This past week I’ve spoken with several real estate agents in Southwest Florida and all have offered varying perspectives on the current state of the real estate market.  Two feel the market has stalled and not doing much while others feel the market is on fire for December. We believe Santas sled bringing gifts Southwest Florida.

Just looking at the quick Market Watch statistics provided by our local MLS we can see that in the last 7 days 291 new listings came on the market in Lee County and 265 went pending.  That sounds like a pretty balanced market.  If you look further, you’ll also notice 257 price reductions.

Santa’s Sled Bringing Gifts to Southwest Florida

It’s possible we placed so many homes under contract because, so many sellers adjusted their price to get in line with the market.  Price reductions are not a bad thing.  Imagine getting a D or an F on a test and being stuck with that grade.  It kind of stinks doesn’t it?

We’ve probably all had that one teacher that allowed test re-takes and makeup homework.   This teacher was more interested that you eventually learned the material than if you learned it on time the first time when it was due.

Price reductions are a lot like test re-takes.  You misjudged the market the first time.  Your final grade can still be salvaged, if you respond to the teacher’s directions.  You must show up and try again.  Some say you must try harder.  Wanting that A isn’t the same as working for it.

An A in a real estate sale is selling at fair market value in the time-frame that works for you.  If you overprice the home and it eventually sells for less because it became stale on the market, you don’t get an A.  When your home takes longer to sell, and you miss your ideal time-frame because you overpriced the home, you don’t get an A either.

You can still get a B though.  The sooner you react and make changes, the higher your grade will be.  Sellers who price correctly upfront receive higher sales prices and faster sales than sellers who overprice the market.

In a shifting market, you never want to get caught chasing the market down.  I’m not convinced we’re in a shifting market.  We had 5 closings last week and several more for the month.  That’s the result of hard work in October and November.  The sales we have in January will be a direct result of the hard work we’re putting in this month.  December is a month where many Realtors take off and ride easy into the New Year.  They tell sellers nobody is buying in December and we’ll go get them next year.  The truth is sales are there, if you’re hungry and willing to work for them.

The Ellis Team is hungry, and we work hard all 12 months for our buyers and sellers.  We’re getting Top Dollar for our sellers.  When the market doesn’t respond, we’re honest with our sellers.  Just because your home doesn’t sell in the first 30 days doesn’t mean you have to take an F in the class.  In fact, if you’re time frame didn’t dictate a 30 day sale, there’s still time to get an A.  If you absolutely must sell your home quickly, over-pricing it doesn’t make much sense, does it?

We’ll be glad to sit down with you and discover your needs.  Together we’ll come up with a marketing and pricing plan to get you on your way.  Santa is bringing gifts, so you might as well get yours.  The market is good!

Always Call the Ellis Team

Call Sande or Brett Ellis at 239-489-4042 Ext 4 if you’d like to explore selling your home.   If you’d like to shop around on the MLS, check out for Free.  It has all the listings and is updated instantly when new properties enter the market.  You’ll beat out other buyers to hot new listings.  It’s like having the teacher’s test ahead of the other students, so take advantage.

Happy Holidays from the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty.

New Southwest Florida real estate blog

Last week we discussed economic forces that will affect SW Florida real estate.  Much of this information was shared at the CCIM Outlook Conference in January.  Dr Lawrence Yun was the keynote speaker and he was a wealth of information.  Lawrence is the chief economist at NAR (National Association of Realtors) This week we’d like to focus on renting versus buying real estate.

Lawrence had some slides for the commercial brokers about how rising interest rates will eventually cause cap rates to rise, but there is a cushion so they may not have to rise immediately.  Rising cap rates can negatively affect property values.

Lawrence also presented data how rates are expected to rise starting this year and how that will affect mortgage rates.

Renting Versus Buying Real Estate Monetary Policy by Federal Reserve

If you look at the Monetary Policy graph you’ll notice that the Fed has kept the Fed Funds rate at 0%.  The Fed Funds rate is the rate banks and depository institutions lend balances to each other overnight.  I won’t bore you with details on how this works, but suffice it to say 0% is pretty low.

0% also isn’t the norm and those rates are not going to hold.  The Fed has halted its Quantitative Easing Program and the Fed Funds rate is most likely next.  This will affect mortgage interest rates going forward.  The 10 yr Treasury bond yield stands about 2.4% and is expected to rise to about 2.9% this year and 4.2% next year.  Mortgage rate changes are closely tied to the 10 yr bond yield changes.

Renting Versus Buying Real Estate

Rents are rising rapidly now and are expected to further rise.  As interest rates go up, this will put further pressure on rents to rise.  Landlord’s borrowing costs go up which forces them to attempt to raise rates if they can get it.  Rising rates also forces more buyers to rent as they qualify for less mortgage payment, which adds to the rental pool.  This in turn helps landlords raise rents.

owners equivalent rent renters rent

The best time to buy is before the mortgage rates start climbing.  When they do buyers finally get it and there is a buying frenzy, because nobody wants to pay higher rents or higher mortgage payments.  With low inventory it’s not a good scene to be caught in a buying frenzy when rates start to rise.  This puts an increase on prices, at least temporarily.  When the demand subsides, you as a buyer are left with the picked over houses nobody else want and higher rates to boot.

Jobs are rising in Florida.  If you’re renting right now you should seriously consider your options.  Last week we showed a graph how owning real estate is one of the drivers to accumulating long term wealth.  Let your new home do the heavy work for you.  You’ve got to live somewhere anyway, so why not pay yourself first instead of your landlord?

Can you really count on Social Security and Medicare being there for you when you retire?  Most people today say No!  Call the Ellis Team at RE/Max Realty Group 239-489-4042 and we’ll guide you through the process.  We’ll even get you pre-approved for a mortgage and show you the steps it takes to purchase.  Don’t wait until your lease is up.  Don’t wait for rates to rise!  Your options dwindle the longer you wait.

Feel free to search the MLS at  Don’t hesitate to call us for help or with questions. 239-489-4042  We’re here to help you get on the path to homeownership and wealth.  It’s not complicated when you have a professional in your corner guiding you every step of the way.

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