Florida Keys Sellers Information

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Florida Keys and Key West Sellers

The decision is made - you're selling your Florida Keys home. Where do you start? Who do you hire? How much is your home worth? Who can I trust to sell my home at the highest possible price? In the Florida Keys, it's pretty much been a Buyer's Market since early in 2006 - so Sellers are more concerned than ever. Agents are scrambling for business - homes are on the market longer - competition is everywhere. You want to be successful and we want to get you there.

The Selling Process

Selling Florida Keys real estate demands experience, knowledge, and an effective web presence for exposing your home to the most number of available Buyers and Agents. Personally and at my company Coldwell Banker Schmitt, we know it realistically takes about two to three weeks to properly bring a home to market to present it in the best light. This is not where you "scrimp" on time and effort - the groundwork for presenting your home is of paramount importance - remember the first impression needs to be your best.

The Most Important Things to Consider; Price - Location - Condition - Marketing-Agent Representation

With the number of homes - both new and existing - available for sale in today's Florida Keys market, competition is fierce. Therefore, the basic real estate principals are more important then ever. While you can't always control or change the particular situation you're in, you can make sound decisions in order to successfully sell your property.

Pricing your home to sell

Professional appraisers sum up their entire body of knowledge in three words - "Buyers Make Value."
As your real estate agent, I can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms, and condition of competing properties.

When listing your property for sale, require your agent to be candid with you. Most agents simply don't want to tell the seller the true value of their home, if it's obvious the seller wants more than it's worth. By allowing your agent to be completely honest with you, you'll save time and money. Consider the market analysis carefully with your agent...The numbers should make just as much sense to you as they do to your agent, the appraiser, and most importantly potential buyers.

Remember! Your home is worth as much as a buyer is willing to pay for it. Sometimes the home is simply worth more to the seller than it is to the buying public. If the property has been on the market for more than 4-5 weeks, with few prospects coming to see it or those that have seen your home do not make a second or third visit and no offers have been submitted, you've been given a clear message that the property may not be worth what you're asking for it. What you do at that point depends on whether you really need to sell, and whether you're working with a time limit.

If you're not really motivated to move soon, you can always wait - years if necessary - and hope inflation will catch up with the price you want. The problem is that in that time, your home begins to feel shopworn. Buyers become suspicious of a house that has been for sale for a long time. If, however, you really do need to sell, your Coldwell Banker Schmitt agent understands the marketplace and how to price it right. There's no point in saying, "We simply can't sell our house." It will sell when the price is right.

Location of Your Home

You can't change this but you can decide what made you love the home when you bought - then use that information. Is it the privacy, the landcaping, the pool, the location, or the view? Every location offers positive attributes

Condition

You've all heard it - Curb Appeal. Curb appeal welcomes the Buyer into your home, so yard work, fresh paint, some flowers, a nice backyard; these are things that need to be ready when you go to market. And, since not everyone can upgrade flooring and appliances, if your home is cleared of clutter and personal items and spanking clean, then a fresh coat of paint will go a long way to making a house a home.

Showing Tips

Each property has just one chance to make a great impression with a potential buyer. Keep up with cleaning and tidiness every day to ensure that the property is ready to be shown to potential buyers, even on short notice. In other words, keep the property in “Show Time” condition, so that it’s always ready to make the great first impression that can make the sale!

During the Entire Marketing Period

  1. * Keep the landscaping neatly trimmed, weeded and free
    of debris and clutter. Add a new front door mat; keep walkways, driveway and front door entry area clean.
  2. * Clean outside lighting fixtures; make sure the doorbell works.
  3. * Repair anything that is not in proper
    working order, including loose doorknobs, broken door locks, leaking taps and toilets, squeaky doors, closets or screen doors
    that go off their tracks.
  4. * Repair any broken windows, fogged or leaking windows or windows that don’t
    open and close properly.
  5. * Quiet squeaks or noisy appliance fans |
    with a squirt of lubricant.
  6. * Keep kitchen spotless and fresh smelling at all times -- regularly grind a quarter of a
    * lemon in the garbage disposal and keep fresh boxes of
    baking soda in refrigerator and freezer.
  7. * Unclutter kitchen counter spaces, pantry and cabinets and under sink area.
  8. * Remove items hanging on the refrigerator.
  9. * Make sure all kitchen appliances are spotless inside and out.
  10. * Make sure all appliances and systems are in perfect working order.
  11. * Keep bathrooms spotless and fresh smelling! Place all personal care items out of sight. Tile, fixtures, shower doors, tubs must be shining and immaculate. Remove all rust and mildew stains; neatly recaulk around the top edges of the tub, countertops, etc.
  12. * Place dishes of potpourri in rooms throughout the house or add a drop of vanilla or bath oil on light bulbs for scent.
  13. * Keep windows, windowsills and all light fixtures clean.
  14. * Don’t forget the storage and car parking areas – keep them
    organized, neat and tidy.
  15. * Keep all pet areas clean and odor-free; change litter box frequently!
  16. * Secure jewelry, cash and other valuable.
  17. Before Each Showing:
  18. Open all drapes, shades and blinds and turn on ALL lights.
  19. Pick up clutter.
  20. Make beds and put away clothes and shoes.
  21. Give floors a quick vacuuming.
  22. Add some strategically placed fresh flowers.
  23. Place a dish of vanilla or cinnamon in a warm oven to create the aroma of fresh baking.
  24. Turn off the television and turn on music at low volume.
  25. Secure pets in the garage, yard or other secured area. Even better, take them out of the house with your or arrange for a friend to keep them.
  26. Make sure all pet areas are clean and odor-free, including litter box.
  27. Make sure all trash is disposed of in neatly covered bins.
  28. Make the temperature comfortably cool.

The Actual Showing:

The selling agent will call your listing agent to set an appointment to show your home. Your agent will contact you to determine if the time is convenient and to arrange the details.

The presence of the owner or family members makes the potential buyer feel like an intruder. It’s best to leave the house while the buyers are touring the home. If it is not possible to leave, excuse yourself and stay in one part of the house or outside.

If the prospective buyer or their agent asks you questions, respond honestly but diplomatically refer additional questions to your agent. It is best not to discuss price, terms, possession or other factors with the buyer or their agent.

If a prospective buyer calls directly or comes by unexpectedly without an agent, get their name and phone number. Explain that it is not a convenient time and say you will have your listing agent contact them. For your benefit and protection do not allow them in your home.

After Each Showing

We follow up with the showing agent to obtain feedback concerning the potential buyer’s feelings about how well the property fits their needs.

We evaluate the feedback and comments received from other agents that tour the property during our office and association caravans, to share with you ideas that may make the property more marketable. We discuss price reductions and other buyer incentives with you if offers are not being received within the first three weeks of listing the property.

Tips to Upgrade Your Home for
Potentially Increased Property Value

A home is arguably one of the largest financial investments a person will make in their lifetime. While property values over time are determined by national variables, the economy and local market conditions, the care and upkeep of a property is also a crucial element toward achieving a solid re-sell. Whether you are planning on adding more rooms to create extra space, upgrading your kitchen with new appliances or are thinking of putting your home on the market, Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation offers some essential home improvement tips that might increase the value of your home.

Kitchen Makeover: Out of all the rooms in the house, the kitchen is the most popular to remodel. According to Remodeling Magazine, money spent to upgrade a kitchen produces the highest return on investment. "Hot" kitchen makeover trends include adding dual sinks, cooking stations, extra-long dishwashers, under-cabinet lighting, warming ovens and wine coolers.

Bathroom Fixer-Upper: Upgrading a bathroom is also a sound choice and will usually provide a significant return on investment. Large bathrooms are typically on the top of the list of priorities for those seeking to purchase a home. Adding skylights, glass block windows, ceiling fans and sunken whirlpool baths are also attractive selling features. If you don't have the room to expand or to accommodate larger appliances, or you don't think you'll be living in your home long enough to enjoy the changes and/or see a return on this kind of investment, stick with neutral, mid-builder level updated cabinetry, refreshed flooring and shower/tub, or a new sink and toilet.

Room to Grow: Adding a room or two, such as a spare bedroom or a study, is a significant home improvement that you will be able to take advantage of every day. In addition to the much-needed extra space, it can also potentially provide you with a good return on your investment when it comes to selling the property.

Landscaping the Lot: A professionally landscaped yard can certainly increase the "curb appeal" or desirability of a home. In fact, beautifying your lawn can be one of the most inexpensive home improvements. Additional simple landscaping projects include trimming and edging the grass, manicuring the trees and shrubs to open up the view of the house, removing any dead plants and planting flowers to brighten up the yard.

Repair Jobs: While many homeowners may want to update and remodel their kitchen, if the roof needs fixing or the chimney has to be reappointed, then they should prioritize these necessary repairs over any cosmetic changes. This applies to both sellers and those who plan to stay in the home for years to come, as these essential repairs must be taken care of before they cause the house to lose value. It is vital to look after the minor problems such as a leaky faucet or a loose cabinet to ensure that your house doesn't undergo any long-term damage. As soon as you notice a problem, fix it since this will help avoid a larger expense later on.

Cosmetic Touch-Ups: A paint job, new double-paned windows and new carpeting will increase the price of a house virtually dollar-for-dollar. Neutral colored paint and eliminating clutter can make a world of difference. However, don't go overboard with home improvement projects that will push a house too much above the current average value of homes in your neighborhood. It is important to make sure that your home has standards that are in-line with the other houses in the neighborhood, but you do not want to price yourself out of the market.

Marketing

There are really only a few things the statistics consistently show will actually help sell your home. These include:

  • The Multiple Listing Service - the more agent exposure the better.
    The Internet - 80% of buyers begin their home search on the Net.
    A Sign in Your Yard - Believe it or Not!

When you list with me, I will give you a sheet that demonstrates exactly how and where your home will be marketed.

Representation: Single Agency

Florida law requires all Real Estate Agents to explain the “Agency Relationship” options available to Sellers and Buyers of residential real estate. The law established three types of agency:

* Single Agency
* Transaction Brokerage
* No Brokerage Relationship
Single Agency: The policy of Coldwell Banker Schmitt is to provide the greatest possible degree
of service to our clients, which only occurs in a Single Agency relationship.
For that reason, the company adopted Single Agency as the primary and preferred relationship
for working with our clients.
As a Single Agent, we provide you with the full spectrum of services including the fiduciary
duties of loyalty, confidentiality and obedience.
The benefit to you is that we place your interest above all others, including our own!

While we believe this type of relationship is what
our clients expect and deserve, most Real Estate Companies have opted not to adopt Single Agency as the primary and preferred relationship for working with buyer and seller. They have chosen Transaction Brokerage, which, by law, is the assumed relationship between a buyer and agent or seller and agent unless they agree to Single Agency or a No Brokerage Relationship.

Transaction Broker: As a Transaction Broker, agents are required to facilitate the transaction by assisting both the buyer and seller, and not represent one party to the detriment of the other. They provide fair and honest dealing, skill, care and diligence, accounting for all funds, and disclosure of all known facts that materially affect the value of a property in which you have interest. The reason most companies have adopted Transaction Brokerage is for the reduced level of liability versus Single Agency.

No Brokerage Relationship
The agent owes you three duties:

* To deal with you honestly and fairly;
* To disclose all known facts that materially affect the value of the property which are not readily observable to you;
* And, to account for all funds entrusted to the agent.

The key point for the No Brokerage Relationship (non-representation) is to not disclose any information you want held in confidence until entering into an agency relationship.