A recent survey by Realtor.com revealed there are more sellers ready to list their home in 2022 than 2021.  Many sellers were waiting out the pandemic.

Sellers Ready to List Their Home in 2022

Of the sellers ready to make a move in 2022, 65% plan to do so in the next 6 months. Sellers have noticed price gains have slowed which may be prompting the timing in the next 6 months.  More than 1/3 have already researched the value of their home. One of the best places to research the value of your home online is www.SWFLhomevalues.com.  It is not a substitute for an experienced real estate agent or appraisal, but it is one of the best places to start online for Free.

Many Sellers Want Different Features

Many sellers spent more time in the home due to Covid. Last spring, 15% wanted different features in their home. Now that they’ve spent more time in their home, that number has increased to 33%.

Of the sellers planning to list, 42% plan to list for more than they think property is worth. 29% will want a quick closing, so future sellers will have different motivations. Ultimately the market will determine the value, but the seller will set the price.

This was a national survey, and we all know real estate is local. While this may be an indication of how sellers are feeling, what happens in SW Florida may be different.

Best Time Ever to Sell?

We believe now is the best time it has ever been to be a seller. Technically 3 months ago might have been better, but some prices have still drifted upward, and sellers today are no worse off by waiting. 3 to 4 months ago we had more offers per listing, and that drove the price up. You don’t need 25 offers per property today because the price has already been driven up and is not falling. The bidding wars in the past did the dirty work for sellers. Sellers just need enough buyers to maintain what was achieved months ago, and so far, that is the case.

Increasing Demand

Going forward, we see increasing demand. This increased demand may outpace increased supply from sellers which could further drive our market. Many businesses have made the decision to relocate to Florida. Some of these decisions were made in the last few years, and some are being made today.  These relocations take time and do not happen overnight. Someday the rest of the country’s real estate market could cool down while Florida remains hot.

We are astounded at how many buyers are coming in from other states. These are not retirement buyers; they are buyers moving here permanently and working here. They are moving their family here and deciding Florida is not only a nice place to work but also a nice place to live.

Registrations on www.LeeCountyOnline.com have increased. These are people looking for homes. Some are here renting or living with relatives and others are flying here to buy a home to relocate. Having one of the most popular real estate websites in SW Florida allows us to see buyer activity in real-time and witness trends. These national surveys are interesting, and we love to report on them, but they just confirm what we are seeing online.

Sellers Ready to List Their Home

If you own a property in SW Florida and want to know the latest trends in the market, schedule a call with Brett or Sande Ellis at 239-310-6500 We can discuss what we are seeing and how this affects you and your home value.

If you are a buyer, call our home buyer hotline at 239-489-4042 to be connected with a buyer specialist who can help you purchase a property. Our agents are experienced, and experience counts. Unfortunately, we see buyers losing out to other buyers because the agent representing them didn’t have the experience to counsel their buyer on what it takes to write a winning offer. It is not always the highest price offer that wins. Relationships matter too. The Realtor you hire matters now more than ever.

We are here to answer your real estate questions. Good luck, and Happy Selling!

Rivalry Weekend Bet

Is it just me or does it seem like everybody is asking about future home price appreciation rates for SW Florida? Maybe it’s because we are in real estate, but it does seem to be a topic discussed more often.

Future Home Price Appreciation Rates for SW Florida

It is dangerous to predict where the market will go. It tends to go where it wants to regardless of where you want it to or think it should. Zillow recently admitted it cannot predict future home price appreciation rates. If a big company cannot do it, why would anyone think they can?

The truth is nobody can. And yet, all of us have a lot more knowledge than Zillow and could probably do a better job. They tried to analyze home values and future prices on a national scale, and we all know real estate is local. There are some factors in play we have never seen before, so some of the traditional economic truths may not apply 100%.

Positive Factors

The truth is, Florida is desirable to many people across America, like never before. We have always been desirable in terms of sunshine, weather, and no state income tax. Today, it is much more than that.

We are not taking any political stand. All we can do is report what we hear buyers saying.  Buyers moving to Florida feel Governor DeSantis is a rock star and they appreciate the way Florida has handled lockdowns, mandates, and taxes.  I am sure we do not hear from some buyers who would never move here because they disagree, however the net migration into the state speaks for itself.  Going forward, we do not see this changing, and this is a plus for Florida’s housing market.

Florida is open for business and businesses are choosing to move here. We are seeing businesses and work from home families moving to Florida, and this trend should continue as well.

Interest rates are still low. Low rates are good for real estate markets.

Negative Factors

Rates are expected to rise. Rising rates cost the buyer purchasing power, so in a balanced market that eventually effects sellers. We are not in a balanced market or even close to it now.

Vaccine mandates are causing people to lose their jobs.  If the mandates stick in the courts, this could eventually trim the buyer pool as they must live off savings.  Already we are hearing about US savings accounts ballooning $4 Billion during the lockdown and that number is back to even now that stimulus has ended for unemployed in the lockdown.  This should force more to go back to work, and we saw signs of that in the latest jobs report.  If new mandates kick in January 4th, it could change the savings rates.

Inflation is like a hidden tax on consumers.  Many are seeing a rise in paychecks. Those gains are being eaten up by rising gas, food, shipping, housing, automobile, and virtually any other expense you can think of. Inflation is outpacing income.  As companies are forced to raise wages, it increases inflation even more. It is a never-ending cycle that must end, or it will not help the real estate market.

Predicting the Future

As you can see, predicting future home price appreciation rates was never easy, and with new forces in effect it is virtually impossible now.

We see interest rates rising in 2022 so that should be a motivating factor for buyers. We see good things for Florida for the next several years. The jury is still out for the rest of the country. We suspect many markets will do very well while some may lag. If buyers are waiting for home prices to fall off a cliff, they might be sorely disappointed. If sellers are waiting for another year of 20-30% price gains, they might be disappointed too.

When you are ready to buy or sell, Always Call Sande or Brett Ellis at the Elis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-310-6500  Or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to find your home’s value, or www.LeeCountyOnline.com to search the MLS like a pro.

Good luck, and Happy buying and selling!

Zillow iBuyer program shutting down due to many factors announced by the company.  The most glaring is they lost $422 million in the 3rd quarter of this year with expected future losses of $240-265 million in losses just from 4th quarter purchases.

Zillow iBuyer Program Shutting

It turns out scaling an iBuying business isn’t easy as easy as they predicted, and mistakes were made.  2/3 of homes listed by Zillow are listed at prices below what they paid for the homes they bought.  That is not a sustainable business model.  Realtors have complained that the Zillow Zestimate was not always a good judge of value, and it certainly wasn’t a good judge of future values.

Zillow announced it is laying off 25% of its workforce as a result.  Rich Barton CEO of Zillow commented that an unintended consequence of buying homes directly from buyers was the fact that 90% of buyers turned them down.  It wasn’t a pleasant experience angering customers, and that wasn’t the reason they went into this business.

So, what does Zillow leaving the iBuyer space mean to the rest of the market?  We have seen other companies attempt to duplicate Zillow and go on buying sprees.  With Zillow ending this program, will other iBuyers follow suit?

Locally we have worked with iBuyer companies, and not all of them performed by the contract.  Some have forfeited escrow deposits because they did not comply and refused to close.  As a seller, it is scary to think you go to contract and expect the buyer to perform, only to find out the buyer no longer wants the property because their analytics have changed.

Some sellers were willing to sacrifice price for certainty, and now that certainty is gone, how many sellers will be willing to sell at a reduced price?

Top Dollar Realtors

We always encouraged sellers to check with us before accepting an offer.  The Ellis Team is known as the Top Dollar Realtors, so if you are contemplating a sale with an investor or institutional buyer you want to know how much you are giving up for a quick sale.  The problem was for many sellers, they would go to contract at a certain price.  Investor would come back and change the price due to inspection items.  That signed contract no longer seemed like a good deal anymore.

We believe it is important to talk to us no matter who the buyer is.  Some agents are known for fast sales, but not necessarily Top Dollar.  In this market, you can have both, but you must be a skilled negotiator and smart about it.  Accepting an offer the same day may make some sense in certain situations, and not in others.

Each seller has different needs and objections.  Some want or need a fast sale while other want or need Top Dollar.  Like we said, in this market, both are possible, but it is a constant balancing act in some situations.

The Ellis Team Works Differently Than Most Realtors

Brett and Sande work differently than moist Realtors.  We take a counseling approach.  We seek to understand our clients needs and ask questions.  After learning what is most important to our clients, we can offer suggestions based on what we see happening in the streets.

This approach is not used by all, and certainly not in the iBuyer world.  In the iBuyer world, the buyer is your foe.  They want what you have at the least price they can get it for.  The less they pay the more profit when they flip.

Sande and Brett can guide you through the maze of options and discuss what is best for you.  Additionally, new real estate sales contracts went into effect November 1st, and there are some big changes. Working with a full-time Realtor is important, not only for getting Top Dollar, but for all the changes too.

Zillow made drastic changes to their business model, and they are a multi-billion-dollar company.  Don’t you think you need experts looking out for you in changing times?  Always Call the Ellis team 239-310-6500 to get your home sold fast and for Top Dollar, or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com  for the most accurate only price estimates.

Good luck, and Happy Selling!

Southwest Florida home sales prices stabilized in the 3rd quarter. Statistically, homes prices were neither increasing nor decreasing to end the quarter.

Home Sales Prices Stabilized

If you look at the graph, Southwest Florida is subject to seasonality in prices, and we are entering a time when home prices traditionally start climbing again. Covid threw a monkey wrench into the term seasonality.  For the past year and a half, it was hard to tell what season is anymore.

Borders Opening Up

Canadians are finally being allowed back in the country starting in November. While we have seen this announced before it has never really happened like they said. More buyers are flocking to Florida from other higher tax states, so it will be interesting to see how this affects demand going forward.

We are also watching inflation, interest rates, and supply chain issues. Home builders may find it difficult going forward to find components to build homes. Nationwide, we have a shortage of homes and Covid did not help builders build enough homes.  Now that we are seeing worsening supply chain issues, you must wonder what affect this will have on new home prices.

Of course, interest rates have been rising and are expected to rise in to 4% in 2022 by the Mortgage Bankers Association. Rates were about 2.75% not long ago. A 1% rise in rates robs a buyer about 11% purchasing power. When buyers can afford less, they don’t have as much money to bid on homes.

We have an influx of buyers flush with cash and large down payments moving to Florida. This is squeezing out some homebuyers from the process, but not necessarily all buyers and sellers are still getting their price. Instead of having 20-50 buyers bidding on each home we may only have 3-10.

Demand Outpaces Inventory Supply

The graph agrees with what we are seeing on the streets.  Many buyers feel like prices went up so much and they feel a correction is right around the corner.  Home buyers may be disappointed because demand is still stronger than supply. Yes, prices may have moderated and stabilized, but it does not mean prices must come down. In fact, Southwest Florida was undervalued for years and may not be more accurately valued.

The real question becomes, how does the national economy play out in the next year? The other important question is, how does Florida look business wise compared to other states? We cannot answer the first question, but we can tell you home buyers are voting with their pocketbooks.  The vote is in, and Florida is attractive enough to pack up everything and move here. We do not see this trend changing. If anything, it may be picking up steam.

Why Buy Now

As you can see, we have some wildcards in play, and if anyone can tell you how things will play out for certain, they are smarter than we are. What we can say is buyers should buy sooner rather than later, because waiting can cost you. We can also say prices may not come down. They could, but they could also increase due to higher costs and not enough supply.

Why Buy Real Estate Now

This truly is one of those rare moments in time where it can cost both buyer and seller to wait. If you’ve been thinking about making a move, now might be your ideal time. Call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-310-6500 and we can talk about your situation.

Or, visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to find out what your home is worth.  To search the MLS like a professional does, check out www.LeeCountyOnline.com Our site is updated every few minutes, so you are looking at the best data.


Good luck and Happy House Hunting!