Southwest Florida Home Prices Rise $100,000 Since 2013It’s hard to believe we’ve watched local Southwest Florida home prices rise $100,000 since 2013.  Official numbers were just released for November which shows the median home price in SW Florida at $245,000.  The average home sale price in November was $317,109.  Compare that to 2013 when the median sales price in November was $170,000 and the average was $236,550.  That’s not quite $100,000 difference but you only need go back just a few more months and we’re there.

Southwest Florida Home Prices Rise

What’s caused home prices to increase so much, and will it continue?  The past is always easier to explain than the future is to predict, so we’ll start there.  Our market over-corrected to the downside so we had lots of room for upside pricing.  Our market statistically bottomed in 2009 but not for all price ranges.  The upper end took longer to correct.

The boom only did one thing.  It brought needed housing to SW Florida. Because the boom involved flipping, we didn’t have the end user to sustain the market.  It was a False high.  The error wasn’t the increased housing the boom brought.  It was the speed of which that occurred.

Southwest Florida needs more housing.  Rents are sky high and prices have been rising.  Florida is an expanding market.  Immigration leads to need for more housing.  And don’t forget Florida is a net migration state winner as well.

High tax states like New York, New Jersey, and Illinois are losing residents by the droves.  They are leaving high tax, foul weather states and moving to states like Florida, Texas, and Arizona.  Notice a trend here?

Low taxes, great weather.  If all we had was low taxes, we would gain residents.  If all we had great weather, we would gain residents.  Because we have both, it’s winner, winner chicken dinner for Florida.  Texas is seeing transplants from CA.  We’re seeing Midwestern and east coast migrations.

After Hurricanes Maria and Irma battered Puerto Rico we expect to see more migration from there as well.  Going forward this leads us to believe home prices have more to go on the upside.

We do not see a downside price risk like we did back in 2005.  The difference is end users.  We have them now, we didn’t back then.

Tax Reform Will Help Florida

The new tax reform also will help Florida.  Local, state, and property taxes deductions are capped at $10,000 under the new law.  Florida doesn’t have a state income tax, and many people’s property taxes are below $10,000, so most Floridians will benefit from the full deduction.  People in high tax states will not, and this will make Florida look even more attractive.

We could see some companies decide to relocate as well.  Because the new tax code is favorable to companies, we don’t believe they’ll need to relocate, but some smaller companies could.  Each time this occurs it hurts the northern states because they’re not competitive and it helps our state.  As more and more people leave those states, it brings an increased tax burden on fewer residents, which further exacerbates the situation.

Florida really is sitting in a good position.  Hopefully our planners are planning for more schools and better roads, because we’ll need them.  It will be interesting to see how fast the new tax code revs up the economy.  Some say it’s already started.  We think 2018 could be a good year and 2019 could be even better.  We’re keeping an eye on interest rates and a few other things, but overall, we see good things for Southwest Florida real estate.

If you’d like to search the MLS like a pro, visit  You’ll see All the homes, and in real-time too.  No more missing out on great buys to other buyers.

Of course, you can always call us at 239-489-4042.  If you’d like to list your home, ask for Sande or Brett Ext 4.  We have buyer specialists ready to help you make your move as well.

Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty for all your real estate needs!

Most people do not know that last year’s sales prices have recently been revised down, so when this year’s numbers are reported the gain looks better than it would have been had they been left alone.  This means the reported real estate numbers not what they seem.  For example, the official median price reported back in January 2015 was $190,000.  2016 median price was reported at $227,000, which was a 19.47% increase.  Not too shabby.  However, January 2015 numbers were revised down earlier year to $185,748.  This now makes the gain 22.21% instead of 19.47%

Real Estate Numbers Not What They Seem

That’s all well and good when the numbers are spectacular, but what happens when the market begins to tighten?  We reported back in February that the market was in a Shift.  Few people realized it at the time as we were still reporting 20%+ gains.

Real Estate Numbers Not What They Seem

In May the gains were down to 4.65% and that’s with the benefit of revisions.  If they went with original numbers, the median single family home price was only up 3.57%.

Earlier this year I questioned the numbers.  Back in March the local Board of Realtors received information about the changes.  Most of the changes affected listing counts and under-reported listing inventory in previous years due to date errors in their database.  We’re all for cleaning up errors, however we haven’t seen any rationale as to why prices have been adjusted.  We’re not saying there is anything nefarious with the changes, it’s just that by doing so they’re making the market this year look better than it is.

July numbers are due to be released at any time.  We believe average prices may level out while median prices may still advance, albeit at a slower pace than years past.  The reason we see median prices holding steady is because currently the median price is $230,500 in June.  Homes in that price range usually attract multiple offers and quick sales.  It’s the homes priced over $300,000 that are taking longer to sell.  It would take quite a decline in homes over $300,000 to filter down to that $230,000 range.

Buyers and sellers probably need to pay attention to interest rates.  When we get close to an election the Fed’s usually hold off on making big changes.  This year they’ve indicated they’d like to raise rates and recently they signaled next month may be the month.  In other words, they may not wait until after the election.  This is the time of year we watch the tropics.  It also may be the time of year to watch rates, because rates may affect people’s personal lives.

For every 1% rise in rates it eats away a buyer’s purchasing power by 11%.  A buyer that qualifies to buy a $300,000 home today may only qualify for a $267,000 home tomorrow.  It can happen fast.  When rates move the markets can move even faster.  30 year mortgage rates are best associated with the 10 year note, and that can move faster than whatever the Fed’s set the discount rate at.

This is a problem for buyers.  It also becomes a problem for sellers when the buy pool shrinks.  Instead of receiving 4 offers on a home the seller may only receive one because the other three just went down a price bracket.  This halts upward pricing pressure, which affects sellers.  Many $250,000 sellers are move-up buyers, and if they can’t sell their $250,000 home for as much or quickly, they may not be able to move up to the $400,000 home they were looking at, which puts further pressure on homes priced above $300,000.

It starts a domino effect.  If you’re on the fence, right now is a good time to buy or sell.  Through no fault of your own, you will pay more to buy a home once rates change.  You’ll either buy less home for the same money or you’ll pay more each month for the same loan you could get today.  Most sellers buy another home somewhere when they sell, so waiting for a few extra dollars can cost you tens of thousands on the buying end.

If you’d like to search the MLS, or get an idea of what your home is worth, check out  If you’d like to talk to us about options, call us at 239-489-4042.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

If you’re thinking about selling, be sure to get into our Seller’s Club.  Our Ellis Team Seller’s Club provides more detailed insight exclusively for people who request to receive this information.  Simply call or email us.

September SW Florida Real Estate Market Report

In real estate we teach Realtors to create their own Unique Selling Proposition to gain clients.  When you’re asking customers to work with your team you must ask the question, why should a customer work with us?  What makes us Unique?  What do we do that’s better than everybody else?

At the Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group, we feel we have several things that make us unique.  There are several things we do that the average agent doesn’t, and we’re quite sure nobody does everything we do to get a home sold.  Every agent should ask themselves this question, and if the answer is nothing is unique, find something that is and offer it.  The United States is filled with solid companies that identified a need in the marketplace that wasn’t being met and created a solution or product to meet that need.

If you’re interviewing agents to buy or sell, we think we should definitely be in the conversation.

While the Unique Selling Proposition is true for every agent and every company, it can also be true for every property.  When we list a property, we try to identify who the target buyer might be.  We also identify all the traits of the property to determine if there is something we can advertise to make this property stand out. Create Your unique selling proposition to sell your property.

Create Your Unique Selling Proposition to Sell Your Property
31 Lagoon St

You’d be surprised at all the ways a property can stand out.  Perhaps you own a property seconds to the water.  This is an attractive feature to boaters, and not all properties meet those criteria.

We’ve listed and sold properties that sit inside an air park, so we advertised to pilots and air enthusiasts.  We’ve sold horse and ranch properties, so of course we geared our advertising to reach those potential buyers.

Perhaps your selling proposition is value.  If your home is the lowest priced, or has the most add-ons and extras per square foot, that is something to mention.  Perhaps you live in a golf community with a golf view but golf membership is voluntary.  We would market to someone who appreciates a gorgeous view but doesn’t necessarily have to pay to golf.  You can go both ways on this one.  You can market to avid golfer, or someone who isn’t but wants resale ability later on to someone who is.

Perhaps your condo association offers lots of amenities for a low fee.  This is a great way to attract buyers.  Maybe you have a very high fee but your association offers one amenity nobody else does.  We would definitely advertise that as chances are that’s why you purchased there and most likely is why the next buyer will as well.

Obviously your property must be priced correctly, as that is a value proposition all its own.

Be careful though, as some sellers mistakenly believe certain things are appealing to buyers when in fact they are a turn-off.  Some sellers believe they’ve built the perfect home and load it up with all kinds of weird stuff, and for that a buyer should pay a $200,000 premium for it.  It pays to consult a professional that can guide you through the process and look at your property objectively.

Watching HGTV doesn’t make you a real estate expert.  We watch it for the entertainment, and for the occasional good idea.  There’s just no substitute for market knowledge though.

If you’re considering buying or selling, call a professional.  There are lots of great Realtors out there.  Just pick one with lots of experience and one who will listen to your wants and needs.  Pick one that isn’t afraid to tell you the truth and will educate you.

You can search the MLS for free at or call us at 239-489-4042.  We’ll be glad to help you.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Check out our latest- Neighborhood Market Reports-You can create your own too.

Botanica Lakes Market Report

Cross Creek Estates Market Report

River District High Rise Condos Market Report

Reflection Lakes Market Report

Whiskey Creek Market Report

Fort Myers Waterfront Homes Market Report

We’re also adding Single Property Websites to each of our listings.  Check back as we’ll be adding a lot more.

Average sales prices rose 20.4% in Lee County while median sales prices rose 14.0% in October over last year’s numbers.  This tells us there is some strength in the higher end of the market pulling the average figures higher.

SW Florida Real Estate Prices Rise as Does Inventory

If we dig a little deeper we notice that average sales prices don’t usually bump up until December.  In 2015 we started seeing the climb in September, about 2 months earlier.  The average numbers are a little more pronounced and help identify the trend in the median numbers when they occur over time.

SW Florida Real Estate Prices Rise as Does Inventory

We’ve also been telling readers that listing inventory has been down, and this has led to a rise in prices.  We know from history that inventory begins rising about October, and this year kept the trend.

SW Florida Real Estate Prices Rise as Does Inventory

Listings rose over September 8.13%, however they fell 10.3% from last year’s numbers.  So we’re seeing the typical rise in inventory we usually see this time of year, however the bar is lower and listings are down from last year.

What does this tell us?  The SW Florida real estate market should be in for a good ride.  Of course, this is predicated upon interest rates remaining affordable and the job market remaining stable.   All signs point to both.  Interest rates will climb, but forecasts by FNMA and Freddie Mac suggest modest rises.

Rising rates will affect some home buyers, but it shouldn’t disrupt the market as we have more demand than supply.  Rising rates will hurt individual buyers more than sellers overall.  If we had a high inventory market, it would affect sellers more.

Rising rates will help curtail 20% rises in prices.  It may not change the direction but it may slow the speed of increase.

We think season should be good again this year.  The weather is already brutal and we haven’t even touched December yet.  SW Florida has enjoyed rather warm weather and that is attractive to buyers who’ve just about had it with snow and blizzards.  This winter could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and sends people our way.

Sellers, this could be your time.  All signs point to a perfect time to sell.  Low inventory and rising prices combined with a decent economy spells success.  It’s the perfect storm, but perfect storms don’t last forever.  Yes, we expect a good market going forward, but one day you won’t be holding All the cards, just some of the cards.

It’s always fun to play cards when you’re holding all the good ones.  It really comes down to skill when the cards are evenly distributed, and it’s no fun at all when you’ve got no cards.  Buyers feel like they have no cards right now.  If they wait, they’ll have better cards but prices and rates may both be higher, so waiting isn’t the best option.

Sellers may wait, and prices may be higher.  But it may take longer to sell and buyers will have more choices.  Your home won’t be the commodity it is now.  Really, we can honestly say that now is a good time for both buyers and sellers.  Waiting may cost buyers more money due to rising rates.  The banks keep that money, not the sellers.  And if a seller waits, they may not enjoy the fruits of having little to no competition.

If you’d like to search the MLS, feel free at  Our database is updated every 5 minutes, so you can beat out other buyers to hot new listings.

Sellers, if you’d like to take advantage of this Hot market, call us at 239-489-4042.  Put our marketing and “Secret Sauce” to work for you.  We can even help you find your next home. Call us and let’s talk.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Featured New Listing of the Week-

Danforth Lakes Pool Home 5 Bedrooms 3 Baths
Danforth lakes Pool Home

5 Bedroom 3 Bath Pool Home in Danforth Lakes


Have you ever heard the term “Now we’re cooking with gas?” Before natural gas people cooked with wood and it was a slower process. The advent of natural gas changed everything and thus the term was born.

That’s how we feel here at the Ellis Team.  Our marketing produces sales 19.7% faster than the average agent and our sellers average over $11,000 more than the average agent.  Recently we just added fire to our marketing program and we’re seeing some outstanding results.

Cooking With Gas and the Secret Sauce

Cooking With Gas and the Secret SauceWe had a waterfront listing in North Fort Myers for $525,000 that had been on the market for about 3 months. It was getting some activity but no offers. We added our “Secret Sauce” and it went pending.

This past week we added our “Secret Sauce” to a $700,000 listing in Cape Coral and it just went pending. It had been on the market a little over 2 months.

We listed a property in Bell Tower Park and tested our new “Secret Sauce” and it went pending in 2 days. Was it luck? Was it a hot market? Or was it something more?

What is the Secret Sauce? Let’s start out by telling you what it isn’t. It isn’t a simple 4 step process that anybody can do for free on the Internet. It has over 50 elements to it and most of them cost money. They certainly cost time. Some companies do some of the things in the formula, but we haven’t found anybody that does all the elements. The process is also important. Things must happen in order.

If you had the recipe to make the world’s finest wine and followed all of the steps but didn’t time each step perfectly, it probably wouldn’t turn out like you’d hope.

The Secret Sauce also isn’t a recipe to sell a home for double its market value. If we list a home worth $500,000 and try to sell it for $ 1 Million or even $700,000, it‘s not going to sell because it’s overpriced. Marketing can only expose a home to the market. It can’t make someone overpay or make the bank appraise it for more money.

Many agents advertise in the newspaper, in the Yellow Pages, on TV, radio, etc.  Many advertise online like Facebook, Twitter, Craigslist, Instagram, blogs, etc.  Some even use single property websites, pay per click advertising, re-targeting, search re-targeting, etc.

Cooking With Gas and the Secret Sauce Aerial PhotographyYes, we use all these, and more.  We also use aerial photography, enhanced photography, high definition video, virtual tours, and the list goes on.  If you found a company that uses all these tools that would be impressive enough.  It’s not the list of ingredients that produces results; it’s the process of putting it all together in a manner that works.

Once you find that secret formula that generates buyers, you have to have systems to capture the leads, and follow-up systems to convert them.

It does no good to pay companies like Zillow, Trulia, if you don’t have a system to follow-up and connect with people.  Yes, we advertise on these sites too, but that’s not the magic.  The magic is connecting with people, listening to their needs, and producing results.

When you combine the Secret Sauce with the Magic, powerful things happen.  We don’t disclose the exact ingredients or the process of the secret sauce.  Not because we’re afraid agents will copy it, because quite frankly nobody is going to do everything we do, it just costs too much time and money for the average agent.

We keep it secret because it’s something we’ve tested and developed over many years. We recently discovered a few new ingredients and a few tweaks to our process and the whole thing is producing magic.

If you’d like us to put our magic to work for you, call us at 239-489-4042 To search the MLS, visit  Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

If you’re thinking about selling, you might also be interested in our Ultimate SW Florida Real Estate Selling Guide

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For months we’ve been telling sellers it may cost them to wait when selling their home.  This is true for a variety of reasons, but the two most important are when you sell, chances are the home you’ll purchase to replace your current home is also increasing in value, and because rising rates affects your buyer and your next loan too if you’re getting one.

That’s not the purpose of this article though.  While sellers wait for the absolute highest prices on their home, they should keep in mind that prices won’t rise 12% per year forever.  We’re predicting another good season.  Inventory is low, rates are still pretty low, and demand is high.  However, demand begins to fall off at certain prices.  So we ask the question, has a seller slowdown begun in SW Florida?  Let’s take a deeper look.

If you look at the graphs, you’ll notice that typically home prices peek around April each year and again in June.  Many times June is even better than April.  This year, we saw the peak in April but didn’t see the 2nd peak in June.

Has a Seller Slowdown Begun in SW Florida

Furthermore, homes closed in SW Florida usually peaks around May, and then we see some strength in July-August, albeit not quite at May levels.  This year August numbers fell off.  This could be due to lower inventory levels, but it could also be the start of a trend.

Has a Seller Slowdown Begun in SW Florida

We’re cautious not to read too much into any one month period, and moving forward this will be especially true as new Federal lending and closing guidelines will extend financed closings out longer.

Cash sales in August for single family homes were 37.4%.  This was a 20% decline from the previous year.  This is good news as financing has helped push prices higher.  We always said this market will not be fully healed until financing and capital comes back into the market.  We have that now, but with that come appraisal issues and closing delays.

We think we’ve got an excellent market.  Buyers are shopping though and are price sensitive.  Even with low inventory, if a property is over-priced buyers are sitting on the sidelines.

October begins the start of Season.  Last year we saw an uptick in buyer activity in October.  It used to be said Season was January-April but it’s started earlier.  We think we’ll have another great season, but sellers may not want to wait much longer.  The graphs may be a sign of things to watch, or they could just be a temporary blip.

Some economists are talking about recession starting in 2018 while others are talking about the end of 2016..  Nobody can predict accurately when a market will bottom or when it will top, but looking back there are generally signs that foretold the future and they were ignored.  People tend to follow the herd and ignore signs because when it’s all good, they want to believe.  And when a market is near bottom, nobody wants to believe it’s over until they see proof.  Thus, people usually miss the top and the bottom because they wait until they see the change on paper.  For this reason, most people will absolutely miss the top and the bottom unless they just get plain lucky.

Bottom line is we’ve got a great market.  Just don’t get too greedy and over-price your home.  Over-priced homes sit in any market, and you don’t want to look back and say I missed another boom market like 2006 simply because I got greedy again.

If you’d like to search the MLS, you can do so.  If you’re thinking of selling, it pays to talk to the Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group.  Our sellers net about $10,000 more than the average seller.  Call us and find out why. 239-489-4042

Good luck and happy house hunting!

Featured Property of the week!  102 Maple Ave S in Lehigh Acres FL

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This time of year you’re either in 7th Heaven or purgatory with all the football games.  There are about 38 bowl games alongside NFL teams fighting for playoff spots, so there’s no shortage of games to watch this year. It’s time for the SW Florida Real Estate market 2 Minute Drill.

With football on my mind it seemed appropriate to describe the SW Florida real estate market as entering the 2 minute drill.  We’ve had a pretty good year, and it’s time to put the finishing touches on the year and set us up for the next game beginning in January.

SW Florida Real Estate Market 2 Minute Drill

SW Florida Real Estate Market 2 Minute Drill

The Southwest Florida real estate market is definitely in the hurry-up offense.  As you can see from the single family inventory graph, Realtors have been hard at work bringing more properties to the market. We need them all as active inventory is down 13.2% from last year, and last year we were complaining about low inventory levels.

Next month we also have the Draft. About mid January the Draft begins whereby the best homes are selected. General Managers (Buyers) scour the market for the best properties.  We need more sellers to declare for the Draft or by the end of March buyers will be selecting Mr. Insignificant.  You’ve probably heard of Mr. Insignificant.  This is the last person selected in the NFL draft.  While it’s an honor to be selected, you know that you’ve been passed over by every other team and selected dead last.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Sales Prices

If you’re a seller, you don’t want to be picked dead last.  You want to move your draft position higher by properly valuing your home in the market.

If you’re a buyer, you don’t want to pick dead last.  You’d like to trade-up and improve your draft position so you can select a nicer home for the money.   You can do this by being pre-approved and turning your finance offer into a stronger offer.  You can employ little tricks that look good to a seller.  A good Realtor is like a capologist and can help you select the best property based upon the funds you have to work with.  Sure you have a spending cap, just like NFL teams do.  The goal is to select the best value at the position you’re drafting from.  You must study the market or you’ll end up selecting the wrong property or paying more than you needed to.  Essentially you could have had the same property in a later round when you make a mistake.

Likewise, that franchise prospect only comes around every so many years.  When you see a property that fits your team’s needs, it pays to go grab it while the choice is yours.  When you’re time is up, the next team is On the Clock and will snatch that pick up.  You snooze, you lose.

Winning an NFL game takes an experienced coach with good players who knows how to manage the clock.  The same is true in real estate. Whether you’re buying or selling, you need a great coach to help you through.  The outcome can affect your life for years to come.

Always draft the best property you can, and no matter what, Always select the Best Coach.  The Ellis Team has some of the Best coaches you can find, and we’ll guide you through the process.  We look forward to watching you spike that ball in the end zone.  Give us a call at 239-489-4042 or search for your dream home at

Good luck, and Happy House Hunting!

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By Brett Ellis

RE/MAX Realty Group – Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907



SW Florida home sales climbed in March to 1,068 sales for single family homes.  This is down 7.1% from last year but up 37% from February’s home sales figures.  We would say this is good news for the local real estate market as sales are holding up nicely.  We think they could have been higher if there were more listings on the market ready to compete for buyers.

Cape Coral real estate sales prices Fort Myers real estate

In speaking with several real estate agents and new home communities it seems that buyers this year watched the huge price increases we’ve seen over the past few years and many decided it was time to consider new construction.  For many years new construction was priced out of the market because existing homes were far less expensive.  Existing homes were undervalued and new home construction basically had to sit on the sidelines or risk building at a loss.

SW Florida Home Sales and New Construction

With the recent run-up in prices builders can compete again.  This will be news for many sellers in SW Florida as they’re not used to competing with new construction in many years, but those days are back.  Our market was undervalued and had to rise. Now that it has, competitive forces come into play and will temper large price increases going forward.  We may be back to a normal market where we’ll be watching indicators that may affect our market like supply and demand, along with inflation, the economy, interest rates, consumer confidence, insurance rates, and others.

All these forces affect the local and national market.  Because we’re no longer undervalued by a wide margin, and because free money is leaving the scene, and flood insurance rates may rise, the market now must react to natural market forces.  We were insulated the past 5 years.

This market wasn’t a lot of fun on the way down, although it was fun on the way up, but now we’re getting close to market equilibrium.  There is still much room for market growth, but it may need to be sustainable growth based on reasonable market factors.  Most agents would agree it’s actually kind of healthy to get back to a stable growing market.

Even in a stable growing market there will be pockets of sub markets that will thrive and some may struggle. Some areas of town will be hotter than others.  Some subdivisions are still fighting off remnants of short sales and foreclosures, or the association is making up deficiencies left by members that didn’t pay.

Some price ranges have less supply and more demand, and vice versa.  You cannot price your home by how the overall market is doing, just as we can’t price SW Florida based upon how the National market is doing.

If you’re considering selling, it pays to consult an agent who understands the market and what is really taking place.  You don’t need an agent that simply reads the headlines and prices your home based upon where they heard the market is heading.  By the time you read about it in the papers or see it on TV, chances are the market has already shifted.  The market rarely stays in one place for long.

Listing inventory is rising again.  In the next few weeks we’ll be introducing a new system that will really shake things up in the SW Florida real estate market.  We’re not ready to release details just yet, but if you’re considering selling your home, now might be a good time to call the Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group 239-489-4042 or stop by our office at 7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr Fort Myers, FL 33907

We’ll make sure you understand the market forces so you can make a good pricing decision, and you’re going to love the new program coming soon!

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!
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Aren’t all agents the same?  Isn’t it just a matter of posting my home on MLS and someone will sell it? Does It Matter Which Agent I Hire to Sell My Home?

These are common questions sellers have.  The answer is choosing an average agent could cost you thousands, and choosing the wrong agent could cost you even more.  You can be legally responsible for the actions of your agent, so choosing an experienced knowledgeable agent can make the difference between selling and not selling, or even a lawsuit.

Does It Matter Which Agent I Hire to Sell My Home

All agents do not work the same.  In fact, some agents don’t even work much.  Some agents treat real estate as a business and don’t have any other jobs.  Their sole income is derived from working with buyers and sellers.  Some agents even invest money into their business by advertising more, sending out mailers, online advertising, etc.  Sure, sometimes the broker pays for this and splits up the services amongst all their agents, and sometimes the agent pays for all this.

Some agents attend seminars out of town to learn from top agents throughout the country, and others stay home and listen to agents in their office complain.  Education is an investment back into the business that can pay dividends for your clients.

Some agents take their broker provided advertising and that’s really all they do, while others spend their own money and really promote their listings.  Some agents hire assistants to help out with tasks that could bog a busy person down freeing their time up to close more sales while some agents spend time doing tasks that are not a productive use of their time.

Some agents get a better price for their sellers’ homes because they are better negotiators, and because they expose the home to more buyers.  Some agents over-price homes just to get the listing ensuring the property sells for a lower price later on versus a higher price sooner into the listing.  Sometimes the over-priced home doesn’t sell at all.

Often times we generate multiple buyers for a property.  Choosing the best offer usually takes an experienced agent to evaluate all the fine details of the offer and read into the situation.  Wisdom and experience are invaluable at this stage.  Less experienced agents many times accept the highest price without regards to whether the buyer can actually close and what pitfalls might be involved rather than asking questions and perhaps countering the stronger buyer.

When asked the following question “Can hiring the wrong agent cost a seller money?” I think it was Shakespeare who replied “Let me count the ways!”  OK, so maybe Shakespeare didn’t answer that question but if he did that answer would have made sense.

There is a big difference between the skills of agents, and there is a remarkable difference in the ways agents present homes to the public.  I remember sitting through a class taught to Realtors on how to convince sellers that advertising doesn’t sell homes.  Today I came across a website by a local broker and he was stating those same reasons on how advertising won’t sell your home, presumably because he doesn’t invest much in advertising.

We’re currently tracking dozens of sellers who listed with less experienced agents, sometimes at inflated prices, and their homes are still on the market.  They’re locked into listing agreements and they regret their choice.  The time to really ask questions is upfront, and make sure you ask probing questions to seek answers, not to hear what you want to hear.

Everyone likes to choose people based upon who makes them feel good, but in real estate feeling good is best defined at the closing table, not who lists the home at the highest price or tells you what you want to hear.

If you list your home and go to the bother of keeping it clean so people can march through your home at anytime wouldn’t it make sense to work with someone who can shorten that process and get you top dollar, not bottom dollar after the market has rejected your home because it was over-priced?

If you have a home to sell, give us a call.  We’ll give you the facts so you can decide, and we’ll get your home sold for top dollar!  Not Peter Pan money, but real money!

If you’re considering buying or selling in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Estero, Ft Myers Beach or anywhere in Lee County Florida, give us a call. 239-489-4042 or visit our website

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Back in the spring we sounded alarms that due to rising interest rates and rising prices buyers on the fence should seriously consider purchasing sooner rather than later.  On July 5th we posted a graph on our Blog “What Do Buyers and Sellers Need to Know About Rising Interest Rates?”

Why Now Might be the Best Time to Buy
Reduction in Purchasing Power

Back then we shared a chart which we’ll re-print today that showed how much purchasing power a buyer lost in 2 short months when rates rose a little over 1% in that time.  A buyer lost about 10% purchasing power due to rising rates, not to mention prices have been going up so it became increasingly harder, if not impossible to find the same home for less money.

Why Now Might be the Best Time to Buy

We bring this up because we think it’s going to happen again.  Prices are still rising and rates have dipped a little bit.  As of today is reporting a 4.33% 30 year fixed rate mortgage.

Economic Indicators Interest Rate Graph

The reason we see rates going up in 2014 is because the Fed has signaled it will cut back in buying US Treasuries that have been keeping rates low.  Market forces would say we should have rates over 5% but the US government has been trying to spur the economy by buying down the rates.  It sounds like robbing Peter to pay Paul, and it is really, but its net effect has been to keep rates down which helps people buy homes.  When people buy homes, they also buy appliances, carpet, paint, etc.  Each home sale sets off a chain of events that pumps money into the economy.

As the economy improves there is more pressure for the Feds to cut back on this program.  Several large industry publications are speculating that possibly ObamaCare will harm the economy buy taking disposable income out of consumers and forcing them to either buy insurance or pay higher premiums.  If this does harm the economy, the Feds will be able to continue buying down the rates artificially.  If the economy would improve rates will go up.

We have artificially low rates that will rise someday, and many are banking on 2014 coupled with rising prices nationally and locally.  Prices may come down nationally for a few months due to seasonality but they do start heading up again in Feb or March if history holds true.

We also posted an article on June 13 on the Blog on how rising prices and rising interest rates affects a buyer’s down payment and monthly payment.  In one year the average down payment went up $8,360 and the average monthly payment went up $173.23  It’s getting harder and harder for buyers to save up the down payment, and the longer they wait the more they have to come up with.  With rising rates, putting more down doesn’t mean lowering the payment.  This is why buying now could save you both ways.

We’re not saying this to spur more sales.  I think the public thinks Realtors just do this because they need more sales.  In fact, inventory is limited and it’s tough finding homes for buyers.  There is no shortage of buyers, there’s a shortage of sellers.  We say this to inform you of your options and hopefully educate you on what’s best for you.  What we say is also backed up by facts and evidence that you can go back and read for yourself and compare to today.

If you’d like to search the MLS check out and hopefully you’ll find a home that meets your needs.  Feel free to call us too at 239-489-4042  Sometimes we know about certain properties coming to the market before they hit MLS, or we may be able to help you with your online search.

To search the MLS for properties go to or give us a call at 239-489-4042     Good luck and Happy House Hunting!!!

Feel free to view our Virtual Tours .

Visit our Google+ Business Page