Traditional sales dominate SW Florida real estate market, but that doesn’t stop buyers asking how they can buy foreclosures and short sales. Every week we get calls from buyers looking for off-market properties and distressed sales.

This tells us a few things. First, they’ve looked at everything available on MLS and have not found anything that meets their criteria. Secondly, these buyers have an expectation that our market is distressed, and they want a deal.

Traditional Sales Dominate SW Florida Real Estate Market

With one glance at the chart, you will see that foreclosures are practically nonexistent in the Lee County single family housing market. Less than .6% of our home sales were distressed in May. We had zero short sales and only 8 foreclosure sales in MLS.

There will always be a few distressed sales in almost any market. The 8 foreclosure sales are negligible statistically. I remember about 70% distressed sales back in 2008-2009. Our market is nothing like that time, for many reasons.


Back in the 2005 market we had speculators purchasing properties as fast as they could and flipping to another speculator. There was never an end-user in sight, but that didn’t stop the speculating. I don’t call these people investors because they didn’t follow any of the typical investing strategies. These speculators operated on the “what a bigger fool will pay” theory until the music stopped. It worked for several years, until it didn’t. All they did was finance the overproduction of homes with cheap capital.

Fast forward to today. During the runup from 2020-2022 we had end users in every home. That was true for owners and renters. You could hardly find a home to move into no matter your financial wherewithal.

What hurt this market was the combination of things. Hurricane Ian did not help. Rising interest rates hurt the ability of homebuyers to afford homes at the current prices. Add to that the rising cost of homeowners and flood insurance, and we had a recipe for a strain on affordability. Lastly, some employers have been calling their people back to work at the office. This has led some that moved here because of Covid to move back.

Affordability Strain

Housing inventory is up 82.8% versus last year, but median home prices are only down 6.7%. There is no doubt housing affordability has put a strain on the real estate market, and most is the result of rising interest rates. As the economy slows down, rates may begin to drop. The official forecasts are rates should hold steady in 2024 and perhaps begin to drift lower. In 2025 rates should begin to drift lower. Forecasts range from about ½% to 2%.

Buyers may not want to wait for rates to fall a full 2% for two reasons. One, it may not happen. Secondly, all the other buyers will be jumping back in, and they will be competing with each other. Right now, the seller is on the defensive and wondering when this market is going to turn around. Once rates start declining, the buyer may not have the advantage over sellers like they do today.

MLS Search

The best website to search for properties is Bookmark this site. Things are changing in the real estate industry, and when the changes hit in August, popular portals like Zillow and may not offer as many tools and properties listed as does.

Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042 with your real estate questions. We are here to answer your questions on the upcoming changes in August as well.

Good luck, and Happy Home Shopping!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 12-3 PM

2752 Geary St, Matlacha FL

Matlacha Waterfront Home with new dock and boat lift

As Seen on TV Fox 4 Out and About South West Florida

Open House Sunday 12-3 PM

14386 Reflection Lakes Dr, Fort Myers FL

Reflection Lakes Home Fort Myers FL

Open House Sunday 12-3 PM

26236 Colony Rd, Bonita Springs FL

Imperial Harbor Home

The Ellis Team has been hard at work producing some fun real estate marketing videos people would like to watch. Sure, when you’re interested in a specific property you’re going to watch a video on that home, and maybe similar homes.

Many people enjoy market update videos as well, and we’ve got those. One thing we find is that people also want to be entertained. I know I’ve been stuck down the video rabbit-hole watching suggested videos for what seems like hours. The intrigue is you never know what you’re going to see next.

Fun Real Estate Marketing Videos

Our goal is to step up our video marketing game, and we’ve produced some fun videos we think you’ll enjoy. The first video this past week was a suspicious activity report we received in one of Fort Myers neighborhoods. We sent out a reporter to investigate, and I think they found out what the commotion was about.

Fun Real Estate Marketing Videos

Another video shows a charming waterfront home in Matlacha just minutes to big water and championship fishing.


The next video shows two Ellis Team agents previewing a new listing for an upcoming open house and what happens next is unbelievable. We won’t spoil the ending, so let’s just say everyone is surprised, even our two agents. They’d never seen or experienced anything like it, and you’ll get to see it for yourself.

Of course, we have some bloopers, but you’ll have to wait for those. We think this past week’s videos will be entertaining enough, and we can’t wait to bring you some bloopers soon enough.

Where to View

How can you view these videos? We have several ways.



Instagram  ellis_team-fl

We don’t always post the same videos on each service, but this week we plan to. I used to think the best teachers were the ones that made class interesting. We feel the same way about video. Our team strives to make fun real estate marketing videos because we like to have fun, and it shows. We also love to inform.

If you’ve got questions, chances are we’ve got a video that may help. Of course, the videos are no substitute for speaking with Sande, Brett, or a member of our team. We enjoy dealing with people, and we know sometimes people want answers without having to speak to someone.

Between our real estate video, our online property valuation tool, our MLS property search, and our Blog where we have thousands of articles, we think you can find the answers you’re looking for. And if you’d like to speak with us, we’d be even happier.

When the time comes to buy or sell real estate in SW Florida, or anywhere in the country, we hope you’ll think of us. Simple call us at 239-310-6500 When you just want to search on your own for homes or advice, we’ve got you covered there too.

Big Changes Coming

We’ve got some big changes coming in the real estate industry. Many people don’t know that they will have to hire a real estate agent and enter into an agreement with an agent before seeing homes. These changes are coming in the next month, and they will not be optional. There are a few exceptions, and we plan to produce some videos explaining the new rules, the new forms that will be required, and the few exceptions. August 17th is the absolute deadline, but some MLS changes will occur on August 1st.

Knowledge and Experience will matter now more than ever before. Don’t settle for a real estate agent.  Hire a real estate professional who knows how to work in the new environment. Some buyers and sellers are going to be very happy, and some will be frustrated. The agent you hire will make all the difference.

Good Luck, and Happy House Hunting!

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday 12-3 PM

10813 Dennington Rd Fort Myers, FL 33913

10813 Dennington Road
Gated Community

Open House Sunday 12-3 PM

5407 Parker Dr Fort Myers, FL 33919

5407 Parker Dr Fort Myers FL 33919
Between McGregor and River