The Ellis Team is introducing our virtual listing appointment program to safely list and sell your home. People still need to buy and sell property, but in today’s social distancing environment meeting people isn’t always a good idea.

For years we’ve used various technologies to bring a consumer experience to the buyer.  We’ve adapted to bring this same experience to the seller, with a few new twists.  Our website can be found at www.Virtual-Listing-Appointment.com

Virtual Listing Appointment Program to Safely List Your Home

How the Virtual Listing Appointment Program Works

The first step is a virtual listing consultation with Brett or Sande.  We’ll discuss your situation, what you’re trying to accomplish, where you’re going, and what your ideal timeframe is.  We can do all of this with an online video conference we’ll setup for you.

Next, we can do a virtual walkthrough with you.  On your phone you can show us the house using our video conferencing application.  If you don’t have internet at the home, we can do this through photos and other methods.  Brett and Sande can discuss comparables and market conditions with you on the video conference just as if we were meeting in your home or at our office.

Once you feel comfortable and make the decision to place your home on the market, all listing documents can be signed electronically by e-signature.  We have the software to do that as well.

3D Virtual Tour

3D Virtual Tours

The Ellis Team then springs into action.  We hire a professional photographer to photograph your home and do a 3D virtual tour of your home.  This allows us to setup online showings via our websites and 3D tour solutions for buyers.  Our team has sold several homes over the years sight unseen online.  We can do the same for your home.

Some buyers will purchase via virtual tools, and some will not.  At the very least, we can eliminate a lot of shoppers.  Most all buyers love the technology and can narrow down their choices online.  In this way we’re helping sell our listings and reducing the foot traffic in the home.  It doesn’t do a lot of good having 100 showings to find one buyer.  Now we create the online showings and still find the buyer.  If we can cut the actual showings down significantly and still sell the home, we’ve made the selling process safer for buyers and sellers in the process.

Virtual Open Houses

Our team holds virtual open houses.  This is another way we can cut down on people entering your home and potentially spreading the Coronavirus, the flu, or any other germs.

Ellis Team buyer agents can also do virtual showings with buyers.  Let’s say the virtual tour or online photos don’t address all the buyer’s questions.  Instead of setting up showings and bringing buyers through your home, our agents can go to your home a do a video walk-through guided by the buyer.  The buyer sees exactly what they want to see and gets all their questions asked, and the seller doesn’t have a large group of people going through their home.

Sellers also appreciate that with less showings, the home doesn’t have to be stage ready at a minute’s notice every day.  By having the home show ready on day of photos, it takes a lot of pressure off keeping home show-ready every single day.

Once we list a home, we can continue to host virtual meetings with our sellers.  We can provide listing updates, walk through the MLS together, and present sales contracts.  Our technology brings us closer together than ever before.

The Future of Real Estate

And who knows, this may become the Future of Real Estate.  A crisis like this forces us to adapt, and by thinking out of the box we may have created a better way to communicate with our sellers on a consistent basis.  Now we can have scheduled virtual meetings anytime, just as if we’re sitting together in your living room.  Put the virtual listing appointment program to work for you.

If you’re thinking about selling, Always Call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 or visit www.Virtual-Listing-Appointment.com

See last week’s article “Coronavirus Changing Real Estate Transactions

Could home sale price gains become a trend in SW Florida?  It could, and here’s why.  SW Florida hasn’t seen true price gains the last few years for whatever reason. And that’s OK with us.  We always felt if there was a recession and price correction, SW Florida would be somewhat insulated as we didn’t participate in price run-ups like other counties in the state.  Now that the economy is taking off and interest rates are low, all signs seem go for the Florida real estate market.

Home Sale Price Gains a Trend in SW Florida

This creates an opportunity for SW Florida.  While all of Florida is benefiting from the booming economy, low rates, and low taxes, SW Florida may have more room to grow than other counties that have already experienced price gains.  Just as certain stock industries appreciate at various rates, so can local real estate markets.

High tax states like New York and New Jersey sometimes flock to the East coast of Florida, while Midwestern states like Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio, Iowa, etc. tend to migrate to the West coast.  Even that is changing though.  Part-time and full-time residents from East coast of Florida are coming over to West coast as well.  People want value and quality of life when deciding where to live, and SW Florida offers both, and it’s beginning to get noticed.  Our values are great, and traffic is so much better than the big cities.

Home Sale Price Gains a Trend in SW Florida?

Median home prices are up 5% this November vs. last November and average prices are up 1.6% Year to date median home prices are up 2.4% while average price are down 2.2%  We’ll be watching the next few months numbers to see if a price trend emerges.  The last few weeks we’ve written extensively on how the SW Florida real estate market is changing.  All these indicators point to a strengthening real estate market, and we love the potential of this market.

Stock pickers frequently look for the undervalued stocks in an industry, or the diamond in the rough.  SW Florida was forgotten about for whatever reason, and we think that’s about to change.  Will we see double digit growth?  Doubtful and we’re not looking for that.  We love steady, sustainable growth with quality of life.  SW Florida doesn’t want to become Miami West.  We have our own laid-back character and charm, and most want to keep it that way.  You can’t stop growth, but you can be smart about it.  Proper planning for roads, bridges, water quality, wildlife, shopping, etc. makes a big difference.

Near the end of January, we’ll have final 2019 numbers, and when final numbers are in, we believe 2019 will be a great year.  Home sales should eclipse the past 4 years, prices should be up, and inventory should be down.  If this holds true, we’ll have a better idea of how 2020 will shape up.  History only tells us where we’ve been.  It doesn’t always tell us where we’re going.  To know that, we either have to read the tea leaves or pull out our crystal ball.

It is hard to read the tea leaves if you don’t know exactly where you’ve been, where you are today, and what factors are influencing the market currently.  We have a pretty good handle on all three, and final 2019 numbers combined with January preliminary sales data will go a long way to telling us how season will go.

If you have a home to sell, always call Brett or Sande Ellis at the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042 Ext 4  or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get an instant free analysis of your home.

We hope the holidays were kind to you and we look forward to serving you another year in real estate.  Please let us know how we can help you.

Good luck and Happy Home Selling!

See Last Week’s Article “November Closed Home Sales up 6.6%

The Ellis Team has been hustling all of 2019, and December is no exception.  The phone is ringing, leads are pouring in, showings are happening, and sales contracts are being written.  December real estate activity seems busier than usual which makes for exciting times for the local SW Florida real estate market.

We’ve seen this before.  Sometimes as agents we get so busy through our marketing and lead generation efforts that we falsely believe the market is strong simply because we’re busy.  I’ve spoken with other agents and some are busy, and some aren’t.  That probably largely depends on their lead generation efforts.  All I can say is there is business out there if you work hard, advertise, and lead generate.

December Real Estate Activity

December Real Estate Activity 7 Day Market Watch
December 2019 7-Day Market Watch

I decided to pull up a 7-day Market Watch report from the MLS.  The last time we did this was back in September.  Comparing this December report to September’s report we notice a few things.  Back in September pending sales outpaced new listings 359 to 299.  In December, new listings outpaced pending sales 377 to 326.  The number I’m focusing on is the pending sales.  In September they were 359 and today they are 326.  That’s not bad when you consider it’s December.  Many agents take the month off because it’s the holidays and they figure there isn’t much business.  The numbers say there’s about as much December real estate activity as there was back in September.

September Real Estate Activity

September 2019 7-Day Market Watch
September 2019 7-Day Market Watch

The other number I’m looking at is the sold.  In September it was 233 for that 7-day period.  In December it is 270.  That’s a big increase.  Keep in mind that the closed sales went pending last month or more, so all this tells us is that November may have been busier than August.

We’ve got a pretty good market here in SW Florida.  You still have to price properties correctly, and they don’t just sell themselves.  There are buyers though, and that’s a good sign.  Buyers are looking right now too.  If you’re a seller, I wouldn’t turn down too many showings.  Any buyer out looking right now could be serious.

Looking forward to 2020

The Ellis Team just had our team retreat last week.  We don’t call it that because retreat sounds like a backwards word.  We call it a Team Advance because we’re moving forward, not retreating.  Anyway, together we came up with our plan for 2020.  Everyone on the team was extremely optimistic about this next year and the opportunities it presents.

We laid out all the new marketing we intend to implement and several new strategies to advance our clients sales.  Every single person on the team did a presentation for the group and it was one of the most powerful days of learning and growth I can remember.  I was super proud of our entire team and how well they prepared and delivered each of their presentations.  A lot of growth happened that day, and as a team we grew in untold ways.

I believe our current and future customers benefited too, because the ideas shared were incredible.  Our team is pumped up and ready to serve and we believe 2020 will be great for not only our team, but our customers as well.

SW Florida Real Estate Market Outlook

We’re in a favorable interest rate environment combined with one of the best job markets we’ve ever seen.  SW Florida made lists for top job opportunities in the country.  Job income is outpacing mortgage payment increases, so that is a terrific sign for future growth in the market.  That’s one of the biggest things we look at.

SW Florida is SW Florida, and our weather is always fantastic.  With the economy moving in the right direction and favorable rates, combined with all Florida has to offer, we believe 2020 should be a prosperous year.

If you have a home to sell, Call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4  If you’re not ready to talk to us yet, we have a website that will give you a pretty good estimate of your home’s value.  Check out www.SWFLhomevalues.com  We don’t sell your data like the big websites do, so it stays with us and is much safer.

See last week’s article “New Real Estate Listings Entering the Market Rises in October

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Lee County Florida saw new real estate listings entering the market rise 3.6% in October.  This is a welcome sign because year to date new listings are down 4.8%.  New listings do not include properties that were taken off the market and quickly re-listed, so it should be an actual representation of new listings entering the market.

New Real Estate Listings Entering the Market Rises in October

Total inventory is down 9.2% from last October, so new real estate listings are a welcome sign.  If we’re going to continue with sales gains, we’re going to need more listings.  This is an excellent time for sellers; however, sellers should be careful.

Other sellers might have the same idea and decide now is the time to sell their home too.  Prices have gone up slightly over this past year, and mortgages are paying down, which opens equity for more sellers.  With interest rates near record lows, more sellers may get the same idea and put their home on the market.

New Real Estate Listings Rise Early This Year

We always see listings rise in January.  This year we saw it in October.  Closed sales were up 10.4%, so we’re not alarmed at all.  In fact, as stated earlier, it’s a welcome sign.  Median sales prices were up 3.6% year over year in October while average sales prices were up 2.3% It’s not uncommon to have more new listings enter the market as prices rise.

We’re beginning to see lots of misinformation again.  This is a result of large data aggregators trying to be the center of the consumer experience.  Unfortunately, when you can’t get the data right, the consumer experience is degraded.  For this reason, we believe a good Realtor who studies the market should always be at the top of your list for information.

We’re going to concentrate in 2020 on providing more data and insights for Lee County homeowners. We’re starting up again our Customer Club.  Ellis Team Customer Club members will receive timely updates about the neighborhood they live in or neighborhoods they’re interested in as well as videos we create about the market.  It is Free and we intend to put the local and accurate back into the consumer experience.

We’ll have a new website you can register to become a Free member soon.  In the meantime, simply send me an email at Brett@topagent.com and put Customer Club in the subject line.

We hope you enjoy reading this article every week.  If you have questions or ideas you’d like covered, please feel free to email me.  Your ideas could be great content for this article, or perhaps a video explaining an answer to your question.

If you have a home to sell and want a fast and free estimate of your home’s value, check out www.swflhomevalues.com  People love the estimate, and many times they’re pretty darn accurate.  Of course, if you’re thinking of selling, we’d love to sit down and discuss your options.  We can provide a more accurate analysis of your home’s value as well as go over the challenges of selling your home in today’s market.  Sometimes it’s price, other times it’s timing.  Still others it’s where would you move to next?  We can help, and together we can answer these questions based upon your needs.

We have lots of other stats we can share, both at the county level and neighborhood level.  This is important data for both buyers and sellers.  Having this data puts you at a distinct advantage over other buyers and sellers.

Feel free to call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 We’ll be happy to answer your questions and see what makes sense for you.

See last week’s article “Total Dollar Sales Volume Rises Again in October

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

In 2018 we’ve been on a recent record pace, eclipsing 2015 levels for homes sold in one year.  We haven’t gone back and analyzed against all-time highs more than a decade ago.  Since prices and home sales reset after the correction, we’re analyzing against recent records.  We believe we’re behind 2005 sales numbers, but not by as much as you would think. SW Florida homes closed YTD slipped slightly in September.

SW Florida Homes Closed YTD Slipped Slightly in September

We’ve been trending above 2015 numbers, so what changed?  In September of this year we dipped below 2015 levels and that set us back.  We only had 922 closed sales in September.  Back in 2015 we had 1,078.  I think we’ll be able to track where our market is headed by how well it holds up to 2015 levels.

This year we had 968 new pending sales.  Back in 2015 we had 1,169.  This could be an indicator that closed sales in October may fall below 2015 levels as well.  The median price back then was $211,578 and we had 3.7 months supply of inventory.  Contrast that with today our median price is $245,000 and a 4.9 month supply of inventory.

What’s different today is median home prices are 15.8% higher than they were 3 years ago, and interest rates were 3.978% and falling in 2015.  Today rates are at 4.875% and rising.  Rising rates have a way of spoiling home sales in that they rob buyers of purchasing power.  At some point they rob sellers too because if the sellers raise prices and rising interest rates also put pressure on buyers, the whole train stops.  You can’t have both for very long.  When buyers are maxed out, they’re at their limit.  With every rise in rates, it could be at the seller’s expense next.

The only thing that can offset this is rising wages.  Wages do appear to be on the rise somewhat, but they lag rises in rates.  This might explain why home prices haven’t risen since January of 2017.  Sure, we’ve seen blips up and down, but statistically they haven’t moved.

How does this affect sellers trying to sell their home?  First off, we’ve got a balanced market.  Homes are moving if marketed and priced correctly.  Perhaps now more than ever marketing becomes critical.  Prices are stagnant, interest rates are rising, and inventory is building.  Hiring a Realtor who markets is critical.  We’re not talking about posting it on all the websites.  That’s not marketing.  Anybody and everybody can do that.  If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, then definitely give us a call.  When you sit down and see, it’s easy to understand why our results are different.

This is also the silly season for Realtors.  Board dues are up end of the year.  Realtors that haven’t marketed or seen results from their lead generation begin shopping around.  As a last-ditch effort to save their career, they look to low cost brokerages to reduce fees.  Ultimately this doesn’t bring them more buyers or sellers, so they eventually quit, but it does buy them a few more months in the business.  Others look to hop on teams that provide leads.  Some are so deep in debt even this won’t work because they waited too long.  Or, they just don’t know how to close leads.

When selecting a Realtor, ask to see their marketing.  Then call us.  I bet you’ll see a difference.  Ask them how many listings they successfully sold last year.  Ask them how long they’ve been with their company.  Do they jump around?  Will they be at the same company in a month or two?  Can you get out of your listing if they move?  Ask all these questions before you sign up.

Your best bet is to just call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty the first time.  Sure, we help a lot of customers who are on their 2nd or 3rd Realtor.  Wouldn’t it make sense to just use us first?

Call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-40402 Ext 4 or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com   Good luck and Happy Selling!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday November 3 1-3 PM

Open House Saturday November 3 1-3 PM

Open House Sunday November 4 1-3 PM

What a difference a month makes.  A little over a month ago we were reporting rising inventory and median price increases of .8%.  Since then, inventory fell by almost 100 homes and Southwest Florida median home prices rose 8.2% in July from last year.  They rose 2% from June numbers alone.  The average price increase in July was 15.8% over last year and was about steady from the previous month.  One of the reasons we use the median price is it’s more stable and is not subject to wild fluctuations like the average is.

Southwest Florida Median Home Prices Rose 8.2% in July

In any event, both indicators are healthy gains.  All we see or hear in the media is how the water crisis is taking a toll on business and real estate sales.  Perhaps it is affecting waterfront real estate sales, however statistically we can’t say it’s hurting the overall market.  You must be careful not to buy into negative news.

At the Ellis Team, we’re all for reporting the news accurately.  It usually tells a story, but not always the story you think.  We like to look at the numbers and see if there is a cause and effect.  Sometimes there is, and sometimes there isn’t.  What is a problem for some becomes an opportunity for others, and we’re not just talking about the water crisis.

If you let outside influences affect your outlook, it can become your reality.  If you’re a real estate agent and you believe the market is down, you’ll sell as if the market is down.  When you believe the market is good, you’ll sell that way too.  You’ve heard the sayings, “Anything the mind can conceive, it will achieve”, and “Perception is reality”. This is 100% true.

We’re not saying agents should pump themselves up by saying the market is something it isn’t!  The sooner you identify and tackle reality the sooner you are on your way solving an issue. We are saying that agents and the public should seek first to understand before making broad assumptions.

If you were a military planner, you wouldn’t attack New Zealand because Syria was acting up.  You’d look at the whole situation and determine if force was even necessary to begin with, and if so, where.  The same is true in real estate.  Salt water waterfront may be affected while fresh water and non-waterfront might be on fire.

I haven’t gone in and done an in-depth analysis of salt water sales, so I can’t even tell you if it’s being harmed nor by how much.  I’ve seen agents on TV telling us how bad it’s affected their sales.  While I don’t doubt that, you must ask the question.  Is that their perception making their reality come true, or is it fact?  It could very well be fact, and perhaps one of these days we’ll research that and report to you what we find.

If you’re a buyer, or seller, it pays to know which segments of the market are hot, and which are not.  It affects how soon you must place your offer when you find a nice home, and how close to asking price you should offer.  The Ellis Team are experts at counseling buyers and sellers.  Sande and Brett each have over 30 years’ experience, and we have a team of agents we meet with every week and discuss market conditions.

Last week one of our agents identified a hot buy alert on a property in Cape Coral.  One of our other agents on the team sold it.  When you have a small army who knows the market and works in it every day, it helps all your clients.

If you’re looking to purchase, call us at 239-489-4042 or check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It has some of the area’s best buys, and it’s updated instantly.  If you’re thinking of selling, check out www.SWFLhomevalues.com, or call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.

We’ll be happy to give you great advice we give all our clients.  The value isn’t in the agent showing you homes, it’s in the knowledge behind the research.  The Ellis Team has the knowledge and the research.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

The Future of Real Estate Southwest Florida Market Update August 2018

If you’ve noticed a lack of housing options in your home search, you’re not alone.  Home prices have been climbing nationwide since 2011.  It’s no coincidence that new home construction has played a role in the surge in home prices nationwide.

Lack of New Home Construction Nationwide Fueling Housing Shortage

Lack of New Home Construction Nationwide Fueling Housing Shortage

Many homeowners in SW Florida would love to sell their home and move to another.  They’re caught in a catch 22 situation because their home is sell-able, and yet they haven’t found a suitable place to move to.  Because housing inventory is so light, many sellers won’t accept a contingency offer, because they don’t have to.  So, when a homeowner finds a home they like, they don’t have time to place their home on the market and act.

Lack of New Home Construction Nationwide Fueling Housing Shortage Rising Prices

If the kids are grown and moved out of the house, some sellers have options.  If their home is no longer working for them, they can sell and move into a rental while they shop for a new home.  They can build a new home, or they can wait for a resale.  These homeowners are in an advantageous position right now because we can get top dollar for their home, and they’re ready to pounce when the right home hits the market.

If they wait, they must put their home on the market fast, and perhaps take less for their home just to make the speed part of the deal work.

Nationwide, the historical average of new homes being built is 1 million.  Since 2011, we haven’t hit 1 million yet.  Each year, we’re adding to the deficit of what the market needs.  The lack of supply puts pressure on the resale market and prices rise.  The rub is that prices are rising at 6% while incomes are only rising at 2-3%.  There is a top, and this is where new construction can help ease the burden.

Experienced Agents Get Creative in Low Inventory Markets

The Ellis Team at Keller Williams has gotten creative in finding housing for our buyers.  The first thing we do is provide the area’s best website for house shopping.  Our website www.LeeCountyOnline.com updates every minute, so you’re looking at homes in real-time.  Speed wins and beating out other buyers to hot new listings is the name of the game.  We have some new mortgage options too that are saving buyers thousands of dollars on their transaction.  This has enabled some buyers to purchase now and list their home after they’ve secured their next home.

We’ve also put a few deals together with a home sale contingency.  Sometimes it makes sense, and when it does we’re able to negotiate that, so it works for buyer and seller.  It takes a skilled and experienced agent to negotiate this, so don’t try this with a newer agent.

If you’ve thought about selling, but not sure where you would go if your home did sell, you should call Sande or Brett Ellis (239-489-4042 Ext 4) for a free quick meeting.  After listening to your situation, we may be able to find a solution that suits your needs.  We have a secret list of buyers just waiting for the right home to come on the market too, so we might already have your buyer.  If you’d like to get an idea of what your home may be worth, check out www.swflhomevalues.com 

Selling now can be a big advantage while inventory is low.  Many sellers will place their home on the market as season approaches.  Having buyers all to yourselves for a few months is fun, and quite possibly you’ll have your home sold before other sellers.

Call the Ellis Team today and see how we can accomplish your goals.  Good luck, and Happy Home Hunting!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open Saturday 1-3 PM

15118 Cloverdale Dr

15118 Cloverdale Dr Parker Lakes Ellis Team Weekend Open House
Parker Lakes Open House

Open House Sunday 1-3 PM

2008 Bolado Pkwy Cape Coral

Cape Coral Pool Home Ellis Team Weekend Open House