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Guest Commentary | From ‘For Sale’ to ‘Sold’ | Tips on maximizing your property’s ability to sell

By MICHAEL DAVIS - Owner of Worthington Realty | Feb 9, 2024

Michael Davis

Amidst the ever-evolving real estate market, Southwest Florida homeowners are gearing up for strategic moves to make the most of current conditions. Before putting their homes up for sale, sellers must first know how to stand out.

Optimal timing, realistic pricing, value-added enhancements and effective marketing are critical elements to navigating Florida’s dynamic marketplace.

Understand the optimal time to sell

Understanding the seasonality of the market and the broader economic landscape is key to strategically timing the sale of a property.

Local inventory has been on the rise. However, as interest rates are likely to decline this year, buyers are likely to take advantage of the newfound stability in home pricing. This shift makes it even more crucial for sellers to be strategic and well-prepared before listing their homes.

Today’s sellers should leverage this trend by ensuring that their properties are priced competitively and are in optimal condition to attract discerning buyers.

Set realistic, competitive pricing

Competitive pricing is a cornerstone of a successful home sale in today’s market. To set a realistic and competitive price, start by conducting a comparative market analysis. This involves researching recent sales prices of comparable homes in your neighborhood, considering similar square footage, amenities and age of your property. Make informed decisions and price with your head, not your heart. An unbiased opinion of a real estate agent or a pre-appraisal can offer you an objective assessment.

“With competitive inventory and a shifting market, it’s critical to be priced well and prepared before putting your home on the market,” advises Brian Rodgers, owner and broker at Worthington Realty. “Be realistic in seeing how it compares to others on the market, as this helps provide a baseline for your sale price.”

Factor in closing costs and ongoing costs of owning the property while on the market before determining your ideal sale price and leave wiggle room in your price for negotiation.

“Consider your goal. Are you looking for the maximum profit, or are you hoping to sell quickly? Or do you want to find the sweet spot for both?” Rodgers added.

Develop a strategy that adds value

Let’s face it. We all want to get the most return on our investment. If you’re not happy with the sale value of your home, consider strategies that get you closer to where you want to be.

Many sellers can add value by investing in home improvements. Take a thorough look at your home, or complete a home inspection, to identify what repairs are needed. Fixing that leaky faucet or touching up paint makes a difference.

Professional home staging helps to showcase your property’s potential by highlighting its best features.

“People shouldn’t be disappointed when they go inside a home. The price tag should be reaffirmed by what they see inside the house,” advises Ruth Caravello, president of Carastudio Home Staging. “They have to fall in love, and they’ve got to imagine themselves in there. It can happen as quickly as 10 seconds when they walk into the house.”

Caravello said her greatest piece of advice is to deep clean and declutter. While family photos and personal items may seem minor, they distract buyers from seeing the potential of a space. Too many knickknacks and personal mementos can also make your home appear small and messy.

Caravello recommends, “When you decorate or design, you are putting the owner’s personality into the home. When you’re staging, you’re taking it out because you want people to imagine themselves in that house, not the other way around.”

Market, market, market

First impressions matter when promoting your property, and effective marketing is the key to creating a lasting one.

First looks typically happen online before a seller even gets to your front door. Invest in eye-catching, high-quality photography that offers a comprehensive look at your property and promote your property across various channels, including online listings and social media, to get in front of a larger audience. Further enhance the viewer experience beyond standard photos by incorporating virtual tours and video.

Informative home descriptions help set the scene before an in-person visit. Emphasize the features that make your home stand out. If your property has a waterfront view or spacious yard, your listing should showcase these attributes.

Finally, you never know when a potential buyer may drive past your home. Enhance curb appeal with a fresh coat of paint, landscaping and a prominent for-sale sign out front.

A well-thought-out sales strategy goes a long way in positioning yourself for success. An experienced real estate professional can keep you informed and help you navigate the current market landscape. With proper planning and execution, you’ll be ready to unlock the full potential of your property.

Michael Davis is an owner of Worthington Realty, a boutique real estate company specializing in residential sales, rentals and development across Southwest Florida. For more information, call 239-437-3334, email info@worthingtonrealty.com or visit WorthingtonRealty.com.

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