The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 9 No. 19 - January 28, 2009


Home manager can help you sell

For a lot of homeowners it’s crunch time. You property has been on the market forever, you have delayed your move because of a lack of buyers or you’ve decided that your second home is no longer cost effective in this economic climate. No one likes to walk away and leave a property vacant, but if you do find yourself in this unenviable position, there is something that could help.

Most homeowners have heard about staging your home for sale. Essentially you maximize the home’s good features and downplay the bad by strategically placing furniture, pictures and other decorative pieces. Staging also involves getting rid of the clutter, some personal items and collections while the property is on the market.

But if staging alone is not enough, you can take it to the next level by hiring a home manager. Home managers are basically live-in stagers who are also responsible for taking care of the property and keeping it in ready-to-show condition at all times. In addition, they are required to accommodate real estate agents who want to show the house any day of the week.

The home manager theory is that a vacant property is more difficult to sell than one that is meticulously kept and furnished with high-quality items. Buyers tend to spend less time in vacant properties, and empty properties frequently convey to potential buyers that the property is somehow distressed and has been on the market a long time.

Managers are provided through local and national companies that do extensive background checks as well as scrutinizing a potential home manager’s furniture and décor. In return home managers pay reduced rent, they also pay utilities and grounds maintenance, providing them with the privilege of living in what are usually large expensive homes for a fraction of what it would otherwise cost. Home managers can bring their children, although pets are generally not permitted, and agree to vacate the property quickly when sold.

Homeowners are charged a fee by the home manager’s company which the company claims is worth the investment in reduced selling time. It also points out that homeowners experience less stress since they do not need to worry about vandalism and increased insurance costs associated with a vacant property.

If you want more information about home managers, Showhomes is a company that provides home manager services. It is a national company and claim it is the largest in the country with six franchises in Florida, St. Petersburg and north Tampa being the closest to our area.

I had some personal experience with home managers when I was marketing corporate-owned properties on Long Island, N. Y. One worked out great, the property was sold and everyone was happy. The other one was not as successful and ultimately was asked to move out. Nevertheless, desperate times call for desperate measures and employing a home manager could be just the spark your property needs to get it moving.

Hiring a home manager is just another marketing tool to help get the property sold faster. It is a service that will help keep your property fresh and accessible when you need to move on, but like everything related to our unpredictable real estate market, proceed with caution. The show called "Sell This House" must go on, even if you’re not there to see it. Home managers will help keep the curtain going up every day.

Real Estate Transactions
Closed sales between Oct. 27 and Nov. 29, 2008

Anna Maria

209 Chilson Ave.           Single family            $700,000
207 Palm Ave.           Lot            675,000
207 Coconut Ave.           Single family            570,000
333 Tarpon St.            Lot            550,000
112 Willow Ave. #A&B           Two or more            470,000
518 South Dr.           Single family            465,000
868 North Shore Dr.           Single family            415,000
420 Spring Ave.           Single family            400,000
204 Oak Ave.           Lot            290,000
522 Pine Ave. #4D           Condo            275,000
522 Pine Ave. #2C           Condo            240,000

Bradenton Beach

2114 Ave A           Single family            $675,000
1900 Gulf Dr. N. #12           Condo           475,000

1906 Gulf Dr. N. #201           Condo            160,000
2601 Gulf Dr. N. #312           Mobile            85,000
2601 Gulf Dr. N. #100           Mobile            83,400


4510 119th St. W.           Lot            $307,500

Holmes Beach

541 Key Royale Dr.           Single family            $1,050,000
634 Key Royale Dr.           Single family            580,000
521 70th St.            Single family            470,000
4102 4th Ave. #5 & 6            Multi-family            450,000
3607 E. Bay Dr. #204           Condo            242,000
5609 Guava St. #A & B          Duplex            239,900
6200 Flotilla Dr. #315           Condo            210,000
6300 Flotilla Dr. #79           Condo            195,000

Source: Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office

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