The Florida real estate market has its unique challenges, both economically and due to the large number of people purchasing second homes while living elsewhere. Like anywhere, the market has its ups and downs, but regardless of whether it is a sellers’ market or favors the buyers, it is a good idea for the sellers to do some work before potential buyers are shown the property.
Making a good impression
The idea is to do cosmetic and basic maintenance to make a strong impression upon buyers. Ideally, these details make them want to move in or perhaps purchase it as an investment property.
- Less clutter: People have a habit of collecting mementos or have a hard time letting go of objects, but property for sale should have clean surfaces and open shelving. Basements, closets and garages should not be receptacles for old chairs, moving boxes, old clothes, broken toys or anything else. If you are collecting furniture for a new larger living space, move it (as well as anything else not needed regularly) into a storage space.
- Make small repairs: Repaint the kids’ room and touch up the trim around the house. Fix doors that do not shut properly and replace appliances that do not work. The seller should hire someone to do this if they do not have the time, know-how or capability to do the work. Any money invested will likely be returned (and then some) in the closing price.
- Do not forget about the outside: The first impression starts when potential buyers drive up to the house, so mow the grass, replant gardens in need of help, clean up the landscaping, put flowers in pots and flower boxes and get rid of old or unsightly lawn furniture and ornaments.
- Deep clean the house: Dust hard to reach shelves, lighting and fans, wash windows inside and out, scrub bathroom tile and remove mold or stains. Consider renting a carpet shampoo machine to get rid of stains and odors.
- Keep it clean: Real estate agents have a habit of stopping by with clients on short notice, so the house should only need a few minutes preparation. Consider hiring a cleaning service to come in weekly until the house is sold.
A good attorney is also part of the solution
Real estate transactions can be complicated with surprises arising. A knowledgeable real estate attorney prepares the documents, determine trouble spots like title concerns before they become major issues, helps with the negotiation of final agreements and is present at the closing. All this help adds up to a more enjoyable and streamlined closing.