Lately it seems everybody wants to know how long this market will last.  Thankfully, we developed an indicator for that years ago that predicted the changing market. It is called the Ellis Team Current Market Index Indicator or Market Direction.

Current Market Index Indicator of Market Direction

We analyze a series of numbers and from that it spits out a number. The lower the number, the better the real estate market is for sellers.  As the number changes significantly, it signifies a shift in the market.

Past Current Market Index Indicator Performance

Look back at the current market index indicator from 2005. Back in 2005 we went on air and told people the market was about to change.  While this chart shows 2005-2012, we were taking readings years before that showed a change was coming.  After the TV story broke, agents and consumers thought we were nuts. They commented that the current market back then was like a train on the tracks, and nothing could stop it.  Fast forward a year later and nobody was questioning what was happening in the market.

In September 2005 the CMI number was 2.11 but headed up.  That’s when we knew the market was headed for trouble. Today the number stands at .51, so it shows you how much healthier our market is today versus back in 2005.  We knew the market was not healthy in Fall of 2005, but few agreed with us. When the money is pouring in and people were flipping homes making $100k per transaction, sometimes you don’t want to see reality.  Greed is an emotional reaction. We are not saying greed is bad, but it is not always hatched from data or logic.

Numbers Not Based on Emotion

Fortunately, we study the numbers so we can impartially see what is really going on.  If you ask an agent how the market is, the answer you get will be in direct relation to how many sales they have the past month.  But that wasn’t the question.  The question is, how is the market, not how well are you doing in this market.

You see, the agents answer is also born out of emotion.  It is a feeling, and they feel good about the market when they are making sales.  When a client is paying you for real estate advice, they aren’t paying for how good you feel as an agent. The agent doesn’t mean any harm by it, it’s what they know.

We will report our CMI numbers from time to time, but we do reserve this data in real-time for our current clients.  Our clients are the most informed about what is going on in the market.

Gary Keller

Gary Keller runs the nation’s largest real estate franchise operation in America, and we can tell you what he watches. Gary looks at three indicators. 1. # of Homes sold. 2. Change in median price 3. Change in inventory.

We also look at these metrics as we agree with Gary, they are excellent indicators.  They are not the exact same as our index, but you can never go wrong with advice from Gary who looks at the national picture. There is more than one way to analyze a market, and many are worth studying.

So where is the market headed?  We have some headwinds to contend with, but we also have some things in our favor in Florida as well.  It seems everybody wants to be here, and demand is high. How high and how long that continues is the question.

See the Trend and Move Before the Market Moves

While the answers may not be apparent just yet, we can say we will see the trend before the market feels it. Closed sales are a lagging indicator in a changing market.

The last several market changes we were able to advise our clients and make their move before the change was felt. When our market changes again we hope to do the same.

If you’re considering making a move in this market, call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-310-6500 or visit to get an instant idea of your home’s value in today’s market.

If you need advice and want to plan your next move, it pays to talk to us!

Good luck and Happy Home Selling!


Where are home prices going as the Fed raises rates?

Many homeowners have no idea how much an agent’s experience matters when selling their home. Home sellers believe all agents do the same thing because they all sound alike. If all agents do the exact same thing, why not select the least expensive agent? It stands to reason the less you pay in commissions and closing costs the more will end up in your pocket, right?

Experience Matters When Selling Your Home

Big Difference in Agents

The truth is there is a big difference in what certain agents do, how they act, negotiate, advertise, and present your home. The result could be a difference in tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, not to mention keeping the sale together.

We all know some famous attorneys win more cases than the average attorney. This is because they are persuasive, knowledgeable, experienced, and know what to say and when. They also know what not to emphasize to a jury, and they certainly wouldn’t want to make a legal argument that is not applicable in their case, even though they may be very good at that argument.

The same is true in real estate. We watch agents answering objections with their go-to script because they are good at it even when it does not apply.  This tells us they are not listening to the customer, and they do not have enough experience to understand or answer the true objection, so they go with the one thing they know.

I guess if you know one or two things well you will make some sales. The question is, are you truly serving your clients? A seller may be hiring you to sell it for all it is worth. The agent feels great because they sold it in one day in a really hot market. Did the agent sell it, or did the hot market contribute to the one day?

Agents without business or experience will often discount what they charge because they must. They may not be in business next year anyway, so why not make what you can now? This is not necessarily in the best interests of the client, but the seller doesn’t know any better and neither does the agent.

This has been one of the best markets we’ve seen in our lifetime, and it may never come around again. It would be a shame to waste it away with an inexperienced agent who could cost you a sale and net you less than all it’s worth.

Almost always experience matters when selling, and perhaps now more than ever.  We do not have enough space to write about all the ways inexperience can cost you when selling. Obviously negotiating experience matters when selling. Knowing what to say, how to say it, and when to say it. Avoiding key phrases that sound good but only turn a buyer off is another.

What’s Your Definition of Marketing?

Most agents do not market a home. Sure, they stick it on MLS, place a sign on the property, and pray that someone else sells it. By placing home in MLS, it goes out automatically to Zillow,, Trulia, etc.  This is not marketing.  This is the same old thing all agents do because it is free. It does not make your home stand out, and it will not bring you Top Dollar!  If everyone, does it, how does it make your home stand out?

An open house flyer and a Free online open house ad is not marketing. It is an opportunity for an agent to pick up buyers for Free! Paid targeted advertising for open houses is another matter entirely.

Paid advertising is when an agent spends money on your home. Knowing where to spend, how much, and when is critical. Unfortunately, we have thousands of agents whose only experience is taking the first offer or two in a hot market. If that is all you’ve ever known, you don’t know how to extract information to get Top Dollar!

Experience Matters When Selling

Experience matters when selling your SW Florida home. Call Sande or Brett Ellis at 239-310-6500 We’ve both been selling here locally for over 34 years, and we’ve seen a thing or two. We’ve worked in up, down, and sideways markets and know all the right questions. Chances are we have all the right answers. Or visit to get your home’s value online instantly.

Register for our Ellis Team Mother’s Gift Package 2022

The Florida insurance crisis threatens home ownership by pricing many buyers right out of the market.  Most people do not realize what has happened in the last year, and they are about to find out.  Current homeowners will be affected at policy renewal, or upon policy cancellation.

Florida Insurance Crisis Threatens Home Ownership

Already we have a home affordability crisis. The Florida insurance crisis threatens to make the affordability crisis even worse. Let’s break this down into two areas. Flood insurance and property insurance.

Flood Insurance

The National Flood Insurance Program upgraded their program to Flood 2.0 What this means is properties that were previously in flood zone x and other non-required flood insurance areas have been reclassified.  Flood insurance may now be required.  The other startling fact is most properties that were in X paid an even $677/yr.  We are now seeing X properties with premiums over $3,000.

We have seen some flood zone A policies more than $6,000/yr.  If you already have a NFIP policy, they cannot raise your rates more than 18% per year.  However, after six years you will be maxed out at the new rate.  I just looked up a property that was $677 last year and now it is $6,4000 this year.  That is $533/mo, just for flood insurance. Now we must add in homeowners’ insurance, and we haven’t even gotten to that yet.

We would suggest calling your insurance agent to see if your property has changed.  There are some private flood policies available, but when they fill up, they stop writing policies.  If you have a NFIP policy, do not cancel it without taking to your insurance agent first. It may make your home difficult to sell without it.

Property Insurance

7 insurance companies have recently filed bankruptcy and three others have stopped writing new policies altogether. If you have a tile roof over 20 years old, some are cancelling policies. Others are doing it at 30 years old. Shingle roofs are between 10-20 years. We are losing options. If you are selling a home, you may be required to replace a roof. Even if you’re not selling, you may have to replace your roof.  Insurance for older homes is increasing rapidly as well.

Insurance companies are looking for any reason to not cover the home, and any reason to charge a higher premium. They lost a lot of money, and insurance companies do not like losing money. Insurance companies are risk adverse going forward, so anything that looks like it could have an upcoming claim is being excluded.

They are checking age of water heaters, plumbing valves, air conditioners, roofs, truss tie downs, etc.  Some homeowners are seeing their rates doubling or tripling, while others are being canceled.


Triple Whammy

Home buyers are being hit with rising flood and property insurance along with rising rates. It is limiting how much they qualify for. In fact, some buyers on new construction are cancelling contracts because the interest rates are higher now than when they signed contract and they no longer qualify for the loan. Same with the flood insurance on some lots. Homeowners insurance on new homes is still affordable.

Typically rising interest rates curtails prices because it affects affordability. We still have strong demand and a low supply of homes on the market, although it is rising. Listing inventory today is at the highest it has been all year.

Future of Real Estate Prices?

The question is going to be, will the number of people moving to Florida offset or exceed the number of people priced out due to rising rates? The answer to that question will determine the future of real estate prices in Florida. Marketing to out of state markets will be crucial to getting top dollar for your home.

If you have real estate questions, call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-310-6500. Or you can get an instant and Free online home valuation at Be informed. Rates are expected to climb rapidly in the coming months. The choices you make today could determine your future!


Should I buy Real Estate Now or Wait for Prices to Drop?

Loan experts forecast 6% interest rate coming to the US housing market in 2022. Currently rates have risen to about 4.75%. We have witnessed the fastest rise in mortgage rates in US history the past 4 weeks.

Forecast 6% Interest Rate Coming
6% interest rates coming in 2022 according to forecasts

Mortgage rates skyrocketed 24% in the past four weeks, and they are not done yet. We have been warning readers that rate hikes were coming.  It is not too late to make a move, but those that begin the process now will benefit over those that wait.

Save Money by Buying Now

Buyers are better off buying now. Even if a buyer believes home prices will fall, mathematically they are still better off buying now at lower rates than waiting.

Home sellers are better off acting now because rising rates dampens buyer enthusiasm, not to mention the amount they can afford to pay for a home.  The real question is, how will rising rates affect homebuyers up North flocking to Florida but needing to sell their home first? This is where we could see an impact. Many of these buyers turn into cash buyers, but if they face a difficult time selling their home up North, it could affect us here in SW Florida.

There is no question people still want to move here. The question is, how much can they afford when they get here, or can they get here? Many locals have tapped out because prices have risen so much and priced them out of the market. Rising rates have already lowered the price point they can afford, so it cuts into demand.

Builders are losing contracts from buyers who no longer qualify for the mortgage since the construction contract was signed. The good news is there are still buyers out there willing to scoop the property up. Builders appreciate the fact they are losing buyers because many of those deals were signed at year ago prices. The builder can now sell to a different buyer at today’s prices.

Rates Affect Affordability

Just the same, rising rates are limiting how much buyers can pay for homes, and when enough buyers are affected, it will affect the overall market. With forecast 6% interest rate coming soon to our market we are watching its effect on home prices.

The other thing we are watching is inventory levels. Daily levels are rising a bit. Overall housing inventory levels are very low in Southwest Florida. It is still a good time to be a seller, but the future becomes a little less settled later in the year.

Most economists are predicting a recession later this year or next. The yield curve has inverted which signals an upcoming recession.  See our article on February 10th at to read up on how that metric has predicted every recession since the fed began publishing it in 1976.

Rising Rates Will Cost More Than Benefit of Falling Prices

Prices may continue to rise. They could fall back a bit. Nobody knows exactly where prices will go except that we don’t anticipate large swings one way or the other. What we do anticipate are rising rates, and that will not be fun for buyers or sellers. Our team has experience working in up, down, and sideways markets so we will be with you every step of the way with best guidance. Many Realtors have only worked in one cycle and don’t know what to do if the cycle changes.

I remember back in 2005 when I went on TV and told everyone the market was about to change. Many Realtors told me I was crazy and didn’t understand the market we were in.  I am not calling for a change like we saw back in 2006.  I am saying things are about to change. It will not be as fun for a seller as the last 2 years have been, but goals can be accomplished, and we’ll have to work a little harder to find buyers and keep deals together.

If you have questions about the market, call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-310-6500 or visit to see the value of your home instantly.

Good luck and happy selling!