We’ve all seen the TV ads, postcards, billboard signs, social media posts, etc. . Get a guaranteed offer on your home. You would think from all the advertisements this is a popular option.

Guaranteed offer on your home



 The reality is nationwide only 1.3% of all home sales were purchased in this fashion. It is called iBuyer, which stands for instant buyer, and many companies and some agents have offered it.  Why isn’t the iBuyer concept more popular?

Some agents use iBuyer as a listing lead source. They really do not want to purchase your home, but it gets sellers to make the call. Sellers are naturally curious what they can sell a home for with no hassles.  It isn’t until they receive the instant price that they are turned off, but the agent is there and can offer them a better solution.  The agent also has a full-value program whereby they list the home on the open market and fetch a much better price.  If it doesn’t sell, the seller always has the fallback option of the lower instant offer.

Keep in mind, the agent may never wish to buy the home.  They use this as a listing lead source to get in the door. And, if they ever do have to buy a home, for darned sure they want to make money off it.  So, who loses?  Typically, the seller. The seller may be so worn down after a lengthy listing process that they agree to take the lower instant offer.  In fact, they might be convinced that the market was never as high as they believed and the instant offer is the fair market value, which may not be true.

Guaranteed Offer on Your Home is a Lead generation Tactic

I know of an agent in another state that has offered this program. I asked him how many homes he has bought, and he said none.  The program is a listing lead generation program.

True iBuyers wish to purchase your home at a discount and sell it for more money in hopes of making a profit. Generally, the home must meet certain parameters. iBuyers like homes that are in good condition and have established neighborhood data. They like homes to be in certain sellable price ranges, usually less that $500-$600k, and not require much remodeling or repairs. They are similar to flippers, except some flippers are willing to remodel and improve the home if they can buy it right.

A Better Faster Way

 Many sellers do not know that there may be a better option for them. We became aware of a system that attracts top dollar for homes and sells the home in 8 days, so the amount of time showing is limited. One thing sellers do not like is having their home on the market for months and keeping their home show-ready all that time. Plus, the longer a home sits on the market the more buyers wonder what is wrong with it.

The Ellis Team invested time and money learning this new system, and so far the results have been amazing. We used the new system on 4 listings and 3 out of the 4 indeed sold within 8 days or so.  Two sold at full price or better, and the third was close but had significant hurricane damage so the price was adjusted. The 4th is close to selling as well but has gone over the 8 days. This is significant because in each case the seller has done better than the market. Listing inventory is growing in SW Florida and traditionally marketed homes aren’t receiving multiple offers like they were last year. Many of our listings using this new system are receiving multiple offers.

If you are thinking of selling, give Sande or Brett at call at 239-310-6500. We’d love to sit down with you and show you how you can maximize your home sale and do it quickly.  We do have investors that are buying homes instantly. If an instant sale is your thing, we can look at that. The reality is, we can probably net you more money and have a fast sale. Call us and we’ll talk.

Good luck and happy selling!

Coming Soon Listing in Eagle Reserve

Coming Soon Listing in Eagle Reserve
Heated pool home on the lake-gated community

4732 Imperial Eagle Dr

4 Bed, 3 Bath Pool Home on the Lake-Gated Community

Rising interest rates led to Lee County home sales decline of 20.63%. Nationwide home sales fell 17.8% in 2022 which was the sharpest annual decline since 2008.

Lee County Home Sales Declined 20.63%

Hurricane Ian Impact?

You might be wondering if the hurricane had an impact on our local sales. I went back and analyzed sales prior to the hurricane and we were down 12.24% through August. It is safe to say Hurricane Ian did negatively impact home sales as many homes were not sellable after the storm.

Experts are predicting home sales to fall further in 2023. One prominent trainer is telling agents to prepare for a further 35% fall in home sales nationwide. I just checked sources and here is what they are predicting:

National Association of Realtors predicts 7.0% decline in number of homes sold. Fannie Mae predicts 21.1% decline. Mortgage Bankers Association predicts 13.7%. National Association of Home Builders predicts 15.7% decline. Realtor.com predicts 14.1% decline in 2023. The bottom line is everyone is expecting less home sales in 2023.

The reasons for declining sales are many. Inventory is still low. Interest rates are still high but have come down some. Personally, I think SW Florida might do a little better than the national averages.

As damaged properties receive insurance proceeds and get fixed up some will go on the market. We have seen inventory levels shoot up throughout 2022 and the trend is continuing into 2023. Demand may not be what it once was, but there is still demand.

Buyers Are Here

 Already the first two weeks of January have seen stronger buyer demand. We may not have 50 offers per property, but we are still seeing full price offers on homes that are priced appropriately. Sellers are more reasonable as they understand we are not in the market of 2021 anymore. Home prices are well above what many paid for their homes. While sellers cannot get as much as they want, many are satisfied with what they can get.

Of course, the market does have some sellers that still believe it is March is 2022 and they want those prices, plus a premium. I’ve worked in the SW Florida real estate market for 35 years and no matter the market there will always be some unrealistic sellers. I can say the same for buyers too. The deals happen when the unrealistic face reality and become realistic. The only difference is how long it takes to get there and how much does it cost them to be unrealistic.

I’ll give two examples. Many sellers get caught chasing the market down because they were unrealistic. At some point circumstances change and now they must sell. They sure do wish they had sold earlier when prices were higher.

Similarly, we’ve spoken with many buyers that came down and didn’t like our prices because they had gone up. They wanted last year’s prices and were willing to wait out the sellers until the market gave them the price they desired. Later, they regretted missing a 100% rise in prices. Those buyers were so ate up with a 10% rise that they missed home prices doubling.

View all listings in MLS here.

2023 and Beyond

 We believe interest rates have stabilized and may bounce around where they are. With any luck they might even touch the 5’s soon. We know many companies have planned layoffs in the coming months. The Fed may raise rates again in February and March by 25 basis points each. At some point soon they may signal they are about done raising. This does not mean they will lower them in 2023. Many believe this process wouldn’t begin until 2024. If this scenario occurs, we could see 30 year mortgage remains remain steady or dip slightly, perhaps into the 5’s. This would setup a balanced real estate market in 2023 with prices neither rising nor falling much. We’ve already seen price declines in 2022 but nobody knows it. Inventory levels and pending sales will be what we keep watching in 2023. Lower interest rates could lead to a rise in Lee County home sales.

Residential Listing Inventory Triples

SW Florida residential  listing inventory triples in past 11 months. On February 15, 2022 we had 1,106 single family homes on the market. This week we had 3,336 in Lee County.

Residential Listing Inventory Triples

On the condo side Lee County had 297 on the market on February 15th, 2022. This past week MLS shows 1,166. Which is approaching 4 times the inventory from last year.

condo listing inventory SW Florida

Uptick in Pending Sales

Home prices have stalled, although we have noticed an uptick in pending sales. This week, total pending sales which includes pendings and pending contingent stood at 1,469 for single family homes. Pending sales have been falling mightily until this week. To give you an idea, total pending sales were 2,726 last April when we began tracking them weekly.

Tracking this information weekly has helped us spot trends sooner since the official numbers are always a month behind.

It appears each time there is a dip in rates pending sales seem to tick upwards. In the past 2 months we’ve seen rates decline from 7% plus to around 6.3% The mortgage market is tied less to what the Fed is doing and more so to how the bond market is reacting. The bond market is telling us we’re going to be in recession and the Fed has over tightened.

Future Rates

One Fed governor is signaling a 25 basis point hike in February while another is signaling a 50 basis point hike. The only difference between the two is one would like to raise faster and hold and the other would like to go slower and take an extra month to get to the 50 basis point hike. Going slower would allow another month to evaluate data and see if they could stop at the 25-basis point hike.

What this means is long term interest rates should hold steady. They could rise a bit, and they could fall some because the bond market realizes the Fed is about done raising rates.

We see continued inventory hitting the market. We could see rising demand if interest rates fall any further. If we could get rates down to about 5.5% we believe many more people would sell their home and move. If this happens, inventory would rise but so too would buyer demand.

Inventory levels are still at decent levels. We wouldn’t want them to triple again as that would be price depressing. Already we have seen prices top out in 2022 and head lower. Prices will be determined by interest rates. Rates will help determine demand, and in a reverse kind of way, supply.

Lower Rates May Lead to More Supply

The reason we say reverse is many people didn’t want to sell because they have locked in at a low rate. If they sell, they must purchase again at a higher rate. When rates come down, it will increase buyer demand, but it may also increase supply.

We should have fresh official numbers out next week for both September and year end averages. We believe we are about 2 months away from reporting flat or declining prices year over year. We don’t make the averages; we only report them. We work on getting our sellers Top Dollar, but it pays to know what the market is doing.

View All Offers in 8 Days

We have a plan to generate all offers on your home within 8 days. Call Brett or Sande Ellis at 239-444-8150 to find out how we generate offers and higher prices when inventory is on the rise. You’ll know fast and avoid costly price reductions by having your home on the market for a long time.

Good Luck and Happy Selling!

72Sold arrives in SW Florida and everybody is asking what it is. This past week people watched the TV ads from the NFL as well as the national morning shows and the national evening news. People are seeing it on social media and almost everywhere it seems.

72SOLD Arrives in SW Florida

72SOLD Arrives in SW Florida

In a nutshell, 72SOLD is a new better way to sell homes versus the traditional way, but it’s not exactly new. 72Sold is a company that dominates the Arizona market after starting there about 5 years ago. The company identified two major problems harming home sellers who sell the traditional way and 72SOLD solved these two issues.

According to multiple independent studies, 72SOLD averages 8.4%-12% higher sales than the MLS. How do they do this?  After studying the program for the past 6 months we know why. Let’s put this in perspective.

New Way Versus Traditional Selling

The Ellis Team at Keller Williams has been leaders in SW Florida real estate for 30+ years. We have been voted Best in Real Estate by News Press readers for 9+ years. So why would we switch the way we do things when obviously our marketing helps sellers sell faster and for more money? The answer is, we found a better way and we’re not afraid to admit it.

It would be easy for a Top company to turn a blind eye to new ideas. Ego can shield you from the best ideas if you let it. We are proud to say we didn’t let ego get in the way of improving our service to our clients.

The Process

After viewing your home, we sit down with sellers and show them the new program. When sellers see how the program works, instantly they are amazed and wonder why nobody has come up with this before. The program is not a gimmick. It is not a slogan or fancy marketing just to get in the door, gain the listing, and sell like everybody else. 72SOLD is a legitimate system to sell homes fast and for higher prices.

72SOLD has partnered with Keller Williams to bring this system nationwide. The Ellis Team works for Keller Williams Realty right here in SW Florida and is a licensed 72SOLD affiliate, meaning we have been trained and certified to bring you this amazing program. Brett and Sande are the area Directors for 72SOLD. When you list your home with us, you are listing with Keller Williams and getting the new better way 72SOLD system in addition to us. It is the best of both worlds.

Other Keller Williams agents may offer the system in the future, so be sure to ask for the Ellis Team, or call 239-444-8150 In 15 minutes we’ll verify your home and give you your price.

72SOLD became famous for delivering fast sales and high prices before the real estate boom, so this isn’t a technique from a market that has since passed. Because the system works in all kinds of markets, it’s perfect for a shifting market like we are now experiencing.

Do I have to Sell My Home Fast?

You can sell your home whenever you like. We have a sheet that asks what the ideal sale would look like for you along with timing. The program accounts for your timeframe. If you’re thinking of selling, give Brett or Sande a call. After viewing the program, you’ll wonder why anybody would ever sell the traditional way again.

72SOLD has over 1,500 5-star Google reviews. The program works. Listing your home with a new better way to sell homes partnered with the Top-Rated Agents in SW Florida according to our own 5-star reviews and News Press readers is a winning formula.  Call us today. 239-444-8150

 Good luck and Happy Selling!

Benefits of 72SOLD and Ellis Team

Ellis Team Open Houses

Open House Saturday 12-3 PM

2455 Woodland Cir


Fort Myers Villas Ellis Team Open House
Open House Saturday 12-3 PM

Open House Saturday 12-3 PM

5511 Cheshire Dr #201

$445,000 4 Bedrooms, 3 Baths, 2 Car Garage

Bell Tower Park 4 Bedrooms 3 Baths 2 Car Garage
Open House Saturday 12-3 PM


RV For Sale

You buy the RV, we’ll help you find a RV lot to put it on

RV for Sale

We are proud to announce a new better way to sell homes has arrived in SW Florida. Brett and Sande Ellis have been training on this new program for months and are excited to bring this to SW Florida.

New Better Way to Sell Homes with 72 Sold

72 Sold is a real estate company in Arizona that burst onto the scene and took over market share. The founder of the company invented a remarkable home selling system selling homes in a 72 hour weekend and for higher prices.

At first glance you might think this sounds like a gimmick. It was my first thought, but fortunately I had heard of the system. Many agents from competing brokerages were wondering how this new company was selling so many homes, and so fast. Some competing agents were flat out complaining because they didn’t understand the system and wondered why they were being beaten out for all these listings.

The founder of 72 Sold was a bit of a revolutionary. He had a desire to make this thing big and take it nationwide, but he needed a little help.

Revolutionary Leader Meets Revolutionary Leader

 Gary Keller has been a bit of a revolutionary leader himself. Gary built the #1 real estate sales organization in America, but he always admired what this little guy in Arizona was doing. This little guy wasn’t so little after a while, so the two leaders talked about taking this nationwide.

Keller Williams and 72 Sold have partnered to bring the 72 Sold system all over. To utilize this system, agents need to be trained and certified. There are a lot of moving pieces, and we can understand why outside agents do not understand it. It is a threat to the traditional way of selling real estate.

Traditional Vs New Better Way to Sell Homes

 This new program has identified two problems in the industry keeping homes from selling fast and for top dollar. 72 Sold provides a 4-step sequence that solves the two major problems that affect sellers. If the market changes, this new system still works because it was built and utilized before the market became hot. In other words, it works in all markets, and especially in changing markets.

Who am I Listing My Home With?

 You are listing your home with the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty. Brett and Sande are area program directors for 72 Sold and we are authorized to sell your home this new and better way. We will be using the 72 Sold system as an affiliate partner. You get the best of both worlds. The nation’s #1 selling company combined with this new home selling system that took over the Arizona market. The system has been so good it has been featured on CBS, ABC, NBC, Forbes, etc. I’m sure others will be doing stories too.

New better way to sell homes 72 sold certified
72 Sold Certified New Better Way to Sell Homes

You’ll begin to see ads on TV starting next week. The process is simple. Simply call the 72 Sold hotline 239-444-8150 and leave us your name, phone number, and property address. We’ll schedule a time to preview your home for 15 minutes and give you a price. Your home could be sold in one 72-hour weekend and wrapped up in 8 days from A to Z. Brett and Sande will tell you more about the program when we meet or leave you a brochure explaining the program.

After seeing this new program you’ll begin to wonder why anyone would sell the traditional way again. We did a test run on a listing and had similar amazing results. Not that we doubted its success. It was nice to know that we were able to run the program after months of training and it worked.

If you’re considering selling your home, or perhaps tried in the past and it didn’t work out, call Sande or Brett. We look forward to bringing this new better way to sell homes to SW Florida and getting our clients Top Dollar fast.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Median home prices fell in 2nd half of 2022, and if prices do not change course, we are one to three months away from showing price declines year over year. The media and the public in general tend to focus on the headline number which is year over year sales.

Median Home Prices Fell in 2nd Half of 2022

In a few months people will begin reading how home prices are down and they will think the market suddenly turned. The truth is the market turned February 15th of 2022. How do we know this? Some will argue home prices increased until April or May, but many of those sales were the results of pending sales in February. We know this because February 15th is the day inventory started rising. Not long after, pending sales began dropping.

Not all Bad News For Sellers

The news isn’t all bad for home sellers though as prices rose dramatically since 2019. You might be surprised to know that the median home price back in November 2019 was $262,500. November 2022 median price in Lee County was $400,000.  While this number is down from $470,000 back in April, it is still up 52.38% in three short years.

Buyers love to time buying at the bottom of the market, and sellers love to sell at the absolute top of the market. A small percentage of buyers and sellers can time the market perfectly.  Interest rates have impacted homebuyers’ ability to afford as much home as they once did, and this has contributed to a cap on prices.

Sellers need to know what is happening in the market. There is a reason some sellers overprice their homes. They mistakenly believe the market is something it isn’t. This real estate market is great, but it isn’t escalating 2% per month like it was. In fact, median home prices are down 14.89% since April.

Facts Speak Louder Than Words

Our job as Realtors isn’t to trick buyers and sellers into believing the market is hotter or colder. The market is what the market is, and we simply help interpret it for our clients. We would do a disservice to our clients if we tried to sell the market. Rather, we educate our clients on market conditions so they can make the best decision for their family.

We are upbeat about the market. Just because the market is off it’s all-time highs doesn’t mean it’s not a great market. The market rarely stands in one place. It is always on the move, and sharp agents can help you spot opportunities as they happen.

Future market conditions will bring future market changes. Whatever those conditions are, we help our clients spot those changes and react faster. I remember several times when we saw conditions changing for our clients and alerted them before the market realized the changes. We saved our clients thousands by acting sooner.

New and Better Way to Sell Homes

Next week we will be announcing a new and better way to sell homes coming to SW Florida. This new program nets sellers more money than traditional sales, and it works in any kind of market. We expect there to be several expired listings January 1st and many of those sellers will be looking for a new and better way to sell their home. Pricing is just one factor in selling a home for Top Dollar. The other is choosing how the home is marketed.

If you are thinking about selling your SW Florida home, or have tried in the past and not happy with the results, you can call Sande Ellis or Brett Ellis at 239-310-6500 or email Brett@topagent.com with the subject line New Way and we’ll put you on a path to selling your home fast and for Top Dollar. Keep in mind, our price may be more than the online value models like www.SWFLhomevalues.com and others.

Stay tuned next week for the announcement.

Happy New Year, and Happy Selling!

We have updated Florida insurance reform changes information you need to know.  For the second time this year Governor Ron DeSantis called a special session of the legislature to deal with an insurance crisis in Florida.

Florida Insurance Reform Changes

The insurance crisis was so bad insurance companies were pulling out and leaving the state. Many condominium associations were finding a hard time obtaining any insurance at all, and when they did find it, the cost was prohibitive. Homeowners, perhaps to a lesser extent were also frustrated. Of course, Hurricanes Ian and Nicole weren’t going to help. The real estate industry has been impacted greatly.

In December the legislature approved, and Governor DeSantis signed into law SB 2-A. The previous 2022 bill is SB 2-D. Here is a recap of the Florida insurance reform changes made in 2022.

SB 2-A Signed December 2022

 The newer SB 2-A eliminates one-way attorney fees which were meant to shield policyholders from legal bills when they needed to sue an insurer. Many argued that because one-way attorney fees were permitted it led to frivolous lawsuits. Eliminating excessive and predatory lawsuits should help lower costs in the long run.

The Office of Insurance Regulation was beefed up such that they will be able to assess property insurers performance after a hurricane to hold them accountable and prevent abuses. You can’t take away power from the people without adding protections from abuse.

Insurer timelines were reduced to payout money and into the hands of policyholders quicker after an event. The state also provided additional funding for temporary reinsurance which should further stabilize the insurance market.

SB 2-D Signed May 2022


Insurance companies can no longer refuse to issue or renew homeowners’ insurance for roofs less than 15 years old based solely on the age of the roof. If a roof is 15 years old or more the homeowner has the right to hire an approved inspector, and if the inspector states the roof has 5 years or more remaining life the insurance company may not refuse.


 The homeowner has the right to see the detailed report/estimate by the adjuster. This report must be furnished within 7 days of the request, or completion of the report, whichever occurs later. We have heard instances of insurance companies changing adjusters reports to minimize payouts. This provision will provide the insured with additional rights and information to challenge. If there is a difference between the estimate and the payout, insurers must provide a reasonable explanation of the claim decision.

Insurers must also physically inspect the property within 45 days of receiving a proof of loss statement from the insured, although it does not apply to hurricane claims.

Other Provisions

 There were many other provisions in SB 2-D, like inspections on condos that are 3 stories or higher and 25-30 years old or more depending on their location. Provisions were added regarding repair or replacement of roofs and whether they need to meet new building codes.


 The main takeaway is these new changes should make insurance more affordable in Florida. We may not see price reductions immediately, but it should entice insurers to come back to Florida and increase competition. Hopefully the insurance companies and attorneys will be on a more level playing field and consumers will win in the end

If you have a property to sell, call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-310-6500 voted Best in Real Estate 9 consecutive years by News Press Readers in SW Florida.

To find out the value of your home instantly, check out the best home valuation tool around www.SWFLhomevalues.com

New Way to Sell Homes Coming

In the next 2 weeks we will unveil a new program to sell your home in SW Florida. It’s pretty incredible. Give us a call to get on the list. You’ll want to hear about this.

Happy Holidays!

Declining mortgage rates leads to a rise in pending sales this past week. Interest rates have fallen below 6.5% and local buyers couldn’t be more pleased.

Declining Mortgage Rates Leads to Rising Pending Sales

This past Tuesday the CPI number was released and it came in at 7.1 While this is a very high number historically, it is less than what it has been and a sign that inflation may have peaked. The markets took this as a good sign which means we could see long term rates fall even further. Don’t confuse short term interest rate hikes with long term rates.

Inverted Yield Curve

We still have a deeply inverted yield curve which signals the United States is in or will enter into a recession soon. Recessions are not good for housing markets. When people lose their jobs or the economy slows down, it keeps prices in check. A slowing economy can lead to weak demand.

Practically speaking, demand should be high. People need housing, either in ownership form or rent form. Housing demand will come from financial ability. On the one hand, lower interest rates will help more people afford more housing. On the other hand, losing your job or seeing a cut in hours doesn’t do much to help qualify for that mortgage.

Current Market Index

What we can say is that lower rates may have helped the local real estate market, and we will take all the help we can get right now. The Ellis Team Current Market Index accurately predicts the future direction of the real estate market. The index has been pointing higher three straight weeks, which was a bad sign for the market. A higher index number is not good for the local market. This past week the number stalled and went back to the number two weeks ago.

All Eyes on the Fed

We are writing this article prior to the Fed’s decision on interest rates. Our best guess is they will raise rates half percent versus the .75% they have been raising. This will be seen as a welcome sign if they do this. Perhaps more important than what they decide will be the language they use in describing their decision. If the Fed signals rate hikes may begin to slow going forward it means they see some progress in slowing the economy and raising unemployment numbers. They intend for people to lose their jobs to help stop the inflationary wage increase pressure.

Remember, the Fed has a tough job to do, and they are not necessarily the consumer’s friend. We have too much money in the economy and they are intent on slowing it down. Of course, Congress could stop spending so much money and that would help. Absent that, the Fed must continue raising rates to blunt overspending in Washington. It’s the only tool the Feder Reserve has, and they are using it.

2023 Real Estate Market

Most experts agree we will see fewer transactions in 2023 than we did in 2022. In 2022 we may have the single largest decrease in transactions in history. People better buckle up because 2023 may see even fewer. Many are expecting another 25-35% drop next year. Some experts are predicting a 30- 40% drop in the number of real estate agents in 2023.

85% of agents today have not experienced a housing shift. They have no idea how to sell homes or find customers in a shifting market. MLS and board dues are due December 31st. Our guess is many agents who have not sold a house all year will not renew their membership. The agent you speak with today may not be here next month. Falling transaction volume has hurt the inexperienced agents badly.

New Way to Sell Homes Coming to SW Florida

We are excited to roll out a new way to sell homes in SW Florida compared to the traditional way. You’ll be hearing more about the program in a few weeks. We will announce the program the 1st or 2nd week in January, and it is good news for home sellers.

In the meantime, you can check out your home’s value at www.SWFLhomevalues.com. If you are interested in a better way to sell your home next year, email Brett@topagent.com with the subject line Better Way and we’ll notify you first.

Happy Holidays!

FNMA predicts price declines in the housing market nationwide for the next two years. In the first quarter of 2023 they predict year over year appreciation at 3.3%, but all this appreciation has already occurred in 2022.  Home prices have been dropping nationwide and the stats won’t show year over year declines until the 2nd quarter.

Starting in the 2nd quarter of 2023 FNMA predicts declines of 1.3%, followed by declines of 1.4% and 1.5% in the 3rd and 4th quarters. Going into 2024 they are predicting declines of 1.4% in the 1st quarter, 1.5% in the 2nd quarter, and declines of 1.4% in the 3rd and 4th quarters.

Have Home Values Peaked?

If FNMA is correct, what does all this tell us? Home prices have already peaked, and interest rates and the economy are influencing home prices. They are not predicting major price swings, so buyers can rest assured if they find a home, they love at an interest rate they can afford, they should buy.

FNMA Predicts Price Declines

For sellers, it is a slightly different story. Your home probably already peaked in value back in May. We study the local median and average home prices, and they are split as to when home prices peaked. One says May, the other says June. Since then, we have watched home prices fall locally and nationwide.

As Realtors we do not advocate for prices to rise or fall. The market is what it is, and a trusted Realtor should properly interpret the market and the data and explain what is going on. A good Realtor is your economist of choice if they study the numbers. Over the years the Ellis Team has been able to get our listed sellers out in a declining market because we know how to market a home in a shifting market.

Experience Counts

85% of Realtors today have never worked in a shifted market. They only know one thing, and it’s up. How you price, market, and find buyers changes in a shifting market.

Our Current Market Index stands as high today as it has all year. While the numbers are not alarming, it is not a good sign as our index accurately predicts the market going forward. We have also noticed the differential between active listings and total pending listings is as high as it’s been all year. Another sign that the market has cooled.

The 2021 market is not coming back. We are back to a normalized market subject to market conditions and changing economic numbers. Builders are reducing prices and offering incentives. It is not a horrible time to sell. It might seem horrible compared to previous years. Sellers no longer have the upper hand. The good news for sellers is, neither do buyers. We have a more balanced market than we have seen in years, and that’s not a bad thing.

It Pays to Know the Data

If you’re playing a sport or a board game, it pays to know the rules. If you are buying or selling in the real estate market, it pays to study the data. Knowing what is going on in the street is invaluable. Always ask a Realtor to prove to you what the market is doing. So many Realtors give advice based upon how their personal month is going. A Realtor can have one good month and think the market is great followed by a horrible month the next. This doesn’t mean the market changed drastically, simply that their sales did.

Too many Realtors judge the market by how they are feeling in the market and how their sales are going. True professionals study the market and can explain to you what you need to know to make the best decision. A Realtor’s value is never greater than in a shifting market. Choosing the wrong Realtor can cost you thousands, even when you think you are saving.

Good luck, and Happy Selling! If you are thinking of selling, call Brett Ellis or Sande Ellis 239-310-6500 or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com

December SW Florida Real Estate Market Update

Toys for Tots

The Ellis Team is a drop-off location for Toys for Tots. Please help us provide a Happy Holiday Season by dropping off toys to our office by December 15th.

Toys for Tots Ellis Team Drop-off

Single family home and condo listing inventory resumes rising trend for third consecutive week. Single family home inventory rose for the third consecutive week while condo inventory rose four consecutive weeks.

Listing Inventory Resumes Rising Trend For Third Consecutive Week

Pending sales have moderated a bit too, leveling out the past two weeks. One of the things we look at is the difference between listing inventory and total pendings. That difference just reached the highest level all year. Basically this means more properties are coming to the market then jumping off.

This is a trend we saw prior to Hurricane Ian. When Hurricane Ian hit, there was a temporary lull which caused that differential to drop. Since November 9th that differential has begun to resume that upward trend.

Forget Button

Hurricane Ian caused many in SW Florida to hit the Forget Button. They forgot what was happening in the market prior to Ian. Our lives were turned so upside down that economics and reality didn’t matter, if only temporarily. We were in survival mode and everyone did what they had to do to find housing, work, food, water, etc. Now things are settling back down for most and returning to normal, even if it is a new normal.

I don’t like the new normal, but nature didn’t ask my opinion. I don’t like that we don’t have a beach to go to, or the fact so many cannot live in their home after the storm. So many people don’t have their same job because the business isn’t open or doesn’t exist.  Nobody asked for the new normal, and yet to survive we must deal with it.

Rising interest rates caused home buying activity to slow nationwide, and here locally. One of the reasons prices were able to rise like they did the past several years was because of low borrowing costs, but those days are over.  Home prices haven’t statistically fallen much, but it has affected home closings which are down significantly.

Inventory Levels Affect Future Pricing

One of the reasons we track inventory levels is because eventually that could affect home prices. Right now many home sellers can be choosy. Many don’t have to sell, so they don’t. Eventually more and more homeowners must sell for various reasons.  If supply continues to build, it could affect home prices going forward.

The Fed is still tightening short term interest rates. Economic data is due out this week after this article is written which could affect long term interest rates. Recently 30-year mortgage rates have fallen back to about 6.58%, down from over 7%. This has helped some real estate deals. We will keep our eye on rates going forward. Any help we can get on interest rates can directly impact the market.

30 year mortgage rates are pegged on the 10 Year treasury note which declined in recent weeks because many thought the Fed would be less aggressive going forward. We believe the Fed will talk tough this week, and the markets will react. The tougher the Fed talks, the quicker we can get to peak rates and eventually lower rates. The Fed has been slow and behind the curve. They must raise unemployment and slow housing to curb inflation. Both are moving, just not quickly enough to move the needle.

Home Prices

Home prices have remained amazingly steady locally. They don’t seem to be rising or falling, although we are seeing price reductions. This is a sign that sellers do not rule the roost anymore and it is heading towards a balanced market. Going forward we will be watching interest rates, inventory levels, and of course our Current Market Index which we share with Ellis Team sellers.

Home to Sell

If you have a home to sell, Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-310-6500 We’d love to sit down with you and discuss your options. We have more inside information we can share. Good luck, and Happy Selling!