The seller's mother had passed-away and she was looking for someone to sell the home. The first thing she did right (or her mother did) was to be on the will as a joint tenant "with right of survivorship". So now there is no need to wait for a will to be probated in Florida. The daughter can sell the home by just producing her mother's death certificate.
The second thing she did right was to inquire at the subdivision's office as to which agents had sold homes there and were up-to-date concerning the deed restrictions, by-laws, prices, etc. That is how she ended up coming to my office and employing me. As one of the most proficient internet users in the area, I think she made a good choice.
The third thing that she did right was to spend a week to get the home "tour ready". She and her hubby worked and worked to declutter the home, remove personal items, clean the house from top-to-bottom, and get rid of frilly ornamentation that hurt and did not help. Numerous bags went to the dump and others went to local charities. They even replaced an air return grate that had seen better days and repaired a missing bathtub drain and dishwaster connection. Every suggestion I made, they took to heart. When they were done, that home was ready for my video & photo magic and for buyers' tours.
They left the power and lights so that they could be activated by throwing a switch or turning a valve. This is so important. I cannot count the homes I have gone into that were dark, hot, etc due to the complete termination of the electric account. Trust me, in Florida, touring homes with no lights and no AC in them in the summer is no fun! And in any case, they will need to be activated for inspections. But many people will have the utilities turned off to save a few hundred dollars, and in turn, lose thousands of dollars and months of waiting for a buyer.
Lastly, they listened to my advice about pricing. This home was 10 years newer than any other in the subdivision. It had vaulted ceilings, a split bedroom plan, a bonus room, a great Florida room and interior laundry room. It was being sold furnished. Though they could have pushed the price up a bit, they decided to take off the competition "at the knees" and price their property a little bit below the rest. By attractively pricing their property, they were guaranteeing that anytime the other homes were being shown, theirs would surely be on the list as well. And once buyers saw how it compared to the rest of the bunch, there would be no competition.
RESULT: In less than a week, they had two good offers. One was for full-price and a short escrow. That was the one they accepted. It looks like we will have smooth sailing toward a closing before the end of the month. Most of the other homes in the park have been for sale for months, if not years. This one went in less than 7 days! And all this during what is traditionally our slow season.
Just goes to show that when you play the game correctly and work with an expert, you can sell your home in today's market. And often, sell it quickly!
John Elwell - REALTOR at CENTURY 21 Bill Nye Realty, Inc. 813-783-4444 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org