Mortgage applications rise sparking important questions this past week 8.1% as mortgage rates fell.  We are consistently seeing rates below 4%.  Recently we had a buyer receive 3.25% on a fixed rate loan.  With rates falling, it’s sparking two important questions.

Mortgage Applications Rise Sparking Important Questions

If I own a home, should I refinance?  The answer depends on two things.  What is the differential in the rate you have currently and today’s rates, and how long do you plan on staying in the home?  Does your current home meet your needs?  We are at a historic time.  This is an opportunity to lock in a low rate for your home, or an opportunity to find something better and lock that in.

You May Qualify For More Home Now

You might qualify for much more home than ever before due to these low rates.  Your dream home you thought was an impossible dream might just now be a reality.  The question is, are you content where you are, or do you aspire for something better?  Now is the time.  There is no right or wrong answer, It’s your answer.  What we can say is there is a right or wrong time, and now is the right time.

If you don’t currently own a home, now is the best time from a financial standpoint.  Only you can answer if it’s a good time job wise, relationship wise, etc.  It’s been proven that owning a home is key to accumulating long-term wealth.  Putting money in the stock market may not work out the way you want.  Income stocks and bonds, CD’s, and interest bearing accounts aren’t paying much either.  Real estate may be your best bet, and now is the time.

You may need help deciding whether to keep your existing home and fix it up or sell it and buy another.  You’d probably think a real estate agent would only want to sell you something, so no sense consulting with an agent.  A good agent will listen to what you’re trying o accomplish and make suggestions for you to consider.  This is a moment in history, and you may not get a do-over.

Real Estate Sales Versus Consultant

Good real estate agents know things the general public does not.  We can offer advice based upon your needs, even if it’s not deciding to sell.  When you receive good advice, you’re much more likely to recommend your agent to people you know.  Great agents know that if they take care of their customers, their customers will always take care of them.

We help a lot of people buy and sell property in SW Florida.  Sometimes we don’t take a listing because we can’t help the seller.  Sure, we could take a lot more listings, but in the end, if you know it’s not right you’re not helping anybody.

Most sellers don’t know for sure where they’d go if they sold.  They know their current home isn’t ideal for them anymore, but they don’t know how they’d get to another home.  It’s logistics.  This is where a great agent can help.  You must have a plan to get from point A to point B.  There are steps, and good agents have a track record of accomplishing this.  Sellers see the task as daunting, so they give up before they start.

Mortgage Applications Rise Sparking Important Questions

Sometimes homeowners look back on their life and hate how they’ve been stuck someplace that doesn’t make them happy.  We’re not saying you should sell today at all costs.  What we are saying is if you have a home that isn’t working for you anymore, there are options, and today more things are possible than they were in past.

Call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and schedule a sit-down appointment to go over your needs.  If you’re just looking for a quick, free online evaluation, we provide that service as well.  Simply go to www.SWFLhomevalues.com and it does a pretty good job of estimating your home’s value instantly.  Did we say Free?

Of course, there’s no substitute for consulting with us.  We’re here when you’re ready to talk, and we have tools for you if you’re just curious and beginning the thought process.

Good luck and Happy Home Buying/Selling!

See last week’s article “Median Time to Contract Increased 20.6% in August

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Ellis Team Facebook Page-Open Houses

 

The latest news release from Florida Realtors show Lee County Florida home sales down 6.8% in April but still up from 2016 and 2017 levels.  We are seeing increasing inventory and time on the market, and home prices are flat.  Total dollar volume of sales was down 12.3%, so we’re definitely experiencing a shifting market.

Lee County Florida April Home Sales Down 6.8%
Lee County Florida April 2019 Home Sales Down 6.8%

How you look at the market might just depend on your expectations.  If you look at it over the last 4 years, this is the 2nd highest rated market.  You can also look at it as down versus last year, and the fundamentals propelling the market are down as well.

So where do we go from here?  A lot of that will depend on the economy, interest rates, and consumer sentiment.  Right now, consumer confidence is fairly strong.  Interest rates have declined, and the economy is doing well.  The wild cards right now are the trade wars and their effects on the overall economy moving forward.

Trade between Mexico and Canada has a chance at improving significantly depending on if congress passes the latest revision to NAFTA.  Trade with China has the potential to increase drastically or go South in a hurry.  Long term it’s in our best interests to hold tight, but there is pressure on farmers and retail to wrap it up sooner rather than later.  There could be long-term winners and short-term losers in that deal.

We don’t control what happens in the future.  What we know is many want to buy here, and many want to sell.  As in any market, the trick is pricing homes at today’s market and then marketing the home so as many prospects as possible see it.

One of the best websites to search for properties is www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It’s great because it’s updated in real-time and includes all the listings.  Additionally, there are neighborhood market reports, so buyers and sellers can get an idea of what’s going on at the neighborhood level too.

Memorial Day weekend is a great weekend to enjoy the outdoors.  It’s going to be hot.  Perhaps you’re looking to purchase a home with a big back yard so you can entertain friends and family, play games, and enjoy some BBQ on the grill.  Perhaps you’re looking for a pool home in this hot weather.  Or you’re looking for a waterfront home or condo so you can go out on the boat right from your back yard.  We’ve got it all on our website.

And if you’re looking to sell, we can give you a free online estimate of your home’s value.  Simply go to www.SWFLhomevaues.com and it will show you instantly.  Or call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4  Many buyers need to sell their home first, and that’s where we can help.  We can time it, so we sell your home and find you a property to purchase as well.  All this takes coordination with the lender, title company, and the next home you’re purchasing.  We handle all the details for you so you can enjoy the process.

So, this weekend go out and enjoy the outdoors.  When you’ve had enough sun and heat, check out our websites and search for the next home that will meet your needs better.  We’ve even got boat clubs we can recommend, which might save you some money.  Some buyers elect to go this route and not buy a waterfront home and still enjoy the fabulous boating we have here in SW Florida.  Others want that boat right at their house.  Either way, we can help.

Stay safe, enjoy the weekend, and Happy House Hunting!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 1-4 PM

1742 Ardmore Rd

$273,240

Edison Park Home

Open House Sunday 12-3 PM

3681 Gloxinia Dr

$225,000

Sabal Springs Home on Private Lot

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

914 El Dorado Pkwy E

$925,000

Cape Coral Waterfront Open House

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

14528 Aeries Way

$450,000

Eagle Ridge Home on Private Lot

 

Which is more valuable, your home or your data?  iBuyer Programs Steal Your Home and Your Data so let’s investigate what an iBuyer program is and what its goals are.

iBuyer Programs Steal Your Home and Your Data

iBuyer programs offer an easy button to sell a home, with a catch.  These are investors looking to scoop up homes at a large discount.  Essentially you sell your home so far below market value it becomes lucrative for an investor to buy and flip your home.  They make all the profit.  In other words, you’re giving your home equity over to them.

iBuyer programs are nothing new.  Investors have been posting those pesky road signs all over the place offering to pay cash for your home or buy ugly houses for decades.  Today’s iBuyer program is different, because they have another motive.  They want your data.

iBuyer programs realize once people see their offer then subtract fees, closing costs, and repairs after their inspections, over 90% of sellers become disgusted and turn them down.  By then, it’s too late.  They’ve captured all your data.  They sell that data and make millions.  Their goal is to make billions.

Here’s how it works.  First, you get an offer.  It’ll be low, perhaps 10% or more below market value.  It gets even better.  They tack on fees, typically in the 5-7.5% range.  Then they add closing costs in the 2-3% range.  Then they do inspections, because up until this point they haven’t even seen your home.  It’s all been done using data points and algorithms.  The report comes back, and they decide you need $15,000 in repairs plus your kitchen needs updating, so tack on another $20,000.  At this point, the seller is furious.

The seller says no, and the deal is off.  The iBuyer program knows how much you owe on the home, how old your roof, appliances and air conditioner are, what improvements are needed to the home, where you’ll be moving once you sell, and much more.  How? Because you answered their questions to continue through the process.  You didn’t like the ending, but you were curious through the process to see what number they would give you.  They had you at hello.

So, you say, “I’ll sell my home with a broker and keep the profit yourself.”  That’s ok, because they refer you to “top brokers” in the area.  You guessed it; they collect a referral fee from agents they recommend.  They may not be the best agents, but surely, they are agents paying them a fee.

Have you seen ads on TV promising to find the best agents in your neighborhood?  HomeLight is one that comes to mind, and they are also an iBuyer.  Contractors, remodelers, home improvement stores would all be interested in the age of your appliances, or what your kitchen and baths look like.  Same with flooring.  Now they have pictures, because you guessed it, the inspector took pictures during the inspection period.

Outside mortgage companies have your info too because they bought your data.  They know your phone number, email address, how much you owe, where you’re going, and more.  The simple offer you were curious to get has become a treasure trove of data.

If you sell your home to the iBuyer, they win big.  If you refuse to sell, they still win big.  The only loser is the poor seller who was just curious to use the easy button and sell their home if the price was right.

Keller Williams is coming out with an iBuyer program to prevent this.  We have no intention of selling the data.  We’re not going to refer it out to other agents.  If the seller doesn’t like the cash offer, they’ll use one of our agents to get full market value.  We have our own mortgage company that offers a zero-lending fee loan.  So, we’re not selling to other mortgage companies.  We’re not selling to contractors or home improvement stores.  We simply want to provide the iBuyer option so people don’t go to other places that will sell your data.

Our program is rolling out to 8 markets this year and more after that.  If you’re thinking of selling your home and want full market value, Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty Fort Myers & the Islands 239-489-4042 Ext 4 or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open Saturday 12-3 PM

Eagle Ridge Home

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