lago.  We’ll be holding it open this Saturday from 1-3 PM.  We’ll serve up online ads for buyers looking to purchase in the Estero area.  Big data allows us to target specific buyers.  It helps us sell homes faster and for more money for our clients.

Big data is great, but artificial intelligence is what will tie it together.  The pentagon can have all the videos it wants, but what good is it when it sits in a vault and is too big to work with?  The same is true for real estate.  Being able to ask and analyze data is key.  Many sellers interview agents and ask which one can save them 1%.  The real question should be, which agent can sell my home for 3% more and 20% faster.  Saving 1% doesn’t save anything if they sell it for less and take longer.

If you want to search the MLS like a pro go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com.

If you’re thinking of selling, call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 and find out how Today’s systems just might help sell your home faster, and for more money.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Belle Lago

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

19790 Maddelena Cir

Daniels Park

Open Saturday 1-4 PM

14077 Danpark Loop