How to sell a Florida home for Top Dollar
Table of Contents
- How to sell your Florida home for top dollar.
- 1. Price it Right
- Decide on your listing strategy
- Tips on How to Market correctly and get the most interest in your Florida Home
- 2. Stage Your Home
- 3. Work With a Real Estate Agent
- 4. Make it Memorable
- 5. Be Accessible
- How to prepare when selling your Florida house.
- What professionals should I hire to assist me in the selling process?
- Sell your luxury home in south east Florida and New York City today!
How to sell your Florida home for top dollar.
Selling a house in Florida can be both an exciting and daunting prospect. With the right approach, you can maximize your home’s sale price and get the most money for it. Here are tips to help you sell your house quickly while getting top-dollar in the sunshine state.
If after reading this article you decide you need more answers or are looking to hire an agent to help you sell your home, we are here to help. Call (917) 909-8063 Today, or feel free to schedule a free consultation.
1. Price it Right
Research the local real estate market in your area so that you can accurately determine the fair market value of your property. Decide on a listing and marketing strategy before you commit to a price, as the price is only one tool in the overall strategy used to get you the highest net proceeds possible when you sell a house. Use this information to find a competitive listing price that will attract buyers.
For your convenience, this free home evaluation tool can help you estimate your home’s market value.
Decide on your listing strategy
a. Real Estate Agent:
An agent who is experienced in selling homes in your Florida area can be a great asset. They will do the legwork for you to find qualified buyers, and help you negotiate the best price for your home.
Comparing different quality levels of agents:
A comprehensive agent (marketing, home sale, and negotiation expert)
If a realtor claims to be a comprehensive agent, then this person or team should also be a marketing expert, a seasoned negotiator, and a skilled transaction agent with the knowledge, skills, and team to complete a deal promptly while being able to overcome unanticipated problems with buyers as they arise.
Many agents pitch that they are a “full-service agent” and most uniformed consumers accept this without digging deeper. Learn to ask the right questions.
- A skilled realtor anticipates problems before they arise and has solutions already in place.
- A skilled realtor is a professional in multiple disciplines, including being a Skilled Marketing Professional, a Negotiation Expert, and someone with excellent time management, contract, and transaction knowledge.
- They also have access to quality inspectors, title companies, escrow services, home insurance providers, mortgage lenders, surveyors, handymen, trade professionals, and at least one great real estate attorney.
Want to learn the right questions to ask when interviewing agents to make sure you get the best professional possible? This guide goes in depth into understanding what separates the best and the worst agents, and the strategies used by top agents.
A basic agent (puts the property on the MLS) produces fewer buyers
This commonly includes flat fee mls services and brokerages, and low-quality agents who have low confidence in their abilities, skills, and track record.
For Sale By Owner (FSBO):
Selling your home by yourself, as a FSBO seller, is an option that can potentially save money on real estate agent commissions. “Potentially” is the keyword. The process can seem much simpler than it actually is. Working with a seasoned professional is strongly suggested vs. trying to sell your house without a realtor.
Important stats about homes sold without an agent:
According to the National Association of Realtors, about 8% of homes sold in 2020 were done so through For Sale By Owner (FSBO) transactions. The remaining 92% of home sales were completed with a listing agent. However, it is worth noting that the percentage of FSBO seller activity has been declining over the last decade due to the increasing complexity of the real estate landscape.
What to expect if you choose to attempt to sell your home without an agent:
When selling without an agent, you will need to be prepared to handle the entire selling process including marketing, showings, paperwork, and negotiations with buyers. Still curious about how to sell FSBO? Read more about how to sell your home without an agent, we have a free resource here: How to sell your home without an agent For Sale By Owner (FSBO).
Offer a competitive buyer’s agent commission
You still need to offer a competitive buyer’s agent commission to get the best deals. No one works for free. Read it again. Even if you choose to sell FSBO, no one works for free and that includes buyer’s representative for good reason. If you had the experience of working with 98% of residential buyers you would likely feel that you should be paid double, but this is beside the point.
Don’t be an owner in Florida other’s avoid. Most buyer’s reps will simply overlook your property, or have an extreme bias toward a house that isn’t paying and the homes that are. Make sure the commission is attractive so that they bring you their high quality homebuyers.
c. Flat Fee MLS Services:
If you want to sell your home yourself but don’t want to completely handle the selling process from start to finish, you can opt for a flat fee MLS service for flat fee MLS listings. This allows you to pay a fee to list property on the MLS. What is offered varies regionally and by company, and what is included in the fees differ from one firm to the next. As the old adage goes: “You get what you pay for”. Generally this is only used by a FSBO seller, as this method generally requires you as the seller to do 98% of the work.
The woes of the overly optimistic:
A story about selling without an agent, going FSBO flat fee, that you might want to consider:
I recently was talking to one of our title reps and she shared a quintessential story that we in the business hear all too often when Florida sellers decide they’ll be selling FSBO. A Florida seller, her niece, decided she would sell her home without an agent, and use a flat fee company to help her market.
Needless to say, the niece, thought she would be able to get more help from the flat fee MLS service than she had paid for and quickly came to find out that wasn’t going to happen. In a state of panic, having no idea how to manage the transaction, all the calls, the requests for showings, and not having a clue on the paperwork, disclosures, real estate contracts, or how to negotiate, when the buyer’s lender started calling and the buyer’s realtor started negotiation the buyer’s agent commission, she called her aunt a 45 year veteran begging for help.
The aunt offered some guidance with the key message being “hire an agent, you don’t know what you are doing, and I can’t help you with all these things. If you want to do this on your own, then you’re going to have to figure out how to do it on your own. I wish I could help you, I simply don’t have the time. Calling a title company for this advice is silly, and I am not the right person for your request.”
How often do you sell houses? Are you measurably experienced?
Most Florida sellers only sell a house at Florida once, or a few times in their life. Like anything in life, experience, knowledge, support, and resources matter. You get what you pay for and the same is true with discount brokers and flat fee services. Selling real estate is not something people learn in a weekend. The best of the best take years to hone their craft working with colleagues and mentors, and will most likely have exponentially more experience than you. For most people, the costs greatly outweigh the benefit of trying to do it alone using a flat fee MLS service.
Want some guidance on how to market your house professional and get it sold today? Call (917) 909-8063 now, or feel free to schedule a free consultation.
Tips on How to Market correctly and get the most interest in your Florida Home
Compare Listing Prices of Similar Properties
A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is an essential step towards selling your home for a big return. It helps you determine the true value of your property and set a competitive listing price that will attract prospective buyers. When selling a house, first find out what other owners in the same area are marketing as their MLS listing price for by researching recent sales data. You can look up the asking and closing price of comparable homes in the county assessor’s office or consult with a real estate professional who may have access to even more detailed information.
Prepare in advance:
When selling a house the process requires research ahead of time, especially when you want to sell a house in Florida. Once you’ve gathered selling prices, look at the features of each property and establish an average asking price for similar properties in your area. This will give you a better idea of what you can realistically get for your home.
Use a Professional Appraisal to Determine Value
When selling your Florida home, it is a good idea to get a professional appraisal. An appraisal is conducted by an independent appraiser and involves an analysis of the size and condition of the property, as well as recent sales data locally.
The appraiser will provide you with an estimate of what your house should be worth, which can help you set an asking price. Note that an appraisal does not determine the value of your house, but it is a good starting point when selling your Florida home.
For your convenience, this free home evaluation tool can help you estimate your home’s market value.
Take Professional-Quality Photos
Photos are a great way to showcase your home and attract interested buyers. When selling your Florida home, make sure to hire a professional photographer who will make the exterior and interior of your house shine. These photos should be clear, bright and show off the best features of your property. This will help buyers visualize living in the home and create an emotional connection with the house, which can help you get higher net proceeds.
Make Sure Your Property Photographs Don’t Suck!
I’m surprised that people are still using Instagram photos to try and sell their homes, as if anyone can take a decent shot with their phone! Like why would you wanna buy a house that looks like someone said “hey let’s just toss this on the stove and see what happens”? It’s kind of like trying to get a delicious pastry
All you need to do is browse the internet for 30 minutes to understand the difference between professional and amateur photos, and in the age of digital marketing good photos sell, and bad photos flop. It is obvious which homes were photographed on a smart phone, a house without a realtor looks low quality, dark, disorganized and often times shows very unflattering angles and features. Florida home buyers and Florida home sellers are similar, they are human, and we as humans are effected by our emotions and beauty.
If you don’t take the time to get professional photos of your home, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. People are effected by their emotions and the allure of breathtaking photos when it comes to looking at property online. Poor quality photographs will severely impact potential buyers interest in your home, reducing the number of visitors to your open houses, as well as closing a sale.
When you hire an exclusive agent, they are typically well-experienced in closing the sale and working with potential buyers. They likely have connections to professional photographers who can take incredible photos of your home that will make it stand out from the rest.
Your Property Description Matters!
When selling your Florida home, the property description matters. Poorly written copy can make homebuyers uncertain about the house and leave them wondering if it is really worth their money. Professional copywriters know what to write in order to create an emotional connection with interested buyers and emphasize the positive features of the house.
Quality copywriting using descriptive and enticing property descriptions will make buyers want to come see for themselves. This is one more reason why trying to sell without a realtor doesn’t make sense. The best agents have their own team of professionals who specialize in advertising copy that you can leverage for free.
Consider Current Market Conditions
When selling a home in Florida, it is important to consider the current market conditions. Macroeconomics refers to economic trends and indicators at a national or regional level, while microeconomics looks at individual markets or properties.
At a macroeconomic level, you should look at housing trends such as average selling prices and the number of homes selling in the area. This will provide a better understanding of the larger housing market and how it may affect your final price. Additionally, look at factors such as unemployment rates and consumer confidence to get an overall picture of economic stability in the state.
At a microeconomic level, you should focus on local conditions specific to your property. Look at comparable homes in your area to get an idea of selling prices and the features that attract buyers. Additionally, research factors such as local schools or transportation options that could affect the price your home closes for.
By taking a macroeconomic and microeconomic approach to selling a home in Florida, you can ensure that you receive top dollar for your property. Sell a house is a local game impacted by local circumstances, rules, and activity.
Calculate Estimated Closing Costs and Taxes
When selling your home in Florida, you should be aware of the estimated costs, property taxes, and transaction taxes associated with selling a property. (A preemptive home inspection can save you thousands!) Transaction costs are typically 5-8% of the selling price and may vary depending on where you live.
How do you calculate the bottom line?
When selling a home, it’s important to know how much money you’ll get when closing the sale. To calculate the bottom line of a real estate transaction, you need to subtract closing costs and any other costs related to selling your home from the final sale price.
For example, if the final sale price of your house is $600,000 and closing costs are $48,000, your bottom line would be $552,000. That’s the amount of money you’ll get after closing the sale. It’s important to remember that these expenses can vary from one state to another so it’s wise to do some research before closing a transaction.
You must pay taxes! Make sure you are current on your property tax disclosure summary. Understanding the buyer’s closing costs and their finances can help you create a better deal. Contacting your title company in advance can be very useful. A breakdown of these expenses includes:
These include title insurance, escrow fees, and other related costs.
Real estate commissions:
As an owner in Florida, understanding how commissions work is important. The commission paid to a listing agents is commonly 6% of contract price, though prices can be higher or lower depending on the circumstance.
Buyer’s agent commissions:
Contrary to what many people have been told, buyer’s agent commissions and listing agent’s commission are not set in stone when selling a house. How a buyer’s realtor is paid can differ strongly based on the circumstances surrounding the deal, the local norms in the area, and the current market conditions.
During the pandemic there was an increasing trend among some Florida home sellers during the selling process for buyer’s agents to collect their own fees and make sure they have their buyer’s agent commission ironed out with their client, the homebuyer.
are a specific type of tax that is assessed on real estate ownership. These taxes are set and collected by local governments, and the amount payable is typically determined by the fair market value of the property in question.
These are taxes and fees associated with transferring the deed and recording legal documents.
Depending on the county or municipality you live in, there may be transfer taxes due when selling a property. Homeowner’s association fees: If you live in an HOA community, selling costs may include any outstanding dues or assessments. In addition to these transaction costs, you should also consider the capital gains tax. This will vary based on your total closing price and how. Who pays these fees is negotiable depending on if it’s a hot seller’s market, or a bearish buyer’s market when you sell your house.
Take into Account Recent Home Improvements or Upgrades.
When selling your home, it is important to take into account any recent repairs or upgrades you have made. This can help increase the market value of your property and could potentially qualify for a lower capital gains tax rate.
Before you sell your house, create a checklist of all the repairs and upgrades you have done to the home within the last year prior to selling. This could include anything from a new roof to painting the exterior of the home. Get a home inspection so you can pre-empt buyer negotiation.
In addition to repairs and upgrades, you should also consider any depreciation in value since you purchased the home. Your tax basis is usually calculated by subtracting all selling expenses from your original purchase price. On top of this, you can subtract any depreciation in value from the home since the time of purchase.
By taking into account recent repairs and upgrades, as well as any depreciation in value, selling your Florida home can help increase homebuyer’s interest positively impacting the market value and potentially reduce capital gains tax rate.
2. Stage Your Home
Take the necessary steps to prepare your home for sale. This might involve decluttering and depersonalizing, refreshing the walls with a new coat of paint, making necessary repairs and deep cleaning every corner of your house from top to bottom.
4 Quick Steps to Preparing Your Florida Home Sale:
Preparing your home for sale can help to maximize selling price and attract prospective buyers. Here are some tips for staging your Florida home:
- Declutter and depersonalize the space by removing any personal items or belongings that could distract from the home’s features
- Refresh the walls with a new coat of paint in neutral colors
- Make necessary repairs to any broken fixtures or outdated appliances
- Deep clean every corner of the house from top to bottom
By taking these steps, you can make your home attractive to interested buyers and increase selling price. Take advantage of this free in-depth home staging cheat sheet and get your house ready to sell so you can move forward into the next stages of your life!
3. Work With a Real Estate Agent
When you want to sell your house in Florida, consider working with a real estate agent who has experience in the local market and can provide you with valuable advice to help you prepare your home for sale. They can also help you market your property effectively and find qualified buyers. However, no two agents are the same! Asking these questions will help you properly vet any agent before you hire them.
To sell a house, hiring an exclusive listing agent to help you attract the best prospective buyers while also managing the entire transaction process, including marketing, scheduling, showings, negotiation and follow-up, contracts can be a great decision. Experienced real estate agents are informed of current market trends and knows how to effectively market your property in order to attract and vet interested buyers.
A Florida realtor will also have a better understanding of the transaction process, including closing costs, transfer taxes and homeowner’s association fees. Additionally, they can provide advice on how to prepare your home for sale and maximize selling price.
A great realtor is experienced and skilled in handling the negotiations on your behalf while also guiding you through a successful property transaction so that you can be as relaxed and comfortable as possible
4. Make it Memorable
Try to make sure that potential buyers remember the details of your home after they tour it. This could include highlighting additional features or amenities that make your home stand out from other listings in the area.
A great way to make sure buyers remember your house in Florida is by offering something unique. Maybe it’s an outdoor living space with a built-in fire pit and cozy seating area, or a luxurious in-ground pool they can enjoy during the summer months. Scented candles, fresh cut flowers, or even better live orchids! Offer some snacks and water during the open house.
If your property has something unique during specific times of day, consider doing the open-house at that time and show off what makes your home unique! Whatever it is, make sure it stands out from other homes on the market and gives potential buyers something to remember.
You can also use closing process incentives to make sure that buyers don’t forget about your home when making their decision. Offering closing cost assistance, or another type of incentive, could be just the thing to push them in the direction of your home over someone else’s.
By taking these extra steps, you can be sure that your property transaction will stand out from the crowd and make a lasting impression on all the buyers. Good luck!
5. Be Accessible
Make sure you are accessible to interested parties throughout the entire process. To sell a house requires that you respond quickly to inquiries and be available for showings so that buyers don’t miss out on the opportunity to view your property.
We recently has a ridiculous experience with a client who during the middle of a negotiation “forgot” to tell us she’d be going on a cruise and likely wouldn’t have access to her phone or email for a few days. Big mistake! An amazing record breaking sale completely fell through. Fireballs were flung from one corner of the earth to the other as the buyer threatened to sue, and generally had an emotional meltdown before finally pulling out of the deal. When the seller got back from their trip, let’s just say they weren’t happy with the news.
Communication is key, especially during a real estate transaction.
By following these tips, you can get the highest net proceeds for your house in Florida and have a successful sale.
Selling a home is stressful. You don’t have to do it alone and we can help you. Call (917) 909-8063 now, or feel free to schedule a free consultation.
How to prepare when selling your Florida house.
Homework and preparation pay off. If you don’t want to do it, then make sure to hire someone that well or suffer the consequences.
Scope out the competition (Be A Nosey Neighbor)
Scope out the competition – be a nosey neighbor when selling a house in the sunshine state. When selling your Florida house, you must do your research to get the most money. Utilize all online tools available and attend open houses to see what other homes are going for.
This will help you gain insight into what features of your home may need updating or be appealing to buyers. Taking the time to know your competition is key to understanding what you need to do to get a good deal.
- Has your agent gone and checked out the current owners homes that are selling a house?
- Has your agent checked out the FSBO homes and the properties being sold by FSBO sellers?
- Have you checked out local real estate websites?
- Can you tell the difference between the images shot by a professional real estate photographer and the others?
Analyze Florida’s Property Market Data for a Correct Listing Price
It’s no secret that Florida homeowners have a special bond with their homes, but when it comes to pricing them for sale, it’s best to leave your emotions on the shelf and stay firmly rooted in reality. To get the most money you should a comparative market analysis. Fortunately, there are some great resources available – like Zillow and Redfin – that can help you accurately value your property by comparing it to recent sales in the area.
If you want even better data to make sure you can get the best insights into the market, don’t try to sell without a realtor, link up with a local brokerage firm to get MLS access and detailed market reports. Don’t forget – buyers don’t want to hear about your fond memories of living there, they just want to know if you’re offering a fair price!
Give Florida buyers what they want
When it comes to selling Florida real estate, understanding your buyers is key. It’s a big ask, and you need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in order to give them what they want. If you’re looking for inspiration, you can compare decorating blog posts or books that have already sold to get an idea of what buyers are looking for.
You can also utilize Pinterest to gain insights into the current popular trends. Doing this will ensure that you are giving potential buyers everything they need. Go get that paycheck!
What professionals should I hire to assist me in the selling process?
- Real Estate agent
- Real Estate attorney
- Title and Escrow company
- Home inspector
You should also consider hiring:
- A professional cleaning service
- A professional staging company
- If the home is still occupied, a professional de-clutterer
How realtor commissions work in Florida
When negotiating the sale of homes, the commission scenario is four in varying degrees. List with a representative and sell on the basis of representative from buyers. Payment of agent’s commission fees. It’s traditional. When a specific type of property sells, it negotiates a commission on behalf of an agent. Generally this ranges between 2.25% and 3.04% depending upon Florida’s typical commission prices. The seller is able to pay a 2.46% to 3.04% commission to a realtor who brought buyers.
Do you need an attorney to sell a house in Florida?
In Florida, the law does not require an attorney to handle the closing. Nonetheless, this should be taken in good faith to prevent unanticipated events and costly hiccups for you. Many investors use a Florida real estate professional early on to evaluate, edit or develop a sale agreement.
“What is the MLS?”
The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a database of property listings that real estate agents and brokers use to market properties. It includes all the information needed to help evaluate properties such as listing prices, descriptions, photos, features, and other details. The local MLS is an invaluable tool for real estate professionals and gives them access to the most up-to-date information on property listings.
Agents and brokers use the MLS to find potential buyers, negotiate deals, and coordinate closing processes. The local MLS is not available to consumers and is only accessible by a licensed professional. By hiring an exclusive Florida agent, you have access to their knowledge of the local market and their expertise in closing transactions quickly and efficiently. This can help make your transaction as smooth as possible.
Florida regulations FSBO sellers should know
Transactions selling FSBO usually take place within the state with title companies so the homebuyer is given a clear title. Many of these companies facilitates closing, calculates all expenses, collects and disperses funds, and finalizes the documents. But before closing day arrives the rightful owner selling FSBO must follow Florida laws and regulations, including providing the seller property disclosure regarding their property. Selling a house FSBO is generally much harder than people realize. Hiring a Florida real estate agent who has access to a vetted real estate attorney is a good idea.
For your convenience, this free home evaluation tool can help you estimate your home’s market value.
Don’t get sued or fined
If you don’t have a profession and have a ton of time on your hands, you should learn about Florida laws regarding home sales and learn the rules. We meant it. Your Florida MLS company should maintain an accurate listing update and promptly update it. MLS companies are often chosen for these reasons. If they haven’t been updated quickly, it can result in penalties which have to be paid out by FSBO sellers.
A few items FSBO sellers in a real estate transaction can be sued for: failing to disclose material defects or issues; misrepresenting information regarding the property; not completing repairs agreed upon in the contract; not closing on time; and failure to pay closing costs.
It’s important to work with an experienced agent who understands Florida real estate regulations to protect your interests. They’ll ensure that the closing process is smooth and efficient, reduce the risk of litigation, and maximize the amount of money you get after closing the sale. Selling or buying a home without a realtor is risky business!
Mineral and water rights
Some Florida property owners do not have subsurface land on the beaches. This is called mineral rights or water rights. Under Florida Statute 7045.0 mineral owners can access property for the purpose of mining subsurface. Subsurface properties can be bought easily. Make sure to warn prospective investors that a different owner may be able to acquire mineral or water right on your land. This information is typically located either on your title insurance policy or on the county record.
Do I need a real estate attorney in Florida?
While FSBO sellers and traditional home sellers working with a realtor don’t need an attorney in Florida. However, Florida real estate sales may pose difficult legal issues. If you are unsure about the legal risks and real estate contract issues surrounding selling your house, consult a professional. In other situations an attorney may be able to review your contract to make sure that your purchase is safe from any potential disputes or at the very least let you know what risks you are taking on in the transaction.
The hidden dangers of working flat fee MLS companies
The Florida real estate market is competitive! When it comes to selling your home, the difference between working with discount brokers like a flat fee MLS company and an exclusive agent can be huge. Working with an exclusive agent means you’re getting professional expertise, experience, and access to a network of potential buyers in addition to a MLS listing vs. the limited support of a flat fee MLS company. Exclusive agents understand the home selling process, and are dedicated to helping you make the most of your sale – netting you the highest proceeds possible. Working without a realtor generally isn’t the best choice.
On the other hand, choosing a flat fee MLS company means paying less up front but leaving yourself vulnerable in other areas. Many flat fee companies provide minimal assistance and leave you without the support and guidance you need to get the best deal out of your sale. You can be left with less money in your pocket, no one to help guide you through the process, or even worse – a home that never sells at all!
These tips for selling your Florida home for the best ROI are just a few ways to ensure you get the most out of your property sale. With good preparation and careful consideration, you can make sure you receive the maximum value for your house.
The bottom line is this: when it comes to selling your home, choose wisely.
Sell your luxury home in south east Florida and New York City today!
At The James Ruff Group, our firm is the best at what we do. We have a team of experienced real estate professionals who will help you get the most money for your home. We know how to market and sell homes quickly and efficiently.
You want to get the most money for your home, and so do we. That’s why our team will work tirelessly to make sure that happens. We know the luxury real estate market inside and out, so you can trust us to get the job done right.
Real estate investors and sellers looking to find a home before they move should contact us for off-market properties both in New York and South East Florida.
We provide Best In Class service, record breaking sales, and relationship you can count on.
James R. Ruff
About the Author
James R. Ruff – With 30+ years in real estate construction, investing, and brokerage, having studied at Harvard Business School, James Ruff leads The James Ruff Group Real Estate Brokerage Firm as Principal Broker and Owner.
Operating from offices at Madison Park in Manhattan, New York, The South of Fifth in Miami, Florida, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, his team of expert advisors specializes in luxury residential and commercial properties throughout the USA.
James Ruff’s team is dedicated to helping you build wealth, security, and happiness through quality real estate guidance, one transaction at a time, for a lifetime.
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