Thursday, December 08, 2016

SW Florida Real Estate Notes December 2016

So many people are asking how the election will influence the SW Florida real estate market going forward.  We've written a number of articles about the market on our SW Florida Real Estate Market Update Blog

Interest rates have been rising.  Rates are up .6% since the election.  We'll have a new article coming soon about interest rates and how it's affecting the market at the Blog mentioned above.

If you'd like to search the MLS head on over to
You can search the LS, find out what your home is worth, and much more, for Free

Saturday, June 11, 2016

What $500,000 Buys in SW Florida Real Estate Market

Many buyers ask as how much $250,000 or $500,000 can buy in the SW Florida real estate market.  We write articles about lots of statistics and what's going on in the local market, but rarely have we ever answered this exact question.

Well, now you have it.  What $500,000 buys in SW Florida Real Estate Market
Cape Coral Waterfront Pool Home

What $250,000 Buys in SW Florida Real Estate Market
Waterfront Home in Cape Coral $250,000

You can always call us at 239-489-4042 or Search the MLS like a pro   We'd love to help you find your dream home or sell the home you have.  Always call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Fort Myers & The Islands

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Keller Williams Fort Myers & The Island Announces The Ellis Team Has Joined The Company

Keller Williams Fort Myers & The Islands announces that the Ellis Team in Fort Myers has joined the company on April 27th.

To find out more about why Sande and Brett made the move you can read the article from the News Press and their Blog.

If you're an agent contemplating a career move and would like to talk to Sande or Brett, please feel free to call at 239-489-4042

To search the SW Florida MLS visit our SW Florida MLS Property Search

Friday, May 15, 2015

SW Florida Buyer Advantage Program

The Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group introduces it's Buyer Advantage Program tm.

Buyers will now have inside access to one of SW Florida's leading real estate teams.  The Ellis Team lists and sells more property than anybody, but we don't take every listing.  With our new Buyer Advantage Program tm buyers will gain access to the listing appointments we're working on.  If a potential listing sounds interesting they can contact us to arrange early access to see the home.  This is especially helpful in tight inventory markets like we have in SW Florida.

We're also providing an Open House Pass. Buyers hate to be hounded by agents after the open house. If they visit several open houses they have several agents following up trying to sell them something.  It takes the fun out of viewing open houses.  We've got a solution for that.  Simply print out and show them your Open House Badge.  It tells them you're a customer of the Ellis Team and not to bother you.  They can contact our office if they have updates they want to tell you about.  You can give them your name but not all your contact info.

We also have Free Reports for our Buyer Advantage Program members.

We'll be adding benefits and more reports in the future.  We hope you find this program useful, and as always, if you have questions or would like to talk to us, give us a call at 239-489-4042  We're easy to talk to and we like to help people.  We're never pushy and we listen to your needs and help you find what you want.

Always Call the Ellis Team at RE/MAX!

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Updates on Top Agent Website

We've been hard at work updating our website. Not because our site wasn't mobile friendly because it is.  We've been updating neighborhood specific information for consumers.

We've had some new sections and modified some others.

Shadow Wood Preserve
San Carlos Park Homes
New Construction in SW Florida

Danforth Lakes
Bella Casa

We plan on adding more neighborhoods regularly.  If you have an area you'd like to see added we'd like to know.  We've also made it easy to search the MLS inside each of these pages for just properties in that neighborhood versus searching the entire MLS. Sometimes people are looking for a specific neighborhood and this makes it easy.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

San Carlos Park Florida Homes For Sale

We've got some new web pages to tell you about.  The first is our new San Carlos Park Homes page. We've added MLS search for homes directly on the page, so if you're interested in searching San Carlos Park Homes For Sale you can from this page.

We've also recently updated our Trivia page for Fort Myers

We've added links and photos to our SW Florida Entertainment page as well.

My personal favorite is our new Southwest Florida Schools page.  We've got links to all the colleges, high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools in SW Florida.

Stay tuned for an update on our Bella Casa close out sale too.  We had a good weekend March 21 and we're looking forward to doing another close out sale soon.  We have some excellent incentives so if you're in the market for a luxury condo in South Fort Myers at an affordable price, let us know.

We hope you enjoy our new San Carlos Park Homes For Sale page.  We'll be adding more pages soon around Fort Myers so stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Bella Casa Luxury Condominiums in Fort Myers Close-Out Event

Bella Casa Luxury Condominiums in South Fort Myers Florida is holding a builder close-out event this Saturday, March 21.

Bella Casa will have onsite lenders available to help you finance your residence with special incentives. Agents will be available to give you a personalized tour of the units and the amenities.  You'll fall in love with the resort style pool, hot tub, clubhouse, fitness center, and of course the luxury condominiums.

Bella Casa is located on Plantation Rd 1/4 mile North of Daniels Parkway in South Fort Myers.  It is very close to Gulf Coast Hospital, Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox Spring training facilities, FGCU, I-75, Bell Tower shops,and the Fort Myers airport.

Units start in the $130's.  Many people are surprised that they can buy for less than renting.  These units are spectacular.  If you're lease is about up or you're thinking about a 2nd home, this might just be the place for you.

Stop by and see us, we'd love to show you around.  You can come before the crowds on Saturday too if you like.

For more information give our office a call at 239-489-4042

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Bella Casa Luxury Condominiums

Introducing Bella Casa Luxury Condominiums in South Fort Myers.  Bella Casa is located close to everything.  For instance, Bell Tower Shops is within walking distance.  bell Tower offers fine dining, shopping, and movie theaters.  Also within walking distance is Gulf Coast Hospital and the Minnesota Twins Spring Training Complex.

Bella Casa offers 1, 2, and 3 bedroom residences with granite counter tops, luxury resort style pool and spa, clubhouse, tennis court, and much more.

Here is a video of Bella Casa

Search for listings in Bella Casa  We have more to choose from as well.  Call our office at 239-489-4042 and we can get you more information and a list of more brand new condos to choose from.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Bella Casa Luxury Condominiums in South Fort Myers

We want to tell you about a gated condo community in South Fort Myers called Bella Casa.  Bella Casa offers 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom units for sale.

Bella Casa has a heated Resort style pool and spa with clubhouse.  Best of all Bella casa offers low maintenance fees, currently at $213/mo.

The Ellis Team at RE/MAX has several units listed from $134,716 and a 2 bedroom unit for $155,778

An article was just in the News Press over the weekend and that article can be found on the Ellis Team Blog.

Bella Casa Luxury Condos in South Fort Myers

Here is the Bella Casa page on our website  If you'd like to search the MLS for all Bella Casa homes click here.  We have more units than what's in MLS, so there is a sales Center onsite.  If you'd like more information on Bella Casa you can call our office at 239-489-4042

You can watch our SW Florida Market Update Report for January 2015 Here.

Feel free to visit our Google+ Page 

Brett Ellis
Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group
7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr
Fort Myers, FL 33907


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Search the Southwest Florida MLS

We just added a listing sitemap to better list all the MLS listings on the Internet.  This sitemap will tell search engines like Google and Bing where to find property listings in the Greater Fort Myers and the Beaches MLS.

Our Listings Sitemap can be found here.

Don't forget to read about Mortgage rates hitting new lows.

Information provided by:

The Ellis Team
RE/MAX Realty Group
Fort Myers, FL  33907


Visit our website at

Monday, October 06, 2014

Search the MLS in Fort Myers Florida

I was just doing a search for properties on our website at  and I came across a neat way to search for properties.  probably every agent website has one of these but I was impressed with the way the searches were categorized.

For instance, I performed a search for just properties in Fort Myers and it opened up a search page to search only those properties every way imaginable.

Next I tried a search for Cape Coral Florida properties priced between $300,000-$400,000 and 225 matches came up.

I particularly like the listing at 3236 Delilah Dr in cape Coral

Hopefully you'll have fun playing with all the ways to search for properties in SW Florida.

Here is a complete sitemap
Visit our Listing Sitemap

Brett Ellis
RE/MAX Realty Group
7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr
Fort Myers, FL 33907


Thursday, October 04, 2012

October 2012 Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Update

The Ellis Team just released their October 2012 Market Update for SW Florida real estate market.

For more detailed information you can read the full blog on our Top Agent SW Florida Blog

Sales are down as inventory has fallen.  Prices are up over 20% from last year in the Fort Myers and Cape Coral Florida market and are really set to soar as soon as jobs pick up.

Brett Ellis
RE/MAX Realty Group
Fort Myers FL

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hurricane Tips

The Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group in Fort Myers Florida has just posted a video for agents and the public on preparing for an upcoming storm like the one we have right now with Tropical Storm Isaac.

Good luck and be sure to be prepared when an storm is approaching.

Friday, August 10, 2012

National Housing Report Released

The Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group has released a national housing report in conjunction with RE/MAX International and agents across North America.  The study reveals trends from 53 metro markets and agent reports from all across the country with more being added daily.

View the August National Housing Report

Monday, June 18, 2012

Reflection Lakes Fort Myers Map

The Ellis Team at RE/MAX just posted a map of Reflection Lakes that allows the consumer to see homes on a map and see what they are for sale for and what they sold for.  Details are provided on the home including living area, waterfront details, and much more.

You can view the interactive Reflection Lakes Map Here.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Reflection Lakes in Fort Myers Florida Market Update June 2012

Today we're spotlighting a subdivision in South Fort Myers called Reflection Lakes.  We've included a handy map that shows the active, pending, and sold listing YTD.  Let us know if you like it. Simply click on the map.

Reflection Lakes Map

You can also view our latest SW Florida real estate market report for June 2012.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

We just added a new Blog post entitled

Top Tips for Pricing Your Home in Today’s Market

We discuss 5 tips every home seller should know about pricing their home for success in today's market.  Some people rely on the property's assessor's office, or Zillow to value their home.  Most choose the highest value, and we discuss why using these sites may not work to your advantage.  We hope these tips will assist you in pricing your home correctly so you can maximize your value and get your home sold. 

Don't forget to call the Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group in Fort Myers Florida if we can help 239-489-4042

Check out our April 2012 SW Florida Real Estate Market Update to find out what's going on in the SW Florida real estate market.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 2012 SW Florida Real Estate Market Update

The Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group in Fort Myers recently published a video with the latest housing statistics for the Lee County market.  Sale prices are up and inventory is down.

This video goes through pages of graphs and data to illustrate the latest trends in the Fort Myers and Cape Coral real estate markets.

If you'd like to search the MLS, check out our free MLS Search Page

Brett Ellis
RE/MAX Realty Group
7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr
Fort Myers, FL 33907

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Top 10 Tips to Sell Your Home in Today's Market

We just added a new video for sellers with our Top 10 tips for selling your home in today's market.  Can you guess what the top tips are?  Watch the video to find the answers.

We hope you find these tips useful.  If you need an agent in sunny SW Florida to assist you with buying or selling, feel free to call the Ellis Team at RE/MAX, or visit our website for virtual tours, Search the MLS for Free

Brett Ellis
Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group
7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr
Fort Myers, FL 33907


Friday, January 13, 2012

Tax Changes Coming Could Affect Sales in SW Florida

Did you know that beginning January 1, 2013 the IRS will begin taxing forgiven debt on short sales and foreclosures as taxable income?  They will.  This is how it used to be, but in 2007 the Mortgage Relief Act alleviated this for sales of primary residences.

Read all about it at Important Tax News Could Save You Thousands

Watch our January 2102 SW Florida Real Estate Market Report

Search SW Florida  MLS for Free

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ellis Team Releases New SW Florida Daily Newspaper

Check out SW Florida's newest daily online paper, 
The SW Florida Daily News.  We'll update this everyday
 with news you can use from Southwest Florida.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

September 2011 SW Florida Real Estate Video Market Update

We just posted a video update on the state of the SW Florida real estate market which covers Fort Myers real estate, Cape Coral real estate, Ft Myers Beach, Bonita Springs and all of Lee County.

Distressed sales are up in August which could affect prices when official numbers are released next week. Inventory continues to fall. Watch video to get updates on all this and more.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ellis Team Adds Short Sale Specialist as Banks Gear Up For More Short Sales

The Ellis Team recently hired Marisa Morgan, a long time Bank of America Mortgage lender to assist with the banks growing desire to close more short sales instead of foreclosures.  Marisa found herself answering questions from Realtors on how to properly package short sales so the lender would take the offer instead of foreclosing, and she brings that experience to SW Florida and The Ellis Team at RE/MAX in Fort Myers, Florida.

Brett recently wrote an article that will be published in the Fort Myers News Press this weekend entitled Banks Revving Up For More Short Sales. It explains in details the intricacies of a short sale and what to look for in packaging the deal to the lender.  Brett and Marisa also discussed short sales in Cape Coral and Fort Myers on the Future of Real Estate Show entitled "Banks Gearing Up for More Short Sales in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, SW Florida"

Thursday, June 16, 2011

SW Florida Real Estate Inventory Falls Again

Listing inventory in SW Florida has been falling by 500-1400 units per month in 2011. Latest inventory levels have just been released, and once again levels have fallen another 4.38% last month alone.

Each week we release data that we post in the News Press on our Topagent Blog. Look for the media to start picking up on this developing trend in the Fort Myers Cape Coral real estate market.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

SW Florida Distressed Sales Now Less Than Normal Sales

A new report published by the Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group in Fort Myers Florida details that for the first time in years distressed sales in April 2011 were less than traditional or normal sales. Distressed sales fell to 45% of the overall single family market.

Read the full report

Distressed Sales Now Less Than Traditional Sales in SW Florida

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Fort Myers and Cape Coral Real Estate Update Video

This week's Future of Real Estate video show focuses the SW Florida real estate market, particularly Cape Coral and Fort Myers, but also Bonita Springs, Estero, Sanibel Island, Fort Myers Beach and others.

We show graphs illustrating pending home sales, sales prices, closed sales trend lines, and much more. Tune in and watch this week's show.

Our check out our website where you can search MLS watch videos, and learn about SW Florida.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Using QR Codes to Market Real Etate Video

WINK TV recently did a story on using QR codes to market real estate. Watch how this new technology puts power in the hands of the mobile phone user.

To learn more about QR codes and how they work, read more at

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Beautiful Fort Myers Home

AWESOME AND THEN SOME! Amazingly updated 4 bedroom, 3 bath, heated pool home with beautiful slate tiled lanai and Bamboo floors throughout. THE UPGRADES:Gourmet kitchen features Kraftmaid cabinetry with pull-out drawers for maximum storage, granite counter tops, micro-convection oven, warming drawer, 2 drawer Fisher & Paykel dishwashers, wine refrigerator. Luxurious master bath with custom tiled shower and jetted tub. Also custom his/hers closets. New lighting and fans throughout. Home protected with hurricane panels and windows. Terrific floor plan offers privacy for all! And tennis lessons delivered to your own community. Note the children's playground.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Waterfront Condo in Lee County

Gulf Access Condo! And with a rubberneck you can see the water. Close to shopping,and restaurants. Very well kept two bedroom condo with private secure foyer entrance. Spacious rooms and plenty of closet space. Recent upgrades include replumbed, newer stove, dishwasher, water heater and interior paint. Spacious lanai overlooks tropical setting around pool and shuffleboard. Condo dock space is first come first serve. This unit is perfect for winter resident or retirees.$3100 roof assessment paid! Get all the details here

Lee County Waterfront Real Estate

Lovingly cared for canal front home with direct Gulf access sits on a large corner lot with fruit trees and plenty of room for a pool. As you enter you notice the screened front porch with water features which can be enjoyed from the large living area. This North Fort Myers home boasts 2 masters each with their own bath with sunken tub/shower combos. The eat-in kitchen offers newer cabinetry, plus formal dining area. The large Florida room overlooks the canal, dock + davits. For more information go here

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Gem in Reflection Lakes

Looking for great real estate values? Then Lee County is the place to look! Check out this second floor, 3 bedroom, 2 bath Carriage home in beautiful Reflection Lakes. There are upgraded stainless appliances in the kitchen and easy care, wood-like laminate floors in living areas. The Master suite has a luxurious bath with separate shower, tub, dual sinks. To get all the details go here

Pine Island, A Lee County Jewel

Award winning floor plan in St. James City on Pine Island where progress does not thwart nature. If you are a name dropper, you might mention living down the street from the Bald Eagle family- tending their nest. Trade the corporate hustle for serenity-nothing can be built across the street. 7500# or 10,000# boat lifts provide the perfect escape for a day of fishing or island hopping. Muscles aching from catching the big one? Relax in your own private hot tub/spa. If not by boat bring out the float- for the disappearing edge pool. Gorgeous as the pool water appears to cascade into the canal. You might want to keep your new address a secret as this very open design lends itself to entertaining on a grand scale. Go here to get more details!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Stunning Lee County Home

Live the Florida dream in this lovely three bedroom, three bath, pool home. Fabulous location, close to river. Enjoy your private boat lift, 200 yards to the river. Minutes to gulf. Home is loaded with updates. Gated Community. Must see!! For all the details go here!

Incredible Values at All Price Points

This gorgeous 3 bedroom, 3 1/2 bathroom Lee County home is a Short Sale. Professionally done! Give it a 10! The Verandah is a beautiful community offering golf, tennis, fine dining, fitness center, nature trails and so much more all in a fantastic location. Enter the community and drive along the winding roadway edged with plush greenery to the circular driveway up to the 2 1/2 car garage. Once in this stunning home you'll find yourself gazing from floor to ceiling and all points in between. It is a terrific floor plan with every upgrade and gadget. The great room opens to the pool and the outdoor family room complete with fireplace! Call it gracious and comfortable. You will love the custom kitchen and awesome cabinetry, all the upgraded fixtures, the granite, the decor...what's not to like? I could go on and on, but I'll leave it up to you to discover the master bedroom and explore the rest of this gorgeous property. All of this and at a price will below what you may think. Get all the details here!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Lee County Real Estate Offers Excellent Opportunity

This 3 bedroom, 2 bath Cape Coral home is a Short Sale. This family home sits in a nice area of homes. Kitchen has been remodeled with new floors, cabinets, counter tops and appliances. Newer tile in wet areas. Go here for more information!

Good Deals Still Exist in Lee County Real Estate

Take for example this 3 bedroom 2 bath home in Lehigh Acres. It doesn't get better than this! This beautiful home has never been lived in and is the Belvedere floor plan by First Homes. You will love the computer tech center-ideally located. It's an open floor plan with upgraded kitchen cabinets. Appliances will be installed at closing. Go here to get more information on this fantastic opportunity.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

SW Florida Real Estate Market Update September

This week's Future of Real Estate Video Show focuses on the September 2010 SW Florida Real Estate market. In this report we focus on pending sales as they are an indicator of potential future closings, as well as current available listing inventory and put it in historical perspective.

We've seen many reports lately by those who don't track inventory numbers closely so we decided to clear up some of these discrepancies. We've changed the format and gone to a high definition format. Next time we'll work on making sure the screen captures the entire graph.

The graph covers inventory in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres, Bonita Springs, Estero, and all of Lee County Florida real estate.

Visit our website for more information on Lee County real estate, or feel free to search the SW Florida MLS

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Florida's Immigration Law

Lee County Florida Sheriff Mike Scott answers tough questions on this week's Future of Real Estate Video Show.

We ask Sheriff Scott how he enforces traffic stops, how Arizona's immigration Law affects Florida and trafiic stops. Sheriff Scott also answer questions about his budget, red light cameras, school resource officers, and much more. See how his answers affect Fort Myers and Cape Coral real estate. We've broken them into 3 videos.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Property Values Rise in SW Florida in 2009

Overall property values rose in 2009. Check out Pg 4 of the SW Florida State of the Market Report and you'll see the numbers.

New videos were just released illustrating what changes 2009 ushered in and what to look forward to in 2010. View Video 1 Market Update Video From there you can view other submarket videos in Lee County Florida, or view Video 2 overall market update as well.

View a detailed analysis on all 5 Market Report videos for quick information on SW Florida real estate.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

SW Florida Housing Market

The SW Florida real estate market has been heating up for several months. Last month set records for sales, and bank foreclosures have been a main reason. People from all over call us and ask how they can get in on these good deals. We've recently added search functionality on our MLS property search website which allows consumers to search only the bank foreclosures now.

Did you know you can search for bank foreclosures on your own? You can. Here are a few links to get you started:

Cape Coral Foreclosures Under$100k
Cape Coral Waterfront Foreclosures
Fort Myers Bank Foreclosures Under $200k
Fort Myers Bank Foreclosures $200k & Up
Reflection Lakes Foreclosures
Lehigh Acres Bank Foreclosures Under $100k
Lehigh Acres Bank Foreclosures $100k & Up

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Video on Short Sales in Fort Myers and Cape Coral Florida

The Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group just released a video on buying and selling short sales in SW Florida. Banks look for certain things when determining whether to let a short sale go through, and industry experts Brett Ellis of the Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group in Fort Myers Florida and Adrian Jacobs of Countrywide Home Loans in Fort Myers Florida details what that criteria is in this new video and how to be successful buying and selling short sales in SW Florida.

Visit our Blog for the latest on what's happening in SW Florida real estate, or read the article about the video.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Make A Wish Foundation Charity Event in Naples at Galerie Du Soleil Art Gallery

Galerie Du Soleil Art Gallery in Naples is hosting a charity even Saturday October 25 for the Make a Wish Foundation whicg grants wishes for children with emergency medical situations. The even will be from 6-9 PM, and food and wine will be served along with a band. The Even is named Wish to Your Arts Desire

Tickets are only $45 and includes wine, food, and music. To order your tickets call 239-417-3450 or e-mail Deanne Martin at A copy of the brochure can be viewed here.

Food provided by Handsome Harry’s, Campiello’s, Ridgeways and Tommy Bahama.

Sponsored by Naples Packing and Shipping, Bellasera Hotel, Bentley Motors of Naples, Architects Unlimited and Robb & Stucky. Other generous donors include: Amanda Jaron Jewelry, Naples Illustrated, Remax/Ellis Team, The Bob Harden Show, Evelyn and Arthur Boutique, Mac Furniture, Olde Naples Chocolate, Vergina on Fifth Avenue, Naples Princess, Lely Resort, Pazzo! Italian Cafe, Trilogy of Naples, Cafe Luna, Femmes Je Vous Aime, Seraphim Boutique, Julie’s of Naples, Ava’s Flowers, Chop’s, Yabba Island Grill and Blue Water Bistro.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

SW Florida Bank Foreclosures Helping to Add Pending Sales to the Market

The Ellis Team SW Florida real estate Current Market Index has just been released, and pending sales are up significantly again, helping to lead the Index down sharply again in March. SW Florida bank foreclosures are helping to bring affordability into the market. Chec out the Ellis Team at RE/MAX Bank Owned Bargains page to get an idea of what some of these brand new homes that have never ben lived in arre selling for.

Friday, May 25, 2007

SW Florida Real Estate Market Numbers Realeased Today

Statewide Florida real estate numbers were just released by the Florida Association of Realtors. SW Florida numbers are included. Read entire Blog article along with Expert commentary on the SW Florida Real Estate Market.

View Month over Month SW Florida Real Estate Median Prices Graph.

View SW Florida Real Estate Homes Closed 2005-2007 Graph.

View SW Florida Real Estate Sale Prices 2005-2007 Graph.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

First Home Blamed for Bringing Michigan Lender Down

Read entire story and links to Fort Myers News Press article regarding SW Florida Builder First Homes and Michigan credit union.

SW Florida was one of the hottest housing markets in the country, and with that came overbuilding by several builders and investors who failed to accurately evaluate the market. This is a classic example of the "What a Bigger Fool WIll Pay" theory until finally the market collapsed under it's own weight. The rebalancing of the SW Florida real estate market is a healthy thing, although we have seen much pain along the way and the First Home crisis is just another example.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

SW Florida Real Estate Numbers

Latest numbers released by The Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group in Fort Myers Florida shows the reality of how the SW Florida market is performing.

Homes Closed in 2007 is below both 2005 and 2006 levels. Real Estate Prices are between 2005 and 2006 levels, and month over month changes are quite interesting to watch to spot the latest developments. For more SW Florida Housing Statistics, check out our Housing Statistics Webpage.

Feel free to search the Fort Myers and Cape Coral MLS, or visit our Top Agent Website for more SW Florida information.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Record Numbers Protest Lee County Florida Property Taxes

Lee County Florida experienced 2,896 property tax appeals for 2006, in which only 250 were granted. It was a record year as property owners became frustrated by the rising taxes they're paying each year as property values have increased dramatically, while politicians haven't lowered the tax rate to compensate for the steep rise in property values.

2007 will be a different year as assesses values should decrease. Assessed values are based upon the value January 1 of each year, and 2006 was a year in decline, so Jan 1, 2007 numbers should reflect a change downward, although we won't see those numbers until later in the year.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Ellis Team Featured Speaker at RE/MAX Inernational Convention 2007

Brett Ellis of the Ellis Team was a featured speaker at the RE/MAX International convention in Atlanta March 2007. Brett spoke on the topic of Blogging for Fun and Profit. The event was taped for later broadcast on the RE/MAX Satellite Network which is beamed to agents worldwide for training purposes.

Search all SW Florida Real Estate Listings in MLS
View Ellis Team website
SW Florida real estate housing statistics
Future of Real Estate Weekly Radio Show
View our Blog

RE/MAX of FLorida Names Ellis Team Top Agents in State

RE/MAX of Florida announced that The Ellis Team in SW Florida were RE/MAX's top agents in the state in 2006 for closed transactions. The Ellis Team closed more than 1 home per day.

The Ellis Team makes it easy to search for homes on the MLS in SW Florida.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

2007 SW Florida Real Estate State of the Market Report

Our annual State of the Market Report was released yesterday covering real estate in SW Florida. Additional in-depth analysis and predictions can be found in our online supplement.

Brett Ellis
Ellis Team
RE/MAX Realty Group
Fort Myers, FL

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

SW Florida Real Estate Report - October

SW Florida Real Estate sales numbers were just posted. The SW Florida real estate market appears to be leveling off. Click here to read entire article.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Monday, September 25, 2006

SW Florida Real Estate Sales August 2006 Update

Here is the latest Home Sales information for SW Florida real estate for August 2006. Great links to entire State of Florida home sales data, as well as Fort Myers and Cape Coral Florida home sales information.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Florida Home Sales Report July 2006

Find out what's happening across Florida and in particular in Fort Myers, Naples, and Cape Coral Florida real estate markets. Full Story Here.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Lee County Florida Real Estate Blog is Moving

This Blog is moving locations to We will leave current posts here, but all new posts will be at the new location. Please add it to your bookmarks. Thanks for reading and commenting with us, and we look forward to seeing you at the new location.

Brett Ellis

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Cyber Professionals Annual Meeting

CyberProfessionals held their annual meeting May 4th and 5th in Annapolis, MD. CyberProfessionals are leaders in using technology and sharing marketing ideas in the real estate industry.

Brett Ellis of The Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group, leading agents in SW Florida real estate, attended the meeting.

We always enjoy attending this meeting. We enjoy networking and sharing Top ideas from other Top Agents in the industry. Each year we focus on new marketing techniques and ways to make our clients properties stand out, and this year was no exception.

Not only do we focus on marketing, we also focus on better communication with clients, and ways to make our team more efficient. The end result is our clients benefit in untold ways.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Search Reflection Lakes Homes in MLS

Great article on hoe to search for homes in the MLS in Reflection Lakes in Fort Myers, Florida. You can search other real estate in SW Florida as well.

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Sunday, April 09, 2006

New SW Florida Blog Site

The Ellis Team has started a new comprehensive weblog for SW Florida real estate and other local issues. The Blog can be found at The new Blog has many features, including news and information from a variety of sources, subdivision info, and links to schools, county government and more.

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Mixed Report on Home Sales

The Florida Association of Realtors reported home sales for Florida today. They reported a 9% slowdown in single family homes for the Fort Myers/Cape Coral area and a 44% slowdown in condo sales from February 2005. Single family home sales were down 9% from January 2006, and median price was down 2.54% from January 2006.

Condo sales were down 44% from February figures last year as mentioned above. Condo sales were down 14% from January 2006 numbers as well. Median price was actually up 12.78% over January 2006 numbers.

The Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group has reported an increase in sales over last year. This is partially due to a "Flight to Quality" when the market conditions change. Consumers are no longer willing to settle for an agent or company who is perhaps the lowest price. Sellers are demanding more service, more advertising, and better negotiating skills, and just won't settle for less. Sellers realize in a Hot market they could attempt to go with an agent who provided less services, because if the first deal fell through, there were other buyers waiting.

This isn't true anymore. Sellers want aggressive marketing. They realize inventory has risen, and buyers now have choices. They want to be first in line, not at the back of the line. This is why pricing, and the choice of the Listing agent becomes crucial. It really does matter who you list your home with, what services they will provide, and what counseling you will get. The expertise you receive from a seasoned experienced agent varies vastly than from soomeone who hasn't been in the business long enough to see up, down, and sideways housing cycles.

We'll provide some of these differences in a subsequent post.

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Article on Limited Services Brokerages

Are limited service brokers the good deal they advertise themselves to be? A study out of Texas suggests no. The study proves that homes sell for more money the more experience the agent has, among other things. And discount brokers get less for their homes, actually costing the sellers more money than the comission they saved.

So the question is, did the seller really save anyhthing, or did it cost the seller? Answers are provided in the linked article.

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Friday, March 10, 2006

RE/MAX Top 100

The Ellis Team was recently awarded Top 100 Team Internationally out of more than 115,000 sales associates.

The Ellis Team ranked #46 U.S. and #54 Internationally again in 2005. It is a great honor to represent RE/MAX and accept this award. We strive each year to offer the best service, marketing, negotiating, and customer experience to our clients, and each year our hard work and dedication pays off.

We also enjoy sharing with other agents around the country our secrets to success. We feel by sharing what we do well, we help raise the bar for the entire industry, and that makes us all better; Realtors and consumers alike.

We continue to speak and teach at various conventions, Universities, and workshops. By teaching you also learn, and it's also great networking opportunities. Many agents across the country refer to the Ellis Team, which in turn helps our clients sell their homes faster.

If you're looking to buy or sell a home, lot, condo, second home, or investment property in SWFL, please call us. 800-860-4042 We can help.

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Monday, March 06, 2006

RE/MAX Convention Announcement

Major news unveiled at RE/MAX Convention. For the first time in history, and due to public demand, RE/MAX will offer every listing in MLS accross America on their website, It is a large project, and will be phased in. Other companies, like, have tried unsuccessfully to include all listings. Entire boards were able to opt out of That will not be the case with as they are working at the broker and board level.

This is a bonanza for the consumer, because now they will have one place to look for current listings, as well as past sold listing data, demographics, neighborhood information, community, and school information.

This extraordinary announcement helps in another way too. Many unsuspecting consumers would log on to various websites in hopes of obtaing information. What they didn't realize is these websites were collecting their data and then selling to the highest bidder. As a real estate agent, we can't begin to tell you all the offers we receive to purchase consumer data collected from these sites.

The shame of it all is the conusmer thinks they're being referred to the best agents around. Truth is, they were referred to the agent willing to pay the highest referral fee. Because the Best agents have business, they would always pass on the high referral fees. The consumer was left with newer agents or agents who could not attract much business on their own and would take any business at all just before starving. This didn't insure quality service, and in fact, left many consumers with a bad taste in their mouths.

RE/MAX has long been known for the Top agents in the business. By going directly to, you'll be assured of getting a good agent, one who isn't the high bidder for your data. In fact, the data will never be sold. All data collected goes directly to agents in the field to help you. It is not sold to third parties. You also get to remain anonymous until you're ready to contact an agent. This keeps you as the consumer in control.

RE/MAX has a long history of moving the market, and this is one move the customer will surely love.

Of course you can view all listings in Lee County simply by visiting All data provided stays with us, and is never sold. Let us know how we can help you.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

RE/MAX Convention

If there's Big news in real estate, typically it is announced at a RE/MAX convention, the world's most successful real estate company in the World.

RE/MAX not only donminates North America, but also countries accross the globe, and with their significant dominance in the worldwide marketplace, it matters when they make major anouncements.

Each year at convention it is not uncommon for us to learn about major news events, and we'll be sure to pass them along. We'll post to this Blog, and our engineer has armed us with fancy equipment so we can report directly from the floor an interview powerful newsmakers as the news is announced,

Tune in in SWFL to AM 1240 Saturday at 11:00 AM and AM 1270 in Naples. For those outside of SWFL, our radio show is Podcast under Future of Real Estate-SWFL in Itunes, as well as the Podcast Directory.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

2006 State of the Market Report

The real estate market is much like a finely tuned jet airplane. To fly at optimal speed and efficiency, the pilot sets the course at optimal altitude, which provides for greatest speed and least resistance. The SW Florida real estate market flew at high altitude from 2001-2003. In 2004, the jet airplane transformed itself into a space shuttle and left the earth’s atmosphere. For two years the shuttle flew at super sonic speed, at altitudes never experienced before.

2005 was a year where nothing could stop the shuttle. It was flying faster than the engineers said it could, and seemed unstoppable; until the oxygen sprung a leak. Suddenly, the shuttle was forced to return to earth as there wasn’t enough oxygen to sustain this altitude. Like all re-entries, it can be bumpy and chaotic. The 4th Quarter of 2005 wasn’t bumpy or chaotic. It was as if the world had stopped, and we were flying in slow motion. Speed and altitude dropped quickly. Once the shuttle emerged on radar, it didn’t fly like a loud and confident jet airplane. It felt more like a hot air balloon, drifting slowly, silent and quiet, awaiting word on its future course from the tower. The tower didn’t answer. The flight became choppy in the 1st Quarter of 2006 when everyone realized we were back to flying at earthly speeds and altitude. Sellers began to grasp the gravity of the situation, and made adjustments.

The final altitude has not been set. Once our market finds its optimal altitude, it will once again be in balance. Once our market reaches balance, it will again rise, fly at great speeds and take us all to new heights. No one can say for certain what the correct altitude for this market is, or exactly when we will reach it. One thing we can say with certainty is that the market is balancing itself right before our eyes, and quickly. We are starting to see activity pick up again, either from pent-up demand or price corrections, or both. Once the plane levels we believe we’ll be in for another long and smooth ride. This plane will never land.

Download the full State of the Market Report

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Florida Homestaed Exemption Due Soon

If you purchased a home in Florida in 2005, you'll want to file for the Florida Homestead Exemption. Not only will you save approximately $400/yr in taxes, you'll also cap the amount your taxes can go up each year. If you do not file, there is no cap.

To be eligible you must have purchased the home by December 31, 2005 and use the home as your primamry residence. Lee County Florida has a Homestead Exemption Form you can download. Florida is very strict about the property being your primary residence, and they will prosecute you if you cheat. Lee County hires investigators who search for rental listings on the Internet, etc. They even invite the public to tell if they suspect a neighbor is cheating on the exemption, so you only want to fill out this form if you really qualify.

If you purchased in 2006, you'll have to wait until next year to file. If you purchased prior to 2005 and have not filed yet, you still can. If you qulaify, it's a wise decision to file. Do not wait as it can cost you much more than the $400/yr because you won't get the cap.

Florida has two bills pending in the legislature regarding Homestead Exemption Portability. We'll cover what these bills mean to you in a future post.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

2006 Will Be a Year of Transition

Look for 2006 to be a year of change. It changed from a "sellers Market" to a "Buyers Market" seemingly overnight. The reasons are many, and we predicted this was coming last September.

Recently we did a news story for NBC-2. Find the story Here.

Soon we will be publishing our State of the Market Report. To receive a copy, simply call our office at 239-489-4042 and we'll mail you a copy. A few of the graphs from the State of the Market Report were used in the NBC story.

If you are buying or selling real estate in Lee County Florida, you'll definitely want to find out the latest on the market. The market is changing fast, and there will be winners and losers. 2005 was a year of all winners. 2006 will still have lots of winners, unfortunately there will be some losers as well.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Real Estate Numbers May Be Inflated By Duplication

The Ellis Team and NBC-2 broke a story of concern regarding reported housing statistics reported by the Florida Association of Realtors. These numbers have been unintentionally inflated due to multple MLS boards reporting sales on the same home, because the listing agent listed the property into more than one MLS.

When the Realtor closes out the sale in MLS, each MLS reports a sale up to FAR (Florida Association of Realtors). FAR compiles the data and releases a report and chart for the entire state. The report each MLS sends to FAR is raw data, a compilation of summary totals. There is currently no way for FAR to realize the duplicate reportings, so the end report contains inflated data.

This is important for a few reasons:

#1. Billions of dollars worth of decisions are made in the SWFL real estate market, and these numbers are one of the benchmarks builders, developers, investors, businesses, and the buying and selling public use to make decisions about building shopping centers, businesses, homes, communities, and what product mix and at what price points.

#2. Once the duplication problem is rectified, 2006 may appear to be a much worse market because it won't appear to stack up against 2005, even though 2005 was artificially higher than it really was.

#3. The general public reads that homes appreciated at a certain pace, so they believe their home is worth a certain amount. All real estate is local, so because the overall market was believed to be at a certain appreciation rate, it never was fair to expect every home appreciated at the exact same rate anyway. However, the entire market may have been accidently exagerated, so sellers shouldn't draw conclusions about today's market based upon inaccurate data.

If you're considering buying or selling in today's market, it pays to consult a professional. Making a mistake in today's market can cost you in untold ways. We'll discuss how in a later article posted on this Blog.

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

SW Florida Real Estate Podcast

Liesteners have grown accustomed to tuning in to our weekly radio show Saturday's at 11:00 on AM 1240 Ft/Myers and AM 1270 Naples WINK WNOG. Each week we cover real estate issued affecting you, and we explain complex real estate issues and break then down so everyone can understand how they affect the market.

Our show has been broadcast over the air and wordlwide on the Internet for over 3 years. Recently, we took it a step further and have Podcast the show. Simply go to iTunes and search their Podcast for Future of Real Estate- SW Florida or go to and search for Future of Real Estate and you can subscribe to the show for free.

When you subscribe to a Podcast, your computer will automatically download new shows as soon as we post them, so you don't have to worry about a thing. You'll never miss the latest news, and you won't have to sit by the radio Saturday's at 11:00 to find out what's going on in Lee County Florida Real Estate. It's kind of like TIVO for the radio.

Try it, it's handy, and it's free.

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Lee County Florida Real Estate Rises 44% in 2005

Lee County's median price rose 44% in 2005, from $192,700 to $278,200 The number of sales increased 26% from 9,612 in 2004 to 12,123 in 2005 making 2005 another record breaking year. To read the full story, click on the link.

To view a chart of Florida Year End sales statistics, click here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

State of the Market- Mini Update

State of the Market-Mini Update
Here is a look at Inventory levels from random past dates and today. Active represents Active listings by date, and Pending represents properties that were under contract for sale at the time. CMI represents our Current Market Index, which accurately predicts where the market is heading. See Below for Commentary.

Fort Myers Geo Areas


Cape Coral Geo Areas


As you can see, inventory is rising quickly, and the market has swung from a Hot sellers market to a buyers market. The CMI index in October predicted the market would slow, and as you can see, Active listings have swelled while Pending sales have dropped.

We are seeing about a 5 to 1 ratio of new listings entering the market each day to number of homes that go pending, which has lead to a dramatic increase in inventory. How much will this build-up affect prices? Stay tuned and we'll post more Mini-updates on what is happening in SW Florida Real Estate.

Note, we selected certain geographic areas inside our MLS system for same sales comparisons. The Fort Myers and Cape Coral Geo areas do not encompass the Entire Lee County market, there are actually many more listings than what is shown here. We do feel, however, this is an accuratae representation of what is happening all over SW FLorida, regardless of which Geo area homes are located in.

To search for homes for sale, feel free to shop at