Today we would like to share with you three timely real estate trends we are keeping an eye on in SW Florida.

Timely Real Estate Trends

The first is median time to contract.  This is the amount of time it takes the average property to go under contract for sale.  As you can see from the chart, it rose to 79 days.  That is a 11.3% rise from last year in June, and up considerably from May’s 47 days.  For the year however, we are still at 64 days, which is down 9.9%.  We will be keeping our eye on this metric.

Timely Real Estate Trends Median Time to Contract

Secondly, we are looking at new pending sales which were up 28.3% in June.  Some of this is pent-up demand from the previous months and some is the fact that interest rates are at historic lows.  Buyers do not want to miss out on this opportunity.

Timely Real Estate Trends New Pending Sales

Lastly, we are looking at new listing inventory.  New listings rose 9.6% in June 2020 over June 2019.  The issue is, new pending home sales were up 28.3% in June and up 2.2% in May, while new listings were down 1.6% in May and down 33.7% in April.

New Listings June 2020 Timely Real Estate Trends

You cannot have new listings down over 30% and new pending sales up 28% without it eating into existing inventory.  Existing stood at 4,090 listings in June, which was down 28.5% from last year.  This is a direct correlation between the three metrics we are analyzing in this article.

It is possible this market just re-balanced to the levels we are at today.  Or, it could be that sales are not higher than they are simply because there is not enough inventory to sell.  In other words, perhaps sales would be higher if there was more inventory.

We are seeing the most housing inventory gains coming in the $250,000-$300,000 range and in the $400,000 and up range. Inventory is down below $250,000 and flat between $300,000-$400,000.

Other Timely Real Estate Trends

Another trend we are seeing is agents from Miami coming over here with their clients and attempting to sell property over here.  Official June numbers show Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade areas with 3.9 months supply of homes on the market.  Lee County has 3.6 months, so technically we have less supply than they do relative to number of home sales.  It is possible they dipped recently and are sniffing over here for available properties to sell.

We saw this trend back around 2005.  It’s not fun because usually they have pre-qualification letters from Miami based lenders and we did not always find them to be legitimate.  More times than not, those buyers failed to qualify even though they had an out of town lender tell us they were golden.  It got so bad that local Realtors would require a local lender look at the buyer to make sure they were indeed qualified.  When I look at a pre-approval letter, I want to know that buyer can perform before taking it off the market for our seller.

The buyer may have been qualified, who knows.  In the end, the lender could not get the job done, and that gave agents fits because they worked so hard to find a qualified buyer only to find out they weren’t qualified, or the lender couldn’t perform.

No matter where you purchase, we tell customers to use a local lender, or a national lender with a reputation for results.  Otherwise local agents won’t trust your pre-approval letter and your offer may not get accepted, especially if there are multiple offers.  You do not have to use the local lender, just get a pre-approval from one so the sellers know you are qualified.

Realtor You Hire Matters

In a shifting market, the Realtor you hire matters.  This is true on the buying and selling side.  Always work with an agent that has years of experience in all kinds of markets, and several hundred if not thousands of homes under their belt.  The Realtor makes good money, and they are worth every penny when you need them.  It’s times like this when you really need experience you can count on.

Feel free to call Brett and Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  We’re here to help.  Or visit for a free home value analysis.

See last week’s article “Refinance Existing Home Versus Sell and Purchase New Home

Watch the Future of Real Estate

With rates dipping to historic lows we get this question a lot.  Should homeowners refinance their existing home versus sell and purchase a new home?

Refinance Existing Home Versus Sell and Purchase New Home

We can make a compelling argument for both.  The best answer depends on your situation.  Odds are, you should probably do something.  If you are happy in your home, it meets your needs, and you plan on being there awhile you might consider refinancing.

If you have outgrown your home, or your home is too much work for you, you might consider a sale.  Inventory is low right now, so it is a great time to sell.  Not only will you be selling in a seller’s market, you will also be financing your next home into one of the lowest interest rate environments we have ever seen.  Of course, inventory is low, so we must make sure you have a home to go to.

Refinance Existing Home Versus Sell and Purchase

Let us throw out a possible scenario.  A homeowner owes about $274,000 on a 1st mortgage and about $243,000 on a line of credit.  Total debt is about $517,000.  Conventional loan limits are set at $510,000, so if this homeowner wants to refinance it’d be best to pay down $7,000 to get down to the $510,000 limit, otherwise it would be a jumbo loan and priced differently.

The principal and interest payment currently is $2,756.  A new loan at 2.75% would have P&I payment of $2,082.  That is a monthly savings of $674.  Most of that is due to the lower rate.  $28.58 of that is due to paying down $7,000 to get to the conventional loan limit.

This homeowner now has a decision to make.  They can refinance at 2.75% and save $674/mo., or they can sell and purchase another home that suits their needs better at 2.75%.  The key here is the low rate.  This homeowner should probably do something.  The question is, what is best for that family?

Time to Talk

This is where we come in.  We have several mortgage lenders we work with.  We can look at your situation, see how much we can sell your home for and how much would end up in your pocket at closing.  The next step is determining where you would go.  It might be local, or you might consider moving to a different area.  We have an app that can show you homes anywhere in the country, and of course being part of the nation’s largest and most successful real estate company allows us to put you in touch with a great agent anywhere in the world.

If you are living in a home that does not quite meet your needs, perhaps it is time to start exploring.  Some people decide a move is not worth it.  Others decide they feel like they are settling and would like to make a change.  Either way, the Ellis Team is here to consult with you.  Personally, we do not care if you decide to sell today or 5 years from now.  We are here for you whenever that day comes.  We are interested in helping you make the best possible decision for your family.


If you are a little curious as to what your home value is, you can call us at 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Ask for Sande or Brett Ellis.  Or, you can find your home’s instantly for free on our website

Making a move is not always an easy decision.  There are numbers involved, memories, and just the hassle of moving.  Our team has resources for you to help make your decision easier.  We are not here to tell you what you should do, but rather counsel you and present you with your options.

We look forward to speaking with you and helping you decide which way is the best for your family.

Good luck and stay safe!

See Last Week’s Article “Price at Market Value and Buyers Will Come

You’ve heard the movie quote “Build it and they will come” from Field of Dreams.  The saying for the SW Florida real estate market is price at market value and buyers will come.

Pending sales were up 2.2% in June which should lead to some nice closing numbers going forward.  However, if you look at the pricing trends for the past few years, you will notice prices have not moved much.  Every year around May or June home prices are lower, primarily because the larger sales happen in season.  2020 was different because season was interrupted by covid-19 and we were under a stay-at-home order in April.

Price at Market Value and Buyers Will Come

Price at Market Value and Buyers Will Come

What is selling today is pretty much anything that is priced correctly.  We are selling low, middle, and high-end homes.  The key is, buyers are looking for housing amongst low inventory, but they don’t want to overpay.  A real estate property buyer never wants to overpay, and sometimes it seems like they must in low inventory markets.  We do think there has been some upward price pressure, but we are not seeing it yet in the overall numbers.  We may see it in the June or July closings when those numbers are released.

Sellers must weigh to counterbalancing ideas.  One is you have got a hot commodity in a lower inventory market.  The other is you don’t want to be greedy and miss this market.  Inevitably some sellers miss a seller’s market because they get too greedy and think the hot market conditions are going to last forever.  These sellers always say, “I wish we had that hot market back” when they own their home 4 years later but wished they had sold 4 years ago.

We can sell a home in a hot, warm, or cold market.  The fact is some sellers succeed while others fail to sell even in the hottest of markets.  It is always nice to sell in a hot market, and it stinks to miss it because you thought it was going to go even higher.  It’s happened before, and it will happen again.  The question is, is it going to happen to you?

Market Where the Buyers Are

The other key ingredient is knowing who your market is and knowing how to reach them.  We’ve had great success with out of state buyers, so we’ve marketed out of state.  You have to go where the buyers are, and the Ellis Team knows how to do that.

Our listing inventory has shrunk because we have sold most of it.  Sure, we have new listings coming in all the time, but not as many as we are used to marketing.  If you have a property to sell, you might want to give Brett or Sande Ellis a call. 239-489-4042 Ext 4. We have over 3 decades experience marketing in changing markets, and we’re definitely experts at reaching buyers where they are.

The Ellis Team has been voted Best in Real Estate for 5 straight years in the News Press Reader’s poll, and that does not happen by accident.  We’d like to sit down and discuss your goals and see if we can make your goals a reality.  It all starts with an idea.  Some ideas are available right now, especially since rates are so low.  Chances are you might qualify for more home for less monthly payment than you have right now.  Other ideas might take some planning, but with expert help we can put your ideas into motion and make that next step a reality much sooner for you.

Curious About Selling?

If you are simply curious about your home’s value. Check out You can check on your home’s value without having an agent out to your home.  This preliminary step might help get the wheels turning for you.  Of course, Brett and Sande are just a phone call away if you need us.

Good Luck, and Happy Selling!  Call us if you need us 239-489-4042 Ext 4

See last week’s article “Advantage Southwest Florida Sellers as Sales Outpace New Listings

For months we have been telling you about strong real estate sales and dwindling inventory.  If our local market were a tennis match, we would say advantage Southwest Florida sellers as buyers are scooping up properties faster than new listings are entering the market.

Advantage Southwest Florida Sellers 7 Day market Watch

In the past 7 days 551 homes went pending in Lee County while only 294 new listing came on the market.  This is a daily trend, and it has been happening for months.

If you are a seller, this is a great time to sell.  You have far less competition from other sellers.  In fact, buyers are no longer in competition with the seller, but rather all the other buyers trying to purchase the same property.

Pricing is still key.  Just because it is a seller’s market does not mean buyers will overpay.  Of course, the bank appraiser will also have a say in it too.  The other way to look at it is this way.  Why would you want to overprice a home and miss one of the greatest opportunities in years?  While we expect the real estate market to do well into the future, you may not have inventory levels this low again.

Advantage Southwest Florida Sellers

Advantage Southwest Florida Sellers Months Supply of Inventory

No matter the market, we always see sellers that miss the market.  When it’s going well, they overprice it and expect the market to catch them.  When it’s on the way down, some sellers chase he market down and never quite get there, so it sits.  If they do have to sell, it can cost them.

We like to sit down with sellers and discuss their options.  We can discuss proper pricing strategies along with how our marketing is reaching out of town buyers.  What do you do when there are layoffs in town?  You go find buyers out of town, and our marketing is doing that.

Targeted Online Real Estate Advertising

For instance, last weekend we ran an online ad.  We had signups from 8 local buyers, and from 35 out of state buyers.  Add that to the 20 open house attendees and we created 63 interested parties in one weekend.  It is no wonder we are close to selling that home at the time this article is written.

Marketing must be geared to where the buyers are, and you need a Realtor who thinks out of the box to reach those buyers.  There are lots of buyers in SW Florida.  You just have to know how to reach them.  There are lots of buyers nationwide.  We know how to reach them.

Brett and Sande have the data to help you make the best decision for your family.  We do not like to under-price a home.  You do not need to in this market.  We can show you how to get Top Dollar.  If you have more buyers and more offers, you have a greater chance at top dollar.

When you overprice your home, you may get little to no offers, and that would be sad.  If you’re wondering what you’re home is worth and just want a quick analysis, you can go to  It will tell you instantly what your home is worth and how confident the value is.  You can then call Sande or Brett and we will tell you if we agree.  239-489-4042 Ext 4 

This weekend is Independence Day.  Enjoy this day, and this weekend, and remember those that fought to make this day possible.  It may also be Independence Day for your home.  You may now have enough equity to make the move you have been wanting to make.

Home values have been on the move.  Inventory is low.  Call Brett or Sande and let us see if a move is in the cards for you!

See last week’s article “Real Estate Transaction Dollar Volume Drops 43% in May