I recently read an article in USA Today about how the housing inventory shortage nationwide reached 20-year low and how it’s affecting the market.  While every market is local and is influenced by its own factors we do not work in isolation of other markets.  Therefore, national stats are also of interest to us.

For instance, if the economy is down nationwide chances are it’s affecting us here in SW Florida.  Additionally, if snow birds have a hard time selling their properties up North, they may not all be able to purchase down here.

Housing Inventory Shortage Nationwide

The article mentions there is a 4.3 month supply of homes on the market nationwide.  Locally we calculate the supply to be 4.22 months, so we’re pretty similar to national statistics.  One of the reasons mentioned in the article for the tight supply is that baby boomers aren’t likely to move in the next year.  78% of baby boomers are happy with where they live, and baby boomers own about 33 million homes.

While many baby boomers would love to move to Florida or Arizona, some are reluctant to leave family and friends behind.  While this is mentioned in the article, it’s not a trend we’re seeing locally.  It appears to us now more than ever baby boomers are eager to move and family isn’t holding them back.  Of course, we tend to deal with those that are contemplating making the move versus those that never would.

Millennials have started purchasing recently which will add to tight supplies.  We believe as baby boomers age they will begin to think about smaller homes, homes in warmer climates, or homes that meet their needs due to health reasons.  Not every baby boomer will appreciate a 2 or 3 story home up North.  Once they decide a 2-story home is no longer their best option, they may consider whether staying up North is too.  It opens the whole gamut once a move is considered.

Thankfully builders are building again.  Unfortunately, most buyers don’t know all the building developments available to them, nor which ones are offering incentives and discounts.  Most buyers don’t realize they get a better deal through a realtor than they do walking in on their own.

If they walk in and ask that question the answer will be it’s the same price whether you’re represented by a Realtor or not.  They may not tell you about incentives, and they certainly won’t tell you about competing builders in other neighborhoods.

We’re getting early word that the Fed will scale back it’s $4.5 Trillion in bonds beginning in September.  This will raise interest rates.  If rates go up we could see a buying frenzy followed by a reduction in the rate of growth in home prices.  Nationwide the S&P Core Logic  Case Shiller home price index was up 5.6% due to low inventory.  Rising rates could curtail that growth.

Either way we need more homes.  The economy is doing better and people are buying.  If you’re thinking of selling, you might want to cash in before the stream of sellers enter the market.  You can see from the chart inventory is lowest in the summer and picks back up again starting in September/October.  Why compete with all the other sellers next season when you can have them all to yourself now?

If you’d like to talk about selling your home, please call Sande or Brett at 239-489-4042 Ext 4  Or you can go to www.SWFLhomevalues.com and find out your home’s value for free in minutes.

If you’d like to search for your next home check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com  Our team can help you find your next home and sell the one you have, making it a smooth transaction.

Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty!  We’re here to help.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open Saturday 1-4 PM

1339 Longwood Dr

4 Bed, 3 Bath, Waterfront Pool Home Between McGregor and River

Waterfront Pool Home-Minutes to River

Open House Sunday 1-4 PM

4351 Pine Rd

4 Bed, 3 Bath Plenty of Room for RV or Boat on Property $325,000

Estero Home Perfect for RV

 

Let’s start with what we know and work backwards.  Homes priced $200,00 or less are flying off the shelves with multiple offers.  Homes up to $250,000 are as well in some neighborhoods, but not all.  This assumes the home is in good condition and priced correctly.  So, you might wonder why we’re asking the question, are changes brewing in Southwest Florida real estate market?

Buyers are still buying; however, we’re noticing they’re price sensitive now.  Prices have gone up so much perhaps it’s testing the limits of what buyers can or will pay.  Sellers are counter-offering offers and buyers aren’t just accepting that.  They are negotiating back and forth until both are happy. Some buyers are walking from counter-offers.  We’ve seen this over the years and it appears it’s no longer a seller’s market across the board.

Changes Brewing in Southwest Florida Real Estate Market median time to contract

The numbers from June seem to bear that out as well.  The median time to contract jumped 7 days in June from May’s numbers, and 9 days from last year.  It’s taking longer to get contracts on houses.  It’ll be interesting to see July’s numbers in a few weeks.

Changes Brewing in Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Median time to sell

Median time to sale also jumped to 117 days.  That’s a 11.4% increase from last year.  New listings are up 5.8% and new pendings were down 1.6% from last year.  Could these be leading indicators for sales in months to come?

So, what’s the takeaway here?  Sellers need to take a good hard look at their price and make sure they’re competitive.  If your home has been on the market awhile, it may be time to re-evaluate where you stand.  New listings could have come on the market and become instantly more attractive than your home, or other sellers may have reduced their price.  Both events can affect you.  Sometimes as little as $2,000 in some sub-markets can be the difference between selling and sitting.

We are in a price sensitive market, primarily because prices have risen and stretched home buyers thin.  They simply can’t purchase as much home as they could have a year ago.  We warned buyers this would happen.  And we’re warning sellers not to get too greedy now.

Prices are good.  Buyers are buying.  We don’t have a runaway market where the seller gets to dictate all the terms.  Buyers and sellers are on even ground right now, and price matters.  Sellers, you’re not in competition with the buyer.  You’re in competition with all the other sellers out there competing for your buyer.

Buyers, same thing.  You’re not in competition with the seller.  You’re in competition with all the other buyers out there for the best properties.  The best valued homes always sell fast. You don’t want to be late to the table and eating scraps when you could have had the best.  Be prepared. Get your financing in order so you can jump when that property hits the market.

To take advantage of opportunities in this market we’d suggest sitting down with us and going over your objectives.  As a buyer, we can show you the best homes and eliminate the rest. Wasting time on the junk takes away time looking at the good stuff.  That can be the difference between success and failure.  Let an Ellis Team professional work with you and save you time.  We have some other tips for you as well that we’ll save for when we meet.

Sellers should have the same sit-down with us.  We’ll educate you on the market, look at your competition, and show you how we market better than anybody.  This can be the difference between selling and sitting on the market.

Feel free to search homes at www.LeeCountyOnline.com  Our database comes directly from the MLS and is always up to date, unlike some of these other sites with bad or outdated data.

You can always call us at 239-489-4042  We’d love to help you buy or sell your next home in paradise!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open Sat 1-3 PM

13812 Lily Pad Cir Gate 2 Reflection Lakes

Reflection Lakes

13812 Lily Pad Cir

3 Bed, 2 Bath, 1,474 SQ Ft 2 Car Garage-Gated Community

$250,000

 

Open Sat 2-4 PM

Lakefront Condo with 2 Car Garage

Fisherman’s Cove

10081 Lake Cove Dr Unit 101

3 Bed, 2 Bath 1,564 SQ Ft 2 Car Garage

$227,500

 

Open Sun 1-4 PM

Daniels Park 3 Bed + Den

Daniels Park

14011 Danpark Loop

3 Bed, 2 Bath 1,830 Sq Ft Gated Community

$275,000

Some agents say the number of home sales is up.  Some say it’s down.  The data show 2017 SW Florida home sales trending between 2015-2016 levels.  As you can tell by the chart, home sales fell off the 2nd half of the year the past two years.  Home sellers wishing to sell now might get a little nervous reading this chart, but don’t be.

In fact, this can be good news for home sellers.  We’ll let you in on a little secret.  There were 2,001 fewer listings last August than there were this February.  Some sellers make the decision to sell in season because an agent told them there were more home sales in season.

2017 SW Florida Home Sales Trending Between 2015-2016 Levels Homes Closed

It’s true, there were more home sales in season.  However, there were more homes to sell too.  When inventory goes down home sales go down.  Not because there isn’t demand, but rather because product isn’t there to sell.

If you’re a home seller contemplating selling, the end of summer and fall can be an excellent time because you’ll have less competition from other sellers.

2017 SW Florida Home Sales Trending Between 2015-2016 Levels Median Sales Prices

The median sales price is up 7.6% in June over last year, and the average sales price was up 6.1%. Not too shabby.  You can wait until season to sell your home, and there might be more lookers for your home.  There will also be more competition from other sellers for those lookers.

We’re seeing new construction coming in and competing now too, which is good in a way for sellers because many local sellers don’t want to sell until they know where they’re going.  Local sellers just couldn’t find an appropriate home to move into even though they’d like to make a move.

We can help with that.  Our team knows about several new communities and builders the public doesn’t always know about.  Why?  Because builders don’t advertise like they used to, so buyers don’t know where to find them.

Even when buyers do stumble on a builder or new community they don’t know if it’s a good deal.  That’s where a professional agent comes in.  Builders advertise to agents because they know we can bring in repeat business.  We find out about deals and incentives the public doesn’t hear about.

If you’re looking to make a move but you don’t know where, a free consultation with a friendly and informative Ellis Team agent might just do the trick.  We can show you how much we can sell your home for and what you would net out after sale paying all expenses and mortgages.  We can then calculate how much you’ll have to put down on the next home, and what you can buy for a similar payment.

Perhaps you’ve had a promotion, or perhaps a loss in income and you’d like to downsize.  Either way, you want a great home for the value.  We can help with that.

If you’d like to take your time and search on your own, try out www.LeeCountyOnline.com.  You can search all the homes for free and even find out what your home is worth.  If you’d like to sit down and talk to us, you can call us at 239-489-4042.  Brett and Sande are easy to talk to and we like to answer questions and solve issues.

We know buying and selling isn’t always as simple as picking up the phone and going shopping.  There are many factors to consider, and timing it all can be important.  We’re patient and helpful.  If you’d like to discuss your options, we’d love to talk.   Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty!  We’re here to help.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

3 Bed Home in Cape Coral

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

3835 Palm Tree Blvd, Cape Coral, FL 33904

$275,000

3 Bed, 2 Bath 1,771 SQ Ft Living Area

 

Last week we talked about the efficiency of the real estate market.  Simply put, the Southwest Florida real estate market isn’t as efficient as the stock market.  No real estate market is, because the information isn’t as readily available and we’re not dealing with apples and apples. So why do some homes sell below market Value?

Why Do Some Homes Sell Below Market Value

Let’s elaborate.  The stock market has what they call the big board.  Everybody can look up and see what a stock is trading at this second.  If you’re looking at class A common stock for a company, 100 shares of the same stock are exactly the same.  There is no difference.  Additionally, everybody has access to the same information on the company at precisely the same time.

The real estate market is different.  Even if you have two homes with the exact same floor plan, they are different.  They are located on separate lots, making potential differences in location value.  The upgrades can be different.  Their repair and maintenance may differ, and of course the decorating and appearance can affect the value of the homes as well.  One home may have a pool.  They may not be built the same year with the same materials.

And this assumes it’s the exact same floor plan.  We all know most homes aren’t the exact same floor plan.  So how would a consumer, appraiser, bank, property appraiser, seller, or agent fairly compare various homes against each other?  It’s a complicated process, because you’re not dealing with apples and apples like a stock.

The other component that affects what a home might sell for is the exposure to the market.  If the home is fully exposed, presumably everyone who is looking in that price range for those amenities would be aware of the home.  This just isn’t the case.

Have you ever driven by a neighborhood and said to yourself, “Wow, I didn’t even know this subdivision was here?”  Or open a newspaper and wonder where that home is located?  These are two examples whereby if the customer didn’t stumble upon the area or see an ad for the property, they wouldn’t even know it existed.

The agent you hire to expose your home to the market makes all the difference.  If you wanted to sell a widget online in an auction, do you think you’d get more if you had 1,000 bidders than just 1 or 2 bidders?  Of course, you would.  Full exposure equals full market value.  Partial exposure equals less than full market value.  This is one reason For Sale By Owners net 16% less on average than using an agent.

Not all agents are the same.  Some offer limited market exposure, which is better than sell by yourself.  Some offer much more exposure.  Of course, all this marketing costs money, so every agent can’t do it because they don’t have the money.

Agents get creative and clever and tell you that the home will be listed on 50-100 Internet sites and that’s all you need.  This isn’t full exposure.  Sure, it’s better than nothing but it’s not full exposure like we’re talking about.  Don’t assume all agents are the same, and don’t assume all marketing is the same.  It just isn’t!

Your home isn’t just like every other home.  It needs to stand out.  It needs someone to stand up for it and say Buy Me, I’m special!  The Ellis Team can do that for you.

Why Do Some Homes Sell Below Market Value?

Recently while doing some market research I stumbled upon a property that is undervalued.  It’s sad because the home should sell for more than it’s currently listed for.  It’s been on the market awhile.  It could use a few repairs that would make a big difference, but I presume it just may not have been marketed like it could be.  This seller will undoubtedly net less than they should simply because they didn’t do a few repairs and because the market doesn’t realize it’s a good deal.

The real estate market is not as efficient as the stock market.  If you’re looking for Top Dollar, Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams! 239-489-4042 or visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com and search the market like a pro.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Bell Tower Park Open House

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

5691 Kensington Loop

$330,000

 

Tanglewood Open House

1561 Cumberland Ct

Open Sunday 1-3 PM

$285,000

 

Reflection lakes Open House

13812 Lily Pad Cir

Open Sunday 1-3 PM

$250,000

From time to time we go on listing appointments whereby the seller doesn’t like their current market value, so they decide to wait until the market goes up to sell.  Waiting for market increase could cost you money.

3 Reasons Sellers Overprice Homes

We know why sellers overprice their home. It’s always one of three reasons.  Need, greed, or ego.  We all know the market doesn’t care what a seller needs to sell for, nor does it care how much a seller would like to get for the home.  This brings us to ego.  Some sellers want to sell at a certain price because they don’t want to lose money.  You might think this is greed, but it’s actually ego.  It’s an ego thing to hold out for break-even or better.  It feels good to tell people, or yourself, that you didn’t lose money.  If anything, you made money.

Sometimes ego can get in the way of a sound financial decision.  First, you’re not guaranteed to make money on every deal, and it’s not your fault.  The market can change, the economy can change, and demographics can change.  All are beyond your control.  You win some, you lose some.  And nobody else really cares how you did except yourself.

So if we’re into convincing ourselves what the best decision is, let’s look at the whole picture.  I took a real-life scenario and broke it down.  At the end, you can answer what the best decision is.

Waiting For Market Increase Could Cost You Money

Seller has a home that’s worth $400,000.  He really wants to sell for $420,000.  He knows it’s 5% above the market and home won’t appraise, so he figures he’s better off waiting until next year to get his money.  Is he better off though?

Waiting For Market Increase Could Cost You Money

The seller’s home is 12 years old.  At some point it will need a new roof, air conditioner, water heater, pool pump, etc.  This seller owes $350,000.  The principal and interest payment is $1,670.95/mo.  Additionally, they pay $4,000/yr in taxes, $2,000/yr in homeowners insurance, $500/yr flood insurance, and $3,600 yr in HOA fees.

The seller is waiting until the home goes up $20,000 in value.  Let’s say it takes a year.  In one year’s time this seller just incurred $30,151 in expenses. This does not include the yard, utilities, budgeted maintenance for things like a roof, AC, pool pump, paint, water heater, etc.  If anything breaks down it’s in addition to the $30,151.  If the seller waits a year, he actually loses $10,151 waiting for that extra $20,000.  Sure, his mortgage balance might be slightly lower than next year, but his cost of sale will be higher too (doc stamps, title insurance, etc. )

And there is no guarantee this home will be worth more next year.  In that case it would really cost the seller.  There is one more cost to think about as well.

Unless the seller already owns their next home they have to replace the current one.  If their home goes up 5%, it’s logical to assume their next home may go up about 5% too.  So did they really save anything?

And even if they already own their next home, did paying taxes on two properties and all the costs save them?  Definitely not.  So next time you’re forced with a decision on price, ask yourself this question.  Is my motivation based upon need, greed, or ego?  If the answer is yes to any one of these, calculate the cost of keeping your home versus the expected gain and evaluate.  Often the best answer will be to sell now, in which case you’ll have to decide what your bigger need is, a sound financial decision or a happy ego.

Talk to Your Ego

An ego doesn’t know any better.  It’s based upon the information you give it.  If you tell your ego you’ve come to a logical decision based upon facts, your ego will surprise you and reward you.

If you’d like to talk to us about your options, we’re here to help.  239-489-4042  If you’d like to surf for your next home, or get an idea of what nearby homes are selling for try www.LeeCountyOnline.com

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!  Always call the Ellis Team!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Golfer’s Dream – Low Golf Fees

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

14381 Hickory Fairway Ct

Olde Hickory   $465,000

4 Bed 3 Bath- 3 Car Garage on Lake  2,647 SQ Ft

 

Pool Home Close to Fort Myers Beach

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

15271 Thornton Rd

Iona Area  $300,000

3 Bed, 2 Bath- 2 Car Garage Pool Home

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