First impressions are everything. This is as true in the world of real estate as in any other. When a potential buyer first walks into a home, the first things they see (and smell) play a huge role in determining their interest. If your home makes a great first impression, you'll have an easier time making a sale — and you'll probably get higher offers, too. After years of experience, our real estate agents know this to be true!
One of the ways you can improve your home's first impression is by steam cleaning the carpets prior to your first showing or open house. Why is steam cleaning so important? Take a look.
Preparing your home for a showing can go a long way toward helping you find the perfect buyer. If you're thinking about selling and are looking for an agent to represent you, feel free to contact us. Our experienced real estate agents can guide you through both the buying and the selling processes and ensure everything goes smoothly.
Living in Southwest Florida means warm sunshine, cool evening breezes, and lots of fresh air. If you're looking for Sarasota homes for sale or Bradenton homes for sale, you hope to find a home with large windows, sliding glass doors, and great outdoor features so you can enjoy everything a Florida lifestyle has to offer.
When warm sunshine starts filtering through your windows, it's time to shake off the winter dust and tackle some deep cleaning chores in your home, including all those dirty windows that you've ignored during the winter. Before spring arrives, our real estate agents recommend some deep cleaning tips for your windows, so you can open them up, let in the breeze, and enjoy the view.
Take a Look at Your Windows
Before you begin, walk around your home and assess your cleaning tasks. You may have hard-to-reach windows that require a ladder or special equipment to get onto the roof. Don't attempt to clean windows, doors, or skylights that may result in a dangerous fall. For hard-to-reach windows, it's best to call a professional window washer who has the right equipment for the job.
If your home has a second story or multiple levels, start cleaning on the highest level and work your way down. This way, you can make sure that all windows get cleaned in an organized manner, and you won't have to backtrack to check for windows you missed.
Gather Your Cleaning Supplies
Whether you have stationary windows or windows that open, you'll need some basic cleaning supplies and a container to carry them around. Look for a plastic tote or sturdy basket with handles that can hold your essential supplies:
A spray glass cleaner, a mixture of mild soapy water, and a mixture of water and white vinegar
A duster and a hand-held vacuum
A synthetic brush or broom
Microfiber or lint-free soft cloths
For stationary windows, start by wiping loose dirt from the glass with a soft, dry cloth or duster. Next, use your synthetic brush or hand-held vacuum to remove dirt and debris from the window frame, sills, and tracks. Apply your cleaning solution to the glass, then remove the solution with a squeegee or clean, lint-free cloth. If you use a squeegee, make sure to wipe the squeegee clean with a cloth or paper towel after each swipe on the glass.
Single or Double Hung Windows
Many replacement windows available in today's market come with a convenient tilt-wash or tilt-sash feature that allows you to easily clean the inside and the outside of the window from inside your home. You don't need to go outside and climb a ladder to clean exterior glass. If your single-hung or double-hung windows have a tilt-sash feature, simply unlock the window, release the tilt-sash mechanisms on the top of the window frame, and tilt your window towards you to clean the glass.
Sliding Glass Doors
If you have interior or exterior doors with window panes or sliding glass doors, you can clean the glass with non-abrasive glass cleaners or mild soapy water. You can use a soft cloth on the interior glass, but it's best to clean the exterior glass with paper towels. Exterior glass can get extremely dirty since it's exposed to the elements. You don't want to ruin your cleaning clothes or transfer bacteria from your exterior glass to other indoor surfaces.
If you're thinking about buying a home in Southwest Florida, contact us to view available properties in desired areas that match your lifestyle and financial needs.
Do you feel overwhelmed at the idea of tackling home improvement projects? If you're like most homeowners, you can just walk through your home and see so many tasks awaiting your elbow grease. If you're thinking of listing your home among Sarasota homes for sale, you may want to get a handle on prioritizing projects.
One of the first steps is to decide how you want to categorize your repairs and renovations. You might jot down categories such as these, and then under each one, list projects that fall under that heading:
Here are some additional tips for organizing your thoughts and knowing which projects to tackle first.
It's a hot market, and you're looking to buy or sell a home among Sarasota homes for sale or Bradenton homes for sale. While an agent can help you in any type of real estate market, their help is especially critical during a hot market. Here's why.
Why Hire an Agent?
Yes, your home might just fly off the market with a Craigslist ad or the like, but what if it doesn't? With an agent, your home will get considerably more exposure in MLS (multiple listing service) databases created and maintained by real estate professionals to help homeowners like you sell their property. It just makes sense that the more potential buyers see your property, the greater the chance that the selling price could go much higher than your expectations. You could have buyers competing with one another, and that could only benefit you.
Your agent will be there throughout the whole process and able to offer advice for any aspect of the sale, from determining a price to staging your home to determining the scope of repairs you want to do before you put the home on the market.
But an even better reason to hire a real estate agent is that many potential buyers are not comfortable talking to the owner of a property and prefer to deal with an agent. Not only can you -- and should you -- make yourself scarce while the agent shows your home, but you'll boost the comfort level of potential buyers, who may feel they are visiting you, as the owner of the home, rather than seriously looking at a home they want to live in.
What to Look for in an Agent
As you begin to look for a real estate agent, you will likely focus on an individual's experience in selling houses like yours in your neighborhood. Ask neighbors for recommendations. Get at least three referrals. And remember, while experience is important, so is personality. Can you relate to this person? Does he or she seem real to you? Look for an agent you can build a rapport with, in addition to their sales and successes.
Pay attention to the agent's marketing tools, including website, business card, brochures, signage, social media efforts, and more. Does the agent's personal appearance give you confidence in them, or is something lacking?
When you discuss the sale of your home with a real estate agent, you want someone who can guide you through what can be a precarious journey. Can your agent answer questions reliably and with real data about investment analysis, neighborhood-level market performance, and possibly even the impact of your decision to sell? You don't want an agent who honey coats their answers; you need real information about possible pitfalls, so listen carefully to how your agent replies to your questions and make sure the agent is really hearing you.
Renovations are a great way to keep your home up to date, to add value, and to compete with other Bradenton homes for sale when it comes time. Unfortunately, many homeowners put off updating their homes because of how complicated it is to get work done when you have pets. Here are a few suggestions for keeping your pets safe and minimizing stress so that you can do the work when it's needed.
Keeping your home up-to-date compared to other Sarasota homes for sale is an important part of owning property. If you're ready to list your home for sale, or even if you just have questions about what renovations you'll need to do before selling, contact us today, and one of our agents will help guide you through the process.
Want to sell a spare TV or some old clothes? Just take a picture or two, post them on eBay or Craigslist and wait for the calls to come in. But Bradenton homes for sale require a little more TLC to move quickly and command top price.
If you're a Bradenton homeowner planning to put your house on the market, use these smart tips from our real estate agents to develop a winning game plan.
Once you've decided to sell your home, the next step is to find the right real estate agent to help you get the job done efficiently and to your satisfaction. The trick to finding an agent that has your best interests is to do some research ahead of time and to be open and honest during your initial meeting with them. Our REALTORS® are always on top of the housing market and have built a strong reputation with clients who are buying or selling Florida real estate. Before you select your agent, prepare some questions to ask up front and know what characteristics you should be looking for during your first meeting.
Just as in any field, skill and knowledge are gained over time in the real estate industry. One of the first questions you might want to ask a prospective agent is about their experience. Aside from inquiring about the number of years an agent has working in the field and with their firm, it's important to ask about their recent performance. A good agent should be proud to share their track record with you when you ask about the number of sales during the past year and the percentage of listings that have sold.
Understand the Plan
Asking an agent to explain their specific plan to market your home is not only recommended, but it's also smart. It's much better to understand how your agent will work to get your home the best exposure and the most offers than to automatically assume their plan will work for you. Discuss their marketing strategies including online visibility, signage, and local advertisements. Inquire about how the lockbox will be handled, home showings, and an estimated time frame.
Negotiation and Communication
Get a feel for the agent's communication style while you're discussing the home selling process, but don't be afraid to ask them directly about their negotiation skills. After all, your agent will be the one acting on your behalf during this time period. You'll want to know that they have excellent negotiation tactics and that they're willing to put them to use for you. Communication is crucial in working with an agent, and it's best to understand how and when they'll be communicating with you about offers, updates, and changing market trends.
Dollars and Cents
Have the agent explain how their commission works during your initial meeting. You might think that an agent requiring less commission is a wise choice, but a well-paid, experienced agent has most likely earned a reputation for excellence. It's important to consider a combination of factors when selecting an agent.
Finally, you might ask the agent why they believe they would be the best choice for selling your home. This question gives the agent an opportunity to pitch their qualifications to you, and you'll be able to see how effective their selling skills are right away.
Choosing the right agent to market your home is a huge decision that will affect the entire process, hopefully in a positive way. When you're ready to list your home for sale, contact our team at Wagner Realty to understand what it's like to work with the best in the business. Our 200+ Associates are licensed REALTORS® and belong to the local, state and National Associations of REALTORS®.
When you put your home on the market, the value must be obvious. Your home must generate interest even for a potential buyer who's just driving by. As buyers make the rounds of Bradenton homes for sale, you need a "wow" factor that brings them to your front door. That's a tall order, but it's doable with the right fixes and upgrades.
Our real estate agents understand that upgrading your home is the key to attracting buyers. As many remodeling projects won't deliver a sound return on your investment, you must find other ways to add personality and value. Use these seven tips for adding value and personality to your home for sale.
Home buyers love modern attractive bathrooms. Unfortunately, if you do a full remodel, you won't likely recoup your costs. You still have options for creating a fresh new look.
Trendy pendant lighting fixtures brighten dull corners, make rooms appear more spacious, and add personality. Pendant is the trendy name for drop or suspended lights that hang from the ceiling by a rod or chain. They've been around for a long time, but you can find modern, colorful versions that add value to any room.
Fresh paint adds value to your home exterior and a colorfully painted door adds a personality wow. Newly painted walls enhance any room. Pale blues and grays are the new "neutral" colors for kitchens, living rooms, and baths. Avoid dark colors when the goal is to lighten and brighten.
A well-planned landscape adds personality that attracts homebuyers passing by. Keep your grass mowed and trimmed, of course. Add value with creative landscaping.
You can add value to your home and attract buyers with the lure of future energy savings. Solar panels can be costly but they deliver a return on your investment when you sell. A kitchen redo with Energy Star appliances adds value and personality. If these upgrades are too costly, try less expensive enticements.
A new garage door adds personality and value to your home and it's a Remodel Magazine Cost/Value study Key Trend. At a $3,470 average cost, a garage door is a relatively low-budget remodel and it brings a higher return on investment than any other item on the Cost/Value list.
There's an art to adding personality and value to your home. Our real estate professionals can help. Contact Wagner Realty when you're buying or selling a home or for more information about the Florida communities we serve.
If you're planning your first open house, you've no doubt completed a long list of fixes and upgrades. You're probably depending on the attraction of the seaside ambiance, lush tropical climate, and other natural highlights that make Bradenton homes so engaging. These features will attract buyers to your open house, but you'll need great staging to keep them interested.
Our real estate agents understand how the idea of staging can seem vague. But it's critical to selling your home. When it's done right, great staging gives potential buyers the room to imagine their family in your space.
Staging is a step-by-step process that assumes you've already done the heavy repairs and fix-ups.
Your home probably contains too much stuff. That happens when you live in one place for a long time and you keep bringing things in but don't take any out. Clutter makes your rooms look small and crowded. That's a problem because buyers want spacious floor plans.
If you can't bear to donate your stuff or throw it away, hide it in a rented storage unit. The biggest offenders?
Buyers want to see themselves in your home. That means you must remove all kid-created art, vacation photos, and vintage pics of sweet Auntie Sally at age 4. You must remove any items that tag your home as... your home.
3. Make Each Room a Blank Canvas
Walls painted in neutral colors are a great way to freshen up a room and start over from scratch. Of course, you should know that today's "neutral" doesn't have to be eggshell or beige. Consider these alternative blank-slate colors.
4. Brighten and Lighten
Home buyers are attracted to bright open spaces. Painting is the first step. Here are a few other things you can do.
5. Rework Your Spaces
If your newly decluttered rooms seem devoid of character, that's not such a bad thing. Transform these nearly-empty rooms into attractive minimalist arrangements.
You have a lot to do when you're preparing to sell your home. Our professionals have the experience to advise you every step of the way. Contact Wagner Realty when you're ready to buy or sell a home or if you simply want information on activities, businesses, and events in Bradenton.
If you list your home during a seller's market, there's a good chance you'll get the offer you want without a lot of back-and-forth negotiation. But some buyers and sellers like the back-and-forth. They expect it. And if you don't negotiate, one of you might have second thoughts about the deal.
Our real estate agents work with home sellers throughout the marketing process. We understand that sellers want the best price and buyers want the best deal. Negotiation is inevitable if you hope to move beyond these mismatched goals. Here are a few rules to help your deal go smoothly.
As with so many aspects of selling your home, confidence is important. Negotiation confidence comes from believing that the price is a right and knowing that your home is worth it. With these facts in mind, you can stick with your asking price or back off a bit for the sake of the deal. You can feel safe rejecting a low offer and waiting for a better one to come along.
Don't play games
Negotiating a home sale is a serious financial event for everyone involved. It's a time for honesty, integrity, and trust, not gamesmanship. Some buyers love to negotiate, but if you play games, you may turn off every buyer that comes along.
Don't reject an offer because it came too soon
Don't feel compelled to reject a good offer simply because it came sooner than you expected. Houses do sell quickly. Isn't that the goal? If the first offer makes you happy, you can hope the next one will be better. But what if it isn't? Sometimes it's prudent to take the "bird in the hand."
Get it in writing
Even if you enjoy negotiation just for the thrill of it, you must get the details in writing. Each bid, counter-offer, or pre-sale promise could be an element of your final sales agreement. You won't know until you make a deal. It's important to eliminate potential discrepancies by documenting the details in writing.
Read before you sign
Read any agreement carefully before you sign, especially if it's prepared by a buyer's agent or attorney. A buyer's representative has a duty to protect the buyer's interests, not yours. Any document they prepare could bind you to contingency provisions and conditions you didn't intend to meet. It could commit you to the deal but give the buyer an easy out.
Minimize post-inspection negotiations
To prevent post-inspection repair issues from sabotaging your sale, get your home into great shape before you list it. When you declutter, clean, and repair everything inside and out, you'll have fewer inspection concerns. If you do receive a post-inspection to-do list, handle it reasonably. Until you sign the final paperwork, you're still negotiating the sale.
Be flexible about closing dates
If the buyer wants to negotiate a quick closing, make it happen. Once you've made your deal, you wouldn't want a scheduling conflict to become a last-minute deal breaker.
Home negotiations can be challenging unless you have a real estate professional making the deal on your behalf. Contact Wagner Realty when you're buying or selling a home. We'll guide you through the marketing process from pre-listing to closing and we'll handle your negotiation challenges.
Adding curb appeal increases the value of your home and makes it more appealing to house hunters. Landscaping projects can be a quick and fairly inexpensive way to make your homes stand out from the other homes for sale in Sarasota. Our REALTORS® know what it takes to sell homes in our community. Here are a few ways to boost your curb appeal and give potential buyers a great first impression of your home from the minute they pull up to the curb.
Paint a Picture of the Salt Life
Buyers are looking for a Sarasota home that embraces the delight of living in paradise. Paint a picture with a few flowering bushes in lovely stone planters. Power wash your driveway, stone paths, and lanai to make everything sparkle. Most home improvement stores rent power washers, making this an inexpensive improvement that magnifies the appeal of your home. If you have a pool, make certain that the water is crystal clear and brightly clean. These little things add up to make your home even more attractive.
Add a Hummingbird Garden
A hummingbird garden is a lovely asset to any home. It's small, colorful and requires minimal maintenance. Hummingbirds are tiny, so you don't have to worry about the car damage some larger birds cause. Hummingbird-friendly landscaping also attracts butterflies, so you get two benefits from a single weekend project. Look for plants with vibrant colors (especially red). Flowers that flourish in Sarasota include:
Each of these plants is low-maintenance. By planting several varieties, you can have butterflies and hummingbirds from May through August.
Consider a Lawn Upgrade
A beautiful yard provides a place for outside activities, prevents erosion, and releases sweet-smelling oxygen before a rainfall. A lawn with a dependable drainage system is extremely attractive to buyers. Low or easy maintenance is another benefit that home buyers are looking for in a new home. Before you make a major investment in upgrades, stop by one of our offices. Our real estate agents will be happy to share what types of lawns appeal to buyers in Southwest Florida. As a seller, you want to balance any investment you make with the benefits that it will provide.
Wagner Realty for Sarasota Real Estate Services
A few simple updates can make a major impact on the road-side appeal of your home. Look for ideas online or at one of our many nurseries in the area. One of the best resources for advice about lawn care and landscaping in Sarasota is free. The UF Agricultural Extension Department is available year-round with demonstrations and Q&A sessions at library branches in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Contact Wagner Realty to start the process of selling your home.
Selling your home can be a profitable venture, particularly if you invested a large down payment, have built up equity, updated the home as needed, and have benefited from rising market values here in Florida. But it isn't as simple as getting a check from the buyer, paying off what you owe and pocketing the rest. There are costs associated with selling, and it's important to familiarize yourself with them so that there are no surprises at the closing table.
Most of a seller's closing costs are based on the sales price of the home, and some costs may vary depending on where you live. Our REALTORS® can help you estimate costs based on an expected sales price. Doing those calculations at the start of your sales process will help you evaluate offers with complete information. Here's a list of typical closing costs for sellers:
Now that you have a clearer picture of what expenses you can expect to pay to sell your home, it's time to hire a great agent and get started. Contact Wagner Realty, one of the most respected real estate companies in Manatee and Sarasota Counties, to get an expert agent working for you.
No matter where your house is located or when you choose to sell it, there will always be competition from other sellers in your area. The good news is there's plenty you can do to make your home stand out if you're willing to invest some time and a bit of elbow grease. Our REALTORS® know what it takes to sell a home, and we've put together a checklist to help you maximize the value you get for selling your Florida home.
Whether you're looking to maximize your return on investment, sell your home as quickly as possible, or both, it all starts with having a plan. Your real estate agent should be a huge help throughout the process, which leads us to the first point on our checklist:
Finding the right real estate agent is one of the most important things you can do when selling a house, and our team would love to help you get the results you seek. Contact Wagner Realty to buy and sell homes throughout the Sarasota area.
As a modern thinker, you probably believe that men and women are pretty much the same under the surface. Unfortunately, that's not true. When you're selling your home, it's important to realize that a few traditional men vs. women differences are alive and well and they can affect the sale of your home. Our REALTORS® view these differences as a challenge. As we market your home, we work with you to prevent them from becoming a roadblock to selling your home.
When significant others search for their dream home, they scan listings, discuss properties and attend open houses together. Only as they examine each property with a critical eye, do their male versus female homeowner value systems clash. Couples often follow a pattern documented by real estate researchers. They arrive together to view your home but they look for different things.
When you're struggling with man versus woman home buying difficulties, our real estate agents can help you overcome them by presenting your home in the best possible light. Contact us for more information about the realities of selling your home.