June housing inventory levels remained at 3 weeks of inventory compared to April.  We did see some movements in the markets the past few months.  Let’s look at which price ranges changed since April.

June Housing Inventory Levels Update

We have a little more inventory today in the $300k-$600k price range.  The $300-400k range grew by 42 homes and the $400-600k range grew by 50 homes.  Overall inventory grew by 91 homes. We saw an increase of 38 homes on the market in the $250-300k range.  All price ranges saw increases in inventory except for $250,000 and below which all saw decreases in inventory.  What offset the increase in inventory was steep closed sales in the $300k+ market.

While $300k plus market did very well, the $600k+ market is booming. June housing inventory levels are declining in the $600k+ market while it is increasing in the $250k-600k market.

The 365-day moving average number of homes sold has increased since April which indicates the market is gobbling up any increased inventory. The numbers tell us we have a robust housing market despite rising interest rates.

In April we saw a 160.2% increase in the number of cash sales over 2020.  Closed sales were up 63.3% in April, so this tells us more buyers are paying cash.  In fact, 35.5% of all deals in April were cash.

If closed sales were up 63% in April, why are agents talking about a slowdown?  We may see a slowdown in sales, but it will not be because of lack of demand.  Supply plays a role too.  New builders may turn out less product in the second half of 2020 and it will not be due to lack of buyers.  Many builders have cut off sales to keep their backlog manageable.

We will keep our eyes on the market to see if certain price ranges begin to accumulate inventory.  So far we are not seeing it in any meaningful way, and in fact many ranges are still decreasing.

New Listings We are Working On

Our team has been working on several nice listings we will be bringing to the market soon.  What is different now than in years past is it seems to take sellers longer to make their decision to sell. Many factors go into a decision to sell and sometimes a lot of things need to happen first.  We work with sellers to help with these details.

We have a new program for sellers that allows them to purchase a home first then sell their existing property with no interest or payments for 6 months on their existing home.  With the correct marketing plan sellers receive Top Dollar in this market.  The biggest mistake we see sellers make is believing the market is hot, so they will automatically receive top dollar.  There is a difference between selling for a number you would settle for versus selling for the top end of what the market will pay.  Sometimes that difference can be tens of thousands of dollars or more.

To find out what your home is worth, go to www.SWFLhomevalues.com  This is a starting point.  Often, we are selling homes above appraised value.  You can speak with Brett or Sande Ellis at 239-310-6500 and we can discuss how much we could really sell your home for, where you would go, and help with those details that impact whether it is a good time to sell now or not.  Believe it or not, it is not usually the price that matters to sellers.  Working out the details of how a sale would work is usually the biggest obstacle.  Many people would like to sell if only they had someone to help them with all the details.

This is where the Ellis Team comes in.  We look forward to working with you to manage all those details and get you Top Dollar.

Good luck, and Happy House Hunting!

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!

For the past year or more we have been telling readers now may be a good time to sell.  The market statistics prove that, and yet not everyone is doing it, including Realtors.  This year I took my own advice and decided to make a move.

Took My Own Advice

It’s not that we were unhappy where we lived.  It was a great neighborhood and a great house.  Our needs changed, and this market provided an opportunity that was too good to pass up.  If you love your home and your needs have not changed, you don’t need to sell just because there is an opportunity.  But if you have been thinking about what a move would look like to better your situation, the opportunity is there.

Took My Own Advice

For us we had 4 children, and the last is graduating high school this year and moving on to college.  My wife and I do not need a 5-bedroom 2 story home for just the two of us.  We were torn because we loved the community so much.

We put in a contract at a new home community.  That home is schedule to be built this year.  Later we listed the home we lived in and it sold within 9 days.  The buyers are thrilled with the home and we were able to jump into a rental that opened while ours is being built.

Not only did we get a good price for our existing home, but our future home has also already gone up $27,000 in price since we signed the contract, and they haven’t even broke ground yet.  This market is a win/win market for buyers and sellers.

Sellers get to take advantage of Top Dollar.  Buyers also win, because home prices are rising, and about a week after they move in the home is worth more than what they paid for it.  In fact, many times it is worth more before they close.

Values Are Changing by the Week

Our home for example appraised for $20,000 more than what we sold it for.  You might say how did you sell it for Top Dollar but below appraised value? After we signed the sales contract with new buyers several comparables closed which pulled the value higher.  It is a fluid market and values are changing by the week.

Do you know what your home is worth in today’s market?  If you have not had a thorough market evaluation and tested the market, then you really don’t know.  In the absence of sales data, we have been forced to put homes on the market at prices higher than any recent sales.  Then along comes several buyers we attracted through our marketing, and it sells for even higher than list price.

The market is setting new valuations right before our eyes, and the only way to get top dollar is to put the property on the market and market it.  We may set a price higher than the last sale and the market may scoop it up anyway, and then some.  They key is attracting multiple buyers.

Best Way to Determine Market Value

May times a seller has a tenant or family member that wants to buy their home.  They get an appraisal to find out the value.  But is that really the value?  An appraiser is looking at yesterday’s value because all they can work with is what has happened in the past.  They do not consider what is happening today, and what will happen next week when we place a home on the market.

If you own a home and want to explore your options, call Sande or Brett Ellis at 239-310-6500  Our marketing is different, and we can show you how to maximize the sale of your home.  You’re going to need it where you’re going, so why not get it?

We can even help you with your next home.  Or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get an idea of what your home is worth.  Our website will even email you your new price every month so you can keep track.

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

We are part of a Top real estate agent mastermind group from Lee and Collier county whereby several top agents come together to talk about current issues in the real estate market.  At last week’s meeting we talked a lot about inventory levels and how top agents are handling offers as well as a variety of other things.

Top Conclusions

Here are some conclusions that came out of that top real estate agent mastermind.  In other markets across the country where inventory levels approach the 2–3 week supply of homes, buyers are being forced to make offers with no contingencies to win the bid.  When we say no contingencies, we mean no financing contingency or inspection contingency.  In other words, when the buyer signs they are not backing out over financing, appraisal issues, or inspection issues.

Top Real Estate Agent Mastermind Conclusions

If a buyer is getting financing and the home does not appraise, it would require the buyer to pay the difference in appraisal price and purchase price plus their agreed upon down payment for the loan.  There is an exception to this whereby the buyer may qualify for a lesser down payment option, but in either event the buyer must be in financial position to put more down.  This weeds out some of the buyers, which is OK when you have multiple buyers bidding for homes like we do today.

This brings us to highest and best.  The definition of highest is bring your highest price.  Best means bring your best terms.  Buyers today are winning out on not only price, but maybe more importantly the terms.  Lastly, relationships matter most in this market.  Top real estate agents know who the other great agents are.  This is important because they know their buyer has been counseled appropriately.  While an agent cannot be judged on how their buyer will act, we do know that better agents do a better job counseling their clients.  Who you work with matters in this market, both on the buying and selling end.

Pricing Strategies

The top real estate agent mastermind group also talked about pricing strategies for sellers.  Many sellers do not realize that property values are changing by the week.  If sellers really knew what their property was worth, they might think again about how tied they are to the property they are living in.  Does your property fit your needs or are you settling because you have lived there so long?  With today’s prices, you may not have to settle.

Many sellers honestly don’t know where they would go if they sold their current home they don’t love.  There may be more solutions than you know.  Sales in the last year are rising even as inventory lowers.  While we may not have as much current inventory, we are getting enough to satisfy more buyers, it just goes quickly.  If we know in advance what would make you move, we can call you when we run across your next home even before it hits the market.

Creating Our Own Market

Imagine home buyers bidding on your property while you find an off-market home that hasn’t been listed yet.  This requires a massive database, and at the Ellis Team we have a database of people who might make a move if the right situation came up.

So, we ask you, is there a price at which you would sell your home with only one showing?  We might already have your buyer.  Is there a home that if it came on the market would make you want to move?  We might already have that seller.

We should talk!  Call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-310-6500 and we will see if we can make your dreams a reality.  This is the market to do it, so do not let this opportunity pass you by.  Or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get a free instant price for your home.  It will even email you each month your new home value.

Good luck and happy home shopping!

Interesting trends are developing in our Southwest Florida market snapshot for January 2021.  The first thing you will notice from the graph is new pending sales increased 25.6% over January 2020.  You might ask how this can be as we have been talking about declining inventory levels for months.

Southwest Florida Market Snapshot

Official numbers are in and indeed active listings are down 60.1% from a year ago. New listings entering the market in January of this year were down 10.4% from last January. The combination of fewer newer listings and increased pending sales have led to the 60.1% reduction in listings.

Pending Inventory is Up

Pending inventory in January increased 51.6% which means the situation will be worse when official February numbers are released.  Buyers who have attempted to purchase in this market are keenly aware of how tough it is to score a property.

I do not believe sellers are truly aware how advantageous this market is for them right now.  After years of letdown some sellers just quit checking in on their home value.  Others are interested but unsure where they would go.  I think it is safe to assume there are many homeowners in SW Florida that do not love their current home.  They’re just not sure they want to jump through hoops to make a change right now.

The real question is this?  When will you be ready?  A year from now, two years from now?  What if this real estate market looks different than it does today?  Interest rates could be a few percentage pints higher which will increase cost of future buying.  Not only will it cost you to get a mortgage on your next home, but it will also cost your future buyer as well.  That may limit how many buyers can purchase your home in the future.

Right now, we sometimes have 20-30 buyers putting in offers for each home.  What happens if we only have 1 buyer for each home in a few years, or worse?  In a normal market there are more home sellers than actual sales.  This would mean less than 1 buyer for each home.

When is Best Time to Sell?

If you were selling an item at auction do you think it would be more fun to have 20 bidders or just one bidder?  If there was just one bidder, there would be just one bid, and if you wanted to sell you would have to take that price or decide not to sell.

Our marketing is creating buyers from all over the country.  I have seen some statistics that show more than half of the buyers are from out of state currently. To get top dollar you must advertise out of state.  Ellis Team advertising reaches far and wide to bring the greatest number of bidders (offers) for your home.

When homes increase in value like they are today human nature tells us to hold because values will be greater tomorrow than they are today.  This may be true, but history also shows us that many wait too long and decide to sell after they have seen the top.  They still want the top, but the top has since passed.  By then it is too late.  The top never tells us when it is coming, so most are surprised when it happens.  We are not calling for a top, so do not be alarmed.  But do not blame us either if it happens and we did not see it coming.

We Should Talk!

If you are thinking of selling now, or 1-2 years from now, we should probably talk.  We can come up with an exit strategy for you, and if we see a shift in the market you will be the first ones we call.  The last time the market shifted we told our sellers first and got them out quickly.

You do not want to be caught sitting on an appreciating asset only to find out it started depreciating and the market did not tell you.  We will tell you.  Simply call 239-310-6500 and we can provide a market checkup for you.  This will allow you to be notified if the market shifts.  Or you can visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com for a free instant analysis.

Good luck and keep an eye on the market!