Thinking about selling your home?

Here in South Florida, our market is changing.

In case you are thinking about selling your home, it is important to know that just a few days ago, a local Real Estate analysis stated that the Florida Real Estate market is “catching its breath after a frantic summer and fall; the current numbers are signaling a turn toward a more balanced market.”

Buyers scrambled to close before the end of the year in order to take advantage of the homestead exemption. On the flip side, if the current homeowner’s taxes are low because they owned the property for along time, the buyer may want to close early 2016 to keep the low tax rate.

Home selling is an art and a science. The art is the staging and marketing processes; The science involves in-depth market knowledge and negotiation strategies. When we list your home, we pay for a professional inspection so there are no surprises.

Don’t have the money to do the necessary repairs and touch-ups to make your home turn-key ready? We have the solution for that also.

Intrigued?! Email us at or call us at 954-964-2559

Become a Savvy Seller

We understand how you feel but…A Guide to Become a Savvy Seller

Whenever you’re new to anything—a new job, a new exercise routine, a new school, a new town—you’re apt to say some things that seasoned professionals hear time and time again. Because selling a property isn’t something you do every day, you may be unaware of how things really work and sometimes you don’t trust your agent completely because you may think he/she is just trying to make THEIR job easier or sell fast to get their commission. So if we explain some of the common seller statements which can work against you up front, it will may everything easier for you down the road.

What Are The Most Common Mistakes?

Mistake number one is not seeing things from a buyer perspective. Even if you are selling and buying something else at the same time, many people still have difficulty understanding that MOST sellers and MOST buyers have quite different perspectives, whether it’s down playing how difficult something may be or being unaware of the reasoning behind certain situations.

Most sellers are well-intentioned, but in the midst of what can be an emotional or overwhelming experience, sometimes agents may hear a handful of seller sayings that in retrospect and out of context, can seem crazy and out-of-touch, and—yes—even ridiculous. However, we are on your side so this is our way of correcting these misconceptions right up front so they do not derail the successful sale of your home.

I paid $X for this house and put another $X into it…I’m not going to give it away.

Whether you bought when the market was high or low, it really makes no difference. The market is what it is today and only the market can justify the sales price; not you, not me, not the buyer. Whatever you remodeled or added was meant to make your home more comfortable and attractive to you. You and your family enjoyed the results. However, you know that there are people out there that do not appreciate the imported porcelain tile and would prefer another type of flooring, or do not particularly like that color granite or even pool tile. A buyer may fall in love with the treehouse in the back or calculate how much it would be to remove it! It can be difficult for sellers to understand that while they may value (both emotionally and monetarily) a home feature, potential buyers may not always value that feature in the same way—and that means that they may not be willing to pay for it.

While some home improvements can increase the value of the home, many should be looked at as features that enhanced your quality of life while you and your family lived in the home. “Beauty is in the eye…” When it comes time to sell, it comes time to let it go. If a prospective buyer falls in love with your home because of some of your features, that’s great. You just cannot approach the home selling process expecting every buyer to share your tastes and value and be willing to pay extra for them. Appraisers do not look at features; they look at comparable sales (homes that have the same features and square footage.)

We just need to find a buyer who will buy my home “As-is”

This statement shows a complete misunderstanding of what “as-is” really means. We use “as-is” in a listing when we are disclosing some costly negatives to a buyer. We have to be honest about roof leaks, non-working appliances, termite infestation or code violations. The buyer needs to know that if they want the house, they will need to do the repairs themselves. If you can cost-effectively remedy these situations you absolutely should. But some seller’s just do not have the money to spend to do any type of major repairs.

However, to say you don’t want to paint the purple wall, make the kids put away their toys during showings, clean your carpet or get rid of the dog smell, makes no sense. Few homes are ready to sell without some expenditure. Musts are decluttering, fresh paint, neat landscaping, clean flooring and sparkling windows. If you are reluctant to make these necessary adjustments to maximize your home’s appeal to a broad segment of ready, willing and able buyers who are willing to pay top-dollar for the home, you are truly being “penny wise and pound foolish.” If we tell you that some things MUST be done to prepare the home, it is because we know that the price we end up getting for your home will more than make up for the expenditure.

Buyers Expect Sellers to Overprice so They Can Offer Less

There are certainly local markets where it’s very much standard practice for buyers to expect to come in below asking, and sellers can price their properties a few thousand dollars higher than the target price point without killing their deals. Frankly, this works with the older generation and we actually use it when pricing over-55 properties. However, the majority of buyers out there are under 65K and they are well versed in the internet.

The name of the game is to get so many prospective buyers in the door that the odds of one or more placing an offer are just about guaranteed. Today’s market as far as pricing and selling is fairly easy – price too high, your home will sit until you price it right; price it right and you will have an offer within weeks; price too low and buyers will come flocking and if they get into a bidding war, you could end up with more than you expected!

Bottom line, if your home is priced too high over what the market will bear; many buyers won’t even bother trying to negotiate down. Rather, they’ll either find a home with a more realistic price, wait until you lower the price or wait until your home has been sitting on the market so long they think you might be desperate, and they will swoop in with a lowball offer.

Even in a seller’s market, the aggressively priced homes get the most buyer traffic and, accordingly, get the most offers. In turn, these bidding wars drive the eventual sales price up. Overpricing it might actually sabotage the goal of getting top dollar for your home.

“That offer is an insult – I won’t even counter, or I’ll counter even higher than list price!”

Most buyer agents won’t waste their time with all the paperwork it takes to make a ridiculously low offer, but some do. Believe me, it annoys us too and we are not allowed to tell the other agent to take a hike and not even present the offer. By law, we have to present any and all written offers. So it is best to get a thick skin and decide not to take anything personally.

Some buyers are also new to this and maybe just are deeply misguided, and not yet experienced enough in the market to know that the offer was unreasonable. Or they might just love the home so much they want to take a shot even though it’s really outside their budget. And sometimes, they might actually just be trying to get the seller to come down a bit on the asking price. Some buyers see making a very low offer as part and parcel of negotiations.

In any event, we will always respond to an offer made by a qualified buyer with an appropriate counter offer. We have been surprised a couple of times when we got what we thought was a low ball offer and by responding with a respectful, reality-based counteroffer and a little negotiating, we got our price.

“I need to clear X amount of dollars so I can buy another place or go on vacation or get a new car…”

Pricing your home is based on only one thing: data. Again, the buyers know more about market value than most sellers. They do their homework and are willing to pay fair market value for a home. If it is so perfect it just blows them away, they will pay over market value. If it needs a lot of work, they figure in those costs when deciding their offer. One thing they DO NOT think about is what the seller wants to net. The market sets the home’s price and buyers have access the same data.   The ultimate value is based on what a qualified buyer is willing to pay for it—not what the seller “needs”. Our recipe for your successful sale is to price right, stage well, market aggressively, and negotiate wisely. We will be with you every step of the way.

Home Seller Strategies That Work

a team florida home seller strategiesSelling your home isn’t only about paperwork and waiting. As a matter of fact, there are tons of tips and tricks that will expedite the process. We know the home seller strategies that work.

As your Realtors, we will study the market, the comps and study your home. We will note the positives and negatives. We will accentuate the positives and help you correct the negatives. We will take beautiful pictures of your home, market it aggressively and we will be there to personally show and sell your home to prospective buyers.

Why Do Homes Lag On The Market

Most of our listings are sold and closed within 90 days. However, there are those that lag on the market and the reason can surprise us, it is not always about pricing. One time it was because the home was a few blocks away from neighborhoods that were not so well kept and buyers driving from that direction were turned off before they even got to the property. Another time it was because the layout that we thought was so unique, proved to be very impractical to the family-driven market of that area. We are not always right but we do know what to do to make up for it.

When Should I Change The Price?

Home selling isn’t retail but we have found that retail strategies have worked for us. Rebates and coupons work. If we have priced your listing competitively and do not get an offer within the first month, we know why. We get the feedback from the buyer agents. Offering a credit for repairs or closing costs is very attractive to today’s home buyers. Unless your local market is super-hot or still attracting cash buyers, this is a strategy that works very well and will put you ahead of the competition. If you are not sure about using this strategy when you first list, make it your go-to strategy if you do not get an offer in the first 30 days. This is a great tool to regenerate buyer interest for a lagging listing.

Other Strategies

Another strategy we have used is to have our sellers write a “love letter” about their home and their neighborhood. The home buying process is an emotional one for many buyers. They want assurance that their family will be happy. While we cannot give that assurance we certainly can tell them how well loved your home was. By making your buyers feel like your home contributed to the happiness and welfare of your family, you create a compelling sense of well-being.

Visit our listing survey for sellers to get started. Shoot us an email if you have questions or want to see an example of a seller letter at

Should I Short Sale? What Are My Options?

The big question is “Should I short sale, let my property foreclose or maybe even file bankruptcy?” If you are pondering whether to apply for a loan modification, agree to a short sale or just let the property go into foreclosure, PLEASE READ THIS.

a team florida should i short saleRemember you are not alone. Hundreds of thousands of people were victims of the Real Estate bubble. Some have already resolved their problem but others were either paralyzed by the fear of losing their home, tried options that did not work, or just did not want to deal with it. As this crisis has “matured” there is more assistance than when it first erupted. First speak with your attorney and accountant. They will be able to give you the advice you need for your particular situation. This is an important decision and one that needs to be made for peace of mind, if for no other reason.

What’s the Easiest Solution?

I can tell you from experience that there is no precedence for the upheaval the market has seen. Having experienced working with properties in foreclosure, I have found that the best solution by far is a short sale. If you know of ANYONE who has been successful with a loan modification that had favorable terms in the long run for the owner, call me. It would be a first. If you or someone you know has paid hundreds of dollars to find out that a loan modification was either not feasible or was rejected, do not call me. Sadly, I already know too many people who have been taken for the loan mod ride. The lack of results is shameful.

Which is The “Least Worse” Option?

For most owners, a short sale is preferable to a foreclosure. Although both can negatively impact your credit score; in a short sale, the owner made the effort to do the right thing. Future loans may depend on this effort. Banks are unwilling to negotiate deficiency judgments with the homeowner after a foreclosure. A foreclosure does not indicate “best effort” to better the situation for homeowner and lender.

So… Should I Short Sale?

Walking away from a property does not instill trust in a future lender. Foreclosures can not only hurt the future loan worthiness of the defaulting homeowner but also is bad for the neighborhood. If embarrassment enters into your decision, you can short sale your home without broadcasting it with yard signs and lockboxes. It can be a completely confidential transaction.

7 Musts to Get The Best Offer For A House

a team florida get best house offerGetting the best house offer doesn’t have to be a wishing game. Changing a few things and being proactive can help you get the best offer. Successful home sales are all about strategies and A Team Florida knows them all. In this internet age, buyers have access to all the data they need to know the market values. You need an edge and you get that with us.

As professional Realtors with years of experience, we really do get a feel for what works and what doesn’t. Basically everything “they” say about preparing your home to sell is spot on.

  • Yard is well maintained with some color (potted flowers, etc.)
  • The first they see when they walk in the door is pleasing to the eye
  • House is neat & clean, smells good and feels good (temperature)
  • No clutter on countertops or tables
  • Furniture is arranged to make room look Turn on lights.
  • Wall paint colors are attractive and soft
  • Windows are sparkling!

Other Things To Keep In Mind To Get the Best House Offer

Yes, you do need to make your bed every day and put away your toothbrush and toiletries. Yes, you need to repaint the orange wall a neutral color. Yes, the family portraits need to be put away.

It is really hard to live in a home that is listed for sale. You almost have to take the attitude that it is already not your home anymore; just a house you are staying in until it sells.

The good news is that we will help. The vendors we use to help sellers prepare their home for sale know that you don’t want to pay top dollar for painting, cleaning or repairs. But we are in a market where the basics do make a big difference in what you will get for your home.

Up until recently, it was not cost effective for sellers to pay for even the smallest upgrade. “As-is” was the way to go because prices were so low. We have found that absolutely gorgeous, top of the line remodels can command any price they want. Properties needing a lot of work are at the mercy of whatever they can get. And of course there is the middle ground – nice, clean and somewhat updated. Those strictly go for market value. So if your home is in this middle category and you need to replace some flooring, you are better off putting in a remnant of a neutral Berber carpet rather than spending big bucks on expensive tile. The buyer may very well rip it up and put in porcelain tile but all you need to do is make it look and smell nice and the buyer can decide what they want to do. To net as much as possible, it truly is important that you spend the money on the carpet to make the room attractive. Small investments do pay off in this market.

What About The Big Repairs?

If there is a major repair and you just don’t have the cash, of course you need to disclose it but just offer a credit in the listing. Someone getting a mortgage won’t mind if they have to do the work as long as it won’t cost them. Call us if you have specific questions about this – every case is different.

In Conclusion

Sellers sometimes drag their feet on little details that make a big difference and this can make a big difference in the sale price. To buyers, it just makes sense that the appearance of the home is a reflection of how the seller has taken care of it over the years. A mess leaves an impression that is hard for a buyer to overcome. Bottom line, the buyer needs to walk in to a home that looks good, smells good and even “feels” good. When sellers can look at their own home from a buyer’s perspective, they are ahead of the game.

The Art of Selling Your Home

Getting your House or Condo Ready to Sell – Disconnect Your Emotions

a team florida art of selling your homeWhen speaking with real estate agents, you will often find that when they talk to buyers about real estate, they refer to the property as a “home.” Yet if you are the selling your home, they will often refer to it as a “house.” There is a reason for this. Buying real estate is often an emotional decision, but when selling your home, you need to remove emotion from the equation.

You need to think of your house or condo as a marketable commodity. Your goal is to get buyers to see it as their potential home, not yours. If you do not consciously make this decision, you can inadvertently create a situation where it takes longer to sell your property. The first step in getting your home ready to sell is to “de-personalize” it.

Make Your Home “Anonymous”

The reason you want to make your home “anonymous” is because you want buyers to view it as their potential home. When a potential homebuyer sees your family photos hanging on the wall, it puts your own brand on the home and momentarily shatters their illusions about living in the house themselves.

Put away family photos, sports trophies, collectible items, knick-knacks, and souvenirs. Put them in a box and put the box in your storage unit.


This is the hardest thing for most people to do because they are emotionally attached to everything in the house. After years of living in the same home, clutter collects in such a way that may not be evident to the homeowner. However, it does affect the way buyers see the home, even if you do not realize it.

Clutter collects on shelves, counter tops, drawers, and closets. You want as much open clear space as possible, so every extra little thing needs to be cleared away.

Take a step back and pretend you are a buyer. Let a friend help point out areas of clutter, as long as you can accept their views without getting defensive. Let your agent help you, too.

Where to Start When Selling Your Home

The kitchen is a good place to start removing clutter, because it is an easy place to start. First, get everything off the counters; even the toaster. Put the toaster in a cabinet and take it out when you use it. Find a place where you can store everything in cabinets and drawers. Of course, you may notice that you do not have cabinet space to put everything. Clean them out. The dishes, pots and pans that rarely get used? Put them in a box and put that box in storage.

If your kitchen cabinets, pantries, and drawers look jammed full, it sends a negative message to the buyer and does not promote an image of plentiful storage space. The best way to do that is to have as much “empty space” as possible. For that reason, if you have a “junk drawer,” get rid of the junk. If you have a rarely used crock pot, put it in storage. Do this with every cabinet and drawer. Create open space.

If you have a large amount of foodstuffs crammed into the shelves or pantry, begin using them – especially canned goods. Canned goods are heavy and you don’t want to be lugging them to a new house, anyway – or paying a mover to do so. Let what you have on the shelves determine your menus and use up as much as you can.

Beneath the sink is critical also. Make sure the area beneath the sink is as empty as possible, removing all extra cleaning supplies. Scrub the area and check for signs of water leaks. These will come up in the inspection so you want to make sure it is not an active leak.

Ceilings, Walls, and Painting

Check all the ceilings for water stains, whether the leak is caused by plumbing or a faulty roof. If a water stain is left after something you have already repaired, paint the area. You may have to paint anyway, especially if dirt has accumulated in spots or you have an outdated color scheme. Painting makes a home look fresh and new on the inside and never fails to impress. Painting can be your best investment when selling your home. It is not a very expensive operation and often you can do it yourself. Choose colors based what would appeal to the widest possible number of buyers. You should almost always choose an off-white color because white helps your rooms appear bright and spacious.

Carpet and Flooring

Unless your carpet appears old and worn, or it is definitely an outdated style or color, you probably should do nothing more than hire a good carpet cleaner. If you do choose to replace it, do so with something inexpensive in a fairly neutral color. Repair or replace broken floor tiles, but do not spend a lot of money on anything. Remember, you are not fixing up the place for yourself. You want to move. Your goal is simply to have few negative impressions upon those who may want to purchase your property.

Windows and Doors

Check all of your windows to make sure they open and close easily; especially in condos. Make sure there are no cracked or broken windowpanes or torn screens. If there are, replace them before you begin showing and selling your home.

Do the same things with the doors – make sure they open and close properly, without sticking or creaking. For sliding glass doors – DO NOT use WD-40 – use Aluminum Lubricant that doesn’t build up and attract dust.

Odor Control

Smokers, please do what you can to minimize smoking indoors while selling your home. Actually, it is best to move smoking outside.  Use sprays that remove odors rather than masking them. Apologies to pet owners, but pets come with odors.  You may have become used to them, but they are immediately noticeable to those with more finely tuned olfactory senses and allergies! For those with cats, be sure to empty kitty litter boxes daily and use plenty of baking soda.

10 Seller Rules


The most essential component to getting your house sold is to price it correctly. Price too high and it simply sits on the market becoming a stale listing. Price too low and you will lose money. Bidding wars do not happen for FSBOs because buyers know they are not dealing with a professional home seller. Price right and you will get offers. So getting an offer is relatively easy – here is where the going gets tough:


Selling your home is a business transaction – a major one. There are three significant negotiations in the sale process: the initial offer, the counter-offer, and the post-offer period that includes inspections and requests for concessions. You need a skilled and objective negotiator on your side during those discussions. Buyer agents know we are tough negotiators but they also know that we can back up our response to any offer with cold hard numbers to show their buyers.


Of course you are going to want your home to get the maximum exposure to the greatest number of potential buyers. As professional Realtors, we prepare and distribute all the marketing materials, coordinate the internet marketing, and hold open houses. No one gets into your house that is not vetted; we know they are qualified to buy before they set foot in the door either by us or by their agent. We also have a stellar reputation with buyer agents who look for our listings because they know that the process will be managed correctly.

Buyer Perception

The vast majority of potential buyers are going to be represented by an agent of their own. In Florida, the seller, not the buyer pays the commissions. Savvy buyers hire professionals to save them time by giving them their criteria and finding the properties in their price range. Also, when a realtor brings you a buyer, you can bet they are qualified. FBSO deals can often deter agents who prefer to work with another real estate professional so they know they will get paid.

Getting the Transaction Done

This is where experience with the sale process really comes in; adhering to deadlines, efficiently stepping in when there are inspection or appraisal issues, dealing directly with the buyers’ objections and complaints, keep the closing on track, and facilitating the contracts and escrow to a successful, smooth close.

FSBO Guide

Attached is a great guide for FSBO sellers if you still want to want to try and go it alone. If you decide to hire a professional to get the job done, we would appreciate the opportunity to apply for the job and discuss our successful strategies to get the best price for your home with the least amount of stress. When you are ready to move on to your next great real estate adventure, you will appreciate the wisdom of hiring a professional Realtor!

Why Can’t You Sell Your Home?

9233224-Sure you can. Unless you are trying to do it without professional help or are unrealistic about the price. Getting the offer is not the hard part these days – qualifying the buyer, negotiating the price and getting it to the closing table is the challenge.

So Why Can’t You Sell Your Home?

Selling your home is probably one of the biggest sales transactions of your life. That is the operative phrase – “sales transaction” – unemotional with all decisions made with cold, hard, facts and no emotions attached to the outcome.

That is really hard to do. You have lived, loved and maybe raised your family here. Taking the emotion out is tough. But even as you are reading this, your head is agreeing and your heart is aching a bit.

…or not. You just want what every seller wants – top dollar for your property. Or you may have bought it at the height of the market and want to recoup as much as possible. This is understandable and again, your head is telling you that you most likely will lose money on a sale in today’s market. You are in a difficult position so the sooner you can come to terms with the reality of what is possible, the quicker you can sell your house or condo and no longer have the responsibility of maintenance, repairs, and taxes. The experts at A Team Florida are with you from listing to close. Call us today at 954-964-2559 or email

Selling Your Home

If you truly want to sell your home/condo, there are certain truisms that are correct 85 -95% of the time.

  • Hire a professional Realtor; you will NET more money than you can by going it alone.
  • Price it within 5% of market value so you can stick to your guns.
  • If you have had 7 showings and no offers, something is wrong.
  • The first offer is the best offer (eerily correct almost 100% of the time)
  • Do not react emotionally to a low ball offer, calmly counter with a reasonable one.

Listings generally generate an offer within the first month on the market and lately, some actually sell for higher than so called “market value”. Price and condition are all important. Of course, effective marketing and the showing presentation to the prospective buyers run a close second. Negotiating the price is the final step to the executed contract and for that you absolutely need a professional Realtor. The A Team Florida is your best bet for expert advice and service. Contact us at 954-964-2559 or email