We don’t want to alarm you as 2018 turned in some impressive stats in the SW Florida real estate market.  Closings were up for the year, as were prices and dollar volume.  You would think with increased closings and prices, Realtors would be reporting the market is fantastic.  4th quarter numbers suggest there may be some chinks in the armor. Early signs point to a Southwest Florida market shift.

Early Signs Point to Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Shift Home Sales

Closed home sales fell 15% in December over last year.  We can attribute some of that to increased closings last year in December due to Hurricane Irma.  However, we’re seeing new pending sales down 10.9% in December, which will lead to lower closings in January and February of this year.

The median sale price rose 3.1% for the year and ended at a year-end average of $251,000.  The average sales price rose 5.6% to $351,200 year-end average.  So, if prices are rising, why are we sounding the alarm?

Early Signs Point to Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Shift Inventory Levels

Inventory rose 8.8% for the year.  However, inventory shot up 19.8% over last December and the month’s supply of inventory was up 11.8% in December.  While sales for the year may be up, we’re seeing declining sales in the 4th quarter, rising inventory, and a decrease in new pending sales.

Not Time to Worry

All this leads to worry amongst real estate agents that we may be in the middle of a shift.  This isn’t a time to worry though.  Experienced agents know how to handle a shift.  If you’ll remember, our article back in October warned of a possible upcoming shifting market, and we recommended sellers put their home on the market before January to beat the predicted rush of listings.

People listened, and the rush began sooner than January.  We talked about how selecting the correct listing agent is critical when the market shifts in our December 1st article. To read past articles, visit http://blog.topagent.com

When the market shifts, it’s critical you select an agent with experience.  For instance, lower priced homes are still receiving multiple offers.  Other homes take more marketing and experience to sell properly.  Of course, you not only must select an experienced agent, you must listen to them.

Sellers do not like to hear that the market has shifted, and they hold onto what their home used to be worth.  Markets move up and down, and just as a seller expects a buyer to get over it when the market moves up, buyers expect sellers to get over it when it moves down.

Sellers point to the fact prices went up 3.1% in 2018.  Yes, but not in all sub-markets, and not all year.  Prices may have gone up slightly in first 3 quarters of the year and pulled back in last quarter.

What’s Causing a Shift?

Some say it’s rising interest rates.  Interest rates peaked in October around 5%.  They’ve since slid back a bit.  Rising rates rob home buyers of purchasing power.  As this occurs, there are fewer home buyers available in each price range.

Keep this in mind.  Inventory levels stand at a 5.7-month supply of homes.  A balanced market is 5.5-month supply.  So, we’ve barley crossed the threshold, and it varies by price range.

We’re seeing buyer activity picking up right now.  We usually do after January 15th.  Buyers have more choices today, but the best homes are flying off the shelves.  The challenge to sellers is, you must be the best home, so buyers pick you.  An experienced agent can guide you.  Buyers see lots of homes, and it becomes apparent which is the best value for them.  Sellers must learn to think like a buyer.

Thinking of Selling?

If you’re thinking of selling your home, always call the Ellis Team.  Ask for Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Put our decades of experience to work for you, along with the most aggressive marketing in Lee County.  There is a reason our homes sell faster and for more money.  If you’d like to learn more about the shift, call us for a confidential interview.  Experience matters! To get an idea of what your home is worth for Free online, visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open Houses Saturday 1-3 PM

Parker Lakes

15212 Palm Isle Dr

14551 Daffodil Dr Unit 1808

Central Park South

9291 Central park Dr Unit 104

Open Houses Sunday 1-3 PM

Cape Coral

1004 SE 5th Terrace Cape Coral

2008 Bolado Pkwy

Naples

13 High Point Cir N Unit 302

The Ellis Team was supposed to have a closing December 31.  We represented the seller. The buyer selected a lender from CA who gave a pre-approval letter.  It turns out, the buyer had no chance of closing with that lender. They said they were just waiting on IRS tax transcripts, and since the government was shutdown, they had to put the loan on hold.  So, even with IRS transcripts, the loan would never have closed under the program they selected. Has government shutdown affected mortgages and closings?

Has Government Shutdown Affected Mortgages and Closings

Upon missing the closing date, we decided to get a lender we use regularly involved.  The buyer agreed, as they wanted to buy the home.  Our lender looked at the file and said they would not qualify, even if they added a co-borrower.  However, if we switched them to an FHA loan, we’d have a chance as they are more forgiving on loan ratios.

Many lenders cannot do a FHA loan with a government shutdown.  Many lenders can’t do a loan without an IRS transcript.  We were able to get an FHA loan in 13 days, bypass the transcript issue, and get flood insurance, all during the government shutdown.  How did we do it, and in 13 days nonetheless?

It took some hard work on everyone’s part, especially the lender.  We worked with a direct endorsement FHA lender who does not need an FHA underwriter to approve the loan.  Secondly, they made this loan a priority for us.  Lastly, we had the buyer assume the seller’s flood policy, so we were good to go, even amidst a government shutdown.  Both buyer and seller were ecstatic.  We could not have done it without the help of our lender, title company, and a buyer and seller working together to make it happen.

Has Government Shutdown Affected Mortgages and Closings

So, let’s give you an update on how the government shutdown is affecting other real estate closing throughout the country.

Flood Insurance – FEMA announced on December 28th that they would resume selling new policies and issuing renewals again.

IRS Tax Transcripts- Many top lenders are waiving IRS (4506-T) tax transcript verifications to fulfill a loan as they are unavailable now.

Nationally Realtors say that 9% of transactions involve a federal employee and the transaction is on hold.  13% have been impacted by the transcript issue, although there are workarounds for this with certain lenders.

The bottom line is the government shutdown isn’t having a huge impact on closings yet.  Any disruptions in closings can have a large impact on the overall economy as real estate generally impacts about 32% of GDP.

In uncertain times it pays to work with real estate professionals and lenders who have a track record of solving issues as they pop up.  Good Realtors know who the good lenders are.

Rising Inventory

Inventory has been rising, so selecting a professional who will market your home and make it stand out is important today.  Hopefully that same agent also knows how to get the home closed once they find a buyer, because in a rising inventory environment, you never want to have to sell the home twice. It pays to get the home closed the first time.

If you’re looking to buy a home, give our team a call.  We can get you pre-approved and get your home closed.  Just because a lender approves you doesn’t mean they can close you.  Experienced agents know that a mortgage pre-approval does not mean you have a guaranteed closing.  We can get you working with a lender with a track record of closing loans.

If you’d like to search for your dream home, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It has all the homes on the MLS, and it’s updated every 5 minutes.  No more missing out on hot new properties because the site you’re using doesn’t have it.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, always call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Brett and Sande handle the listings on the team. Let us show you how our marketing will set you apart and get your home to the closing table.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

111 NW 33rd Ave

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

1742 Ardmore  Rd

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

2008 Bolado Pkwy

There is much debate about the local SW Florida real estate market and whether it is shifting.  Experts speculate that it might because of everything from rising interest rates, rising prices, housing declines up North, to climate change. This makes selecting correct listing agent critical when market shifts even more important, which we’ll discuss later on.

Selecting Correct Listing Agent Critical When Market Shifts

One of the factors some experts look at when evaluating the market is housing inventory.  New listing inventory numbers were just released, and we noticed a few things.  First off, new listings increased 11% in October over 2017 new listings.  Secondly, current listing inventory stands at 5,823 which is 17.9% increase over last year.  So, what is causing this inventory buildup, and what can we do about it?

Inventory buildup is caused by several things including rising rates, decreasing home affordability, and false expectations.  Sellers read that home prices are up 2.9% over last year, so they add 2.9% to the figure they thought their home was worth last year, and voila, they have a number. Different homes appreciate at varying rates, just like certain neighborhoods appreciate at different rates than others due to location, age, the finances of the association, amenities, etc.

Most sellers believe we have a runaway market while many buyers are fearful that prices are too high and should come down.  The truth is both could be right, and both could be wrong, depending on the price range, neighborhood, and other factors.

Selecting Correct Listing Agent Critical When Market Shifts

In a shifting market, two things sell homes.  Marketing and Price.  Sometimes a correctly priced home won’t sell or won’t sell for full value if it isn’t marketed well.  However, history is littered with examples of overpriced merchandise that won’t sell no matter how well it’s marketed.  Marketing and pricing go hand in hand.

Other factors influence showings, like pet smells, kitchen and bath updates, the general condition of the property, etc.  It all comes down to price though.  What you have in it doesn’t necessarily affect value.  For instance, I was in GA at a real estate conference and they drove me by Evander Holyfield’s home.  I think they said it was a $30 million home to build, and it was in an area of acreage and homes worth a few hundred thousand dollars.  If Evander would have sold that home back then, there is no way he’d get $30 million, even though he may have had that much in it.  Who would buy it?

While that’s an extreme example, the same principal holds true.  Cost does not equal value.  If you want to sell, we must determine what the market is willing to pay.  It doesn’t matter how much you have in the home, how much you need to buy your next home, or how much you owe.  It’s just worth what’s it worth at this point in time.

Some sellers decide to wait until it goes up in value.  That’s fine if they realize it could go down in value too.  And, while they’re waiting for their property to go up in value, the thing they were going to buy with their proceeds might go up in value too.  What if it goes up faster than the home their waiting to sell?  They lose money by waiting.

We’re not here to talk sellers into anything or convince people to sell.  We do offer common sense solutions, and present ideas for them to keep in mind so they can make the best decision for their finances.  Buying and selling can be emotional, so they tend to have knee-jerk reactions.  Once buyers or sellers get an idea in their head, it’s hard to come off that. That’s where a seasoned professional with years of experience comes in.

It’s one thing to know the market, and it’s another to know how to deliver information to buyers and sellers in a format they can digest to make good decisions for their family.  If you’re thinking of buying or selling, call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 and we’ll help you with your questions, or go to www.SWFLhomevlaues.com to find out your home’s value for Free online.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Sunday 12-3 PM

7152 Reymoor Dr

7152 Reymoor Dr Riverfront Home
Riverfront Home

We get this question a lot?  Is it better to list SW Florida home in December or January?  The perception is there are more buyers here in season, so why not wait until season when more buyers are here, and the home will be fresher to the market.

The advice we’re about to give might fly in the face of reason, however it is steeped in experience and logic.  Yes, more visitors arrive in SW Florida in the seasonal months of January through April.  If you look at the closed sales chart, you’ll notice we typically have far more closings in December than we do in January.

Better to List SW Florida Home in December or January

Many buyers wish to get their sale in by year end for tax and homestead purposes.  It’s not uncommon for us to have a big sales month in December, probably for these reasons.

If we recognize that December can be a good month for sales, we must also recognize what happens each January and February.  The listings shoot through the roof.  January and February show the largest increase in listing inventory each year.  It will happen again this upcoming season.

Better to List SW Florida Home in December or January SW Florida Listing Inventory

As a seller, if you’re contemplating selling in the next few months, you are absolutely better off listing now.  Buyers are out there.  Our team has been busy showing properties to multiple buyers, and we have several offers in the works.

We tell sellers there may not be as many showings in December, but they showings that do occur tend to be from serious home buyers.  If the middle of November is any indication, showings this December might increase over previous years.

If sales activity is higher in December than January, and if there is far more listing competition in January, why would you wait to put your home on the market?  Statistically you’re better off putting it on the market now.

The answer is, sellers believe the holidays are a bad time to sell a home.  And the reality is, many agents believe it to, so they take the month of December off.  When they take the month off, it further confirms to them that nobody buys in December because they had no sales.

The same can be said for agents who take the summers off.  They believe there are no sales in the summer, and their belief becomes their reality.  As you can tell from the chart, summertime closings are some of the best months each year.  Why would you take those months off?

But then again, why would you hire a part-time Realtor?  To me, a part-time Realtor isn’t just an agent who has a primary job somewhere else and works real estate on the side.  A part-time Realtor can also be an agent that takes months off.  When you do that, you basically shut your business down.  It’s one thing to take a vacation.  Everybody needs them.  For heaven’s sake, if you’re going to take a vacation, get another agent to cover for you.  How would you like to be a seller and find out your agent took the month off?

That’s why having a team makes a lot of sense.  If any team member takes a vacation, the rest of the team picks up the slack.  The Ellis Team works 365 days per year, and yet not every agent on the team has to.  We want each of our team members to take some time off and come back refreshed.  It’s all part of offering 1st class service.

If you’re considering selling in the next 5 months, you should call Sande or Brett Ellis and discuss your options.  We’re not saying putting your house on the market today is the best for everybody.  We’re just saying be careful about listening to false assumptions.  If you’d like to talk, we’re here to help.  239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Or find out your home’s value online for free at www.SWFLhomevalues.com

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

13 High Point Cir N Unit 302, Naples FL  34103

In 2018 we’ve been on a recent record pace, eclipsing 2015 levels for homes sold in one year.  We haven’t gone back and analyzed against all-time highs more than a decade ago.  Since prices and home sales reset after the correction, we’re analyzing against recent records.  We believe we’re behind 2005 sales numbers, but not by as much as you would think. SW Florida homes closed YTD slipped slightly in September.

SW Florida Homes Closed YTD Slipped Slightly in September

We’ve been trending above 2015 numbers, so what changed?  In September of this year we dipped below 2015 levels and that set us back.  We only had 922 closed sales in September.  Back in 2015 we had 1,078.  I think we’ll be able to track where our market is headed by how well it holds up to 2015 levels.

This year we had 968 new pending sales.  Back in 2015 we had 1,169.  This could be an indicator that closed sales in October may fall below 2015 levels as well.  The median price back then was $211,578 and we had 3.7 months supply of inventory.  Contrast that with today our median price is $245,000 and a 4.9 month supply of inventory.

What’s different today is median home prices are 15.8% higher than they were 3 years ago, and interest rates were 3.978% and falling in 2015.  Today rates are at 4.875% and rising.  Rising rates have a way of spoiling home sales in that they rob buyers of purchasing power.  At some point they rob sellers too because if the sellers raise prices and rising interest rates also put pressure on buyers, the whole train stops.  You can’t have both for very long.  When buyers are maxed out, they’re at their limit.  With every rise in rates, it could be at the seller’s expense next.

The only thing that can offset this is rising wages.  Wages do appear to be on the rise somewhat, but they lag rises in rates.  This might explain why home prices haven’t risen since January of 2017.  Sure, we’ve seen blips up and down, but statistically they haven’t moved.

How does this affect sellers trying to sell their home?  First off, we’ve got a balanced market.  Homes are moving if marketed and priced correctly.  Perhaps now more than ever marketing becomes critical.  Prices are stagnant, interest rates are rising, and inventory is building.  Hiring a Realtor who markets is critical.  We’re not talking about posting it on all the websites.  That’s not marketing.  Anybody and everybody can do that.  If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, then definitely give us a call.  When you sit down and see, it’s easy to understand why our results are different.

This is also the silly season for Realtors.  Board dues are up end of the year.  Realtors that haven’t marketed or seen results from their lead generation begin shopping around.  As a last-ditch effort to save their career, they look to low cost brokerages to reduce fees.  Ultimately this doesn’t bring them more buyers or sellers, so they eventually quit, but it does buy them a few more months in the business.  Others look to hop on teams that provide leads.  Some are so deep in debt even this won’t work because they waited too long.  Or, they just don’t know how to close leads.

When selecting a Realtor, ask to see their marketing.  Then call us.  I bet you’ll see a difference.  Ask them how many listings they successfully sold last year.  Ask them how long they’ve been with their company.  Do they jump around?  Will they be at the same company in a month or two?  Can you get out of your listing if they move?  Ask all these questions before you sign up.

Your best bet is to just call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty the first time.  Sure, we help a lot of customers who are on their 2nd or 3rd Realtor.  Wouldn’t it make sense to just use us first?

Call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-40402 Ext 4 or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com   Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday November 3 1-3 PM

Open House Saturday November 3 1-3 PM

Open House Sunday November 4 1-3 PM

SW Florida Real Estate Closings Setting Strong Pace in 2018SW Florida Real estate closings setting strong pace in 2018 and it’s the best kept secret out there. Perhaps people are caught-up in the headlines of red-tide and blue-green algae and just assume the market is suffering.

I was just speaking with a lender this morning who mentioned she’s ready for real estate closings to start picking up.  Lenders of course get a large chunk of their business through Realtors, so I asked her what her perception of the market was.  In speaking with Realtors she works with, she had heard it was slow.

SW Florida Real Estate Closings Setting Strong Pace in 2018

If you look at the graph, you’ll see Lee County closings in 2018 are ahead of past year’s closings.  In fact, we are 689 of last year and 211 ahead of 2015, the second highest year in this time frame. The data shows that real estate closings are not slow, and yet Realtors, lenders, and maybe even the public thinks it is.

Your perception becomes your reality, and if you buy into a falsehood that the market is slow, suddenly your closings will be slow, which further confirms your suspicion that the market is indeed slow.  When you buy into false facts, your outcome is determined by your attitude and assumptions rather than what could have been.  If you simply change your thinking, you can change your world.

At Keller Williams we have a list or irrefutable laws, one of which is “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”   The SW Florida real estate market right now is a perfect example.  This market can be whatever you want it to be.  We have buyers looking to buy.  We have a good economy, and rates are low historically speaking although on their way up.  All favorable signs!

And yet we have some negatives.  Interest rates are rising, which is slowing buyer’s purchasing power.  Sales are slowing nationwide.  And of course, we have Red Tide and Blue Green Algae.  There, I said it.  We have positives on the table and we have negatives on the table.  So, which is it?

Every business should run a SWOT analysis.  Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.  Every business will have positives and negatives.  Every relationship will have both.  Your outcome is dependent on how you look at things.  Do you choose to see the opportunity, or do you choose to see the threat?

Facts are facts, and they often get in the way of how we’d like to perceive a situation.  The facts are, we’ve got a pretty good market right now.  If you’re an agent, you could either decide on how you’re going to go get your unfair share of sales or sit back and complain that sales are slow.  They’re not slow for everybody, only those that choose to buy into the negatives.

If you’re a seller, you want an agent that knows how to market and sell in all kinds of weather.  Three things are certain, markets go up, markets go down, and the weather is always changing.  If your home has been on the market and failed to sell, perhaps you need a new approach.

It failed to sell for one of two reasons.  Either it was overpriced, or it wasn’t marketed properly.  We’ve taken over listings that failed to sell and sold them at the same price, so it wasn’t the price.  We’ve taken over other listings that were overpriced, made the proper adjustments, and added our marketing and they sold.  Sometimes it’s both, the price and the marketing.

There is no substitute for proper marketing.  Failure to market properly will cause a home to sell at a lower price, or not at all.  Even homes priced correctly sometimes don’t sell, and that’s lack of marketing.

Call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and we’ll be happy to sit down and discuss both with you.  Or, go to www.SWFLhomevalues.com and get a quick and Free estimate of your home’s value, then call us when you’re ready to sell.

Good luck and happy selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

1742 Ardmore Rd

 

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

714 Fifth Ave, Lehigh Acres

Last year we warned about interest rates and what it could do to home buyers and sellers.  Since that warning interest rates have climbed .82%.  The consensus on the street is we’re not done yet.  Today we see rising interest rates squeezing home buyers and lowering affordability which can ultimately affect both buyer and seller.

Rising Interest Rates Squeezing Home Buyers and Lowering Affordability

A simple rise in rates robs a home buyer of between 10-11% of purchasing power.  In the example in the graph, a $200,000 home buyer before the rate increase now only qualifies for $180,000.  Let’s say the buyer still qualifies for $200,000.  Their monthly payment just went up $114.82.  Nothing else changed.  The purchase price is the same, the amount financed is the same.  The only thing that caused that payment to go up was the interest rate.  Over 30 years that increase adds up to $41,335.20.

Simply by waiting a year to purchase it cost a home buyer more payment or less house.  When you combine that with home price increases, it’s a double whammy for buyers.

We’re not done yet.  Experts are predicting rates to shoot up to 5% by the end of the year, and perhaps 6% by the end of 2019.  Even if they only raise half of that, you can clearly see that waiting costs more than it’s worth.  For home buyers, the time is now, and the sooner the better.

We have buyers just waiting for their lease to end.  In some cases, it makes sense to break the lease and pay the penalty.  Some apartments have a 1-month rental penalty.  Other landlords charge much more, so it’s wise to look at your lease and consult with an attorney.

Right now, we have limited inventory, so homes go fast.  As rates continue to climb, it will put more pressure on more buyers.  The pace at which the market can appreciate will have pressure on it.  If you’re a seller, you might want to think about listing now, for several reasons.

If you have a mortgage, chances you’ll get a mortgage on your new home.  Waiting to sell your home will cost you too when you go get a new mortgage.  Additionally, as rates rise, there will be fewer buyers that qualify for your home.  Lastly, as buyers begin to qualify for less and move down a price bracket, listings may rise in your price bracket.  When this occurs, price appreciation can stop.

If you’re waiting for prices to climb further, it’s a risky strategy.  Sure, price may climb higher, but it may still cost you.  You may not gain anything, and you’re taking a risk.  It’s more fun to sell when inventory is low.  And it’s more fun to purchase before rates rise much further.

Rates are still pretty low historically speaking.  We’re still in the 4’s.  I remember double digit rates.  The point is, even though rates are low, why pay more than you need to?  Next year, you’re likely to pay more.  The economy is heating up, and this drives pressure for rates to rise.

You know you want a new home.  The only thing holding you back is your home is still appreciating, and you don’t know where you’d go.  Give Sande or Brett Ellis a call at 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and we can walk you through the steps of a possible move.

We can figure out how much you’d net on the sale of your current home, and what it would take to get you a new home.  We can discuss financing options and how we’d structure the deal to make it work for you.  You never know until you speak with us.

Or, you can search the market online at www.LeeCountyOnline.com We’re here to help you today, tomorrow, or down the road when the stars align for you. We just want you to have the best information available, so you can make the best decision for your family.

Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty Fort Myers & the Islands!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

Big Online Advertising Changes Affecting Realtors Marketing Results Visitors by Country

We knew online advertising changes were coming.  Facebook, under increasing pressure from the government, changed its targeting of consumers to avoid discrimination claims for things like housing and other industries.  Let’s talk about big online advertising changes affecting Realtors marketing results.

The funny thing is, many of the things we were targeting were not discriminatory at all.  For instance, we used to target a group in Facebook “Likely to Move” or renters.  Renters are always a good group of people to target as eventually many of them would love to own a home.  Many Realtors would send out mail pieces to apartment complexes specifically targeting renters.  I don’t see how targeting renters on Facebook is any different, but whatever it takes to satisfy the government, I guess.

Big Online Advertising Changes Affecting Realtors Marketing Results

We believe going forward realtors will give up on Facebook advertising when they no longer get the results they’re used to, but they shouldn’t.  This past week we had 4 open houses which we advertised in the newspaper as well as several online sites.  Additionally, we selected 4 Facebook target groups.  2 groups were accepted.  Facebook denied 2 groups even though I made the appropriate changes they suggested.  Their system just wasn’t equipped to allow the ad.

So, I spent most of the day yesterday studying their system.  I was able to crack the code and I’ve identified several new targeted audiences I think will produce good results for our sellers.  With every obstacle an opportunity is presented.  Not only will these new audiences present opportunities, so will the failure of other online ads.  When other Realtor’s ads are rejected, and they surely will be because Facebook doesn’t know any better, Realtors will give up.  Their ads will either be less effective or won’t run at all.

By spending a whole day studying the system, we’re betting this will pay off big for our clients.  The other thing I think is important is we don’t put all our online eggs in one basket.  The Ellis Team are huge advertisers on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and many other effective sites.  We advertise where they online eyeballs are.  If they shift, we shift.

Big Online Advertising Changes Affecting Realtors Marketing Results Visitors by Country

Facebook made these changes in August, and yet I just pulled up our online numbers.  We have many websites, so I just picked LeeCountyOnline.com for a look.  In the past 30 days we had almost 5,000 unique visitors.  We’re able to track which country they come from, and even what state.  We can track which pages they like, if they’re on desktop or mobile, and lots more.

Big Online Advertising Changes Affecting Realtors Marketing Results Visitors by State

Top Countries

It’s interesting to note that Germany and Brazil are generating lots of visitors followed by Canada and France.  Inside the United States we note that New York and Wisconsin are the most popular outside of Florida.  One of our buyer agents commented on how many people they are working with recently from Wisconsin.  The online numbers bear that out.

New York and New Jersey both made the top 10 list.  It’s no surprise as taxes are high in those two states because they limit out on the SALT deduction, more are moving to Florida from those states.

If you wish to attract foreign buyers, or buyers from other states you must have an effective online advertising strategy.  As you can see from the stats, The Ellis Team has figured it out.  Much of what we do is effective organic content, and much is paid search advertising.  One without the other is only half a strategy.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, please contact Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  We’ll show you how we can put our print and online advertising to work for you, so you too can reach these buyers.  If you’re a buyer and you’ve found us, you can call us too, as we enjoy helping people buy their dream home in paradise.  Remember, Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty!

Visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com for a FREE online valuation of your home.  It’s a great place to get started before you’re ready to meet with a Realtor.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-3 PM

Cape Coral Pool Home

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

San Carlos Park New Construction

What a difference a month makes.  A little over a month ago we were reporting rising inventory and median price increases of .8%.  Since then, inventory fell by almost 100 homes and Southwest Florida median home prices rose 8.2% in July from last year.  They rose 2% from June numbers alone.  The average price increase in July was 15.8% over last year and was about steady from the previous month.  One of the reasons we use the median price is it’s more stable and is not subject to wild fluctuations like the average is.

Southwest Florida Median Home Prices Rose 8.2% in July

In any event, both indicators are healthy gains.  All we see or hear in the media is how the water crisis is taking a toll on business and real estate sales.  Perhaps it is affecting waterfront real estate sales, however statistically we can’t say it’s hurting the overall market.  You must be careful not to buy into negative news.

At the Ellis Team, we’re all for reporting the news accurately.  It usually tells a story, but not always the story you think.  We like to look at the numbers and see if there is a cause and effect.  Sometimes there is, and sometimes there isn’t.  What is a problem for some becomes an opportunity for others, and we’re not just talking about the water crisis.

If you let outside influences affect your outlook, it can become your reality.  If you’re a real estate agent and you believe the market is down, you’ll sell as if the market is down.  When you believe the market is good, you’ll sell that way too.  You’ve heard the sayings, “Anything the mind can conceive, it will achieve”, and “Perception is reality”. This is 100% true.

We’re not saying agents should pump themselves up by saying the market is something it isn’t!  The sooner you identify and tackle reality the sooner you are on your way solving an issue. We are saying that agents and the public should seek first to understand before making broad assumptions.

If you were a military planner, you wouldn’t attack New Zealand because Syria was acting up.  You’d look at the whole situation and determine if force was even necessary to begin with, and if so, where.  The same is true in real estate.  Salt water waterfront may be affected while fresh water and non-waterfront might be on fire.

I haven’t gone in and done an in-depth analysis of salt water sales, so I can’t even tell you if it’s being harmed nor by how much.  I’ve seen agents on TV telling us how bad it’s affected their sales.  While I don’t doubt that, you must ask the question.  Is that their perception making their reality come true, or is it fact?  It could very well be fact, and perhaps one of these days we’ll research that and report to you what we find.

If you’re a buyer, or seller, it pays to know which segments of the market are hot, and which are not.  It affects how soon you must place your offer when you find a nice home, and how close to asking price you should offer.  The Ellis Team are experts at counseling buyers and sellers.  Sande and Brett each have over 30 years’ experience, and we have a team of agents we meet with every week and discuss market conditions.

Last week one of our agents identified a hot buy alert on a property in Cape Coral.  One of our other agents on the team sold it.  When you have a small army who knows the market and works in it every day, it helps all your clients.

If you’re looking to purchase, call us at 239-489-4042 or check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It has some of the area’s best buys, and it’s updated instantly.  If you’re thinking of selling, check out www.SWFLhomevalues.com, or call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.

We’ll be happy to give you great advice we give all our clients.  The value isn’t in the agent showing you homes, it’s in the knowledge behind the research.  The Ellis Team has the knowledge and the research.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

The Future of Real Estate Southwest Florida Market Update August 2018

If you’ve noticed a lack of housing options in your home search, you’re not alone.  Home prices have been climbing nationwide since 2011.  It’s no coincidence that new home construction has played a role in the surge in home prices nationwide.

Lack of New Home Construction Nationwide Fueling Housing Shortage

Lack of New Home Construction Nationwide Fueling Housing Shortage

Many homeowners in SW Florida would love to sell their home and move to another.  They’re caught in a catch 22 situation because their home is sell-able, and yet they haven’t found a suitable place to move to.  Because housing inventory is so light, many sellers won’t accept a contingency offer, because they don’t have to.  So, when a homeowner finds a home they like, they don’t have time to place their home on the market and act.

Lack of New Home Construction Nationwide Fueling Housing Shortage Rising Prices

If the kids are grown and moved out of the house, some sellers have options.  If their home is no longer working for them, they can sell and move into a rental while they shop for a new home.  They can build a new home, or they can wait for a resale.  These homeowners are in an advantageous position right now because we can get top dollar for their home, and they’re ready to pounce when the right home hits the market.

If they wait, they must put their home on the market fast, and perhaps take less for their home just to make the speed part of the deal work.

Nationwide, the historical average of new homes being built is 1 million.  Since 2011, we haven’t hit 1 million yet.  Each year, we’re adding to the deficit of what the market needs.  The lack of supply puts pressure on the resale market and prices rise.  The rub is that prices are rising at 6% while incomes are only rising at 2-3%.  There is a top, and this is where new construction can help ease the burden.

Experienced Agents Get Creative in Low Inventory Markets

The Ellis Team at Keller Williams has gotten creative in finding housing for our buyers.  The first thing we do is provide the area’s best website for house shopping.  Our website www.LeeCountyOnline.com updates every minute, so you’re looking at homes in real-time.  Speed wins and beating out other buyers to hot new listings is the name of the game.  We have some new mortgage options too that are saving buyers thousands of dollars on their transaction.  This has enabled some buyers to purchase now and list their home after they’ve secured their next home.

We’ve also put a few deals together with a home sale contingency.  Sometimes it makes sense, and when it does we’re able to negotiate that, so it works for buyer and seller.  It takes a skilled and experienced agent to negotiate this, so don’t try this with a newer agent.

If you’ve thought about selling, but not sure where you would go if your home did sell, you should call Sande or Brett Ellis (239-489-4042 Ext 4) for a free quick meeting.  After listening to your situation, we may be able to find a solution that suits your needs.  We have a secret list of buyers just waiting for the right home to come on the market too, so we might already have your buyer.  If you’d like to get an idea of what your home may be worth, check out www.swflhomevalues.com 

Selling now can be a big advantage while inventory is low.  Many sellers will place their home on the market as season approaches.  Having buyers all to yourselves for a few months is fun, and quite possibly you’ll have your home sold before other sellers.

Call the Ellis Team today and see how we can accomplish your goals.  Good luck, and Happy Home Hunting!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

15118 Cloverdale Dr

15118 Cloverdale Dr Parker Lakes Ellis Team Weekend Open House
Parker Lakes Open House

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2008 Bolado Pkwy Cape Coral

Cape Coral Pool Home Ellis Team Weekend Open House