“Overpriced” Listings Hampering Real Estate Sales in Lee

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The housing market has slowed down from and its 2015 rush, and according to some analysts, it’s sellers that are responsible.

B.E.A.R., the real estate trade association which covers the Bonita Springs and Estero areas, reported that sales have dropped by 13 percent over the past year, and an 18 percent drop in pending sales.

“Sellers have not yet come to understand the shift in the market,” stated D. Michael Burke, 2016 B.E.A.R. President, Team Michael Burke, Keller Williams Realty. “This shift requires lowering prices to real market value to generate sales activity, but many sellers have not realized this yet.”

Much as is the case in Naples, sales in South Lee have slowed, while inventories have picked up. While prices rose by near double-digits throughout Southwest Florida over the last year, much of those gains appear to be what were extremely limited inventories pushing up prices on what few homes were on the market.

A year ago, the area had just nine weeks’ worth of inventory on hand. Today, that’s nearly doubled.

As many sellers see dollar signs in the sold listings around them and just into the market, realtors are struggling to get buyers to bite on prices they believe are too high. In its report, B.E.A.R. reported that open house activity has slowed to a near halt, “as they know that the most powerful marketing is useless if the price is not marketable.”

Listing prices have only tracked upward over the last two years, with listings going for an average of $244 per square foot in May, an increase of 5.8 percent over the past year, while the average listing price has jumped 13.5 percent.

Problem is, by B.E.A.R.’s own analysis, these properties aren’t worth that much. Based off the group’s valuations, the average listing price is around $12,000 more than its estimated value.

“Buyers are savvy and they know the difference between a property that is priced right and one that is overpriced because they are able to do their research online before they contact an agent,” said Jerry Murphy of Downing-Frye Realty.


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Photo courtesy House Sold by: American Advisors Group/(CC by 2.0)

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