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Selling a Home TIPS: How I Got This Home Under Contract in 3 Weeks

A seller recently came to me in despair wanting to sell her Bayshore Beautiful home in South Tampa quickly. She had listed her home with another Tampa Realtor, had tried selling it herself, and had three contracts fall through for various reasons. Not only was she dealing with the stress of selling a home, but her husband had passed away and the stress was overwhelming. With a $7,000 monthly mortgage payment hanging over her head, she needed to sell the home in a flash.

I needed to find a qualified buyer, someone who would follow through to closing. In Tampa, with its fast-paced real estate market and low inventory, this was easier said than done.

The right buyer is someone who is both emotionally attached and qualified. It’s not someone trying to tie up a property with the fear of not getting it because there are five other people wanting to make an offer. This is exactly what happened when my seller previously tried selling her home.

I looked at what marketing had been done and realized there were several selling features of the home that had not been included. The home looked like the owner had left in a hurry: Half of the furniture was already removed, the windows were dirty, and the photography lacked any creativity. I decided this was going to be a project that could not be handled alone.Bayshore Beautiful Historic Home

Part of my marketing strategy was finishing off the attic, adding an additional 560 square foot of livable space, but buyers need vision.

What do I mean by vision? It is the ability to have an imaginative conception or anticipation of what a home could be. I knew the potential of adding additional living space would increase the value of the home dramatically for a new buyer; now I had to determine how to convey the message. I used the image above, the top being what the attic looked like in its present state and the bottom two images of what it could look like. I used this in my advertising to give potential buyers vision and create value, and it worked! Most of the them mentioned they saw the photos online and that prompted them to see the property.

The attic vision, along with all new photography highlighting the property’s proximity to Tampa Bay, was just the beginning. We spent a few hundred dollars getting the windows washed and various other touchups done on the outside, but the inside needed major help, too. I also decided the enlist the services of a home stager, Lisa Berardo with Collective Construction Interiors in Tampa Bay.

A home stager is not an interior decorator, a real estate agent or an architect. A home stager must possess, in addition to an innate aesthetic taste, expertise in the field of furniture, architecture, technical and artistic skills; skills of real estate with particular regard to the marketing of the property; in-depth knowledge of the target market in terms of quantity and quality; ease of marketing management; and a good grasp of building regulations and urban planning.

Home staging is a true marketing technique, a project of communication. The purpose is to facilitate the sale of a property through a few targeted interventions that, contrary to what happens with a custom renovation, make the property appealing to greatest numbers of potential customers. We could say that is the art of exploiting a property, improving the image, before placing it on the market to facilitate a sale in the shortest time and at the best price.

One of the home’s main selling features was a beautiful sunroom with a peak-a-boo look at the bay. Lisa had the great idea to turn it into an artists’ studio. Here are the before and after photos. Which room would inspire you?  sunroom

As soon as we relisted the home, we received two offers; however, they were not the right  buyers for the home.

Shortly after, we received another offer and I knew this was the right buyer. Several meetings were set up with the stager/designer and her construction team so the buyer could determine the cost of renovating the home. At the end of the day, the buyer saw the vision because of the way it was presented, and he decided it was the perfect fit for his family.

The home closed in less than two months from the date it was listed and the seller got her price.

Here’s what the seller had to say about her Bayshore Blvd home:

“ A dear friend recommended Rae. She worked diligently as my Realtor. She sold the house, from beginning to closing, in about three weeks. Rae is professional, knowledgeable, and the most amazing negotiator. If I had another property to sell I would only trust Rae to get the job done.”

Did you know property values have increased in Tampa? Find out what your home is worth in today’s real estate market here.

Written by Rae Catanese, Realtor

Licensed Realtor since 2002, Tampa Bay’s own Rae Catanese regularly gives expert advice and insider tips about the Tampa Bay real estate market via her blog, The Tampa Real Estate Insider. If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in the Tampa, St. Petersburg or Clearwater areas-then this blog is for you. I typically post articles once a week. To make sure you don’t miss my newest posts, you can subscribe here! Have a real estate question? Email me here!

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