Good news for home buyers and home sellers in Lee County.  Conventional loan limits increase to $548,250 in Lee County.  The previous loan limit was $510,400.  Because sales prices have increased this past year the loan limit was increased.

Conventional Loan Limits Increase to $548,250 in Lee County
Conventional Loan Limits Increase to $548,250 in Lee County

If a buyer wished to finance over the $510,400 it made the loan a jumbo loan.  The interest rate may have been higher and the underwriting guidelines in some cases could be stiffer because jumbo loans are not insured by FNMA or Freddie Mac.

Conventional Loan Limits Increase

The increase to $548,250 means a buyer can pay more for a home and still meet conventional loan guidelines.  Interest rates are around 2.5% for people with good credit.  This eases down payment pressure for many buyers who need a conventional loan.

Let’s say a buyer wanted to buy a home for $600,000.  Under the old guidelines the buyer would have had to put $89,600 down to stay in a conventional loan.  Today the buyer could put down $51,750 and still meet conventional guidelines.  That would be 8.6% down payment which is acceptable.

With conventional loans the buyer can put down as little as 3%, but 5% is more realistic for most people.  The PMI rate (Private Mortgage Insurance) declines the more a borrower places in down payment, and it disappears entirely if buyers put 20% down.

Buyers Can Afford More Home

The bottom line is buyers can absolutely afford more home today than they could last year.  Down payment requirements are less and interest rates are less.  This is good news because prices have been going up, so this alleviates that pressure.

This is one more reason we believe there is still fuel to power prices higher.  Of course, low rates will not help if the economy crumbles or demand falls.  We do not see any signs of demand falling.  In fact, Florida is more attractive than ever to northern buyers in high tax states.  Companies are leaving northern states and relocating to Florida, so it is not just remote workers making the switch.

Conventional loan limits increase benefits sellers as much as buyers because more buyers now qualify for the same property.  We already have multiple offer situations on many properties, and the conventional loan limits increase may add to the demand for properties priced $535,000 and higher.

In the coming weeks we will report final 2020 real estate market numbers.  To date we have official numbers through November, and we expect 2020 to end with a bang.  Traffic on our roads is busy, and our team has been busy working with buyers from all over the country attempting to purchase a home.

By all accounts, 2021 should be another great year.  The only thing that may hold it back is lack of inventory.  Sales could decline simply because we do not have enough inventory.

Considering Selling?

If you are considering selling, please call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Now may be the best time.  Our marketing is reaching local and out of town buyers, and they are making offers.  Our team is working harder than ever for our clients. We are getting sellers who list with the Ellis Team top dollar.  It is always more fun to sell when we attract multiple buyers for your home.  Sellers can sit back and select the best offer, but that is only possible when you saturate the market.  Advertising locally and nationally is the key.

Or you can check your home’s value instantly at www.SWFLhomevalues.com Prices are changing by the week so it pays to keep up.  Is there a price you would sell your home at?  If so, perhaps we should talk.  Always ask for Sande or Brett Ellis.  There is no substitute for experience.

January 2021 SW Florida Real Estate Market Update

 

Many properties listed today in SW Florida are receiving multiple offers.  How would a seller know which offer to take?  Today we offer our selecting best multiple offer tips for sellers.

Selecting Best Multiple Offer Tips From a Real Estate Pro

Selecting Best Multiple Offer

It is logical to assume the highest price would be the best offer, but that may not always be the case.  Of course, a seller wants to maximize how much they can get out of the home.  Of equal if not greater importance is the likelihood the buyer can perform.  It does no good to accept a higher offer that is unlikely to close.

It is important that the listing agents knows all facts about the home.  For instance, some homes may not qualify for an FHA or VA loan.  There could be some insurance uses, or property condition issues imposed by the lender.  Some buyers may not be able to cure deficiencies placed by their lender, and it has nothing to do with the buyer.

Purposely Bidding Up Home to Win Negotiation

Some buyers purposely drive up the price with their offer banking on the fact the lender will knock it back down with the appraisal.  If you are selecting best multiple offer based solely on price, you might be surprised later if the home does not appraise.  A buyer may have the option of buying the home above appraised value provided they are putting down enough to cover the difference for the loan they have applied for.

For instance, let’s say a buyer is putting 50% down.  Chances are they are going for a conventional loan needing only 20 or 25% down.  Because they are putting more than that down, they already have the difference if the home does not appraise by a little bit.  Now if the home only appraises at 50% of purchase price you would have a problem because the buyer would not have anything down.  Banks base their loan to value ratio off the value, not the purchase price.

Obviously, an all-cash buyer does not have appraisal worries, unless they add an appraisal contingency.  In that case, the home must appraise for purchase price or buyer is not obligated to complete the purchase.

Remove Appraisal Contingency

Back in the foreclosure crisis buyers were bidding up foreclosure deals and getting financing for the new purchase.  The seller (foreclosure bank) wised up and started adding language that if home did not appraise the buyer would be responsible for the difference.  This basically stopped buyers from outbidding each other just to score the deal.  Most of those buyers could not pay the purchase price because the new bank would not lend on it.  The seller would have been better off taking a lower bid with a buyer that could actually complete the sale versus buyers that could not.

The condition of the home may influence which buyer’s offer to take.  Knowing that a certain type of loan may not accept certain property conditions may save you from going down the road with the wrong type of loan.  All of this takes knowledge and experience, and therefore it pays to hire the best Realtor you can find.  Hiring the wrong Realtor can cost you thousands of dollars, even in a hot market.

Full-time agents that have thousands of deals for experience have seen a thing or two, and therefore know how to deal with issues before they become problems.  And when problems do arise, and they inevitably will, possessing that knowledge and experience pays off in solving the problem.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is an experience agent is more likely to get you top dollar and keep your deal together than an inexperienced agent, no matter how much determination they have.  There is just no substitute for experience.  This is not the market to experiment with an inexperienced agent.

If you have a home to sell, call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Brett and Sande have sold over 5,000 homes, and we know a thing or two.  If you are looking at purchasing, our team of buyer agents work directly with Sande and Brett.  Our knowledge helps you structure the best offer.  Buyers can search the MLS at www.LeeCountyOnline.com   Sellers can visit www.SWFLhomevaules.com to get your home’s value online instantly.  Let us know if how we can help you!

It is no surprise to anyone buying or selling in SW Florida that October real estate sales prices were up nearly 20% year over year.  We have written a great length each week about the factors influencing the market.  Let’s look beyond the headlines and unpack what is really going on and see if we can get a gauge into the future.

October real estate sales prices up nearly 20%

Median October real estate sales prices were up 18.8% while average prices were up 22.6%.  That is phenomenal growth. I would be a bit skeptical if just the average price was higher as a few high dollar sales can skew that statistic.  The other thing I look at is there a trend.  This was not a one-month phenomenon.

This is the 3rd straight month we have seen 20% gains in average price.  It is also the 3rd straight month median price has risen 16.5% or more.  That is telling us this pricing pressure is real and demand is truly outpacing supply.  This is not a joke.

New listings were down 2.5% in October compared to last year while new pending sales were up 38.8%.  This is putting a further drain on available inventory and making it harder for buyers.  Buyers are coming to town and finding few choices in their desired search for ranch properties for sale. In many cases buyers are having to settle just to score a home.  It does beat being homeless and someday down the road they will be able to trade for a home they like better.  The goal today is to find a home that at least suits their basic needs.

Pending inventory was up 61.9% in October.  This is an indicator that closed sales in November and December will be high.  Even though sales were down 14.1% in April and 39% in May, sales are up 8.3% for the year.  If we have monster sales in November and December, we could be in for some record numbers.

Perhaps next week we will dive into inventory by price range.  Suffice it to say that all price ranges today have less inventory than last year.  Every single range.  Let that sink in.  This market rally is across the board and not limited to hot spots.

The Ellis Team has done an excellent job counseling buyers what it takes to win a bid for a home.  Buyers do not want to pay more than they must, but they also do not want to keep missing out on homes either.  Getting their 4th or 5th choice is not as much fun as getting their first choice.  The sad thing is because all the buyers are clustered around the best listings, when one goes, they all move to the next best listing.  The irony is, sometimes buyers end up paying more for #2 than they would have for #1, because now there is one less choice once #1 goes off the table.

Working with experienced agents like the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty not only can help guide you into scoring the best home for you, but we can save you money as well.  We have access to zero lender fee loans that may save you thousands of dollars cash at closing.  These savings require less money at closing, or they allow you to buy more home because the cash outlay is less.

Talk to a friendly buyer specialist on the Ellis Team and ask about savings we can pass along to the buyer. To search the MLS like a pro, visit www.LeeCountyOnline.com  It has all the listings, and it is updated instantly so you will always have the latest listings.  In a market like this, speed and accuracy wins.

Sellers, we have good news for you.  Brett and Sande Ellis are experts at marketing your home to local and out of state buyers.  This creates more demand for your home and in turn gets you a better price.  If you would like to talk to us about selling a home, call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4. Or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com

Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty.  We love helping people, and market knowledge matters more than ever.

Are you ready for a career change? Find out of a career in real estate might be right for you.

Recent closed home sales have housing market indicators flashing full speed ahead, so what could cause that train to slow?  One of the best ways to judge a market is supply and demand, and yet supply is the one thing that may hold this market back.

Housing Market Indicators Flashing Homes Closed
Homes closed in SW Florida real estate market through October 2020

Housing Market Indicators Flashing

As you can see from the homes closed graph, 2020 home sales are outpacing the previous four years.  The thing is, the previous four years were good years in real estate, so 2020 is shaping up to be a phenomenal year.

What may limit a record number of home sales in 2021 could be supply.  If we do not see more listings entering the market the SW Florida real estate market will simply run out of fuel.  We believe however that more sellers will decide to list their home in 2021 than 2020, for a few reasons.

More Listings Coming?

The first reason is profit taking.  Home prices are up 18.8% over last year for October.  That is an unbelievable month over month price gain.  Each year sellers assess their situation.  One trend we are seeing are rental homes suddenly becoming available.  Typically, the landlords have not raised their tenants rent like other landlords because they have had years long tenants. Sometimes it is hard to raise the rent on longtime tenants, to the next easiest thing to do is sell the property.  Either way the tenant ends up moving unless a new buyer wants to keep a tenant.

The second reason we may see more homes on the market in 2021 is covid-19 relief.  Many sellers did not want people in their home in the middle of a pandemic.  As therapeutics and vaccines are released, this may change.  Whoever thought herd immunity is a term we would use in real estate or any other faction of society?

As we approach herd immunity, more people will be comfortable returning to a normal life and buying and selling real estate is a part of that return.  Some people put off their life plans for a whole year.  This may add to pent-up supply hitting the market in 2021.

Interest rates are low and should remain low for the balance of 2021.  We may have enough housing supply to get us through a few more months.  Last month we had 1,593 new listing come on the market, while 1,770 went pending.  We have a little over 2 months supply of inventory which is as low as we have ever seen it.

We believe we will see more listings enter the market in January, but who knows for sure.  Once Covid numbers abate and as the vaccine is released, we think more people will be comfortable placing homes on the market.

Sellers Looking for Top Dollar?

Sellers wishing to sell for top dollar may want to call us before other sellers enter the market.  Supply is limited and demand is high.  We have buyers coming here from out of state markets where their business and life is restricted.  We know how to market to these buyers and achieve top dollar for our sellers.

Nobody can time the market perfectly. If we could venture a guess, selling before May 2021 may be a great idea.  Many experts are predicting herd immunity by May.  If our theory is correct about sellers holding off for Covid reasons, this timeline makes sense for maximum leverage.  Of course, economic factors will be in play, a new administration taking office, new tax policies, etc.  Many things can affect the real estate market and the economy.

The bottom line is right now is a great time for home sellers.  We think it should last awhile as interest rates are expected to be low through 2021.  As usual, we will keep watching housing market indicators for you.

To find out your home’s value go to www.SWFLhomevalues.com or call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.

Good luck and Happy Home Shopping!

The Ellis Team is introducing nationwide local neighborhood updates.  It is free and it offers some features you will not find anywhere else.  We will talk about some of the features and how it works here.

Nationwide Local Neighborhood Updates Neighborhood Trends

One of the features is a neighborhood trends report.  People like to see what is going on in their neighborhood.  We have included a snapshot of basic summary statistics for Reflection Lakes in Fort Myers.  Users can click to explore the neighborhood and more features open.

Some of the added features include local transit times to places of interest the user chooses.  Let’s say a couple is searching for a home.  The husband works one place, and the wife works in another.  They can add both locations so they can see how far each commute is from that neighborhood.

Other features included a list of nearby schools as well as an interactive map that shows places of interest.  Users could select highlights, nightlife, shopping, fitness, arts and entertainment, groceries, etc.  When you select your interests, the interactive map displays those things you have selected and placed them on the map.

Let’s say you selected groceries.  The map will show all the grocery stores relative to the neighborhood you have selected.  The same is true with any category.

I particularly like the nearby neighborhoods information and the available homes for sale.  Others will like the local reviews of each place.  The neighborhood report does an excellent job of compiling compelling data and displaying it in a useful way for consumers.

The best part is this website http://ellisteam.kw.com works anywhere in the country.  Users can select multiple neighborhoods.  For instance, a user may own a home in SW Florida and one up North.  It is easy to add both neighborhoods, and once selected each neighborhood has their own tab and data, all in one place.

We can email this information out every two weeks, or monthly.  This is particularly helpful, so you do not have to remember the website.  Just click on the link and it will take you to the report when it is updated.

The Ellis Team is working extremely hard to bring consumers tools that are useful, and work anywhere.  We have strong partners in other states that can assist with your real estate needs wherever they are.  Providing useful information that works anywhere benefits customers from out of our area.  This benefits local sellers because we can now provide nationwide local neighborhood updates.  Out of state buyers are more likely to use us, and when they do their interest in SW Florida rises.

We have some customers that are selling here in SW Florida and moving back to family or a job relocation.  These tools provide tremendous data in separate locations.  Providing this data makes the Ellis Team a one-stop shop no matter where a buyer is buying or selling.  We will not be their agents out of state.  That takes a separate license.  What we can be is their guide to selecting the best agent no matter where their interest is, as well as great neighborhood data.

The Ellis Team still has our local websites, like our home valuation tool www.SWFLhomevalues.com and our local property search www.LeeCountyOnline.com Nothing is going away.  We are bringing more tools and more value to consumers.  When we meet in person or via Zoom we can show you powerful data.  This data will help you make better decisions, and it’s fun too!

We look forward to helping you with your real estate needs.  If you have a home to sell, please call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  We are easy to talk to and we can help you with your needs, both in SW Florida and anywhere in the country.

Happy Thanksgiving!

See last weeks article “Biden Tax Plan Benefits Florida Real Estate Market

I have been reading several articles on how a Biden tax plan benefits Florida real estate market.  Biden’s tax plan has many parts to it, some of which benefit Florida homeowners and some of which hurt.  As I am writing this article neither candidate has been declared the winner, and we will not go into that for purposes of this article.  We are simply passing along information should Biden eventually be declared the winner.Biden Tax Plan Benefits Florida Real Estate Market

One article suggests the Biden tax plan benefits Florida real estate market by creating an incentive for residents to leave high tax states more than they already have.  Biden’s tax plan could create a marginal tax rate exceeding 60% in New Jersey, California, Hawaii, and New York.  As these states suffer shortfalls, they will be under more pressure to raise rates even higher.  It is a vicious cycle.  Many high tax states are hemorrhaging residents. As they lose residents, they must either cut spending or raise more taxes on the fewer that are left.

Vulnerable States Losing Residents

Another article mentions Illinois and California as particularly vulnerable.  Biden’s tax plan calls for an increase in capital gains rates as well as several new taxes.  One such tax is raising the amount many earners pay on social security.  Another tax is capping deductions for some earners, as well as raising the top income tax rate from 37% to 39.6%

When you factor all these new taxes in, the theory is people will flee high tax states and move to lower tax states where their income is taxed less by the state.  It is not much theory as we have already seen it the past 4 years.  The writers of these articles speculate it will intensify and speed up.

At this time, we still do not know who will control the Senate and how those votes will go.  All we know is that if Biden wins the election, there will be upward pressure.  Some of these taxes will hurt real estate, and yet the Florida real estate market could still be a net winner in that we may gain more people interested in Florida than we lose in tax penalties.  The same cannot be said for other states, but we focus on the SW Florida real estate market.

Target Marketing High Tax States

In 2020 the Ellis Team has sold many properties to buyers from high tax states.  In fact, we have several looking right now and making offers.  Our marketing has focused on those areas and we expect that to continue.  When our team lists a home, we advertise it where we think the buyers are.

We have many local buyers and even more out of state buyers.  If you get lucky out of state buyers come to you based on brand, reputation, or referral.  If you are an aggressive agent you go find the buyers through advertising, and that is what we have done.  We do get a lot of referrals from out of state agents. Many agents calls us because of the Keller Williams name.  We appreciate all of that and that is why we are at the company we are with.

What is particularly fun is selecting certain markets you believe contain buyers who might move to SW Florida and combine that with our artificial intelligence that shows us where buyers are coming from and take out ads directed at those buyers.  When the leads start to flow in off those ads it feels a lot like finding a good fishing hole nobody else knows about.  Never ask a fisherman where their best fishing hole is and expect a straight answer.  Conversely, never ask a top agent who is using this advanced technology to locate buyers to tell you exactly where they are coming from.

Never Ask a Fisherman

A fisherman might tell you which lake the fish are in, but never the exact spot.  A top agent might tell you which states buyers are coming from, but not the exact formula to advertise to them.

If you have a home to sell, always call Brett or Sande at the Ellis Team 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  We have buyers and can help you get Top Dollar.  We do not know who the next president is yet, but we do know how to sell your home either way.  Or visit www.SWFLhomevalues.com for an instant and Free valuation.

The Ellis Team marketing sells listings for top dollar and fast.  This past week we closed on a $525,000 listing that sold for $536,200, $11,200 above asking price.  Some of the showing agents felt it was overpriced and we would never get that for the home.  They were wrong, and had we listened it would have cost the seller money.

Ellis Team marketing sells homes for more money.  How is that possible? That is an excellent question, and one we get regularly.  While we cannot share all the answers in a short article like this, we can cover some highlights.  First, we do not stand back and expect agents in the MLS to sell your home.  We proactively market it to a proven bank of buyers we market to.  Secondly, we target and attract new buyers each week through aggressive online and print advertising across multiple mediums.

Additionally, we have a team of buyer agents and inside sales associates calling buyers specifically for our listings.  When the Ellis Team takes a new listing, we may already have the buyer in our data bank.  We use advanced marketing and artificial intelligence to build this data bank and it is paying off for our sellers.

Are We Too Busy

Some sellers are reluctant to list with a successful team because they wonder if they will get lost in the shuffle and not be a priority.  Let me address that issue as well, as there are certain advantages of working with a team.

We are not too busy.  In fact, we have sold almost our entire inventory.  We were not too busy for them when we had inventory, and we are certainly not too busy now that we don’t. Our team was built for scale.  Our advanced marketing costs a lot of money and was designed to bring in lots of buyers, not just one.  It would be a waste not having seller’s properties to market to this valuable group.

The Ellis Team has a full-time listing manager and marketing manager to assist us.  Having experts on our team allows us to provide a higher level of service than single agents can provide.  Our team of specialists sole goal is to get your home sold for top dollar.

Top Dollar Realtors

Sande and Brett Ellis have a reputation for getting homes sold for top dollar.  There is a saying “What you focus on expands.”  Brett and Sande have focused on top dollar our entire career, and that’s probably why we’ve been known around town as “Top Dollar Realtors.”

Any Realtor can give a home away.  Giving a home away is easy.  Low price sells anything, from homes to cars to electronics.  Getting top dollar requires spending money on advertising and acquiring marketing expertise.  It is not something you can learn in a day, week, or year. How you respond to questions matters as well. Learning the sales process and mastering marketing techniques are time tested and work in today’s digital society.

The Ellis Team works with the best of the best technology partners.  Other Realtors often call us and ask how we do it, and we are happy to share our story.  Most will not do it because it costs money, but for those that do they see results like our team does.

Thinking of Selling?

If you are thinking of selling your home, please call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  Who you work with matters.  This is not the market to play around in and hire the wrong Realtor.  You will be kicking yourself later when this market passes you by.  For those on the fence and just want an idea of what their home is worth, we have a website for that. www.SWFLHomevalues.com  You will get an instant, free estimate of your home’s value.  We are here for you on the phone or online and can walk you through the process.

We look forward to hearing from you.  Put our experienced team to work for you!

See last week’s article “Real Estate Appraisal Values Lag Behind Market

In a shifting market it’s not uncommon for real estate appraisal values to lag behind the market of the moment.  We have such a market in SW Florida.

Real Estate Appraisal Values Lag Behind Market
Real Estate Appraisal Values Lag Behind Market

Have you ever noticed when gas prices at the pump rise, they seem to do so quickly and when they fall it tends to be slow?  Appraisals feel kind of the same way.  In a rapidly rising market appraisers are slow to pick up on the rise, but when prices are falling, they get conservative and offer time value adjustments to the downside.  Appraisers are simply protecting themselves because they have risk.  The last thing they want is a lender accusing them of over valuing property values.

Appraisers concentrate on what happened in the past and must wait on data to reflect on what is happening on the streets today.  It’s a lot like looking in the rear-view mirror, they can tell you where the market has been but not where the market is headed.  Appraisers must prove values with data all the while mitigating risk by being caught in a rapidly changing market.

There are things agents can do to improve value with the appraiser as well as sell over appraised value.  It takes an experienced agent to deal with these issues.  Sellers mistakenly believe it does not matter who they list with in a seller’s market.  It always matters who you list with, and now is no exception!

Experienced buyer’s agents are counseling buyers on what it takes to score a property today.  We are seeing multiple offers and many times the winning buyer will pay well over asking price.  Buyers are being counseled it may or may not appraise depending on the appraiser and the buyer will have to pay the difference.  The lender will lend based upon a loan to value ratio of the appraisal.  This does not stop the buyer from purchasing, but it might raise their down payment.  Lenders are now counseling buyers too that homes are selling for more than appraised value in many cases.  Real estate appraisal values simply are not keeping up.

Sellers are not accepting as many repair items after inspection either.  They do not have to.  If the buyer backs out there may be 10-20 other buyers willing to pick up that property the day it falls out.  In fact, many buyers are scoring deals simply on the fear of greed of a previous buyer who backs out.  Sellers have the upper hand right now.  Buyers are not really in competition with the seller, they are in competition with all the other buyers that would love to have their deal.

You never want to go back to sell a property a second time, unless the first buyer is not being reasonable or if the line of backup buyers is stronger and more motivated than the first.  This is one reason we spend time on selecting the best 1st contract.  We evaluate how likely this buyer is to complete the sale. We look at pre-approval letter, amount down, amount in escrow, and all terms.  The offer tells a story and prompts questions.  We may call the lender or ask further questions to help the seller make the best decision for them.

For buyers it helps to work with a team that represents a lot of sellers, because we know what listing agents are looking for in an offer, and we can help structure your offer to be more desirable.  Remember, your offer not only has to be acceptable to seller, it must beat out all the other offers.  Price is just one term among many the seller and listing agent looks at.

If you are looking to buy and sell, give us a call.  Brett and Sande can be reached at 239-489-4042 Ext 4.  We’ll be happy to talk about your situation and give you the advice you need to succeed. Visit www.SWFLHomevalues.com to see what your home is worth.   Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

See last week’s article “Correctly Priced Homes Selling with Multiple Offers

SW Florida Real Estate Market Update September 2020

Market prices are driven by supply and demand.  Basic economics teaches us this and the SW Florida real estate market is living proof.  We have excellent demand locally along with declining inventory.  Basically, we are outselling the number of new homes that come on the market each week.  We see correctly priced homes selling with multiple offers.

Correctly Priced Homes Selling with Multiple Offers
Correctly Priced Homes Selling with Multiple Offers in SW Florida

Ellis Team buyer agents have been selling up a storm lately, and we have had to spend some time with our buyers educating them on what it takes to win an offer.  Homes that are not in multiple offer situations can quickly turn in just a matter of hours.  We keep on the lookout for homes that enter the market for our buyers and many times our buyers are forced to buy it within a day or two of being on the market.

Our team has a databank of over 11,000 people searching for specific criteria.  We filter those out by the most motivated.  If they wish to buy in a year, they search for information purposes, but any home they see now will be gone in days, if it is priced and marketed correctly.

Most Correctly Priced Homes Selling

We have seen homes priced correctly that have not sold.  Our buyers are thankful for that because if it had been marketed correctly it might not still be there.  This brings us to another especially important point.

Marketing matters as does proper pricing.  Pricing can change by the week in some areas, and not move so much in others.  It pays to know what is selling, what is not, and why.  An experienced agent can help you with that.

It also pays to list with an agent who is an expert in the market, and markets heavily.  We have included a graph sorted by price range.  We also look at property class, neighborhood, and a variety of other factors to determine pricing trends.

Housing supply lowered in every single price point in the last 30 days, and yet not all prices saw rising sales.  Inventory just dipped, and maybe sales were lower because there was not inventory to sell.  We are seeing a nice rise in sales in the $300,000 to $1 Million range.  Other ranges saw sales gains too, but homes in these ranges not only saw lower inventory but rising sales numbers as well.

September was a good month for the Ellis Team and our Keller Williams office.  We had 188 closings last month with several more that spilled into October as the lenders were backed up getting the closings out.

Thinking of Selling?

You should talk to Brett or Sande Ellis. Brett and Sande have the experience to price your home where it should be in today’s market and the marketing muscle to get your home sold fast and for top dollar. When we take your listing, we can search our databank of buyers and see if we may already have the buyer for your home.  If not, our marketing goes to work, and we would love the opportunity to show you that all Realtors do not market the same.

Choosing the wrong Realtor could cost you thousands of dollars.  Selecting the wrong offer can cost you the sale completely.  If you’re not ready to sell but want a quick, fairly accurate price of your home, www.SWFLhomevalues.com is one of the most accurate around.  No computer is perfect, and prices are changing weekly, but it’s a good start. If you want to talk, Call Sande or Brett Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4 Selling a home is a process, and we enjoy explaining the process and making it easier for you.  The Ellis Team has systems and tools to make the process simpler, and of course we’ll get you Top Dollar.

Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty, your Top Dollar Realtors!

See last week’s article “Lee County Real Estate Market Setting Records

We’ve got good news for sellers and for buyers.  The Lee County real estate market is setting records and you might be wondering how this is good news for buyers.

Total Dollar Volume Lee County Real Estate Market

First off, the total dollar volume of sales increased 45.5% to a whopping $553.5 Million in August sales, a new high for the year. Three things are spurring these sales.  Low interest rates, people moving to Florida, and more inventory coming to market.  Median prices rose 16.5% in August over last year, and closed sales were up 16.5% as well.  Both positive numbers added to the rise in dollar volume.

When inventory is falling like it has, you cannot have increased sales forever.  Eventually you’ll run out of inventory to sell. What saved the day is a 32.3% rise in new listings over last year.  This is the good news for buyers.  Before we get too carried away, we’d like to point out one fact.

Lee County Real Estate Market New Listings
New Listings

It is true listings were up 32.3%.  August new listings were 1,547.  New pending sales was 1,796.  This means 249 more homes went under contract than came to the market.  We know some of those deals will fall out over inspection issues, appraisal, etc.  Still, more homes are going pending than coming to market, so that is not a sign of increasing inventory.  The silver lining is more new listings came up than last year.  Without those new listings, dollar volume would not be as high.

We are starting to receive more calls from sellers wondering if now might be a good time to cash out of their property.  Their property has served them well, and they know inventory is low and sellers are in the driver’s seat.  Some sellers are looking to upgrade or downsize, and they feel now is a good time to sell, and they are correct.

We believe more of those conversations will be happening this year.  Will it be enough to cover the buyer demand we have right now?  Nobody knows that answer.  We do not know who will win the election, or even when it will be decided.  A vaccine isn’t approved yet, although tests look promising.  With so many unknowns, nobody can guarantee where the Lee County real estate market will be next year.

What we do know is buyers love Florida and they are moving here.  Sellers sit in a good position, and the sellers choosing to sell right now are doing well.  Agents who use technology and marketing at a high level are doing well, and others are struggling.

The real estate business is changing rapidly right now, and many agents won’t be in the business a year from now.  Some companies are also closing due to pressures of lead acquisition and market conditions.  Who you work with now is more important than ever.

Keep in mind, markets can swing, and little variations in the data can affect sellers.  Staying on top of the data can help sellers make quicker and better decisions.  When the market is on the move, you must pay attention.

The Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty studies the market and the data.  Did you know you can see years’ worth of data on our blog? Subscribe to blog.topagent.com and you’ll receive timely trends as we publish them.

If you’d like to talk to Sande or Brett Ellis, give us a call 239-489-4042 Ext 4  We can discuss your situation and see if this hot market is right for you to make a move.  Having facts helps you make better decisions.  Brett and Sande are here to help.

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Good luck and happy selling!

See last week’s article “Rising Florida Home Prices Caused by Low Inventory