Southwest Florida home prices remain steady for the last 12 months. The median home prices in July of 2022 were $420,000. This year it was $417,000, for a drop of $3,000. The average home price last year was $550.845. This year the average was $585,866, for a $35,000+ gain.

Home Prices Remain Steady

As you can see by the chart, the averages tend to be more volatile, so the median price is the one most quoted by economists. Median home prices throughout the year have been bouncing around between $400,000, and $447,500. That’s roughly a 10% swing, but of course there is some seasonality to the market. Year over year the median price is down .7% in July.  Fort his reason, we would say home prices remain steady.

Interest Rates Rising

 Given that interest rates have risen at their fastest rise in history, home prices have held up pretty well. This is a function of people moving to Florida and money that has been floating around in the economy. Everyone always asks, where are home prices going from here?

Excess money in the economy is burning off. Consumer savings is down, and consumer debt is increasing, which is a sign that inflation and high interest rates have taken their toll.  We may be getting close to the point where consumers slow down spending en masse. When this happens it invariably leads to a slowing economy, and job loss. Currently unemployment is at 3.6%, but that could rise once the slowdown begins.

Once student loans become payable in October excess money in the economy may not be available for spending.  Additionally, about $1.5 trillion dollars of commercial debt is coming due by the end of 2025. Companies will be forced to make difficult decisions. With credit costing 2-3 times what it did before, many companies may decide to close, default, or close locations and sell. These decisions may occur in 2024 because the lead-time for refinance takes a while.


 Banks are not as apt to lend anymore either, so some companies who decide to refinance their loans may not be able to.

For these reasons, we believe the Fed should halt further interest rate increases. It takes time for these rate increases to have their effect, and the damage may already be done. Sometimes it’s wiser to let the pot simmer for awhile before turning up the heat further.

The Fed is known for over-shooting their target. If they keep raising rates, they may very well do so again. Of course, our government is not making their job easier either. We keep spending, and as long as we do that, it means the Fed has to tighten monetary policy. If we could slow down spending, they wouldn’t have to tighten as much.  But that’s another story for another day.

Bottom Line

Florida is still a desirable place to live. We have no state income tax, lower property tax rates than many areas, and good weather, for the most part. This article is written before Tropical Storm Idalia makes her full presence known, so hopefully Lee County fares well.

Nobody knows for sure what will happen with home prices.  All we know is rising interest rates, insurance, and HOA/condo fees are not helping buyers spend more. That is money that could have gone into seller’s pockets, but now is going to total cost of ownership. Hopefully insurance reform will help lower the cost of insurance, and we won’t see many more storms.

If you have a property to sell, always call Brett or Sande Ellis at 239-310-6500 or visit If you’d like to purchase, call the Ellis Team at 239-489-4042 or visit

Good luck and have a Happy Labor Day Weekend!

See last week’s article “SW Florida Declining Home Sales Not Caused by Low Inventory

I’ve been reading that nationally homes sales are down because of declining inventory. Locally, SWFL declining home sales have not been caused by declining inventory.  In fact, local inventory has almost quadrupled in the last 18 months.

SWFL Declining Home Sales Not Caused by Low Inventory

On February 15, 2022 I calculated 1,071 single family homes on the market in Lee County. Today, that number stands at 4,178. Low inventory cannot be the reason homes are not selling. Currently there is a 4.2 months’ supply of inventory on the market compared to 2.5 months’ last year.

SWFL Declining Home Sales

Hurricane Ian had nothing to do with the numbers. We were seeing declining pending sales, closed sales, and pricing before the hurricane.

Often, I go on listing appointments and the sellers ask me how much prices are going up. Most sellers are shocked when they see the numbers and realize home prices are not appreciating. They read national headlines about low inventory keeping home prices steady and assume that is happening here. All real estate is local.

While many parts of the country probably have low inventory levels, SW Florida does not. Our inventory levels are increasing, and we track them by the week. When you track listings, pending sales, closed sales, price reductions weekly you begin to see trends before others do.

These Stats are Not New

If you read this article or our Blog you’ve known for quite awhile what was really happening. When supply outpaces demand, it is hard for home prices to rise.  In July, median home prices fell .7% versus last year.  That is only part of the story. Median home prices have fallen 5 straight months versus last year. Median home prices are also down 2 consecutive months currently, and down 3 out of the 6 in month over month comparisons this year.

SWFL Declining Home Sales July 2023

While inventory is rising, home sales are going down. This July marked the lowest point in 6 years for home closings. Pending inventory is down 4.2% over last year, so we’re not too optimistic August closings will be any better when they are released next month.

Through it all, The Ellis Team feels good about the market in general.  We’ve been through shifting markets before. What hurts sellers more than anything is believing the market is what it was. The market rarely stays the same, and when it shifts, it pays to be ahead of the curve. Sellers who hold onto yesterday will be stuck holding a property and will eventually sell for less-than-ideal terms. Sellers that acknowledge facts and react invariably come out ahead of those that do not.

Market is Good

The market is good for those that market their property correctly and price it correctly. This is nothing new. Hiring an experienced agent matters more in a shifting market than a sideways market. 85% of agents in the business today have never worked in a shifting market. They are learning fast, or getting out of the business.

I talked to several agents that quit this past month. That is a shame, because a 4.2 months supply of homes is not bad at all.  A balanced market is about 5.5 months. 4.2 months seems bad compared to what we had, and it requires a different skill set for agents. A shifting market separates that salesperson from the order takers. Order takers are leaving the business, and salespeople are proving their worth.

Hire a Salesperson

Don’t be afraid to hire a good salesperson. You need that right now. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck holding a property you no longer need or accepting a price you’re not happy with simply because you hired an order taker. They took your order. You told them what you wanted, and they took it. It doesn’t mean they will sell it.

For the best salespeople around, Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-310-6500 Brett and Sande Ellis

Top 10 Buyer Questions

Would you like to know the top 10 buyer questions asked before they submit an offer?  We have them, because we work with buyers every day.  Answering these questions upfront helps keep your deal together and sell your home faster, so keep these questions handy.

Top 10 Buyer Questions Asked

Top 10 Buyer Questions Asked

  1. How Old is the Roof? Every buyer wants to know the answer to this question. Buyers are trying to figure out what type of maintenance or replacement costs they should expect in the future, and when.
  2. What is the Age of the Air Conditioner? Similar to the roof, buyers want to know how old the unit is so they can budget repair or replacement costs.
  3. How much is Homeowners Insurance? Buyers want to know how much the home is to insure, and if insurance is readily available.
  4. Is Flood Insurance Required? If so. How much is it? Does the seller have an assumable policy? With the new risk ratings, what will be the full risk rate once all price hikes are implemented?
  5. Special Assessments? Have there been any and what were they for? Has there been talk of future assessments? Buyers are trying to get a handle on association costs. Cost of ownership affects the price buyers are willing to pay.
  6. How Old is the Water Heater? Insurance companies are requiring water heaters to be replaced at 10 years of age, so buyers want to know this answer.
  7. What Type of Electrical Panel? Many electrical panels are on the recall list and insurance companies will not insure with a panel on the list. Most home inspectors will tell you if the home you’re looking at is on the list at inspection. The remedy is putting in a new panel which can be costly.
  8. Solar Panels- If the home has solar panels, were they installed correctly? Were they financed? Does the seller have enough money to pay off this loan at closing? Loan is not assumable if buyer is getting a mortgage. Solar salespeople erroneously tell people loans are assumable. Sales people also tell homeowners solar will increase the value of your home, but so far we have not found an appraiser that will give solar panels value.
  9. What do the HOA/Condo Fees Cover? Is internet included? How about lawn maintenance, water, and sewer? Buyers wish to compare total costs on a variety of properties before deciding.
  10. CDD-Does the community have a community development district? If so, what are the fees? How long will these fees last, or are they indefinite?

Time is of the Essence

The longer it takes for a seller to answer these questions, the more it sows doubt in the buyer’s mind. The longer a buyer waits to make an offer the more likely they are to not offer at all and buy another property. Similarly, studies have shown that each day a buyer delays making an offer, their offer price goes down. Answering questions up front helps buyers make faster decisions and removes doubt. Statistically, buyers pay more when they like a home and feel good about their purchase financially.

If you’re afraid buyers will not like something, it’s going to come out eventually anyway. You might as well disclose it upfront when the buyer is most happy about the purchase. When a buyer finds out there is an extra cost later, it becomes a bigger issue, especially if they’ve had even an ounce of buyer’s remorse.

Deal With it on the Front End

Get all the facts out there upfront. Wasting time with the wrong buyer means your not spending time with the right buyer who will accept your home in its entirety. Hiring a Top Agent with years of experience will also increase your chances of keeping your deal together. Experienced agents know how to gather and present facts.

If you’re considering selling, please call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-310-6500. Let our experience guide you. We can help you get Top Dollar and keep your deal together. Or check out

We’re here to help. Happy Selling!

Also see last week’s article “Listing Agent Interview Questions”

How would you like a copy of Free listing agent interview, questions every seller should ask before signing a listing agreement?  Today we will cover some of the important questions you should ask and provide access to get this free report.

Sellers realize time on the market is going up, prices are coming down, and there aren’t as many pending sales as there used to be. Time on the market is not your friend when selling a home. The longer a home sits, the less it typically sells for.

Listing Agent Interview Questions Brochure

We have a full listing agent interview questions brochure we can email that will help you ask the right questions. #2 on the list deals with time on the market. The agent should be able to demonstrate a specific plan that will get your home sold so it doesn’t sit. Every agent will have their own marketing plan, but is it designed to influence buyers’ decisions?  Is it active marketing or passive marketing?

Listing Agent Interview Questions

Passive marketing is throwing the home on MLS, portal sites like Zillow and and waiting for buyers to make an offer.  What if there was a way to identify the best buyers for your home and actively market it to them? Most agents don’t know how to do this, so they do the only thing they can do, which is reduce your price. Don’t get me wrong, proper pricing is important. Pricing is no substitute against actively marketing the home to the best buyers.  These are two different strategies.

10 Step Process

The Ellis Team has a 10-step process for getting your home sold quickly and for top dollar. Some of these processes have several steps themselves, such as our 7-step showing process.

Our program not only identifies the best buyers for your home quickly, we can often tell you how much they will pay over their asking bid. Having a program that creates urgency from the buyer is important. Studies have shown that when buyers see a home and delay making an offer, their eventual offer goes down by the day. Our program helps streamline this process so our sellers net more, and the buyer gets their first choice of home.

If you would like a full copy of these interview questions, simply email with Interview Questions as the subject line. I will email you this handy brochure that will help you make a better decision when hiring an agent. Of course, we’d love to be one of the agents you interview.  Either way, the report is Free and will help you make a better decision.

Hope Isn’t a Strategy

We have a short video that explains our program. Visit to find out more. If you’d like more information, we have a complete video on our 10 steps to Higher Prices we can send you, or Brett and Sande would be happy to see your home, give you your price, and explain the program.

Sellers who utilize the program average 9.4%-12.1% higher than other sellers in MLS, according to 6 different studies utilizing thousands of home sales.

Most sellers not only want a fair price for their home, they also don’t like the process of showing it for weeks or months on end. This program reduces the time you must keep your home “Show Ready” and inconvenience to your family.

Sande and Brett Ellis are here to answer your questions. Call us at 239-310-6500 We can schedule a time to meet at your home, or a Zoom call to talk about the process and your needs. If you’d like us to send you the 2nd video, we can do that too.

We are here to help. Our program works all year long, so whenever you decide to sell, we can help you. And remember, the full report is Free, so email us and we’ll send it to you.

Good luck, and Happy Selling!

Today we’d like to update you on Lee County single family homes months supply by price range. Lee County Florida currently has 3.81 months supply, which is up from 3.55 months supply on June 1st This isn’t surprising because we know inventory has been rising all year.

months supply by price range

Million Dollar Surprise

What is surprising is that $1 million plus homes have less month’s supply today than it did on June 1st. This is primarily because there are less homes listed.  Million dollar plus closed sales fell in the last 365 days to 1,107. That is down from 1,128 back in June. However, the number of homes on the market fell to 635, down from 674 in June.  The decrease in homes for sale more than compensated for the decrease is closed sales, thus we saw a drop in monthly supply.

$300,000-$400,000 supply rose from 2.7 to 2.81 months supply. The $400-$600,000 range saw the biggest jump, going from 3.79 months to 4.46 months supply.  All other price ranges were relatively stable.

Expired Listings

On August 1 we saw 62 single family expired listings. This helped bring inventory down to just below end of June numbers. Pending sales fell too in the last month, so we will be watching supply numbers going into August.

Price Reductions

Price reductions stood at 10.22% of the overall single-family market this past week in Lee County. This is down from 10.92% last week, and off from the high of 11.43% back in June. We track price reductions to test motivation of sellers after they list their home, and it doesn’t sell. When we had an increase in pricing sellers were less motivated. Because prices have fallen since last year and sellers see increasing inventory, they have become more motivated. We will continue to track this metric, along with listing inventory and sales velocity.

Attract More Buyers

Knowing the current sales market on a weekly basis allows sellers to attract more buyers for their home. When a home is overpriced, less buyers see the home in person and online because it is not on their radar. Pricing a home on the buyer’s radar is critical to getting the most offers, which leads to a better sales price. Decisions need to be made at the time of listing, and the best way to do that is studying the daily and weekly statistics.

Time on Market

Time on the market is acid to a seller’s final sales price. The longer a home sits the more buyers lose urgency to offer.  The less offers, the less a seller nets at closing. The best time to create urgency for buyers is early in the process, before the market rejects the home’s price. People are afraid to miss out on something they perceive as new and fresh, and a value. When a home sits, buyers feel like other buyers rejected it, so why should I buy it?

Months Supply by Price Range

One thing that is helpful is to compare your list price to the months supply by price range graph.  If you see a large supply of homes in your price range, you know you need to price it competitively. Obvioulsy the best value homes in each price range stand out to the buyers, and those are the homes they choose. This graph will help you determine what your competition looks like when selling.

Program to Fix This Problem

The Ellis Team has a program to fix the time on the market problem. Sellers that utilize this program see their home sell faster and between 8.4% to 12% higher than the MLS average. This has been verified by 6 independent studies. If you are considering selling your home, call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams 239-310-6500. We’ll preview your home and show you how this program is better than what the traditional agent can offer. It doesn’t cost anything to meet with us, but not using us could cost you thousands. Why sell the traditional way when there is a better way that nets you more money and saves you from having your home on the market for months?

Compare this months supply by price range to April 2023 months supply by price range.

Find out what your home is worth online instantly.

Call Brett or Sande today.  We’re here to help.

Happy Home Selling!

SW Florida home price decreases help sellers adjust to the changing market. Typically, sellers look at past sales when deciding what price to put their home on the market for. This system works well, unless the market shifts.

Home Price Decreases Help Sellers Adjust to the Market

When the market shifts and inventory grows, past sales may not be the best indicator. We look at the totality of the market. By analyzing statistics, we can determine if past sales will be the best guide, or if another method is better.

Think Like a Buyer

Buyers don’t look at past sales, because they don’t have access to it.  What buyers do have access to are competing listings, so they look. And they look, and they look.  Buyers know the competition better than the sellers do. Seller’s hold onto past sales, and buyers look at current listings. These are two different things, and this is why some homes sit on the market and do not sell.

Home Price Decreases Help

11% is the number of homes on the market right now that have reduced their price in the last 7 days.  This number has been remarkably consistent, ranging from 9.12% to 11.12% lately. 11% of sellers each week realize they overshot the market, and they wish to sell. They are doing something about it. Between 2-5.7% of the homes that reduced their price sell the week they reduce the price.  This tells us that they either didn’t reduce enough, or it will go pending soon and just didn’t have enough time during the last 7 days.

Special Form

 Our team has a special form that helps sellers identify if their home is priced correctly on the market. Nobody wants to underprice their home and sell it too cheap.  Conversely, we know the longer a home sits on the market, the less it eventually sells for.  Time on the market is no good for the seller, because it means buyers have rejected it, and other buyers lose motivation when they see it sitting on the market for so long.

186 homes came off the market in the last week. They either expired, were withdrawn, or terminated their listing. Typically, this means they do not like the current market and have decided not to sell.  For some, maybe it’s a temporary situation for the moment. For others, perhaps they tested the market and were unhappy with the results.

Pays to Know the Market

For us it’s easy, because we study the market.  Our team has more data than anyone else because we track it. The MLS gives data at certain points in time, sort of like a photo. By creating spreadsheets and tracking key data points, we can see movement, like a movie. A picture can be deceiving, but a series of pictures, or movie, can tell a clearer story. Ellis Team clients have the benefit of the movie, so they can make better decisions, especially when there is a market shift.

Thinking of Selling?

If you’re thinking of selling, or perhaps tried before and weren’t successful, you should give us a call. We can go over exactly what is happening in the market, and how your home relates. Not every neighborhood is affected the same way. Computers aren’t very good at offering accurate home values because they don’t consider costs like homeowners insurance, flood insurance, HOA fees, and age of certain items. Brett and Sande can help you decide what your home should really sell for and devise a marketing strategy to get it sold before it becomes stale on the market and buyers lose their motivation.  Give us a call at 239-310-6500. We’re easy to talk to and we can answer your questions, and help you move on your time frame.

Sell Your Home in 8 Days

We have a program to sell your home for Top Dollar in only 8 days.  Watch our video to find out how we do it.

We look forward to speaking with you. Good luck, and Happy House Hunting!