Good news for home buyers.  SW Florida listing inventory rose 11.24% in the past month.  Buyers cannot rejoice as listing inventory is still low.  In fact, currently we have 1,336 listings in Lee County.  Last year we had 3,044, and that number was low.

SW Florida Listing Inventory
SW Florida listing inventory July 2021

We track the number of listings as well as the 365-day rolling number of homes closed.  Homes closed in the last year were up 2.14% versus last month.  It may take a little while for closings to catch up to the new inventory coming to the market.

It is too soon to know if rising inventory will become a trend.  We have a serious backlog of buyers, and it would take quite a few new homes on the market to meet that backlog.  We are hearing from the Northern markets that inventory is building, and homes are taking longer to sell.

Florida May Buck National Trend

The resurgence of Covid could also affect the market.  We are not sure how.  We have seen interest rates fall in the past few days because of speculation Covid could slow down global markets.

If real estate markets slow down up North, could that trickle down to the Florida market?  It could, but then again, Florida is attracting buyers from other markets.  It is only natural that one day those markets will lose residents who sell and do not replace in their state.  Many are replacing in their home and moving to Florida.

The U.S. economy generally affects the real estate market, but all bets are off now because the markets have not been behaving in a normal way with so many relocating to Florida.  Reasons vary by buyer.  Some choose Florida because it is a low tax state.  Others choose Florida because it did not lockdown like other states.  Still others appreciate the relaxed mask standards implemented last year.

Whatever the reasons, Florida seems to be an attractive place that may drive buyers here for years.  Not all buyers can simply pack up and move.  Sometimes it takes years of planning.  Family could be involved as well as a business.  Once a decision is made, it can take a while.

Has Market Peaked?

 Many sellers ask us when will the market peak?  We believe when June’s official numbers are released, we will see big numbers.  The same holds true for July.  Are there as many buyers bidding on each property?  Maybe not, but each property we list attracts many buyers.  Because inventory is still light, it will be interesting to see what happens next season.

The economy will not hold at this pace either.  Economic numbers released today are compared to last year’s Covid economic numbers. So of course, they will be great.  Economic numbers are expected to taper off as we get into the 1st quarter of 2022.

We see a good housing market in Florida continuing for the next several years.  We should not see rising prices like we have seen recently, but they should still rise.  Inflation will bring about higher costs to build.  Inflation could also eat into buyers spending money, so it is possible interest rates may stay low unless we see runaway inflation.

Nobody wants to see runaway inflation.  Inflation is like a hidden tax.  We will be watching inflation numbers through the 4th quarter of 2021 to get a read on whether it is transitory or real.

Now May be Good Time to Sell

If you are a seller, now might be the time to have a conversation with us about how much we can sell your home for.  While home prices may rise further, we believe we have seen the brunt of the increases.  Call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-310-6500 or visit www.SWFLhomevaules.com to get a quick estimate of your home’s value.

Now might be a good time to capitalize on this market while prices are still going up and before additional inventory hits the market.  It is always fun to sell to multiple buyers than waiting around for a buyer to make an offer.

Good luck and Happy Home Buying and Selling!  Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty!

The most common question we get from buyers is what should I offer on this home?  The most common question we get from sellers is what price do you think I should list my home for? In May, 55% of Florida homes sold above asking price.

Florida Homes Sold Above Asking

In some price ranges as many as 70% are selling above asking price in Florida.  Even the luxury market saw as much as 40% selling over asking price in May.  The numbers are rising.  As you can tell by the graph, there is about a 20% gain in percentage of Florida homes sold above asking price.  Those numbers are progressively growing each month.  This means the market is still gaining momentum.

The numbers are telling buyers that if they want to score a home, they cannot mess around.  This is not the market to negotiate or nickel and dime a seller.  The sellers have the upper hand. Ignoring reality will be a big waste of time.

Top Agents Leave a Blueprint for Buyers

As a top listing agent, we see many offers on our listings.  We give clear instructions on what the seller is looking for and the kinds of things we will be evaluating. When the offers come piling in, it is almost as if the buyer agents did not read any of the instructions. These instructions provide a blueprint for writing a competitive offer. Unfortunately for these buyers, they will probably miss out because their offer is not competitive.

An offer is judged by how well it is written.  A buyer’s ability to close is judged not only by the financial terms, but the language in the contract.  We have talked about how relationships matter in this market.  They absolutely do, and so does the competency of the language in the contract.

If the offer is written sloppily, it is fair to assume that is how the whole transaction is going to go.  If a buyer’s agent does not understand the contract, how are they going to counsel their buyer.  A purchase agreement is like a test.  It is a snapshot.  The offer tells a story.  If the story is sloppy, ambiguous, and does not add up, a top listing agent will sniff that out and the deal will likely go to a better offer.

Best Means Most Likely to Close Near Top End of Value

You have heard of the term Highest and Best.  Highest means highest price, but best to me means most favorable terms and most likely to close.  Best equals confidence.  Am I as the listing agent confident this deal will close?

For instance, it does no good for an FHA buyer to offer above list price with minimal down just to win the bid.  If the buyer cannot cover an appraisal deficiency, they are just trying to score the deal on price alone.  The listing agent should know the price will get kicked back down to appraisal value, which is not always actual value.

Why not take the best offer upfront?  Experience matters!  Experience matters when you hire a listing agent, and it matters when you hire a buyer’s agent.

For a seller, taking the wrong offer can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.  Many sellers sell their home 3-4 times because they take the wrong offer.

For a buyer, writing the wrong offer will cost you a sale.  There are buyers out there that have lost out on 30+ offers, and you must wonder if they wrote a better offer if they might have scored one of those deals.

Strategy Session Important for Buyers

Our team has a buyer consultation with each buyer followed by a strategy session. We educate our buyers on how to score a home, and it is not just on price. We have our ducks in a row.  Our offers make sense, and they often get accepted.

If you want a Top agent to sell your home, call Brett or Sande at 239-310-6500 or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get an instant home value of your home.

If you are looking to buy in this market, call one of our buyer agents at 239-489-4042 or visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com.

Experience matters.  Call the Best, expect the best!

See latest home price data “Southwest Florida Home Sales Prices Rise Whopping 38.7% in May

May 2021 Southwest Florida sales prices rose 38.7% versus May 2020. Average sales prices were up 46% since the same time last year.  Cash sales are up 176.5% since last year which is helping fuel these steep price increases.

Southwest Florida Sales Prices

Financed buyers are having a hard time competing against cash buyers. Cash buyers do not need an appraisal to come in for the sale to complete.  To compete with cash buyers, financed buyers are waiving appraisal contingencies and agreeing to pay any deficiency the lender may require.  Of course, this means the financed buyer must be able to show spare cash.  FHA buyers are having a tough time in this market competing because they often do not have spare cash to meet an appraisal deficiency.

Appraisals

An appraisal is simply an opinion of value based upon what has happened in the past.  We all know today’s home price is greater than yesterday’s, and tomorrow’s will be greater than today.  In a rising market, that is just what happens.  Appraisals do not account for that, so they are almost worthless in some cases.

To find out what your home is worth, go to www.SWFLhomevalues.com and plug in your address.  Within minutes you will have your value, and the best part is it will email you a new price every month so you can track the changes.

Closed sales were up 82.4% over 2020, but keep in mind May closings were severely impacted last year due to Covid.  It is possible more lower priced homes closed last May as we did lose some sales from higher end buyers who were afraid of potential Covid impacts.  The 38.7% median price increase could be skewed by that fact.  Any buyer that completed sales back in May of 2020 will be so glad they did. Last May’s prices were a bargain compared to today’s prices.

Time will tell, but 2021 prices might be a bargain compared to 2022 prices.  We know there is a nationwide shortage of housing supply compared to demand.  We also know Florida is an attractive state.  Even if housing cools in other parts of the country when interest rates eventually rise, demand for Florida should still be high.  Of course, like last May, it was better to buy when others were bailing on offers.  Maybe it is a good time to sell and take some profit when everyone thinks prices will rise.

Should I Hold Out For More Money?

The herd mentality may get it right in the short term.  In the long term they almost always get it wrong.  If your neighbors are holding out to sell for higher prices later, that might be your sign.  From our standpoint, the Florida housing market is good.  Interest rates should stay low into 2022 and perhaps 2023, but nothing is certain.  We will keep our eyes on inflation.  The debate today seems to be, is it real inflation or temporary inflation?

Whatever it is, it is worse than people thought.  Inflation may subside later this year, but for those paying higher prices at the store, it is real.

If you own property and would like to make a move but not sure if the time is right, or how it could work, give Brett or Sande a call. 239-310-6500 We have some programs you might now know about that could help.  We also have data to help make the best decision for you.  Plus, we are fun to talk to.

We always have new listings coming to the market, and they sell quickly.  If you are a buyer and want to get on the Pre-Market list, call one of our buyer specialists at 239-489-4042 or register at www.LeeCountyOnline.com.  We can notify you of new listings coming to the market that matches your criteria.  Getting a leg up on other buyers is Huge in today’s market.

Good luck and Happy Buying and Selling!

According to the latest report from Updater, Fort Myers net migration ranked highest in the country.  Net migration is a measure of the amount of people moving in and out of a metro area.  Fort Myers beat out Savannah GA, Austin TX, Wilmington NC, and Sarasota FL for the top spot in the 1st quarter of 2021.  The Fort Myers/Cape Coral area previously held the #2 spot for 4th quarter of 2020.

Fort Myers Net Migration Ranked Highest

Fort Myers Net Migration Ranked Highest in Nation

The top 5 cities people are moving out of in the 1st quarter were Milwaukee WI, Cleveland OH, New York NY, St Louis MO, and Colorado Springs CO.

Top Cities With Net Migration Out
Source: Updater

Florida is also in the top 5 states for incoming net migration.  The bottom five states were Nebraska, New York, Alaska, Vermont, and South Dakota.  Our blog will have a link to the entire report you can see for yourself.

Advanced Marketing to Reach Out of Town Buyers

The Ellis Team uses artificial intelligence to advertise in markets up North looking for buyers for our sellers.   Reports like this make it easier for agents who do not have access to artificial intelligence to give them a guide on where to spend marketing dollars.  For instance, if you were listing a home in SW Florida with this information you could now seek out targeted buyers from these markets who have an interest in buying in Florida.

When we list a property, we not only market to local buyers but also worldwide.  Simply listing a home on Zillow or Realtor.com does not count.  That is not marketing.  Some sellers mistakenly believe that having their home on national portals will sell their home.  The fact is, every home is on these portals, so what will make your home stand out if everyone else is on them too?

Nothing Special About Online Listings

If someone handed you a vinyl record of Elvis’s top song “All Shook Up” you would probably be happy because you now owned something valuable.  If you later found out that some company produced these as a promotion and made 2 billion copies and everybody had one, you might feel a little let down.  The same is true with online listings.  Sellers believe if their home is listed on Zillow and Realtor.com they have done something valuable.  When they later find out every listing in the MLS goes there automatically, they begin to realize that service is not so special.  They are just like everyone else.

Marketing a home directly where buyers are coming from is taking it up a level.  In the old days, to make our listings stand out we would market homes both locally and in places like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.  This was a way to reach buyers that were not typically attracted locally.

Today we can find those buyers both in print and digitally online.  Last weekend we ran print ads locally and digital ads in several markets throughout the country. We pulled in several buyers for our $800,000 listing in Cape Coral.  This weekend we will be doing the same thing for some new listings. We have two beautiful listings coming on the market in Horse Creek and Cape Coral.

Top Dollar For Your Home

In this hot market anyone can sell a home.  To get Top Dollar, your marketing must go the extra mile.  Years ago, marketing was important to sell a home at all.  Today, marketing is critically important to getting Top Dollar.

Call Sande or Brett Ellis at 239-310-6500 to find out how we can put this exclusive marketing to work for your home and get you Top Dollar.  Or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to find your home’s value today the free, quick, and easy way.

Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty!  You’ll be glad you did.

See last week’s article “June Housing Inventory Levels Update

New Listing in Cape Coral-Pool Home Hitting the Market

Last week we wrote about how common mistakes cost sellers thousands at closing and we got a lot of response.  We also heard from buyers throughout the country asking for help getting buyer’s offer accepted in low inventory markets.  We thought we would write some tips for the buyer side to help them.

Getting Buyer’s Offer Accepted in Low Inventory Markets

In a low inventory market, you must make your offer stand out to the seller.  One of the biggest mistakes buyers make is upping the purchase price without regard to their ability to pay more.  Sure, they may have a pre-approval letter showing they qualify for more, but that does not help if the property does not appraise more when getting a mortgage.

Your Competition is Other Buyers-Not the Seller

Keep in mind, you are not competing with the seller.  The buyer is competing with all the other buyers wishing to purchase the same property.  A cash buyer does not have to worry about an appraisal. A buyer putting 50% down may not either.  Buyers putting a minimal amount down do, unless they can show sufficient cash they are willing to plunk down in addition to their down payment and closing costs to make up the difference.

One buyer called me from another state asking for advice in another market.  They had the chance to buy a home there for $450,000 but did not jump on it right away.  They waited a day, and 13 offers came in.  Ultimately it sold for much more than what they could have sealed the deal for.  Waiting cost that buyer.

They have their eye on another property.  He asked if they should put a quick timeline for acceptance on the offer and threated to withdraw it if it is not accepted.  My response was, not necessarily.  The buyer is not holding all the cards.  It is to the seller’s advantage to slow play the offers to generate more interest.  Taking an offer too soon may cost the seller.

Seller Can Act at Any Time Regardless of What They Stated

The seller may say they will look at all offers on such and such a date.  This may be true, but keep in mind the seller can also accept an offer before that date if they choose to.  If you make such a compelling offer that the seller is worried that offer will disappear, you might be able to get your offer accepted.  Do not threaten it will disappear as that will turn off the seller.  Remember, the seller is not your enemy, but they are the gate keeper.  They have what you want, but the other buyers are your enemy.

Negotiating Tip

I would rather softly tell the listing agent we have a certain amount of time to accept simply because the buyer has been shut out on other properties and does not want to miss out again.  If this deal is not going to happen, we would rather find out sooner than later as there is another property they are considering.  Your home is our first choice, and they would be absolutely thrilled to buy it.  If the seller takes too much time, we must move on so the buyer does not end up homeless.

Keep in mind, the buyer still is not holding many cards.  It is just a softer way to proceed and may help your chances.  Relationships matter in this market more than ever.  If your buyer agent is experienced it helps if they have done transactions with the listing agent in the past.  A listing agent’s confidence in the buyer agent can go a long way to getting a deal together.  Buyers must be educated and soothed, and an experienced agent is better able to help with that, and listing agents know this. Trust between the agents can make all the difference.

Other Resources

We wrote an article back in 2012 that still has some great tips today entitled “Top 10 Tips For Buying a Home in Today’s Market” you can find on our blog at https://blog.topagent.com  Just search for that title in the search bar.

Another great article “Selecting Best Multiple Offer Tips From a Real Estate Pro” can be found here.

We hope these tips help.  Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042 or visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com for the latest listings.

Ellis Team Weekend Open Houses

Open House Saturday and Sunday 12-3 PM

Cape Coral Waterfront Pool Home

2200 SW 49th Ter Cape Coral

 

We have spoken with some sellers in SW Florida who were happy with the price they received for their home, only to find out later their neighbors received tens of thousands more.  Today we would like to talk about which common mistakes cost sellers thousands at closing and how to avoid this.

Common Mistakes Cost Sellers

Lack of Promotion Buyers love it when they see a new listing enter the market.  They want to beat out other buyers to new listings before they get promoted.  Buyers know more promotion promotes more competition, and they do not like that. 

Taking Offer 1st Day Sure, a full price offer could come in the first day, but should you take it?  In today’s market, probably not.  The buyer might not have viewed the home in person and may back out later once they do. You may be shortchanging yourself as subsequent offers may be far better than day 1 offers.  Day 1 offers try to beat the market before the price goes up.

Do not sell to a tenant without testing the market. Many tenants don’t have the best credit and either want seller financing or a deal.  Neither may be in the seller’s best interests.  Put the home on the market and make the tenant bid on the home just like any other buyer.  If they are the strongest offer, then sell it to them.

Strongest Offer May not be Highest Offer- Many low-down payment buyers utilize this strategy. They offer a high amount.  Their pre-approval letter says they can afford it, but what happens when the house does not appraise?  You guessed it, you must lower your price or find another buyer.  Why not find a buyer that can pay the difference between appraised value and sales price?

Appraisal– An appraisal is an opinion of value the appraiser can prove on paper, and it is based upon everything that has happened in the past.  The Ellis Team is selling homes above appraised value, and to do that you must be smart about the financing and which offer to take.  It takes years of experience to sort out which offer is the best on paper.

Using As-is Contract The as-is contract allows the buyer to back out for any reason.  The standard FAR/BAR contract keeps buyers in the deal. Many newer agents do not understand the difference between the contracts.  Do not hire a Realtor that does not know the difference and understand the nuances.

FSBO– You can sell for sale by owner, and you will probably make a sale, but it will be at your own expense.  There is no way an owner can generate as much promotion as we can.  We know the more buyers you have, the greater price and more qualified buyers for you to choose from.  Many people believe if they save a commission, naturally they will have more money in their pocket at closing.  This makes sense, until you later realize we sold the same home for 20% more than you did.  It costs sellers to sell on their own, and you do all the work.

List in MLS and it will sell is a common myth. In this market, it may sell, but not necessarily for top dollar. Getting top dollar is a skill and takes marketing.  Luck is good, but rarely should you count on it, and never should you pay for it.  Hire the best and you should net more money in your pocket at closing.

Is Property Sellable to every buyer? The answer is no. Knowing how old the roof, plumbing, water heater, and certain items are and if they are insurable matters.  An experienced agent can sometimes find a carrier that will accept an older item, but it costs more.  Getting buyer to qualify for a higher cost policy is an expensive lesson to learn after inspection.  An experienced agent will ask questions and find answers upfront.

If you have questions about getting Top Dollar for your home, call Sande or Brett Ellis at 239-310-6500 or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com for an instant home value.  Keep in mind, the Ellis Team can probably beat that estimate when we expose it to the full market!

Homeowners beware of insurance companies changing guidelines and cancelling your homeowner policy.  Insurance companies are sending out inspectors to inspect your home and report any deficiencies.  Typically, the insurance company will give you a window to correct the deficiency.  If you do not, they will cancel your policy.

Insurance Companies Changing Guidelines

Insurance companies are looking for ways to reduce claims, and they’re willing to make you pay to improve your property and lessen what they may have to pay out.  Knowing these guidelines ahead of time may save you some anxiety.

There are dozens of insurance carriers in Florida and there are some exceptions to this list, but they are dwindling.  Here are some general rules of thumb for what insurance companies are looking for:

Tile roofs up to 25 years old.  Metal roofs up to 30 years old. Shingle roofs 10-15 years depending on type of shingle. Water heaters up to 15 years.  If you have a roof or water heater approaching these ages, be prepared that your insurance company may require you to replace item or cancel your insurance.

Buying a Home

Your insurance company may require a wind mitigation inspection and a 4-point inspection.  A 4-point inspection looks at the HVAC (heating and air conditioning), electrical wiring and panels, plumbing connection and fixtures, and the roof.  If the home has polybutylene or old copper pipes they may require replumbing the home. The insurance company will probably require a new roof or water heater too if they are beyond these ages.  Sometimes we can get a carrier to add a few years for a higher price, but as we said, those options are dwindling.

Your insurance company will also require a wind mitigation inspection on homes built prior to 2002.  They will be looking at things like how many nails are in your tie downs, what kind of wood underlayment you have and what shape it is in, and opening protections for windows and doors.  For this inspection they can formulate how much your home will cost to insure, or if they will insure it at all.

Insurance companies are cracking down on anything that may cause them to pay out. Obviously, anything wind, water, or electrical related has potential to cause claims.  Insurance companies have decided to make you bring property up to certain standards before they wish to cover your home.  For current customers, these companies are looking to get out of risk, so they are mandating what you must do to continue coverage with them.

The industry suffered severe losses from past hurricanes, and they are in the business to make money, not lose money.  We work with excellent insurance companies who have a multitude of carriers to choose from, so getting your deal together at an affordable cost is always a priority.

Don’t Wait

If you are a homeowner, you want to either make these improvements, or sell before these dates come due.  If you wait until the last minute, you may not like your choices, and it could put you in a financial bind.  Most people believe roofs and water heaters have a certain lifespan. They never dreamed the insurance companies would drop them when their roof is working fine.  It is happening and is reality today.

Check your electrical panel as well.  Many panels are on the do not insure list.  It’s only a matter of time until your carrier cancels your policy if you have a panel that is a fire hazard.

Go around your house and check the age and type of your water heater, roof, plumbing, and electrical panel.  Do not be surprised if you get a phone call from your insurance company requiring an inspection.

If you are thinking of selling or have real estate questions, call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-310-6500 or visit www.SWFLHOMEVALUES.com for a free and instant price estimate of your home.

Save this article or visit blog.topagent.com for an archive of past articles.  Good luck and Happy Selling!

This season we have seen an increase of back on market homes increasing due to changing buyer tactics.  We will explain why this is happening, and what the Ellis Team is doing to combat these tactics.  The agent you hire to represent you matters!

Back on market Homes Increasing

Buyers are desperate and are doing anything they can to score a home purchase.  Buyers are frustrated because the best homes are typically in multiple offer situations and the competition is fierce.  Many buyers are not here locally and are trying to purchase from afar.  They do not want to keep flying here every time a home goes up for sale.  By the time they get here the home is sold.

Buyers are bidding up properties and using the As-Is contract to tie up the property.  This buys them time to fly here and see if they really like it.  Additionally, if another home comes on the market, they also like, they can dump the current contract and offer on the new listing.  Some buyers are even offering on multiple homes and using the As-Is contract to bail on all but the best deal.

Some buyers are having inspections and renegotiating the deal afterwards.  The seller thought they were signing an As-Is contract and does not understand why the buyer is asking for repairs or a change in price.

Back on market Homes Increasing

Sellers thought they were in the driver’s seat and now they are being forced to sell their home several times.  As-Is does not mean what the seller thought it meant.  This is why we have gone back to the Standard contract which was prevalent before the banks instituted the As-Is back in the foreclosure days.  The standard contract gives the right for a buyer to have an inspection. They do not automatically have the right to cancel for any reason.

If valid inspection items arise, the contract is clear about what is a covered item and what is not.  The seller will automatically bring back into working condition covered items up to a specified amount.  Typically, these covered items are things the buyer asks for anyway in a As-Is contract.  The standard contract eliminates a lot of non-covered fluff items the buyer typically tries to renegotiate price over.

When buyer and seller enter into a Standard contract, both are pretty much agreeing this is a one and done sale unless something major comes up.  The Standard contract eliminates the buyer’s ability to cancel or renegotiate the price for any reason, and it puts their escrow deposit in jeopardy should they attempt to back out.  This helps stop the practice of bidding on multiple homes at once and backing out of several deals.

When buyers back out of deals, it hurts other buyers as well.  That property is off the market for awhile and not available for other buyers.  If a buyer is in town for one week from out of state to purchase a home, it does not do them much good if next week 6 homes that match their criteria come back on the market.  The out-of-town buyer never saw those homes because they were supposed to be taken.

Pick Best Option and Commit

Imagine being asked to the prom and your date cancels last minute.  Not only are you devastated, but you were also not available for other dates that would have been more than happy to go to prom with you.  You lost your shot simply because your prom date found a better option.  Wouldn’t you rather go with the person who really wants to be with you?

The same is true in real estate.  If you are going to take your home off the market, make sure it is for someone that values and really wants your home.  Remember, the agent you hire to represent you matters!  Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-310-6500 or visit www.Swflhomevalues.com for a free estimate of your home’s current value.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

In March we saw cash sales trending higher in the SW Florida real estate market.  Cash sales represented 34.8% of all sales which was up from 27.8% last year.  In multi-offer situations cash buyers have a leg up on financed buyers.

Cash Sales Trending Higher in Today’s Heated Real Estate Market
Cash Sales Trending Higher in Today’s Heated Real Estate Market

While cash sales have been rising since January, they are not alarmingly high.  In fact, as a percentage of sales, cash sales were higher in 2017 and 2018.  Cash sales are somewhat seasonal as you can see from the graph.  They do tend to rise in season as buyers flush with money flock to SW Florida and begin their home search.

Cash Sales Trending Higher but Not Alarming

Many people believe if they just list their home on MLS, the cash buyer will find them.  Typically, it does not work that way. While it is possible for the cash buyer to find the home that is not heavily marketed, how much will the cash buyer be willing to pay if they do not feel competition for the home? When a buyer sees a parade of home buyers marching through the home they want, it makes them up their game.  They can use their cash as a weapon against other buyers.

When cash buyers have little competition, they use it as a weapon against home sellers.  What has changed in this market is how the cash buyer sees themselves.  In a buyers’ market, cash buyers dangle money using the scarcity concept.  If the seller loses this buyer, it might be a while before they see another offer, and who knows if the buyer will obtain financing.

In a sellers’ market, the cash buyer is simply looking for an advantage over other buyers.  They are not using the cash as a weapon against the seller.  Cash is looked at as a good thing by sellers.  In a buyers’ market, sometimes sellers see cash as a bad thing simply because cash buyers act differently in a buyers’ market.

Cash buyers fail to realize in a buyers’ market it is all cash to the seller. No matter if the money comes from buyer or the bank.  Today, appraisals can lag, so a seller never knows if the buyer can perform when the appraisal misses the mark.  For this reason, sellers are asking for a pre-approval letter and proof of funds showing the buyer can pay the difference in cash if the home does not appraise for purchase price.

Of course, you must insert language into the contract addressing appraisals and what will happen if the home does not appraise.  The Ellis Team has been successful at pre-negotiating what will happen in this instance.  Doing this upfront takes the uncertainty out of the sales process.

This assumes you have selected the correct offer to begin with.  Picking the wrong buyer will blow up a deal before it even begins.  Clever buyer agents write up deals just to win the bid.  This does not mean it will actually close.  This is one reason we are seeing so many homes come back on the market.

Most agents believe homes coming back on the market is a function of buyers offering on multiple homes and then backing out of all but the best deal.  While some of this is happening, still more fail because the wrong buyer was selected as the winning bid.

An experienced agent can help you decide which offer is better.  Of course, obtaining multiple offers requires substantial marketing.  We are marketing into northern states where the buyers are coming from.  Our roads have less congestion, and many have gone home.  They are still looking to buy, but how will they know your home is waiting for them if it is not marketed heavily?

This is where we come in.  Ellis Team marketing more than pays for itself.  It gives sellers an unfair advantage over other sellers.  We put more money in your pocket.  If you are thinking of selling, we should talk!

Call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-310-6500 or visit www.SWFLHOMEVALUES.com for a free and instant estimate of your home’s value.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

It sounds like a broken record repeating itself for the past two years.  Housing inventory levels fall again in April.  We did see a glimmer of hope for homebuyers in the $400-$600k range and in the $600k-$1 million range as listing inventory increased.  However, the market scooped it all up and sales increased which drove their months’ supply of inventory down with it.

Housing Inventory Levels Fall Again

Not only did overall inventory decline to a .78-month supply, but every single price range also saw drops in levels as well.  This is a broad market inventory decline across the board.  Many times, we will see segments of the market doing better than others. In this case, all price segments are seeing housing inventory levels fall.

Housing Shortage

Recent reports by Freddie Mac indicate the US is 3.8 million homes short of meeting the United States housing demand.  This shortage has led to buying frenzies across the nation at a time when millennials are entering the market. Combine with the fact that people are relocating more as they learn to work remotely, and you have a recipe for increased demand and not enough supply.

Historically low rates have also fueled people to either stay in place and refinance or make the move.  Now that rates have risen a bit from their lows, less people are refinancing.  Because of this, we believe 2021-2022 will be the timeframe when more people decide to sell what they have and make a move.

It will be interesting to watch inventory levels.  As more people sell so they can purchase, will this increase inventory?  Because we have this shortage it may not make a big enough dent.  Demand may still outstrip supply.

We have noticed an uptick in home sellers wondering if now might be the time to sell.  They like that prices have risen, and they are beginning to weigh their options.  Some sellers are questioning how much they love their home and if they should risk holding on to it longer.  Prices have risen significantly the past several years, and this might be the point in time home sellers have been waiting for.

How Long Will it Last?

The dilemma is how long will this last?  Nobody wants to leave money on the table, and yet, sellers do not want to wait too long and miss the top of the market.  The reality is you will never know the top of the market until it has passed. By then, it is too late and headed down.  When the market heads down, it can be a long, slow ride lasting several years. Buyers do not like buying when the market is headed down.  Once word gets out, some buyers shut off out of fear and wait until the market bottoms.  That process can take several years.

Our best advice is, if you love the home you are in and it suits your needs, you do not need to do anything.  If your home no longer suits your needs, and you do not absolutely love it, now may be the time to explore.

For over a decade many SW Florida homeowners were trapped in a home they did not love, but because the market turned so drastically, they were trapped.  We do not see any signs today’s market will be like 2005.  What we are saying is it can be frustrating owning a home that does not suit your needs for too long.

Always Call the Ellis Team

Call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-310-6500 and we can discuss your options.  We will talk about where you would go if you did sell, and what timeframe would work for you.  Or, if you are just curious for now, you can go to www.SWFLhomevalues.com and get an instant and free home valuation on your home.  It emails you a report in minutes and is a good starting place for a conversation.

Whatever your housing situation, Brett and Sande are here to answer your questions.  We should talk!

Good luck and Happy House Selling!