Discover the Secrets to Selling Your House Fast in Any Market!

Written by Posted On Friday, 31 August 2018 22:35

What are the secrets to selling your home quickly?


Have you ever wondered why some of the homes in your neighborhood sell quickly while others seem to stay on the market for long periods of time?


While there are some generalities we will cover to help you sell in all markets and all locations, selling a home on the Sarasota Suncoast in Florida is the focus of this article.



Don’t Turn Off Your Buyers
Curb Appeal 
Inside Your Home Matters 
Get Rid of Your Clutter Today
How to Declutter Your Space 
Konmari Decluttering Method 
Kitchen and Bathroom Counters 
Clearing Out Your Closets
Should You Paint Your House? 
Repairs You Need to Make 
Pricing Your Home Correctly 
Hiring a Real Estate Agent 
Paperwork and Contracts 
Staging Your House for Sale 
Stage Your Outdoor Spaces 
Marketing Your Home for Sale
Open Houses


According to NAR ( National Association of Realtors) sellers who list their property for sale with a Realtor net more income at the closing table. But why is that? How can an agent save you money when you are paying out commissions?


In this article, I will share some of our agent secrets to selling your home fast in any given market.


I have included some infographics to give you some visuals of the home selling process.


Feel free to share my infographics on social media and with your friends and neighbors.


Don’t Turn Off Your Buyers 

*** Don’t Turn Off the Buyers Before They Get Inside!


The top secret to getting the most money out of your home when you sell is making sure your house appeals to buyers. If you are turning buyers off before they enter your house, you are going to have a house that sits on the market a long, long, time.


I experience this often when I am showing buyers homes that fit in their price range and in the neighborhood of their choice. I work diligently to prepare a list of homes which fit the buyers’ criteria. I call the listing agents to make appointments for my buyers to see the properties on the Sarasota Suncoast. Then I create a map for my buyers showing them each of the property addresses we will be seeing.


9 times out of 10, if we drive up to a house that is a turn off on the outside the buyers will ask me to keep on driving. They don’t even want to get out of the car. They won’t even give the house a chance.


So what are the most common turn-offs?


Brown lawns with weeds
Neglecting your landscaping
No curb appeal
Dirty walkways
Cracks in your driveway
Old front doors or dirty front doors
Broken mailboxes, mailboxes tilted or bent, chipped, etc.
Weeds coming up through brick driveways and walkways
Garbage cans not put away
Paint peeling on exterior of home
Dirty roof or broken roof tiles


The secret to getting the most qualified buyers past your front door is making sure none of the above turn-offs are on your property. If they are, make your “honey do list” today, add all the things that need to be fixed or cleaned and get it done this weekend!


Curb Appeal 

Curb Appeal is the what gets you the most return on your investment!


The top 4 exterior upgrades you can do to your home this weekend are:


1. Clean up the yard, front and back.
2. Get a new front door or paint your current one
3. Update your outdoor lighting on your patio, walkway, garage
4. Add colorful flowers in containers next to your front door, near your walkway, and any other place where it will attract the eyes of a buyer.
Check out what the Property Brothers have to say about getting your curb appeal on point:

Here are some photos of homes on the Sarasota Suncoast in Florida with curb appeal:

Now that I got the buyers out of my car loving hat they see on the outside, let’s make sure the inside will inspire them enough to fall in love with your house and say, “This is the one”.


Inside your home matters 

Secrets to making buyers feel all warm and fuzzy… after all, it is the emotions that sell! People make decisions based on feelings and emotions. Only super analytical people will only look at facts, but those are far and few between. So my advice is to appeal to your most likely buyer.


Check out the following list of MUST DO’s to add to your list of preparing your home for sale.


I will let you in on a little secret I discovered from showing homes for sale in Sarasota for over 20+ years….


Buyers LOVE Open Spaces!


Get Rid of Your Clutter today 

Clutter and smells kill more offers to buy than anything else.


It seems odd because when you close on your house, you will be taking your clutter with you. So it is normal to think that a buyer would not be concerned with your stuff.


BUT! Stuff blocks good energy.


Worse yet, clutter gives the impression to buyers that there is not enough room in your house for all their stuff!


Remember when I said that buying is an emotional decision? This is further evidence of the truth to this statement.


Most buyers can not look past your clutter, or maybe they just don’t want to. Clutter will make a buyer smile, look at me and say: “let’s go see the next house on your list”.


Buyers number one request these days is: open and spacious layout.


No matter how open your floor plan is, if there are piles of moving boxes, or piles of dirty and clean laundry, toys all over the place, small appliances and other items all over your kitchen counters….


… it makes your house look closed in, too small, and disorganized.


NOTE: If you are reading this article and your significant other is a hoarder, please contact me and we will find some help for you.  There are some companies that will come and help you clean out your property.


Clutter can be subjective especially with sentimental belongings and hobby supplies.


Put yourself in a buyer’s shoes.


Imagine when you are searching for your next home. What will you like to see in your next house?


How to Declutter Your Space 

I like to start with the parts of the house that are most obvious first.


Start with the first thing people see the floors.


I was studying about minimalist living and discovered that clean and empty floors is very important to clearing negative energy out of your mind.


The goal is to see nothing but floor with as few distractions as possible when sitting on your couch. Many minimalists choose furniture that sits above the floor where you can still see under pretty easily with very few stopping points for the eye.


Here are some examples I found to share with you for a visual of what this looks like:


I am not saying you need to rush out and buy new furniture before you put your house on the market.

But your floors should be totally free of anything that does not belong on them. Your couch, your chairs, your area rug, your coffee table; are all fine to be on the floor but everything else needs to go.


Some people want to store all their clutter in the garage; don’t do that.


Rent a storage unit, sell your stuff on LetGo, OfferUp, Craigslist (following safety rules of course), or give it to GoodWill, Salvation Army or another charity.


I keep my Trader Joe’s paper bags and fill them up as I am clearing and cleaning with all my giveaways. I set them by my front door or put them right in my car. This way I won’t procrastinate to get rid of the stuff!


Now that your floors are totally clutter free, give them a good cleaning to get rid of the dust mites who have been having a field day.


Konmari decluttering method - It may be what your house orders:

Konmari decluttering method

There is a method of decluttering called the Konmari method. You can go to the Konmari website here:


In a nutshell it is this method of decluttering that works like this:


Take each item, pick it up, put it in your hand and ask yourself:


1. Does this serve a purpose?
2. Does it bring me joy?
3. Do I really need it?


If it does not bring you joy or serve a purpose, get rid of it, and that goes for all those dust collectors too.


If you would like to see a total Konmari style decluttering of an entire house- here it is:

NEXT UP- Your counters!


Kitchen and bathroom counters

Clear off all of your counters in your kitchen and bathrooms.

This is the next place that drives buyers out of your house.


Kitchens must look spacious. Buyers expect roomy kitchens. They want to know all of their small appliances, dishes, utensils, will all fit into the drawers and cabinets in the kitchen.


In reality after the buyers move in, there will be stuff on their counters too.


But remember, buying a house is an emotional decision. They need to ‘feel’ the spaciousness of the kitchen.


I am one of those people who likes clear counters all the time. When I walk in my kitchen and everything is put away, I feel good. Try to capture that feeling as you start clearing out your kitchen.


Put everything away. But don’t stuff it all into the cabinets. When a buyer opens up your cabinets they need to believe that all of their stuff is going to fit and then some.


When we show buyers homes on the Sarasota Suncoast, we encourage them to open closets, cabinets, and drawers. So don’t think for a minute you can hide all your stuff behind the seeing eye. :)


Look through all of your kitchen small appliances, utensils, pots and pans, dishes, etc. Anything you have not used in over a year, put them in moving boxes and bring them to your storage unit. Or give them away. You will feel much better as you clear out your kitchen cabinets and drawers and your pantry.


In your bathrooms, same thing. Make sure all the counters are cleared off. Empty out any empty or mostly empty shampoo containers and throw them out.


Get some nice flowers and put them in vases in your bathrooms.


The point is, make all your counters look like model home counters.

Closet Clutter Needs to Go!

Clearing out Your Closets 


Next stop… your closets…


If you are like me when I am cleaning up my house in a hurry, I tend to throw whatever I don’t know quite what to do with, in my closets. I will take care of it later. Later rarely comes.


Let’s tackle your closets.


I suggest doing closet clearings in sections and tackling them one at a time so you have a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the session.


I set a timer on my phone for 20 minutes. Then I race the timer to see how much I can get done in 20 minutes.


If you do this in sessions like this; it is much easier to get it done because life gets in the way.


Get some bags; one for giving away and another for throwing away. Then get your moving boxes. Have everything ready to go so as you touch each item in your closet, you are touching it only one time.


Start on the floor- remember my section about clearing floors. Get everything off the floor. Pick up each item, make a quick decision and act on it! Race the timer! See how much you can get done! Make it a game, and then reward yourself when the timer goes off!


Your closets have to look very empty and very roomy. Buyers will think that they don’t have enough room for their clothing and other belongings if your closets are stuffed with your clothes, even if they are hanging nice and neat.


You have to thin your closets by at least 50%.


*Everything needs to be off of the floors in your closet.
*Your shoes need to be put on shoe racks or shelves.
*Your clothes on hangers should be thinned down to where you can see air through each of the hangers There should be one inch space in between each hanger.
* Anything on the top shelves should be packed and put in storage.
* Remove things that should not be in a clothing closet.


For the other closets in your house; your pantry closet, your linen closets, and any storage closets you may have, you should leave those almost empty.


Take all the belongings and again, give them away, sell them, or put them in storage.

A new coat of paint can stir a buyer’s emotions!


Should you paint your house? 

Maybe you have watched HGTV shows where you see the before and afters of homes. The paint makes such a huge difference.


But don’t rush into painting your house until you read this section.


Just because the paint colors look great on the TV shows does not mean it is going to look that great on your own house.


First, let’s figure out if you should paint your house or not.


Painting can improve your home’s value but it can also make a buyer walk right out of your house if the color turns him or her off.


That is the biggest problem with painting before you put your house on the market.


What color do you paint your house?

What rooms should you paint?


Let’s go back to the beginning of this article where I wrote about the curb appeal and making sure the first impression driving up to your house is emotionally appealing to possible buyers.


If you have cracks in your exterior paint and they are obvious, you should most likely paint the exterior of your house.


According to  painting the exterior of your house will increase your home’s value by 200%. So if you can get the exterior of your house on the Sarasota Suncoast painted for $1800, you may be able to get back $3,600 more in an offer on your house. That is pretty impressive.


If you can not get the entire exterior painted; start with painting your gutters, touch ups, and paint your trim.


Make sure there is no mold on your house before you start painting your house on the Sarasota Suncoast in Florida. Living in Florida, we are no strangers to mold.


Walk around the outside of your house, the entire perimeter and make sure you don’t have any mold or wood rot. If you do, then you need to clean it, get rid of it, all before you paint your exterior.


If you have a neutral color on your existing exterior, I would suggest to keep it that way. It is easier and less expensive to do a recoat of the same color paint.


Painting the interior of your house


The exterior of your house is the easy part.


As we move into the interior, make sure you remain neutral.


It is very easy to start looking at all the amazing colors on those paint chips and choose some of your favorite colors on your walls inside of your home.


Resist the urge to do so!


Your favorite colors may be colors the right buyer does not like at all.


A fresh coat of paint on your walls will do wonders to the way your house looks. The fresh paint also makes the house smell new. This will help with your home’s value.


For the main living areas of your home I suggest white paint because it is like a blank palette. It is much easier for the buyer to imagine their colors on the wall when they see white walls. Also, white paint makes your rooms look larger. Do not do accent walls with dark colors either.


Bathrooms painted light blues will bring more value to your house. Zillow has stated that blue will add another $5,000 to your home’s value. Now, that is nothing to sneeze at.


I like to use Sherwin Williams  paints. If you have a favorite paint brand, go ahead and use it.  You can try out the Sherwin Williams paint selector here:


Give me a call at 941-321-3916l: I am more than happy to swing by your house on the Sarasota Suncoast to get my experienced opinion on the colors that will work in your home to increase your home’s value and appeal to the buyers.


Fix what is broken

Repairs You Need To Make 

You know, sometimes I just roll my eyes…


… I will be showing a house to a buyer and they will see a leaky kitchen faucet. Suddenly that repair that we all know only costs a few dollars turns into a thousand dollars in the buyer’s mind.


The big takeaway here is to repair every single tiny thing wrong in your house before you put your property on the market no matter how insignificant they seem to you.


The following are some of the things buyers notice:


1. Cracked tiles
2. Stains in the carpet
3. Leaky faucets
4. Old stains from a past leak in the roof
5. Mold around your shower grout
6. Missing fence boards
7. Old wallpaper ( needs to be removed)
8. Running toilets


I have another tip: clean your baseboards. Many sellers don’t even pay attention to their baseboards. But buyers notice. A fresh coat of nice white paint on your baseboards is another task you can add to your to do list.


Overpricing Your Home has Consequences

Pricing Your Home Correctly 

The data all shows that when you go against the comparables in your neighborhood and list your home on the Sarasota Suncoast higher than the market value, you will lose more money in the long run.


The longer your house stays on the market, the lower your offers will be.


Many sellers use what they paid for and add in their improvements or what they owe on their mortgage. They get stuck on what is in their head about the market value of their property.


Don’t make this mistake.


You can understand that a buyer buys based on emotions. The temptation of using emotions to choose the price of your home is one you need to set aside because it will come back to haunt you.


The market does not care what you paid for your property.
The market does not care about all the improvements you made.
The market does not care about how much you owe on your mortgage.

Price your house correctly and you will sell it faster and for more than you will if you make overpricing mistakes.

Every month your property does not sell is another mortgage payment and other expenses.

Trust your real estate agent in showing you the true market values in your neighborhood. Listen to your agent. We are experienced in pricing properties.


Listen to Barbara Corcoran from the Shark Tank and also the founder of The Corcoran Group:


“The most influential factor in selling a home is always price. Don’t build ‘wiggle room’ into the asking price. There’s a price war out there and you have to win it from the get-go.”


Call me at 941-321-3916 and I will run the numbers for you. I will do an in-depth market analysis on your Sarasota Suncoast property. We will need to set up a time convenient to you for me to do a walk through of your house. You can show me the improvements you have made which a computer can not see or know about.


The reason this is so important is because the online instant value reports are at best, a pretty far fetched value since the are not based on physical condition, improvements, location, and other determining factors.


Let’s do business together.


Hiring a real estate agent 

Now it is time to get down to business.

I bring over 30 years of experience in real estate to the table. This experience benefits you as the seller.


Henry Ford once said that when you hire people who are smarter than you are, then you are smarter than they are. This is true. Since selling a home is a complicated process, it is hard to just rely on what you know because selling real estate requires full time attention to marketing, negotiating, and of course, paperwork.


When I work to sell your house; you are hiring a full time marketing team. I have an entire team of people who work to get your listing in front of the most qualified buyers on the internet.


I am your safety net. We certainly don’t want you to be putting yourself at risk by not being able to vet the people going into your home.


When you hire me to help you market and sell your property, you are getting exposure to many buyers because I network with all the real estate agents in the area. This helps them know more about your property and I welcome them to bring in their buyers!


Paperwork and Contracts 

Selling a home involves understanding offer agreements, home inspection reports, buyer mortgage lender approval letters and much more.


Most of our purchase agreements are at least ten pages. There are state and federal required disclosures. I will help you navigate through these documents.


Legal disclosures are something you can not ignore. Most people don’t even know what they are legally responsible for when they sell their property on the Sarasota Suncoast in FL.


Sellers Disclosures: gone are the days of selling your property with the words, “Buyers Beware”. Even if you sell your house “as is” ; this does not get you out of disclosing defects in your property.


Selling your house “as is” is popular in Florida however it is important to understand that the buyer will still get a home inspection. If the buyer is not happy with something on the home inspection report, he or she does not have to go through with buying your house.


One of the more common issues that has been coming up has been problems with open permits. You may have done some improvements on your property but forgot to close out your permit. Title companies will require those permits to be satisfied and closed prior to passing over a clear title.


While I can not give you legal advice as I am not an attorney and don’t play one on T.V. , I can help you with understanding all the paperwork involved when you sell your house.

Show Off the Best Your House has to Offer

Staging Your House For Sale

The Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) conducted a study and found out that 170 staged homes valued at $300,000 to $499,000  sold in an average of 22 days. This is significantly shorter than the 125 days it usually takes for unstaged homes to sell.

This 2018, Home Staging Resource conducted a survey on at least 4,200 staged homes across the world. The results of the survey were astounding!


1. 85% of the professionally staged homes sold for 6-25% more than the unstaged homes!

2. 68% of the staged homes sold for at least 9% more than their unstaged neighbors’ homes! The largest percentage of results actually came in at 9-12% increase!

Since most buyers and sellers believe that the living room is the most important room to stage in a home, here are some tips for staging your living room:

1. Couches:  Get  rid of old, sagging sofas and replace them with new ones. New sofas that complement the color of your walls will add a stylish look to your house.

2. Walls. To make your living room look fresh, apply a fresh coat of paint.

3. Lighting. Lighting can make or break the impact of your living room. Fill your living room with several sources of light.  Update your lighting.

4. Ambience. Set the mood. Remember, buyers buy based on emotions. Make sure there is no clutter in your living room. 


Most buyers want a home that gives them a sense of calm and tranquility, so that’s what you give them. You can do this by lighting some scented candles and playing some calming music along with some freshly baked cookies.


Outdoor Spaces Sell Houses in Florida!

Stage Your Outdoor Spaces

Check out these quick staging tips for outdoor spaces:


1. Get creative with your planters.

Do you have containers like large storage baskets, beach buckets or trash cans that you are not using anymore? Spray paint them and turn them into planters!


2. Cover your cushions.

If you already have pillows and cushions for your outdoor furniture, you can upgrade them by choosing new patterns and colors that will match the overall theme of your home.


3. Look up and utilize the vertical space.

To make your outdoor space look more appealing, try installing hanging planters or create a ceiling with string lights. You can also hang outdoor curtains to make this area of your home feel like an extension of your living room.


4. Replace your old outdoor carpets.

Outdoor carpeting can make a significant difference to your outdoor space.


5. Add some light.

Add lighting features to your outdoor living spaces.


“Home staging used to be optional. Today, it’s a necessity in selling a house.” -Barbara Corcoran


Your Home Photos Can Make or Break Showings

Photos sell your house before a buyer sees your house in person. 

Your first showing to your most qualified buyers is on the internet.

I make sure I get professional photos of your property. We want the buyers to schedule an in person showing.


I consider this to be your second showing.


The first showing is the one on the internet. Buyers are busy. They are not looking for homes to buy when they are shopping for a house on the internet. They are using the process of elimination to take houses off of their list.


Keeping that in mind, we want to shed the best light on your listing.

Here are some real estate photography facts:

1. Buyers spend 60% of their time looking at listing photos and only 20% looking at the description.

2. Homes with high quality photos receive 47% higher asking price per square foot than those without.

3. Listings with professional photos get 118% more online views.

4. Listings with high quality photos can get anywhere between $934 and $116,076 more on the market.

5. Professional quality photography can sell your listing 39% closer to the original listing price.


Marketing Tips

Marketing your home for sale 


Marketing your property for sale is so important to get your property in front of the most highly qualified buyers:


As a seller, you want to be able to sell your home fast. Even buyers want to speed up the process of finding a home. That is why their goal is to see what is for sale at lightning speed. So they turn to the internet.


I will market your home on all major sites, including Zillow, and many more. I will have my marketing team write your ‘house story’. This story will guide the most qualified buyers through the journey of your house. We receive a lot of compliments from homeowners on their house story.


We then promote your listing all over on the internet, including Google, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Realbird, ActiveRain, and many more sites.


I will have professional quality photos of your home to catch the attention of prospective buyers.


You can also help me market your home by posting photos of your property on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.


Buyers love videos. I will promote your video on YouTube and embed it on many of our websites and platforms.


Open Houses

We will plan together for an open house, if appropriate. I will promote your open house on the internet and boost your open house on Facebook. We will target the most qualified buyers to come to your open house.


While I do my best to promote your open house - sometimes the open house is super successful with visitors and sometimes it is not. There are many reasons beyond our control that can happen to make or break open house attendance.


For the right marketing to be effective, we review our current marketing plan and adjust the tactics if we are not seeing the results we would like to see.


What is important to you, is very important to me. I will ask you thoughtful questions, that most agents don’t even know how to ask. We can learn together what is important to you. Then I will market your home to best suit your goals, your terms and your time-frames.


I am your trusted advisor, and your expert negotiator, in your corner, and on your side!


Real estate transactions are more complex and challenging than ever before. Because of that, it’s more important than ever that you have a strong and experienced person to lead, guide and protect you, especially during the negotiation stages. I am here for you. You can count on me.


Ready to sell your home on the Sarasota Suncoast in FL? I am Beverly Bowen, your friend in the real estate business on the Sarasota Suncoast. You can contact me at 941-321-3916 to get started on your home selling journey. I have traveled this road many times and I assure you, my goal is to make you outrageously happy with a 5 star experience I provide.


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