Each year the Ellis Team studies a publication put out by the National Association of Realtors research department.  This year we’re studying the 2018 National Profile of Home Buyer and Sellers.  We do this for several reasons.

We’re able to gain insight on how best to serve the buyers we work with.  We want to know what issues are most important to them, and what issues might be affecting them.  When we identify and isolate these issues, often we can come up with solutions for them.

By understanding buyers needs better, this also helps us with sellers as what affects the buyer usually comes back around and affects the seller.  Better understanding buyers helps our seller clients tremendously.  The most educated and skilled agents tend to come up with the best solutions, and when this happens everybody wins.

Secondly, we want to understand home sellers better too.  Sellers have needs that need to be addressed.  We want to pay attention to changes.  Even though our team has loads of experience, we can’t let that blind us to the possibility things are changing in real-time.

So, what did we learn this year?  Gross household income increased to $91,600, up from $88,800 the previous year.  The median age of a home buyer is now 46, up from 42 back in 2013 and 45 last year. 63% were married couples, 18% were single females, 9% single males, and 8% unmarried couples.  Children in the home decreased to 34% and has been on a steady decline from 40% since 2013.

2018 National Profile of Home Buyer and Sellers

2018 National Profile of Home Buyer and Sellers

Drilling deeper into the reason buyers were rejected for a mortgage we found that 33% were rejected due to their debts being too high relative to their income.  27% had a credit score that prevented them from buying, while 14% had income that was difficult to verify.

Buyers of new homes had a median income of $111,770 while buyers of existing homes had a median income of $89,100.  Did you know that 15% of buyers chose their neighborhood because of their pet?  We can’t tell you how many buyers won’t buy a property due to neighborhood restrictions on pets.  It’s often the first question we get regarding condo or HOA documents.

Student loan debt typically delayed a home purchase for 2 years, and the typical student loan debt was $28,000. 3% of buyers are active in the armed forces, while 18% of all buyers were veterans.

The Internet played a large role in the purchase of real estate. 83% frequently used the Internet to search, and 90% used an agent.  88% found the detailed property information useful while 90% found the photos useful.

Single females outpaced single males 2 to 1 in purchases.  Convenience to friends and family was important to single females while convenience to job was important for single males.

54% of unmarried couples rented together before purchasing.  First time home buyers expect to be in their 1st home for 10 years. Repeat buyers expect to be in their next home 15 years.

The stats go on and on.  We like to look at data to see if there are trends we need to pay attention to.  For instance, we notice a rising age in the typical home buyer.  Is this because younger people are delaying their first home purchase, or having trouble saving for the down payment or qualifying for the mortgage.  Once we identify the issue, we may be able to identify a solution.  We do have some down payment assistance programs available.  It’s all about knowing where to look, if you ask the right questions.

Only 4% of buyers can purchase a home without help.  The rest either need help getting a mortgage or have something to sell first.  This is where a good Realtor comes in.  We listen, we identify, and we help.  Call us at 239-489-4042 and see how we can help you, or search the MLS for Free at www.LeeCountyOnline.com If you have questions about selling a home, ask for Brett or Sande Ellis Ext 4.

Find out what your Home is Worth for Free

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Featured Property of the Week

7152 Reymoor Dr

Agents have been complaining that this season has been a softer season than in years past.  Buyers don’t seem to be as motivated.  Southwest Florida real estate listing inventory hits 4 year high in February and sales prices have been flat since last year.  So why is it that top teams are having a fantastic season?

Southwest Florida Real Estate Listing Inventory Hits 4 Year High

The Ellis Team has lots of pending sales, plenty of closings, and before it’s all over March and April should be excellent months. Other large teams are selling well too, so how can it be both a fantastic market and a slow market?

The answer is it’s a great market if you know what’s really going on and you advise your clients accordingly.  Listing at a set price and forgetting it won’t do your seller’s any good if the market is on the move in that price range.

Statistically we have a balanced market.  It has shifted from a seller’s market to balanced, or slightly favoring the buyers right now.  Just like not all Realtors are the same, it’s also true with price ranges.  The below $300,000 market is doing well right now and the above $400,000 has slowed a bit.  However, there are sales in all price ranges.  We have a sale on a listing at $1.3 Million right now. You must know what range you’re in and adjust.

Aggressive marketing is critical in a changing market.  As more sellers compete for fewer buyers, you want your listing to stand out.  Every buyer will not purchase your home, we know this.  You want as many buyers to be exposed to it as possible.  Sellers mistakenly believe putting it on MLS and adding to a few online sites is all that’s needed, and all buyers will know about it.  This is not true and a costly mistake.

At the time of listing you set a listing price.  This price needs to be evaluated.  New listings may enter that market as competition.  Existing listings may reduce their price, making your home less attractive.  Remember, the seller sets the price, and the market determines the value.

Lastly, as homes sell, new comparable sales set the market.  Appraisers use these new sales as the best data sets for determining market value.  These new sellers won the home selling game.  Existing listings have not yet, and there is no guarantee they will either.

We know this much.  Homes that are marketed aggressively and priced correctly will sell.  If a home is unfairly overpriced, it will not sell no matter how much marketing is used.  Conversely, a home may actually sell below its fair market value without aggressive marketing.

This is where a true professional comes in.  To get Top Dollar, you need an agent to help you set the right price, continually monitor the market in case adjustments are needed, and market your property to actual buyers.  Preferably your Realtor will have a large database of buyers from past marketing efforts, combined with finding new buyers with ads targeting buyers for your home.  Together, that’s a winning combination.

We have a large database of buyers because we have a popular, easy to use listing website that helps buyers find homes they’re looking for right away.  Unlike other websites, it updates every minute or so, so hot new listings and price adjustments are seen in real-time by buyers.

Sellers can even get an idea of what their home is worth too.  Simply go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com to search for homes or find out what your home is worth.  If you’re thinking of selling, call Sande or Brett at 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  If you’re looking to buy, our team of friendly and helpful buyer agents can assist you as well.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open Saturday 1-4 PM

2403 SW 53rd Ter

SW Cape Coral Pool Home

 

The problem with real estate agents is they are not all the same and it’s hard to tell the difference without really interviewing them. Agents come with varying experience and from differing backgrounds. There is no requirement for a college degree in Florida and it’s one of the few careers you can step into without any training. So what’s a consumer to do?

Problem With Real Estate Agents Find out what your home is worth

The agent you hire does make a difference. Agents with vast experience and marketing can net sellers ten’s of thousands more at the closing table than agents with poor track records. Being locked into a listing agreement with the wrong agent can seem like a lifetime if there is no communication and little activity for your home.

On the buying side, having an agent that works with you is invaluable. This is one reason most buyers do not buy For Sale By Owners. They want their agent advising them on price, inspections, zoning, schools, neighborhoods, etc. If a buyer is going to work directly with an owner they want a huge deal, because they feel like they’re taking a huge risk. The owner knows the home and neighborhood but the buyer doesn’t, so they feel at a disadvantage.

One of the reasons a home owner might sell their own is to save the commission, but the buyer and the seller can’t both save the commission, so it rarely works. Even if they come together on price, the deal rarely closes due to other issues they’re not equipped to handle, like inspections, appraisals, financing, HOA rules, etc.

I’ve seen two separate studies that show For Sale By Owners sell on average for 16% less with than an agent. This is not surprising. An owner desires to sell on their own only until they see the value of paying someone else to do it. When that occurs, it’s a no-brainer.

After that, which agent is the best? Only 4% of all buyers can actually buy right now. Many buyers have to sell something first, so somebody has to solve that issue before they become an actual buyer today. Other buyers don’t qualify for financing right now.

The answer is you need an agent that exposes your home to 100% of the market and can help with these facts about buyers. Imagine if you had an item on e-bay to sell. If there was just one buyer bidding on the item, how much would it sell for? Or, imagine you had 1,000 buyers bidding on that same item. Now how much would it sell for? The answer is, much more than just one buyer.

And this is the difference between finding a buyer and 100% exposure. Since we know only 4% of all lookers can actually buy, we need as much exposure as possible. Not all agents advertise the same. Some agents don’t advertise at all. They employ the 3 P’s. Put a sign up, Place it in MLS, and Pray someone else sells it.

The MLS doesn’t sell homes. Great agents do. If the MLS sold homes, all homes in MLS would sell, and that just doesn’t happen. Sellers need an agent who knows the market, communicates well, advertises extensively, studies changes in the market, and will tell the seller what they need to hear, not what they want to hear.

The market rarely stays steady. It changes every year, every month, and by the week. Buyers need an agent that is familiar with financing, knows the market, and will show them homes that meet their criteria. The bottom line is buyers and sellers both need agents that can listen, communicate, negotiate, and help formulate a plan to accomplish a goal. The agent should have experience and wisdom, or access to it at all times. The Ellis Team at Keller Williams has all of this.

Call us at 239-489-4042 if you’re in the market to buy or sell. If you’d like to get an idea of what your home might sell for, check out www.SWFLhomevalues.com If you’re looking to purchase, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Open House Saturday and Sunday 1-4 PM

Reflection Lakes Open House
Reflection Lakes 4 Bedroom + Den Pool Home on Lake

13925 Bald Cypress Cir

4 Bedrooms + Den Pool Home Lakefront

 

Official real estate sales numbers were recently released by Florida Realtors and as expected, median and average prices for single family homes rose again in April.

SW Florida Real Estate Market Continues Its Upward Trend
Median Sale Prices 2012-Present

The median sale price rose 29.8% over last year from $140,199 to $182,000 this year.  The average sale price rose 23.1% from $237,281 last April to $292,201 this year.  Prices have definitely risen this season; however they typically do this time of year.  We are comparing numbers of last year at same time, so it’s a legitimate 30% increase over last year.

SW Florida Real Estate Market Continues Its Upward Trend

April 2013 prices are up over March numbers which is also typical.  April’s $182,000 was up over March’s $168,000.  Going forward we’ll have to watch as last year prices hit their plateau before steadying out the rest of the year.

 

Home prices by price category in SW Florida
SW Florida Home sales by price category April 2013

When analyzing by price range again we see a drop in closed sales below $100,000 simply because there isn’t much inventory there as home prices have graduated higher.  Those some entry level or investment homes are just higher in price again this year.  Finding sub $100k priced homes is difficult at best.

When prices are rising people automatically assume it’s across the board and they can add 30% to last year’s home value regardless of what price range their home is in.  This simply is not true, although we have seen increased sales in almost every category.  The over $1 Million category continues to struggle.  The SW Florida real estate market is on the rise, but the overall economy may be holding back super premium prices combined with excess inventory in the $ 1Million+ category.

We’re really seeing excellent sales in the $200,000-$400,000 range.  That’s the sweet spot right now in Southwest Florida.  This may change in time, but right now that’s it.  With companies like Hertz moving to Estero and another company I’m hearing rumors about, this sweet spot could do very well for years to come.

Eventually the over $400,000 range will pick up more as well.  It’s doing OK, but if you remember back to the hay days, it seemed any new home in South Fort Myers was $400,000 and up.  Now you can get a pretty nice home for $400k.

The financial markets were spooked last week Fed reports that some Fed governors support raising interest rates by ending the government bond buying spree if we see continued economic development.  This would essentially raise rates.  While this will happen one day, I doubt there’s enough support to do it now.  This will eventually cut into buyer’s buying power when that happens.

Nationally home prices were up 10.2%.  SW Florida is absolutely leading the nation right now.  We did so back in the run-up.  The difference today is its sustainable and we’re still at or near replacement costs.  Back in the upswing in 2005 we were so far over replacement cost.  We were artificially too low in price for the last 7 years and the market has been correcting the past 3-4 years now.  Look for continued strength as we have positive economic news locally.  Keep your eye on national economic news and interest rates and we’ll let you know if we hear more details about landing another big company.  It really makes no sense to report on that unless and until it happens.  As you might have read, the Hertz deal almost didn’t happen, so we never believe anything until the ink is on the paper.

To find out what your home is worth online visit www.SWFLHomeValues.com  To search the MLS, visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com

Good luck and happy house hunting.

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