If you found this article you are most likely just starting the process of selling your home in the St. Pete area. I hate to see you go, why would you leave St. Pete??? I suppose you probably have a good reason whether you need to move or are upgrading or downsizing. I figured I’d put together this list to help you get started with the process. If you’d like to enlist our help we would be grateful for your business and if not that’s OK too, I hope this article is helpful! With that said, here are the Top 7 Things To Do When Selling Your Home In St. Pete, Florida.
7. Interview more than one agent
According to the 2019 Census, Pinellas County has a population of just under 1 million which is interesting because it seems like there’s about 10 million real estate agents in this area.
Every agent will look at the pricing data a little differently. Typically most agents have a basic idea of home criteria to take into consideration – similar square footage, type of home construction, age of the home, comparable bedrooms and bathrooms and an appropriate search radius that an appraiser will consider. These are basics and will usually get us 90% there with our research.
Some areas require a more intimate knowledge. For example would you compare a waterfront home on a canal to one with a direct water view? How about homes with different lot sizes? What about a home in Old Northeast compared to a home in the neighborhood Historic Uptown which is right across the street but has dramatically different values? What about a neighborhood like Palmetto Park that’s seeing a dramatic rise in prices due to the nearby commercial development of The Grand Central District?
I personally work mostly in the areas surrounding Downtown St. Pete including Kenwood, Uptown, Old Northeast, Old Southeast, Allendale, Crescent Heights, Woodlawn and Euclid St. Paul. I’m also very familiar with neighborhoods in South St. Pete since I’ve lived there for about 7 years now. Some of these areas include Roser Park, Lakewood Estates, Pinellas Point and Coquina Key.
My business partner Ryan has lived on the north end of Pinellas County and has more intimate knowledge of Seminole, Clearwater, Dunedin, Pinellas Park and Largo.
Not only does knowledge matter but what’s just as important is your relationship with your agent. Are they listening to your concerns and replying properly? Are they someone you trust? I’d recommend interviewing 2-3 agents in person and see who you vibe with. They will need to come see your home in person to give you the most accurate estimate anyway so you might as well set up a time to meet.
6. Touch it up with some paint!
It’s amazing how much some paint can do to refresh a home. Paint is relatively inexpensive and can make a world of difference. Paint colors can be a divisive topic since everyone has different feelings about different colors. Sometimes it’s best to keep it as neutral as possible. When I bought my condo it was all renovated and every single wall was a clean white. This made it seem much more light, bright , modern and open. This provided me with a blank canvas and I have since added my own accent wall which I’m really happy about.
I represent a lot of buyers and one thing most people notice is any discoloration in the ceiling. Many times these are from previous leaks that have since been repaired. If this is the case in your home, be sure to paint the ceiling so people don’t write off your house for potential water damage concerns. Of course if you have an active leak you should fix it because the home will need to be insurable at closing for any financed buyer!
There’s a lot of information online about neutral colors. Different shades of grey, beige and whites are all popular right now. Here’s an article with a ton of information(https://www.clare.com/paint/wall/penthouse?sscid=91k4_8g8hg)
Believe it or not paint can also neutralize some faint smells that you may have gotten used to but others may notice. This is especially true if you have pets or carpet.
Please do a good job painting or even better yet hire a professional. Painting is a lot of work and can be frustrating if you don’t have the right tools or experience. One thing that most people will notice is the quality of painting. If you’ve done a poor job here, it will give the buyer the impression that you may have cut corners with other aspects of the house as well. This may be obvious to most but be sure to spackle and paint over any holes that you have from decorations!
5. De-clutter and consider staging
I hate moving but the one thing I do enjoy about moving is the opportunity to get rid of all the things I never use anymore. Use this time in your life to embrace your inner minimalist and get your house down to the bare minimum necessities. Most homes that I show are already vacant which makes it easy for the potential buyer to visualize their furniture inside.
Some agents advocate that you hire a stager but I’ve never actually found that to be necessary. There are exceptions – If you’re a professional flipper and have a connection with a staging company then it may be worth it. Also if you’re selling a luxury home then the cost may only be a drop in the bucket compared to the rest of your selling expenses.
Most people are looking to minimize the cost of selling so I’d suggest just keeping it simple – keep it clean and organized. If you price your home right in this market then you should only have to keep it ship shape for a week or so until you get a contract. Most buyers don’t need to see fancy tableware and plush rugs. They’re more concerned with how beds and couches will fit into the space which is something you can probably demonstrate with your own furniture.
With that said, I’ve also seen staging go a long way. I showed a house the other day that was listed as a 2 bed / 1 bath. One of the bedrooms wasn’t even big enough to fit a twin bed inside so it was essentially a 1.5 bedroom home. The stagers put a daybed in there and a quaint sitting area which made the room look really impressive. Most people would just write off a tiny bedroom as a waste of space if it hadn’t been staged like this.
I’ve seen homes go for under market value due to a massive amount of clutter inside. If you have things covering the floors and walls then the buyer is taking a risk not knowing what potential damage is hidden. Most buyers don’t want to take that risk so please de-clutter as much as you can!
4. Hire a professional cleaner
This is especially true if you’re planning on leaving your home vacant when selling. Sure anyone can clean but you may need to go out and buy the right chemicals and equipment to cut through kitchen grease, bathroom grout, flooring stains etc. You’re really not going to be paying a whole lot more to hire a professional by the time you buy all the necessary stuff to clean. This will of course help with some faint stagnant smells that you may have gotten used to. People notice when a place smells clean versus a place that’s inundated with artificial scents that are used to cover up a smell so it is important to get it properly cleaned! I’d be happy to recommend a trustworthy cleaner if you need.
3. Consider these DIY projects to improve your re-sale value
Without a total remodel, there are a few things you can do to improve the re-sale value of your home. I’m not an especially handy person but these are projects I’ve managed to tackle myself that made a rental unit I bought much more appealing. These are also projects that a handyman should be able to knock out without running up a bill too much.
Toilets – Many homes I see in St. Pete have older toilets. These are typically smaller in size, lower to the ground and not as clean as they could look if they were new of course. A new toilet is going to be immaculately clean and also most times be more efficient than older ones.
Faucets – Both Kitchen and Bathroom faucets can make a big difference. Sometimes older faucets have lots of calcified residue and at some point your best bet is to just go ahead and put a nice newer one in there.
Blinds – Older blinds can be cleaned up and sometimes look pretty good afterwards however be sure to check the functionality of them as well. If they don’t work properly it’s probably best to replace them with newer blinds or drapes. Another option is to remove them completely and let the new buyers put in their own window treatments.
Cellular blinds without strings are really popular right now. They’re easy to install and can also help keep cool air inside your home during the summer. They also filter light and look pretty classy in my opinion.
Paint Cabinets and Hardware – My brother recently did this to his kitchen which was original from the late 1970’s. He replaced the countertop with a butcher block and painted the cabinets and cabinet hardware. The kitchen looks much more modern and it only took him a couple of days. A flat grey with black hardware look a lot better than a yellowed white!
2. Get professional photography
When you interview an agent it’s not a bad idea to ask them to send you the homes they’ve sold in the past. This way you can see how much effort they actually put into their listings before you sign a contract with them. Professional photography really helps get people into the house. Wide angle lenses can show off a space in a way that regular photos cannot. Everything from the lighting, angles and colors that are edited in post production help make your home look more appealing which in turn will get more potential clients in.
Drone photography can also be extremely important. This helps show off the neighborhood and proximity to important landmarks such as Downtown, the water or the beach. People not only want to know what the house itself looks like but also the surrounding area. Make sure your agent will hire a professional to make your home look it’s best.
1. List your house before the weekend
Weekends are the busiest times for showing homes. When you put your house on the market, you want to ensure that you get the most potential buyers coming through your home at once. This makes it easier on you as a seller so you can leave your home for a chunk of time and allow multiple buyers to come through rather than having to vacate your home for each individual showing.
Sometimes it takes a day for the MLS to syndicate with the main real estate websites and populate your listing. It also sometimes takes a day or two for MLS to send these properties out to the people set up on the MLS autosearch. You don’t want to risk losing a potential buyer for a reason as simple as them not seeing it. For that reason we always list on either Wednesday or Thursday. This allows everyone interested to see the home and plan their showing for the weekend. Also make sure your agent is willing to hold an open house to facilitate any buyers that may want to come through and don’t have a buyers agent to set up the appointment.
Selling your home can be a smooth process if you pick an agent that knows how to get the job done. Be sure to interview a few agents and see whose personality works best with your needs. If you’d like to get an estimate on your homes worth feel free to leave your information below and we can get the process started. You can also call or text me anytime and I’ll get back to you ASAP. Thanks for reading!