Beach and Bay Today

March 10, 2018

Put Buyer's Minds at Ease and Cash in Your Pockets With These Seller's Market Tips

Photo Credit: Michael Tunnell

Emotions Run High in a Seller's Market

Here in the Gulf Beaches area of Tampa Bay, it's a Seller's market. Inventory is tight, and buyers learn quickly they need to jump on new listings and make lightning-fast offers. That should make it easy for sellers to get top dollar for any property. In a market like this, it would be unusual for a sales contract to unravel over some minor hiccup like a home inspection or appraisal, right?  

nervous-buyer-real-estate-agentWrong. In our experience, this actually increases the chances of a sale falling through over a trivial issue. Why? Because the speed at which buyers have to move in this market gives them no time to grow an emotional bond with your property. Instead, the stress of acting quickly makes buyers feel cornered, defensive...even skittish. They overreact to perceived imperfections. "I'm uncomfortable moving so fast with so much money at risk," their thinking goes, "so this place had better be perfect." When your property turns out to have even the smallest, most fixable flaws, or the appraisal comes in just a little below their offer, buyers in this Seller's Market are more prone to head for the exits or demand a price adjustment!

A broken deal can hurt your property's selling price because it increases the "Days on Market" ("DOM") metric. The longer your home is on the market, the higher that number is and the more likely buyers are to assume something is wrong with it. The result: your list price drops or, worse, you can't sell at an acceptable price at all!

Achieve Top Dollar With a Nervous Buyer's Mindest

So, what do you do? Well, you could just sit back and hope the market cools off, but that wouldn't make sense. This is the time for you to maximize your selling price -- you just have to know how. You could obsess about finding any flaw in your property that might scare buyers. Yes, it's good to evaluate your property with a critical eye, but overdoing it could mean wasting money on improvements that don't bring a higher price.

Instead, try to empathize with the stressed-out buyer's mindset and ask yourself, "How can I help buyers develop a strong emotional bond with my property in the short time available to fall in love with it?" Here are two strategies we have found can make a difference:

  • Effective Staging:

    One critical mistake sellers make in this market is assuming they don't need to pay attention to aesthetics at all - since it will fly off the shelf no matter how it looks. Sellers also tend to over-value their own decorative taste and figure that if they love how their property looks, buyers will too. Your interior decorating was a personal choice you made for yourself, not for others. Decorating is not staging. We encourage you to step away from your own taste and let us help you stage your property so that the buyer's first impression is that they have walked into their own home, not someone else's.  

  • Smart Listing and Showing:

    How a property is listed and marketed conveys important information to a buyer. Research suggests that the timing of when your home appears on the market, the number of photographs in the listing, precision with which it is priced, and even the number of people at an open house can affect buyer behavior, tapping into their desire for certainty and security in a turbulent buying process. We encourage our clients to consider these insights, and we show them how the smallest adjustment in presentation, or how showings are scheduled can help buyers feel safer making an offer.

Accept the facts: hiccups in the inspection and appraisal process happen, and they are mostly out of your control. After you've done what you can on that front, focusing your energies on creating the right environment for your potential buyers in a Seller's Market can go a long way to ensure that the offer you accept will be the price you achieve at the closing table.

Make the Most Money For Your Home With Blackburn Coastal Realty! 

To learn more about how to take advantage of this Seller's Market, Contact Blackburn Coastal Realty today for a confidential consultation. Our marketing plan guarantees maximum exposure through pricing, staging, agent accessibility, and visibility, both online and offline. Our goal is the successful sale of your Gulf Beaches of Tampa Bay home, and at Blackburn Coastal Realty, we don't just achieve that goal - we go above and beyond it.

Positive comments are welcome below (especially from relatives who do not owe me money) and will be posted on our website. Negative comments will be posted on my dartboard office wall.

March 7, 2018

Knockout! Beat the Real Estate Market With These Heavyweight Insights


When it's time to sell your largest asset, you want to make the most money possible. There's a lot of pressure to get it right. But there's so much information out there! You need help interpreting the data - you need someone to guide you through your options and make choices that will deliver the best outcome.

So, you decide to hire a real estate agent to help you. Make the wrong choice, and you may end up forfeiting thousands of dollars a different agent could have helped you achieve. Here are three things to watch for in order to avoid that mistake:

1) Don't Treat the Real Estate Market Like the Stock Market

During the Florida real estate bubble, Realtors treated beach homes and beach condominiums like shares of stock in a company. Forget amenities, forget condition, forget updates; beachfront property became a commodity. In determining what a property was "worth," all that mattered was the prices paid for similar beach properties in the past. 

We all know how that turned out.

And yet, today many Realtors continue to treat real estate market listings like stock quotes. They assume that historical sales prices of "comparable" beach properties are the only reliable benchmark for pricing homes and that they are soothsayers who can predict which way the market winds will blow. Those are huge mistakes.

2) Don't Trust Realtors Who Focus Only on "Comps" and Sales Metrics

The fact of the matter is, no two beach properties are identical, and no real estate agent has a crystal ball. Two beach condominiums with the same floor plan, in the same building, and with the same asking price may performreal-estate-market-realtors-comps-sales-metrics very differently in the market. Why? Because if an agent relies on comps alone to set the list price, he's only looking at WHAT buyers did. To keep a seller from leaving money on the table, a Realtor has to know WHY home buyers paid more for one property than another.

How do you avoid a Realtor who sets list prices by referring only to comparable sales? Dodge the Realtor who touts impressive-sounding (but ultimately arbitrary) metrics like SP/LP Ratio (percentage of list price the sale fetched), and ADOM for their listings. A real estate agent who focuses solely on these metrics has an incentive to underprice listings to keep his numbers up. That's good for the Realtor but very bad for the seller.

3) Don't Expect Buyers to Act Rationally

Because no buyer can put all emotion aside when purchasing a home, pricing your property to get top dollar requires a more nuanced approach. Selling a beach property for top dollar is an exercise in matching an emotion-driven buyer with a unique asset, not selling a commodity to a theoretically rational person.

Listings should be marketed based on assumptions about how home buyers behave, many of which predict buyers to act irrationally. For instance, buyers tend to exhibit a phenomenon known as "anchoring," in which the accuracy with which a property is priced affects their judgment of whether the asking price is accurate. Likewise, the number of potential buyers present at an open house has been shown to constitute "social proof" of the asking price's accuracy. Relying on these crucial insights about buyers' emotional behavior can give you an edge that helps you "beat" the real estate market and get higher prices than comparable sales figures might suggest.

Beat The Real Estate Market - Put Blackburn Coastal Realty in Your Corner!

Revolutionize your home selling experience - let us apply our knowledge of buyer behavior and innovative marketing strategies to your property so you can sell for more.  Contact Blackburn Coastal Realty today for a confidential consultation.

Positive comments are welcome below (especially from relatives who do not owe me money) and will be posted on our website. Negative comments will be posted on my dartboard office wall.

Feb. 28, 2018

Are Home Values Really Overinflated?

Last week, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their most recent Existing Home Sales Report. According to the report:

“The median existing-home price for all housing types in January was $240,500, up 5.8 percent from January 2017 ($227,300). January’s price increase marks the 71st straight month of year-over-year gains.”

Seventy-one consecutive months of price increases may have some concerned that current home values may be overinflated.

However, at the same time, Zillow issued a press release which revealed:

“If the housing bubble and bust had not happened, and home values had instead appreciated at a steady pace, the median home value would be higher than its current value.”

Here are two graphs that help show why home prices are exactly where they should be.

The first graph shows actual median home sales prices from 2000 through 2017.


By itself, this graph could heighten concerns as it shows home values rose in the early 2000s, came tumbling down and are now headed up again. It gives the feel of a rollercoaster ride that is about to take another turn downward.

However, if we also include where prices would naturally be, had there not been a boom & bust, we see a different story.

The blue bars on this graph represent where prices would be if they had increased by the normal annual appreciation rate (3.6%). By adding 3.6% to the actual 2000 price and repeating that for each subsequent year, we can see that prices were overvalued during the boom, undervalued during the bust, and a little bit LOWER than where they should be right now.

Bottom Line

Based on historic appreciation levels, we should be very comfortable that current home values are not overinflated.


Are You Thinking About Selling Your Home Soon?


It’s difficult to know when is the best time to sell, or how to get the most money for your house, but you don’t need to go through the process alone.

You may be wondering if prices are projected to rise or fall…or how much competition you may be facing in your market. The free eGuide on the left will answer many of your questions and likely bring up a few things you haven’t even thought about yet.

Click Here to receive your copy of the eGuide, and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.



Feb. 18, 2018

5 Not-So-Obvious Reasons Why Staging Makes The Home Selling Process Faster

If you're currently trying to sell a home or are thinking about doing so in the near future, you have probably heard of the practice of staging. This professional service for dressing up your home for pictures and viewings is most often thought of as a pure issue of presentation.

Sure, the right furniture arranged elegantly makes your house look more like a magazine and creates more dynamic pictures for your listing, but there are actually more subtle technical reasons to the home staging process as well. It's not just about appearances - staging makes it easier on several levels for buyers to imagine themselves living in a home they're investigating or touring!

Here are five of the less obvious reasons why staging your home makes the home selling process easier by increasing home sale prices and speeding up closings across the board.

1) Home Staging Shows the Realistic Room Dimensions

When you're taking a tour of online home sale images, one thing you may notice is that it is radically more difficult to tell how big empty rooms are or how much of your furniture they will be able to hold. In fact, it's often challenging to tell much difference between large spacious rooms and smaller bedrooms! 

Staging a home provides artfully placed furniture that gives the listing images and touring guests a much clearer idea of how big the rooms are and what uses they could be put to. This makes it easier for home buyers to visualize their own furniture in the space or imagine something new and fun they've always wanted to do with a home. Did you know home buyers stay in a vacant home an average of only 5 minutes but linger in a staged home an average of 40 minutes?

2) Staging Makes Buyers Ready to Move In Immediately

In the centuries of real estate history, it's been proven that the best way to sell a property is to make the prospective home buyers feel at home. You want them to be imagining themselves living in and enjoying the space before they even realize it, and you want them to think that this home will be perfect for the next stage of their life.

This means you want to make it welcoming and ready for them to start their new life immediately. It may seem counterintuitive, but it's true:  a vacant house simply does not give the psychological impression of being ready to move in and start a life, but a staged home does!

3) Proper Staging Shows Buyers How to Use Space

Some rooms have a clear and appealing purpose like kitchens, utility rooms, and bedrooms. However, for office/sitting rooms and living/family rooms, it can often be difficult for buyers to imagine how to best use the space.

You can utilize staging to show off a great family conversation space, mark the best place to put a television, subtly divide an overly large room, or show off how extra space can be used for special purposes like a personal gym or playroom. When buyers see how the home could be used, they have an easier time imagining their own ideas to use the space and the home selling process becomes much faster.

4) Use Home Staging to Visually Update Older Homes

Of course, staging isn't all furniture and decor! Often it goes deeper, taking care of both minor repairs and visual updating. After all, the best way to sell a home is to make it look as close to new as possible. It's the Shiny Penny Theory - almost everyone picks the shiniest penny in a pile. It's not technically worth any more than the others, but it's the one that gets their attention.  

Most buyers are looking for something with neutral wall tones and open living spaces. Staging is a great way to update areas that look particularly dated based on the era the home was built or last renovated in. The lifetime of a trend is about 10 years, so if your home was updated 12-15 years ago, buyers may not consider it up-to-date and move on to the next one. Homes that are refreshed with the current trends in wall color and decor are much more likely to appeal to today's home buyers and give the impression that the home is ready to move into.

5) Staging Makes Room for the Buyers

In many situations during the home selling process, the sellers are not fully moved out while they're trying to sell a home. If you're going to be staging while your own things are still in the house, it's important not to give the impression that potential buyers are intruding.This involves artfully removing most signs of occupation.

Ideally, you want the house to give the impression of being like a hotel suite waiting for someone to unpack their luggage and personalize. This means you must remove your own personality markers from the home. You don't want buyers to get distracted by trying to paint a picture of you in the house - you want them to paint a mental picture of themselves in the space! Stagers can help you identify signs of territory that you may not notice because it's been your home for so long.

Get Help From Blackburn Coastal Realty

Staging is an incredibly useful aspect of selling a home and almost every seller does it to some extent or another. If you need help staging your home to be sold or you have any other questions about the home selling process, contact us now! Blackburn Coastal Realty is your first source for selling a property on or near the Gulf Beaches of Tampa Bay.

Positive comments are welcome (especially from relatives who do not owe me money) and will be posted to our website. Negative comments will be posted on my dartboard office wall.

Feb. 10, 2018

5 Home Staging Hacks You Won't Find Anywhere Else

Get Top Dollar For Your Property With These 5 Easy & Inexpensive Home Staging Tips

Our Top 5 Easy and Inexpensive Home Staging Hacks


1) Hot Water Heater: Scrub It!

How: Go look at the top of your hot water heater. Chances are, it's covered in dust and grime. If you want to prepare your home for selling at top dollar, you need to scrub the top of your hot water heater, including the connecting pipes and tubing. 

Why: Buyers are afraid of two things: missing out and making mistakes. To avoid this, they will check every room of the house, including closets. Buyers are particularly hesitant to purchase homes that they think might have plumbing or electrical issues, and seeing a thick layer of dust on a hot water heater will make them question what else is wrong with your house. Are there more issues underneath the dust? Has important maintenance been deferred? Ease those fears before they arise: scrub that hot water heater!

Cost: Aside from the use of some cleaning supplies you already have, all this home staging tip requires of you is a little bit of time.

2) Window Screens: Remove Them!

How: You know those screens on your windows you hardly ever think about? Before listing, remove them from your windows. Put them somewhere out of sight, like in the garage or a closet.

Why: Most buyers look at photos of houses online before they even consider viewing them in person. In photos of indoor spaces, window screens obscure the view outside that could prove enticing to your buyer. If you have a beautiful coastal view outside, for example, it may read as nothing more than a bluish blur if the photo is taken through a window screen. You want your buyer to admire blue skies and greenery on the HD screens of their phones and tablets while viewing online. Also, once your buyer arrives for the in-person viewing, screenless windows will bathe your rooms in light, making them appear larger and better-lit.  

Cost: The best part of this staging hack? It's totally, 100% free.

3) Bathroom Fixtures: Caulk Them!

How: Check the caulking around your bathtub, sink & toilet. Does it look yellow, peeling, or worn out? Completely revitalize the area with a quick caulk job!

Why: Over time, the caulking around bathroom fixtures will start to show its age. The high rust content in Florida water means the caulking (even in well-cleaned bathrooms) may start to look pink, orange or yellow. As the caulking gets wet and dries repeatedly, it also starts to shrink away and create gaps. This allows water and grime to make their way into these spaces between the caulking and the fixture.  

If you want to properly prepare your home for sale, you need to show your buyers that the home is well-maintained. Re-caulking makes an older toilet seem freshly-installed, reassuring the buyer that they won't have to immediately invest in expensive new bathroom fixtures. In addition to newer-looking fixtures, fresh caulking makes your bathroom look clean and well-maintained. 

Cost: This is our first home staging tip that costs money, but it's still cheap! For under $3, you can buy a caulking gun. Refills will only run you about $2.50 to $6.00 each. Pretty cheap for a brand-new looking bathroom! 

4) The Air Handler: Clean and Re-insulate!

How: When's the last time you thought about your AC's air handler? Clean the tops and sides of the air handler on your air conditioning system. Replace the old, cracked foam insulators to make the entire system look brand-new and fully-functioning. 

Why:  Every home buyer has heard a nightmare story about a new home gone wrong. Maybe their friend purchased a house with an old AC unit that needed to be replaced two weeks after closing. They'll be on the look-out for clues about expensive replacements and renovations.

Just like with the hot water heater, a dirty air handler will signal to your buyer that the home has not been properly maintained. Because of the constant condensation around the air handler, foam pipes will start deteriorating relatively quickly. When your buyer sees this, they'll wonder what else is dirty and falling apart. Keep this fact off your prospective buyer's mind with proper home staging, which will present it as move-in ready.

Cost: Foam insulation is relatively inexpensive. For under $10, you can cover 6 feet of pipe!

5) Under the Kitchen Sink: Clean & Line!

How: Check out the space under your kitchen sink. We open and close this door so many times that we may get Visual Amnesia: we don't even notice how dirty or cluttered it's gotten! If you have a mess down there (which, let's be honest, many of us do), spend a few minutes de-cluttering and scrubbing. To really present the absolute best under-the-sink condition, you can even consider new shelf liners. 

Why:  Remember that your buyer is looking at everything in your home with critical eyes. It's a fact: while women will always check out the bedroom closets, men will check under the sink! Cleaning products kept under the sink spill and create stains, but buyers don't know that, so it makes them suspicious of plumbing problems. Also, your goal in presenting a new home is to make your buyer feel like their life will be easier, cleaner, and more organized right off the bat. You can do just that with this home staging technique!

Cost: For a classy look under $15, check out these easy-to-install graphite sink shelf liners.

Make Your Home a Buyer's Dream & Get Top Dollar!

Moving from one house to another is a symbolic gesture: out with the old, in with the new. The new buyer wants to think that the bathroom will always stay clean, the closets will remain orderly, the spice rack will remain stocked and organized, and every sock will find its drawer. They want a dream home.

As a seller, make sure your house projects that cleanliness and organization. These simple and inexpensive staging hacks will show buyers the best of your home, ease their anxieties, and make them look forward to a clean, bright, and organized "new" house. This will present your home as the dream home the buyer is searching for, setting up your house for selling success and setting you up to get top dollar for your property.

Tired of Empty Promises From Realtors?

If you've taken these 5 staging hacks and applied them to your house, but you still need help to get the money your property deserves, don't waste your time looking at other realtors - Blackburn Coastal Realty is absolutely who you should turn to! We will help your home find a happy buyer and make sure you get the money you deserve! Click below to get started:

                    Positive comments are welcome (especially from relatives who do not owe me money) and will be posted on our website. Negative comments will be posted on my dartboard office wall. 


Feb. 9, 2018

Fresh Listings Friday: Across the Beach and Bay Today

The Beach is HOT!

Coastal Living magazine says the hottest real estate markets are on the beach. Not a surprise, right?  But having our own Beach and Bay area rank #4 of the Top 10 coastal areas? That's what I call big news!

The Tampa-St Petersburg-Clearwater metro area is sometimes referred to as "Tampa Bay" because of its proximity to Tampa Bay, on Florida's Gulf Coast. Across the globe, the average citizen may associate the Gulf Coast of Florida with one of those awesome cities -- Tampa, St Petersburg or Clearwater - but they might not recognize the names of the many smaller beach towns on the barrier islands of the area. That's a shame because they are quaint, sometimes quirky and definitely affordable!

Click the boxes below to see what's available right now.





Don't wait - the best deals sell quickly! Call or text (727) 599-5418 right away if you'd like to see any of the properties featured in the links above. 

Make this your year - the year you finally buy the beach condo or cottage you've been dreaming about!

Positive comments are welcome (especially from relatives who do not owe me money) and will be posted on our website. Negative comments will be posted on my dartboard office wall.

Jan. 28, 2018

Why You Should be Staging Your Home in a Seller's Market


Photo Credit: Michael Tunnell 

Take a look at this absolutely stunning condo - there's no way it had to be staged to be sold, right? Wrong! Read this article to understand why home staging is so important, and then we'll revisit this gorgeous home...


If you have started looking into selling your home in the last year, you have probably noticed that buyers are scrambling for opportunities. In the real estate world, this is known as a Seller's Market, meaning that the ratio of homes for sale to buyers is distinctly in the seller's favor. In waterfront areas especially, home prices are rising steadily and many sellers are seeing an avalanche of favorable offers, often within the first month of putting up a listing. Between people buying up and holding onto investment properties and the increasing number of successful families looking for a second or vacation home, there just aren't enough beachfront opportunities for everyone!

What to Expect in a Seller's Market

But what exactly does a seller's market mean for you and your home sale this year? It's not quite as cut-and-dried as it seems. A seller's market means that there's a high demand for homes, but it doesn't automatically result in buyers falling in love with your property and committing to a purchase as quickly as most sellers would like. Even if you get a flood of interested buyers immediately after listing, that interest can dry up just as quickly if inspection or appraisal results aren't perfect or if a more appealing option appears within an hour of your location.

While it may seem like your property is going to fly off the market, in reality, unstaged homes in a seller's market often go back on the market multiple times, at lower and lower values, as uncommitted buyers retract their offers after realizing they're not really in love with your property.

The List vs The Love - What Really Sells a House

When wondering how to deal with your fickle buyers who show interest but then disappear, ask yourself how you would buy a house. There are two major factors in choosing a new home that are known in the real estate industry as "The List" and "The Love". The List is what the buyer thinks they want from a home and what they'd tell a real estate agent to find for them. The Love, on the other hand, is when the buyer starts imagining their new life in a home before they even count the bedrooms!

To sell your home, you want to do your best to appeal to both The List and The Love. While everything about the home should be as updated and polished as possible, what you really want to do is show your potential buyers what it'd be like if they already lived in the home. You want them to feel "at home" the moment they step through the door, and that's where staging comes in. Buyers who are in love with a home will agree to higher prices, overlook minor flaws, and commit fully to buying your house without a second thought.

Staging Reveals the Human Side of a Home

Standing empty, a home looks like nothing more than walls, floors, and a few appliances. When touring an empty house, no emotional connection is established. All your buyers see are empty rooms and echoing footsteps, not a welcoming place to relax. Home staging completely changes that. With the addition of a few strategically chosen pieces of furniture and subtly neutral but targeted decor, you can transform those empty rooms into a cozy residence.

A little applied interior decorating like updated wall paint, color-coordinated accents, and subtly inviting furniture arrangements make it clear that someone with style could live in the home you're trying to sell. The real magic, however, is in the little touches. A pair of martini glasses on the sun-drenched balcony, a bowl of fruit on the kitchen island, and a breakfast tray on the master bed leave the impression that a truly relaxed homeowner just stepped out... and that your buyers could step right into their comfortable life in your home as easily as they can breathe in the lovely lingering scent of cinnamon.


Why Stage in a Seller's Market?

When buyers are lining up at your door to for showings, it can be easy to wonder if home staging is even worth the effort. After seeing hundreds of buyers go through this experience, let me assure you: It is! Staging helps buyers to see your house not just as a residential property on the market, but as a home they will be happy in. Buyers who fall in love with a house are nearly 30% more likely to be alright with minor issues with the inspection or appraisal and agree with your assessment of home value because they can see the charm and comfort that the property has to offer.

How Can Blackburn Coastal Realty Help You?

Let's revisit the condo from above. That stunning condo was built in 1980, but had been completely updated by the owners. Everything was neutral, timeless, calming. It was really beautiful. The owner had excellent taste. But decorating is not staging and vice versa. I knew it needed something to make the rooms look bigger so it would photograph better, with an arrangement of furniture that would instantly draw buyers into the room toward the view. I brought my staging assistant and we worked non-stop for 2 ½ hours, moving furniture, switching artwork from one wall to another, and re-arranging accessories.

Guess what?

We had 3 showings right away and were under contract by the 12th day with a buyer who was on a cruise when she checked her email and saw the video (shown below) sent by her Realtor. That's right - they made an offer without having seen the home in person. They paid cash, no contingencies, $555,000 - the highest price paid for a 2 bedroom beach condo in that building since the real estate bubble. 

That's the power of home staging, and that's the power of Blackburn Coastal Realty. The reason for preparing your home for sale is purely financial. It is so you can sell your property for more...and faster than you would have otherwise. Now that you know why home staging is so important in a seller's market, don't let that knowledge go to waste - contact us today!

Blackburn Coastal Realty is your first source for selling property on or near the Gulf Beaches of Tampa Bay, and we guarantee to make the home staging and home selling process a breeze.


Jan. 19, 2018

Hottest New Beach and Bay Listings

The Beach is HOT!

Coastal Living magazine says the hottest real estate markets are on the beach. Not a surprise, right?  But having our own Beach and Bay area rank #4 of the Top 10 coastal areas? That's what I call big news!

The Tampa-St Petersburg-Clearwater metro area is sometimes referred to as "Tampa Bay" because of its proximity to Tampa Bay, on Florida's Gulf Coast. Across the globe, the average citizen may associate the Gulf Coast of Florida with one of those awesome cities -- Tampa, St Petersburg or Clearwater - but they might not recognize the names of the many smaller beach towns on the barrier islands of the area. That's a shame because they are quaint, sometimes quirky and definitely affordable!

Click the boxes below to see what's available right now.





Don't wait - the best deals sell quickly! Call or text (727) 599-5418 right away if you'd like to see any of the properties featured in the links above. 

Make this your year - the year you finally buy the beach condo or cottage you've been dreaming about!

Dec. 31, 2017

3 Services Essential in the Home Selling Process


Selling a home is a complex process. 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 consider:

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


Photo courtesy of Quigley Inspection ServicesThe 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 (photo courtesy of Quigley Inspection Services).


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