The Gulf Beaches of Tampa Bay Real Estate News

Dec. 31, 2017

3 Services Essential in the Home Selling Process


Selling a home is a complex process. On one hand, you are moving out, detaching your personal feelings, and preparing for a new financial and residential life somewhere new. On the other hand, the buyers are looking for a place that ignites their imagination and makes them picture years full of future happy memories.

Making this transition is difficult and the skills required to do it will usually involve a collection of professionals. Not only do you need a real estate agent to manage the marketing, paperwork, and industry side of things, you may also want help preparing your home for sale. Most home sellers have found that professionally staging their homes drastically increases buyer interest while selling houses faster and at better prices.

Here are 3 home services every home seller needs to know about:

1) Professional Deep Cleaning


The first step in preparing any home to sell is to get it back to a pristine, non-resident condition. This means that everything from the carpet pads to the textured ceiling needs to be refreshed back to as new a state as possible.

Home sellers may choose to do a little renovation by replacing old floors or repainting during this stage, but the absolute minimum is a deep clean. Ideally, you will consider several services and sort what you can and can't do for yourself. Polishing every surface and steam cleaning the carpets is a good place to start, but you should consider cleaning everything from the AC vents (when buyers see clean air conditioning vents, they conclude the AC system has been well-maintained) to pressure washing the driveway. The more your house looks brand-new, the better!


Home Prep Cleaning Services:


  • Maid Service - One time deep clean, sometimes called "spring cleaning".

  • Carpet Treatment - Restore color and remove stains.

  • Air Duct Cleaning - Clears out years of built-up dust, improves interior air quality

  • Landscaping - Make your yard inviting and add curb appeal. If landscaping the whole yard won't fit your budget, sprinkle some red mulch around trees, shrubs & flower beds to give your yard a polished look for less. (Ask me why it HAS to be red mulch!)


2) Full Home Inspection


The home inspection is the #1 killer of signed contracts in the home selling process. Having a professional inspection before the home selling transaction begins takes the emotion out of the home inspection process by eliminating the unknowns that can delay or sabotage the home sale. So don't wait until your home is under contract to look ‘under the hood’ - take the guesswork out of the home selling transaction! Before listing your home for sale, have it fully inspected from the roof to the appliances you're leaving. If there are any issues, resolve to fix them or sell 'as is'.

Another benefit of the home seller's inspection is that having the home inspection report available to potential home buyers makes your home stand out next to the competition. It's the difference between buying a used car and buying a certified pre-owned car. This level of transparency can shave 10-15 days from the time between contract and close because it eliminates the need for a home inspection contingency.


3) Staging Service


Finally, when your home is completely pristine and certified as comfortable and safe to live in, it's time to prepare it for photos and home tours.

Whether your home is occupied or vacant during the home selling period, a professional staging service is essential in making the home selling process easier because it helps your home appeal to the largest number of buyers. A home staging service will drive your home selling price higher by showing off your home's best features while minimizing its flaws and allowing the buyer to make a psychological connection with the home you are selling. It also makes your home look significantly better in online photos. Remember, Web Appeal is today's Curb Appeal!

When buyers walk into a home that smells fresh, has neutral colors that make it feel move-in ready, and has a furniture arrangement that makes it easy to walk around each room, they will have an easier time picturing themselves living there. Did you know that buyers linger longer in a furnished room? And the longer buyers stay in your home, the more likely they are to make an offer. Buyers need a place to sit and "drink in" the surroundings and develop an emotional connection with the property. 

Consider pictures you may have seen in magazines or on television of beautiful rooms. In the process of home selling the way the furniture is placed, the items on the tables, and even the way the carpets are vacuumed is a type of visual merchandising known as staging

Are you looking to sell your home? Do you need help determining which services are right for you? Please contact us today - we're the best in the business and we'll make the home selling process easier than you ever imagined it could be!

Dec. 22, 2017

Jaw-Popping Before & After Staging Pics

Jaw-Dropping Transformation

Before and After

I know home staging works wonders in getting homes sold quickly and for the highest price (based on my personal experience and oh, about a dozen TV shows!), but I never get tired of seeing before-and-after photos of how space can be transformed to appeal to more buyers.

<<<Click this photo to see more!

 To find out how we can transform your space to get Top Dollar without spending Top Dollar, call or text (727) 599-5418 or

Sept. 12, 2017

Hurricane Irma and The Law of Unintended Consequences

Preparing to evacuate before Hurricane Irma's visit, we moved our balcony furniture in to the master bedroom for safekeeping. The hurricane has passed and the Barrier Islands on the west coast of Florida survived, relatively unscathed - no storm surge, just some wind damage (mainly to native plants and trees). We are back home but have no electricity, which means no AC. Duke Energy is supposed to be coming to the rescue soon. Ugh! I wanted to be as close as possible to a breeze and have been working here all day with the sliders open, enjoying the sights and sounds of the water, drinking my coffee & using my battery-powered laptop. I don't have a water view in my office and did not know what I was missing until Irma dropped by. I love seeing the water -- it's why so many folks want to move here, despite the potential downside. And I LOVE having these high, comfy chairs and sturdy table in the bedroom. I'm keeping them here! Sometimes the law of unintended consequences has a positive effect and the thing we fear the worst has a sliver of a silver lining.

 Blackburn Coastal Realty is a small company that works hard to do BIG things for our clients. I hope you will consider hiring us as your real estate broker the next time you're thinking of selling your property.

#coastalliving #waterfrontproperty #floridalifestyle #blackburncoastalrealty #jennieblackburn #irma #irmagerd

Aug. 6, 2017

Home Staging Cuts Time on Market

Home staging offers a distinct advantage for sellers: a speedy sale.

Sixty-two percent of sellers’ agents believe staging a home cuts down the time it spends on-market, with the majority believing it “greatly” reduces the window, according to the new 2017 Profile of Home Staging from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Seventy-seven percent of buyers’ agents believe staging a home helps buyers envision themselves living in it, and 40 percent believe it prompts buyers who first saw the home online to visit it in person.

Staging can also have a positive effect on home value. Thirty-one percent of buyers’ agents and 29 percent of sellers’ agents believe it adds anywhere from 1 to 5 percent, while 13 percent of buyers’ agents believe 6 to 10 percent and 21 percent of sellers’ agents believe 8 to 10 percent. The cost of staging is often fronted by the seller or sellers’ agent.

Buyers’ agents caution, however, that staging is only beneficial if the home is staged to appeal to general, not specific, preferences. Most buyers’ and sellers’ agents believe the living room is a key space to stage, as well as the kitchen, the master bedroom and the yard. They also believe decluttering, depersonalizing and a deep clean—beyond staging—are essential for a show-ready home.

Thirty-eight percent of sellers’ agents stage all of their listings before placing them on the market, while 14 percent only stage listings that require it. A near-even 37 percent do not stage their listings at all.

“REALTORS® know how important it is for buyers to be able to picture themselves living in a home and, according to NAR’s most recent report, staging a home makes that process much easier for potential buyers,” says NAR President Bill Brown. “While all real estate is local, and many factors play into what a home is worth and how much buyers are willing to pay for it, staging can be the extra step sellers take to help sell their home more quickly and for a higher dollar value.” 

For more information, please visit

Getting your property in "Show-Ready" shape is one of the many pre-marketing services we provide to our clients and is included in our fees, which are paid at closing. For more information, all/text Jennie (727) 599-5418 or email

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Posted in Home Staging
July 30, 2017

Why It's Dangerous To Sell Real Estate Based on Price Alone.

I want to give you the insider’s perspective on how to get the most from your home sale (as well as to clear up a few misconceptions).

Even if a home sale is not a current concern, I’d recommend filing this information. You never know when it will be time to prepare.

Here’s the Inside Scoop

Let’s clear something up right now-- putting too much emphasis on pricing a home in order to ensure its sale is a mistake. Yes, a competitive and market-relevant price holds value. But it’s not the only factor.

Merchandising -

Is the art of presenting a product so it stands out and is crucial for distinguishing your home from its competition. It’s what we use to trigger an emotional response from prospective buyers so that they put your home at the top of their list of “must see” homes for sale (click here for an example of the work Bill and I have done). Merchandising is not only what sells homes, it’s what sells homes for more.

Marketing -

An artful presentation is worthless if the word doesn’t get out that your home is for sale. That’s why a no-holds-barred marketing strategy is vital. Marketing allows us to deliver your home to its maximum number of buyers (Bill and I do this on an international scale). More prospects = more potential for multiple offers.

Put simply, the value of a property is determined by what a buyer is willing to pay for it. This bears repeating: Buyers set the market price. If the combination of merchandising and marketing has multiple buyers making offers, you’ve upped your home’s value. With the right strategies in place, buyers will see your house as a great value for the money, and they’ll want to snatch it up before someone else does!

Up Your Value

Most considering selling their home start planning months in advance. This includes making improvements that may increase their home’s selling price.

I beg you-- get in touch with me first. If you’re thinking of selling your home and would like to make some changes, give me a call (727-599-5418). I’ve seen many, many unnecessary upgrades that did not lead to great returns. Don’t throw your money away on fixes that don’t add value!

However, it’s amazing how a few fresh coats of paint can transform a space-- if you’re painting with the right colors. With tens of thousands of paint colors to choose from, how do you know which will be the most updated, appealing colors to homebuyers? And since every home is different, how do you know which colors to choose for YOUR home? One paint color does not fit all. If you’re even thinking about painting your home to prepare for a potential sale, get in touch with me. Really. Because I have an actual toolkit that I use to determine the best colors to make the most positive visual difference in your home. This is a service I provide for free. I’ll be happy to swing by anytime to help: 727-599-5418. 


Bill and I hope the season has been good to you so far. As always, if you have any real estate questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. We love to be a resource for you: 727-599-5418.


July 29, 2017

$55,000 Price Change - 4 Bedroom Beach Condo Awesome Gulf Views

Won't Last At This Price!

It's not rocket science. It's the beach! And beach life is different. Because here, time doesn't move hour to hour. You'll have to learn to live by the current, plan by the tides & follow the sun in this bright 4 Bedroom, 2 Bath beach front condo. HEY!! CHECK OUT THE JAW-DROPPING DRONE & INTERIOR WALK-THROUGH VIDEO! With the kitchen open to the main living area, you can mix pina coladas without missing any of the fun or the captivating views of the Gulf of Mexico. Because of the easy-care ceramic tile, clean-up is a breeze. In addition to the 1,835 square feet is a ground floor storage closet, large covered balcony, and covered parking. Condos DIRECTLY FACING THE GULF in smaller (only 12 units in Mariners Light) buildings do not come on the market very often & when they do, they sell quickly. When family & friends aren’t using the condo, you can cover expenses by renting it to vacationers. The current owners consistently covered their costs (taxes, condo fees, etc.) by just renting it Jan-Mar/Apr. This condo is in excellent condition & being offered furnished including washer, dryer, electric storm shutters, dual-zoned A/C, ground floor storage unit & under building parking. Tired of paying kennel fees & coming home to a stressed out pet? Large pets are allowed so you AND Fido get a vacation! There's a sunset every day at the Mariners Light & they're absolutely free. Don't miss a single one! Call today to see this beautiful furnished beach condo! Click the link below for all info, photos & pricing:

16332 Gulf Blvd Apt 3C Redington Beach FL 33708

Or call/text Jennie at (727) 599-5418.


Posted in Price Change
July 29, 2017

9 Things You Should Do on the Day You're Showing Your Home

During the home buying and selling process, showing your abode can be both stressful and exciting. It’s your chance to present your space at its best so that potential homebuyers can picture themselves making it their own. Let us help you break down the home staging and prep process so that you can tackle the cleaning, organizing, and arranging in a manageable manner. With just a few easy tips for selling your house, you’ll be ready for a real estate showing or open house in no time.

1. Remove Personal Items

Walk through your home with a box, and remove any photos displayed on tabletops or hung on your refrigerator. It’s important to keep personal items out of sight so that the families walking through the home can picture themselves there.

2. Keep Things Squeaky Clean

When your home is being shown to potential buyers, it’s vital for the space to be as clean as possible, and that doesn’t just mean boxing up the toys and fluffing the pillows. Be sure to vacuum the floors and carpets and wipe down all surfaces. (It also doesn’t hurt to take a second or third run at everything with a broom and duster, just in case.)

3. Showcase the Selling Points

Think about the most attractive features of your home, and try to showcase those as much as possible. If you have great hardwood floors, don’t hide them with rugs. If you have a beautiful mantel, don’t draw attention away from it with bold art or showy design objects.

4. Empty the Trash Cans

No one wants to encounter strangers’ trash when they’re touring a home, so be sure to empty all of the home’s garbage bins the morning before the showing.

5. Add Fresh Flowers

A few vases of fresh flowers can go a long way to making your home feel warm and inviting. Arrange a simple vase of flowers on the dining room table or wherever it feels natural and organic to display flowers in your home. Stop by the grocery store for a few bouquets, and follow our instructions for making the most of inexpensive flowers.

6. Make Sure Your Home Smells Lovely

Scent is a strong sense, and when people walk into your home, you want it to smell fresh and clean, but not overwhelming. Open the windows the day before the showing to air out any odors, and add subtle fragrance in key areas, but only if you need to. Don’t spray any super strong scents. Keep things neutral and natural, fresh and clean.

7. Keep Clutter to a Minimum

One of the most important features for potential homebuyers to see is the architecture of your home. While you may love some of your interior design choices, pare down any extraneous distractions, whether that’s a mass of pillows, objets d'art, or bulky storage features. Get rid of anything than can be construed as clutter so that visitors’ eyes are focused on the basics.

8. Act Like a Buyer

Walk through your home as if you were a potential buyer. This will allow you to notice any awkward furniture arrangements or any impediments to the flow of movement through the home. You certainly don’t want anyone to trip over a hidden ottoman.

9. Stow Your Valuables

Lock away any valuables, like jewelry, electronics, or important paperwork. Anything you wouldn’t want a stranger to access should be hidden away—or powered off, in the case of desktop computers.

Get an Instant, Accurate Home Valuation or Find Your Next Home today!


<<Reposted from>>

July 20, 2017

Just Listed - Updated 3 Bed 2 Bath

Won't Last At This Price!

Words cannot do this house justice -- that's why we have 25 pictures!! This light-filled, solid block home features 3 bedrooms, 2 baths & is tucked into a small, tree-lined neighborhood. The sparkling kitchen has been completely updated with new soft-close cabinets, hand-picked granite countertops & stainless steel appliances and is the anchor for this home’s wonderful open layout. With 4 bonus closets and smart floor plan, this home lives much larger than its 1,484 square feet would indicate. With the kitchen open to the main living area, you can prepare your favorite recipes without missing any of the fun! You’ll enjoy peace of mind and years of comfort knowing that the A/C & roof are 5-6 years new and the fascia was replaced 1 year ago. Also features new windows & interior doors, sprinkler system, and fresh paint inside & out. One car garage has new garage door and floor has been protected from damage and wear with fresh coat of epoxy shield. Fenced yard is great for a pet, swing set, or garden…or a bit of all three! Backing up to masonic lodge and St Paul’s campus adds to private, spacious feeling. Because everything you need is close by, you can run your errands in minutes, giving you more time to spend doing what you LOVE to do instead of what you have to do. Great starter home, solid rental potential or 2nd home. Call today to setup a private showing. Don’t wait to see it – the good ones at this price point go under contract quickly. Click the link below for more info, photos & pricing:

1144 Woodbrook Dr Largo, FL 33770

Or call/text Jennie at (727) 599-5418.


Posted in New Listing
June 21, 2017

Drop The Mic By Redington Shores Homes

The best buffalo wings are served near Redington Shores homes. Hungry souls are welcomed with open arms to the Friendly Tavern. Here’s there is great food and even better company. Entertainment is high energy with karaoke on the stage every night. Happy hour is daily making this a great gathering place after work or meeting up with friends. An outdoor patio is perfect for enjoying the beautiful Florida weather. And, there’s tons of fun taking place outside at the tiki bar too.

Dinner Is Served On Redington Shores Property

When hunger strikes residents of Redington Shores property head on over. Breakfast is an eye opener. Omelettes are flavorfully fluffy. Locals love the Greek Omelette but others prefer to build their own. Traditional egg plates are paired with meat and potatoes. Egg sandwiches are handfuls of goodness. Slices of french toasts and stacks of pancakes are covered in sweet syrup. Lunch is light yet satisfying. Salads, soups, and sandwiches are made to order. Dinnertime is filled with good food and many choices. Friendly’s famous wings come hot, medium, mild, BBQ or garlic. Steamed clams, potato skins and crab stuffed mushrooms are great for snacking. Dinnertime is filled with good food including pasta, steak and fresh seafood.

Locals living in Redington Shores take advantage of Friendly Tavern’s take out service. Ordering is easy and can be made by calling 727.393.4470.


June 20, 2017

Redington Shores Property Was Made For Play

Redington Shores property parks are waiting for residents to play. Barbeques and cookouts are often held at Constitution Park. Here facilities are available for hosting small gatherings such as family reunions and birthday bashes. Shady trees fill the grounds perfect for laying out a blanket and enjoying a picnic lunch. Benches are ideally placed alongside the playground. Here laughter is constantly heard from children living in Redington Shores homes as the climb, swing and jump. Friendly competition is found on the courts. Great games of basketball, handball and volleyball are usually in full swing.

Del Bello Park is a wonderful for bird watching and breathing in some solitude. This refuge for nature has two small pavilions providing shade. Benches are scattered about scenic viewpoints. Many a great catch is caught off the fishing dock. Colorful kayaks are eased into adventures from the park launch point. Those seeking to improve their physique have an opportunity to work out at the park. Various fitness equipment are onsite including a rowing and rider machine and two Air Striders.

It’s Time For Tennis For Those Living In Redington Shores

Thelma Spitzer Park offers a quiet corner for youngsters. The playground here is perfect for playgroups and outings for parents with little ones. Nearby there’s lots of lobbing back and forth on the local tennis court found at 18325 Gulf Boulevard. Open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. day and night games are both possible. A small fishing dock brings fisherman forth and an open space calls to fans of pickle ball. Learn more about Redington Shores property parks here.