One of the ways we measure health of the real estate market is to measure the real estate total dollar volume of sales.  We get this by multiplying the number of sales by the average sales prices.  The reason this figure is important is because it quickly tells us so much.  We know that Lee County Florida real estate total dollar volume was up again in 2019, beating all the past 5 previous years.

Real Estate Total Dollar Volume Up in Lee County

Real Estate Total Dollar Volume Up

The average sales price was down 1.7% for the year while the median sales price was up 3.0% The reason the real estate total dollar volume is up is because sales climbed 3.4% for the year.  Even though the average price fell, we made up for it by increased sales.

We started to see sales prices rising at the end of 2019, so the 1.7% drop in average price is the average for the entire year.  Inventory fell 16.5% in 2019. Combining lower inventory with lower interest rates, we’ve got a recipe for potential price increases.  It’s a classic supply vs. demand with a little bit of affordability mixed in the formula which equals rising price potential.

Mortgage applications rose this past week as well, which is a sign that consumers are jumping on these low rates.  Many are new purchase applications, and some are refinance applications.  We’re seeing more people in SW Florida considering their options.  They’ve been locked in their homes for quite awhile and they’re wondering if now might be the time to make a move.  They’ve finally gained enough equity, either through paying own their mortgage or rising home values, or both.

The trickiest part is finding the next home to move into while there are low inventory levels.  That’s where we can help.  We’ve helped people find new construction they weren’t aware of, which is sort of like invisible inventory.  The other thing we have is a new App that is making the home search process more fun.

New Consumer Experience App

You’ll be hearing more about this new app very soon.  We believe it will make shopping for real estate fun and be the best consumer experience you’ve seen.  It will reshape the industry.  To do that, it must be a game changer.  This weekend I’m out in Dallas at our national convention where we expect it’ll be released.  If you’d like a VIP invite to check it out, send me an email to with message line Consumer App.  I’m going to make sure News Press readers and our Blog readers get first access to this cool new technology.  The best part is, it works nationwide too, so if you’re visiting here from somewhere else, you can use it for back home too.

2020 will be an interesting year to watch.  Sometimes election years can be funky as consumer confidence is held in the balance, but that doesn’t seem to be the case this year.  Americans seem confident in the direction of the economy.  The job outlook is bright, interest rates are low, and people’s retirement plans are doing well.  The stock market is on fire.  All systems seem to be go.  Trade deals are going our way which sets up well for the economy of the future.

Prices are almost back to where they were in 2005.  The difference is we have end users for our homes.  Back then we had speculation and flippers without end users.  The inventory was built for future demand.  Today we don’t have enough inventory, so it’s a totally different market, and the risks that were present back in 2005 are not here today.

2020 is All About the Consumer

We feel good about the local real estate market and its direction.  We feel good about the consumer experience we’re bringing to the market.  2020 will be an exciting year on many levels, both for the consumer and for agents that disrupt the status quo.  The Ellis Team looks forward to disrupting the status quo.  Email us if you’d like a first access to our new consumer experience.  If you have a home to sell, call Sande or Brett Ellis at 239-489-4042 Ext 4

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

See Last Week’s Article “Lee County Home Prices Almost Back to Record Prices

Open House Saturday 10 AM – 1 PM

13934 Bently Cir

4 Bed 5 Bath 2,701 Sq Ft

Bell Tower Park Open House Saturday



Reflection Lakes Fort Myers Market Update

Whiskey Creek Market Update

Perhaps you’ve been reading about the shift in the local and national real estate market. Some experts haven’t noticed a shift while others have predicted dire results because they have noticed. The real experts are aware of the shift and realize this appears to be a minor correction as the market just got ahead of itself. Markets often chug along until one day it does get ahead of itself, both on the way up and the way down. Today we talk about how the market responds as sellers heed advice from agents.

Back in 2009 we said the market had over-corrected and was due for gains. It did. This past February we sounded the alarm and said the market may be ahead of itself, and it was. Sellers have heeded the advice of agents and are actually selling homes.

You see, homes will always sell, even in up, down, and sideways markets. It’s a matter of marketing and price, and the sellers that market properly and price properly win the selling game. Owners that fail at either of the above may not win. Sometimes the best team on the field doesn’t win the game. Sometimes the best home on the block doesn’t sell. You have to be the best today to sell today. It’s not enough to be the best 6 months ago.

Buyers judge houses on features, size, location, age, and price among others. If you’re great in all areas except price, buyers will reject your home. You’re not the best today if your home is overpriced.

Market Responds as Sellers Heed Advice

We have good news to present however. In fact, I had to double check the numbers because I didn’t believe the numbers. Month’s supply of inventory is down to 5.07 months by my numbers. Official numbers by Florida Realtors shows 4.5 months however they calculate slightly differently than we do. In any event, and by any measure, we both have inventory coming down.

Market Responds as Sellers Heed Advice

You can see by the graph that inventory levels have come down in virtually all price ranges. This is because sellers have taken their agent’s advice and reacted to the shift in the market. The sellers who have not repositioned their home in the marketplace are still on the market or their listing has expired.

Selling your home is a pretty easy math equation. mm x cp = ss Mass Marketing times Correct Pricing equals Successful Sale. If your home isn’t marketed to the entire market it may not sell. I’ve seen homes priced correctly that have not sold. We’ve come in and upped the marketing and watch them sell.

An overpriced home will not sell. No amount of marketing can cure an overpriced listing. If you’re willing to follow the formula, success will follow. If you deviate from the formula, you won’t get your desired result, so you have to ask yourself the question, “Which is most important? Selling my home or staying because I want or need too much money?”

Unfortunately, the market doesn’t care what you need, and Mick Jagger explains beautifully that you can’t always get what you want. The answer lies with you. Are you willing to price your home where the market is? Are you willing to hire the best agent to sell your home?

Owners mistakenly believe all Realtors are the same and MLS will sell the home. It doesn’t work that way. There is a lot of expertise that goes into negotiations and the best way to present a property to the market. Some Realtors don’t know these tips because they’re not experienced enough. If Realtors in the business don’t all know, how is a seller supposed to know?

You have to interview agents with experience and a track record. If you’re thinking about selling, or perhaps have tried it yourself to no avail, give us a call. We’ve got some new ways to reach buyers we think you’re going to like. Call the Ellis Team 239-489-4042 and find out what’s new and how we’re reaching today’s buyers. We think you’ll be amazed, and most importantly, on to your next home. Feel free to search the MLS at  and get an automated free estimate of your home’s value.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

Open House Saturday and Sunday 1-4 PM

waterfront home whiskey creek open houose
Whiskey Creek Open House

Open Saturday and Sunday 1-4 PM

1388 Landmark Ct

Waterfront Gulf Access

Stop by and pickup your Ellis Team Koozie and chance to win a Yeti



Are You Ready For a Yeti?

Are You Ready For a Yeti
Ready For a Yeti?

All you have to do is like our Ellis Team Facebook page and post a picture of our koozie with your favorte beverage online with the hashtags #ellisteam and #readyforayeti The most creative picture wins.  You can post online at Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Google +

Ready for a Yeti
Post our Ellis Team Koozie Photo Online

Stop by our open house and pickup your koozie, or stop by our office.  You can always call us at 239-489-4042 to see where we’re going o be.  Some lucky winner is going to win a Yeti 45 and it might as well be you.  Contest ends November 30, so you’ve got some time.

Many Realtors have mixed feelings on the effectiveness of open houses, and you’ll hear varying answers as to whether they should be utilized in marketing a home.

Some Realtors have grown tired of sitting an open house only to waste the afternoon away with no lookers or interest from anyone.  Other open houses are filled with prospects and it indeed helps sell that home, and maybe a few more in the area.  So what factors influence whether an open house will be successful or not?

Open House Weekend

Advertising an open house definitely helps.  Several weekends we’ve found agents with competing homes in neighborhoods we market open up the paper to see where the open houses were, then abruptly put up signs pointing buyers to their open house hoping to pick off a stray buyer and sell their listing.

The problem with this strategy is indeed the competing home may be located in the same area, but may not be posses the features in the ad that drew them to the open house to begin with.  Some agents promise open houses every weekend because they’re on a shoe-string budget and they win by either attracting a nosy neighbor who may be interested in selling their home, or picking up buyers who may not be qualified for the open house, but qualify to buy something else.  Either way the agent drums up business for free by using the seller’s home as a store-front to attract buyers.

We believe an open house can be an effective tool, but shouldn’t be used as the primary tool.  It’s simply an additional tool, and it may not be right in all instances.  For instance, if the seller is located in a gated community and the HOA doesn’t provide easy access on the scheduled open house day, getting buyers to the home can be difficult.

Open houses are a time when you’re showing the home to absolutely anyone and you’re never sure how qualified the person walking through the door is, or what their intentions are.  If a home has a lot of valuables or small personal items, it may not be wise to hold that home open.

We find that buyers just want to see the homes and get a feel for the market.  Online buyers want access to the listings first.  Agents can provide open houses via online virtual tours, and this can be especially helpful for rural properties, gated communities, or homes with lots of knick knacks.

If you’re going to do an open house for your tiny house, buyers generally want it to be worth their time, so holding several at once can be a tool to get buyers off the couch and out looking.  The buyer never knows which open house will capture their interest, but if there are several to look at, perhaps one will and it becomes worth their time.  It’s the same concept as builders doing a Parade or Homes.

We have a tour of 6 homes scheduled for this weekend, and we find that when we do multiple homes traffic at each home increases significantly versus holding just one home open. A list of homes we have on tour this weekend can be found at

All buyers want to see the goods (Listings) but some want to meet the Realtor and just get a comfort feeling on which agent might be good to deal with.  Buyers sizing up agents at open houses make decisions not only on the particular home, but on a possible agent to work with in the home buying process.

You can choose to open your home up, and doing so may produce mixed results.  Advertising helps, and having an independent 3rd party there to show your home really pays off.  Buyers rarely tell the owner what’s really on their mind as they don’t wish to offend, but finding this information out is critical to a sale.  Buyers will tell an agent things they would never tell the owner.  Too many times we’ve seen owners hold out hope for a sale because the buyers said how much they loved the home, when in reality they bought another and had little to no interest.  Or worse, sellers have refused to work with an offer because they felt a better offer was coming because they met the buyers and heard nothing but wonderful things about their home at the open house.  Sellers feel strung along when that offer never comes when the buyer seemed to rave about the home.

Open houses are not the end all marketing strategy, but if used in conjunction with an overall pricing, marketing, and sales strategy can be an effective additional tool and should be weighed with benefits and risks to ascertain whether it should be utilized in the sale of the home.

Discuss with your listing agent the pros and cons of holding an open house and with some planning and a little luck, it just might help you sell your home or find your dream home.

View our latest video SW Florida Real Estate Market Update-Foreclosures-October 2010