Today we’d like to show you how virtual open houses sell homes in a virtual world.  People may not realize that real estate is still selling.  In fact, I just checked MLS and in the last 7 days 224 homes went pending and 247 homes closed.  In fact, more homes went pending than actually came on the market in the last week, and Florida is under a stay at home order.

Virtual Open Houses Sell Homes in a Virtual World

How is it that so many homes are selling?  Top agents are adapting to market conditions.  We know some buyers still need to purchase and some sellers still need to sell.  The market didn’t go away, even though access and the way we show homes did.

This weekend the Ellis Team is hosting an online virtual Open House Extravaganza.  We’ll have 7 virtual open houses this weekend. The neat thing is we can do this during the week too.  Our Virtual Open Houses website www.Virtual-Open-Houses.com has links to times and locations of each open house.  Each open house will be its own event and also streamed live.  The beauty of this is customers can tune into the live stream, and the virtual open house can live on long after as a posted video.  If you miss one of our open houses you can go back and watch a previous open house. Virtual open houses sell homes and the Ellis Team wants to be at the forefront of that process.

Who knows what you’re going to see?  Because this is live and reality based, you might see some unexpected things.  We’re not saying this will become as popular as the Tiger King, we’re just saying you never know.  These live events will be streamed on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/Ellisteam as a live event.  Check it out or check out our virtual open house page mentioned earlier for a complete and changing schedule.

We’ve been getting hundreds of people attending live open houses.  Not only do we get the live views, there are many more views later through shares.  Who knows, this may set a new trend in how open houses are conducted.

Consumers also love it when we do a virtual open house from a gated community.  They no longer must worry about getting through a gate.  Consumers can see if the home and property interests them before deciding to give up time to go visit a gated community.

Our agents are getting better and better.  Each home is unique, and the internet or cell phone access can vary greatly by location.  They are stepping out of their comfort zone to bring you properties you can see.  In addition to our listings we can bring you new developments and new construction homes as well, so stay tuned for all kinds of opportunities.

Perhaps you’ll find a listing you love.  Perhaps you won’t.  Our agents also show homes virtually through our www.Virtual-Showings.com program.  The virtual showings program differs in that we have a virtual meeting with you and listen to what you’re looking for.  We then select properties that match your criteria and show those homes to you versus a live stream virtual open house.  The virtual showing is sort of like your custom virtual open house only we can do that live or through a 3D tour anytime day or night.

If all this is confusing to you, we’re still available to talk to.  If you’d like to sell your home, you should call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 and we can show you all the tools we’re using to sell homes today.  Remember, 247 sellers closed this past week.  It might as well be you.

If you’d like a Free online instant estimate of your home’s value, check out www.SWFLhomevalues.com  It’s quick, free, and pretty darn accurate in most cases.

Our team is here to help.  Hopefully we’re providing the tools you need wherever you are, in whatever situation you’re in.  If you need to talk, we’re a quick phone call away.

Take care and stay safe.  This will all be over soon.  Maybe not soon enough, but hopefully soon.

See Last Week’s Article “Guided Virtual Showings Program Helps Buyers Tour Homes Safely

Be sure to check out our video on virtual showings too

Sellers can take advantage of our Virtual Listing Appointment

Thank goodness we’ve been busy listing and selling a lot of property lately.  The 360-degree home tours and advanced marketing we’re employing to go out and create buyers for our listings is working.  We have noticed a trend recently we thought we’d try to clear up.  SW Florida home sellers are confused when they read headlines that home prices were up 11.3% in August.  They’re interviewing agents and they aren’t hearing the higher prices they were expecting, so they’ve called us out to verify what’s really going on in the market.

SW Florida Home Sellers Confused

We decided to present the chart in a different way.  Agents have been telling sellers there’s been a shift since we reported on it back on February 16th.  Sellers aren’t seeing it though because they read the headlines.  It is true, median prices are up 11.3% over last year.  However, they are down $5,000 from last month and down $2,000 from where they were last November.

Unless home prices rise in the next few months, we’ll be looking at essentially a flat line since last November.  In other words, home prices aren’t statistically rising right now.  The rise occurred last year up until November, so when you read that home prices are up over last year, they are until we get to November.  They are actually down month over month as much as they are up which is creating the flat line.

It is possible prices could start rising again.  Perhaps after the election consumer confidence will grow.  I think everyone can agree they’re tired of the political season and just want it over with as soon as possible so we can move on with our lives.

We see the Fed raising rates at their December meeting.  Interest rates have been quietly rising the past few weeks and we see more of that in 2017.  Rising rates typically do not help home prices rise because it steals affordability from the buyer.  Basically, when rates move up 1% it robs the buyer of about 11% purchasing power.

In other words, a $400,000 buyer putting 10% down could finance $360,000.  If they lose 11% purchasing power, for the same payment they can now finance 320,400.  They lose $39,600 in purchasing power.  Their payment remains the same as if they were financing $360,000 and paying $400,000 earlier before rates went up.

This is why rising rates does not help home prices.  Rising rates can spur home buyers who have been on the fence to buy now so they will save money on payments, but it doesn’t help prices long-term.

This is one reason choosing the right Realtor to list your home will become even more important.   You need a Realtor who has sold during a rising rate environment.  I venture to guess that over 80% of agents today have not been in business long enough to experience that.

How you sell in a rising rate environment is vastly different than in a stable or lowering interest rate environment.  Marketing becomes more critical as well.

If you’re a buyer, I would seriously consider buying now.  It will cost you to wait.  Prices may still rise, just not as fast.  Or they may remain stable.  The only advantage to you might be more inventory to choose from.  The disadvantage will be that it will cost you more to buy the same house next year, simply because of rising rates.

If you’d like to search the market, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com  You can beat out other buyers to hot new listings as our database is updated every 5 minutes directly from the MLS.

SW Florida home sellers, if you’re  considering making a move, you should call us now.  239-489-4042.  Or visit LeeCountyOnline.com and get a free computerized estimate of your home’s value.

Please call us if we can help.  Good luck and Happy Home Buying!

Our Paint the Town Red event was a success.  We had over 35 properties open in one day and produced several interested buyers for our properties.  Be on the lookout for our next open house extravaganza.

Don’t forget to enter our contest so you can win a Yeti Cooler.

Please join us for our Keller Williams Paint the Town Red Open House Extravaganza where we’ll have 35 open houses in one day.

Keller Williams Paint the Town Red Open House Extravaganza

Saturday October 22  11am-3pm

Please join us as Keller Williams paints the town red with 35 open houses in one day.

$310,000 * 16585 Wellington Lakes Cir, Ft. Myers, FL 33908

$500,000 * 6180 Winkler Rd, Ft. Myers, FL 33908

$240,000 * 11889 Tulio Way #4203, Ft. Myers, FL 33919

$1,500,000 * 1135 Lorraine Ct, Cape Coral, FL 33993

$225,000 * 3226 SW 8 th Ct, Cape Coral, FL 33914

$259,000 * 8441 Lemon Rd, Ft. Myers, FL 33967

$239,000 * 11736 Izarra Way #7806, Ft. Myers, FL 33912

$725,000 * 2537 SW 38 th St, Cape Coral, FL 33914

$509,000 * 6260 Plumosa Ave, Ft. Myers, FL 33908

$197,500 * 1503 McGregor Park Cir, Ft. Myers, FL 33908

$230,000 * 13633 Admiral Ct, Ft. Myers, FL 33912

$387,000 * 9344 Independence Way, Ft. Myers, FL 33913

$459,000 * 9072 Prosperity Way, Ft. Myers, FL 33913

$279,000 * 10006 Sky View Way #208, Ft. Myers, FL 33913

$365,000 * 12890 Timber Ridge Dr, Ft. Myers, FL 33913

$449,000 * 11207 Sand Pine Ct, Ft. Myers, FL 33913

$123,900 * 1429 SW 48 th Ter #6, Cape Coral, FL 33914

$594,900 * 12570 Villagio Way, Ft. Myers, FL 33912

$874,000 * 15690 Catalpa Cove Dr, Ft. Myers, FL 33908

$439,999 * 1121 SW 51 st Ter, Cape Coral, FL 33914

$313,000 * 5709 Sandpiper Pl, Ft. Myers, FL 33919

$244,900 * 9370 Old Hickory Cir, Ft. Myers, FL 33912

$315,000 * 12634 Shannondale Dr, Ft. Myers, FL 33913

$750,000 * 5615 Natoma Dr, Ft. Myers, FL 33919

$399,000 * 11180 Sand Pine Ct, Ft. Myers, FL 33913

$789,000 * 1832 SE 28 th St, Cape Coral, FL 33904

$580,000 * 12010 Honeysuckle Rd, Ft. Myers, FL 33966

$272,000 * 15620 Laguna Hills Dr, Ft. Myers, FL 33908

$229,000 * 1037 Wilshire, Ft. Myers, FL 33919

$545,000 * 12737 Gladstone, Ft. Myers, FL 33913

$187,900 * 13402 2 nd St, Ft. Myers, FL 33905

$459,000 * 1206 Shadow Ln, Ft. Myers, FL 33901

$419,000 * 4403 Chiquita Blvd S, Cape Coral, FL 33914

$419,900 * 5479 Beaujolais Ln, Ft. Myers, FL 33919

$399,900 * 10100 Belcrest Blvd, Ft. Myers, FL 33913

Call us at 239-489-4042 if you have any questions about any of these SW Florida properties.

Keller Williams Paint the Town Red Open House Extravaganza

 

 

 

Buyers and sellers may want to tune in because changes are coming to the lending process in September and it will affect home buyers. Sellers tend to say that’s not my problem, but it will be if your buyer no longer qualifies for the loan.

Credit Report Changes Coming

Credit Report Changes Coming

Certain loan programs are going to what they call Trended Credit Reports. Trended credit data is different than a FICO score which captures a particular point in time. Trended data looks at the trend and whether a borrower’s creditworthiness is improving or declining over time.

A buyer may have an excellent FICO score but if their trend is negative it could affect their ability to finance that much or the pricing on the loan, which also can affect the total amount financed. Many lenders are up in arms over this change, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

For instance, let’s say you charge $1,500/mo on your credit card for everything from groceries, repairs, phone bill, etc. You pay off that $1,500/mo so you have a zero balance each month. Under the current system they see an average balance of $1,500 mo on your credit report. You choose to collect the points on your credit card instead of writing checks but the money remains the same. Under trended credit reporting it just might be that you’re not penalized for charging to your credit card instead of a bunch of online banking payments.

We believe the new reporting will focus on credit utilization scores among other things and what that overall trend looks like, although we don’t know for sure. It’s important to note that this is a FNMA decision. This shouldn’t affect FHA loans.

We often tell buyers, don’t go out and buy a new car just before you close on your home. Buyers get the loan approval to buy their home and think everything is a done deal. What they don’t realize is lenders go back and pull credit again just before the closing and if there is a change they can deny the loan. I’ve seen it happen more times that I care to count. I know agents out there counsel their buyers but for some reason they forget that point.

If you’re considering buying it really helps to talk to a lender first. Sellers won’t entertain your offer unless a pre-approval letter accompanies your offer anyway. You can save a lot of time by knowing what the lender requires. Quite often a buyer needs to just have one thing changed in their financial situation and they’re good to go. Doing it upfront can save your deal and help you to shop in the correct price range.

If you’d like to speak to a lender, give us a call. 239-489-4042 We can recommend some good ones for you and really speed up the process. It doesn’t cost any money to talk to a lender upfront, and it can save you money on inspections and appraisals by knowing the facts upfront. You’ll save time and money.

Buyers are happy to find out they qualify for more now because rates have dropped. You might be surprised at what you can afford, but don’t go buy that new car until after you get the home.

If you’d like to search for your perfect home, go to www.LeeCountyOnline.com It has all the homes and the database is updated every 5 minutes, so you’ll beat out other buyers to hot new listings.

If you have a property to sell, you can call us too. 239-489-4042 Find out why our listings sell fast and for top dollar.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Open House Extravaganza This Weekend

Open Sat 1-4 PM

Bell Tower Park Courtyard Home
Open Saturday 1-4 PM

5693 Kensington Loop

$260,000

 

 

 

 

Open Sunday 1-4 PM

Viridian Pool Home on Lake
Open Sunday 1-4 PM

12407 Arbor View Dr

$485,000

 

Back in the mid 90’s we ran an ad in the News Press that said “By the Year 2010 All Real Estate Agents Will Operate the Way We Do” It was forward thinking. We were the first team in SW Florida and probably one of the first in Florida. Today we’re pleased to announce the Ellis Team shaking up real estate industry once again.

Ellis Team Shaking Up Real Estate Industry

We caught a lot of flack for that back in the 90’s from agents because they didn’t see or agree with that vision. Real estate had just never been done that way before. Sure there were some loose knit affiliations where agents teamed up and covered for each other, but not to the extent each person on the team had a specialized area and they owned that part of their job.

Fast forward to 2016. There are many teams here locally and across the country. The benefits to consumers are many. On the listing side quite often the listing agent isn’t the best photographer. They may not be the best person answering multiple phone lines, writing ad copy, and all the various other tasks. What you want is an agent that’s great with people, marketing, and negotiating. All the other stuff can be handled by people who do that best.

And yet, not all agents work as a team. That’s OK for agents doing less than 10-20 deals per year. Once you start doing some volume those tasks add up quickly. At that point if you don’t have an assistant, you are your own assistant, and you have to ask yourself if that’s the best use of your time.

You wouldn’t go to a doctor that greeted you as you came in, asked for your ID card, called your insurance company, took your blood pressure, and all the stuff the receptionist and nurse does. You want a doctor who is tops and only doing what she should be doing, which is evaluating, treating, and diagnosing patients. The same is true with a good real estate agent. You want them doing tasks that will make you, the buyer or seller, money.

Running a team requires managing people, setting up systems, and acquiring leads. It takes money. Converting leads is another thing, and without conversions, it all comes crashing down whether you’re a single agent or a team. Real estate has changed, and agents are learning to adapt.

At the Ellis Team Keller Williams Fort Myers & the Islands we’re all about efficiency. We don’t know everything, but we have learned to listen from the best. We talk to other top teams and trainers throughout the country. We’re experts at creating leads. We have thousands. Sometimes our buyer agents get so busy working with buyers, answering internet leads, newspaper calls, sign calls, referrals, etc. We’ve been looking at ways to free them up to work with more buyers and sellers all the time.

Ellis Team Shaking Up Real Estate Industry Once Again

For this reason, we’re expanding our team to include 2 inside sales agents.  Inside sales agents work with our buyer and sellers leads and nurture them until they’re ready to meet for an appointment. At that time a Realtor on our team meets with them and lists their home or finds them a home to buy.

Inside sales agents can answer questions in minutes because they don’t leave the office. This is better for the consumer because the ball doesn’t get dropped. Imagine thousands of buyers emailing in asking questions like “What are the HOA dues on this particular listing?” Or “can you send me more photos of this home?”

We love to help people and want to in the most efficient way possible. We get people the information they need when they need it.

We want everyone on our team to have a wonderful life, and our customers to be better enriched by the experience.

If you know someone who would make a good Inside Sales Agent, give us a call. We may have a position they never knew existed.

If you’re looking to buy or sell, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com Or you can call us at 239-489-4042 Happy House Hunting, and let’s shake things up once again!

The Ellis Team Seller’s Club is a big hit, so we put our 1st episode on YouTube.  The Seller’s Club is a private video e-mail each month to our sellers, potential sellers, and For Sale By Owners.  It’s basically for anyone either selling or thinking of selling their real estate in SW Florida. We go in-depth with research and analysis and inform sellers everything they want to know to make informed decisions about their property.  If you’d like to get on this list, simply call us at 239-489-4042 or email us.

Ellis Team Shaking Up Real Estate Industry

Open House Extravaganza- We do open houses differently too. This weekend we’ll have 2 builder model homes on the golf course open in River Hall.

Open Saturday 1-4 pm

River Hall Open House Extravaganza
Builder Model on Golf Course

 3301 Chestnut Grove Dr

Open Sat 1-4 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Builder's Model River Hall Open House Extravaganza
River Hall Home on Golf Course

16420 Windsor Way

Open Sat 1-4 PM