The fastest way to kill a sale

Castles in the Sand

Your beautiful, perfectly updated and decorated Island house is on the market. You have a pool, it’s within walking distance to the beach and it’s priced competitively, so why isn’t it selling? You may be surprised what turns off potential buyers, and sometimes it has nothing to do with the house.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep on saying it, first impressions count more than most people realize. Everything from the neighbor’s barking dog to the color of the front door will be remembered by buyers as soon as they step out of the car. And believe it or not, your own family could be the kiss of death for a transaction. Teenagers who don’t want to move and elderly parents who also don’t want to upend their life could easily suggest flaws in the house or in the area.

“Wow, did you hear that air conditioner turn on? It really makes a loud noise all the time.” or “These stairs are so steep I can hardly make it to the first landing.” In addition, be careful with home health aides, cleaning people and landscapers who may be afraid of losing their job if you sell.

But by far the biggest influence on a buyer is a tenant, and that can work as a positive or a negative thing. A tenant is in the best position to let out little secrets about the property that may be unhelpful simply because they don’t want to move. On the other hand, a happy tenant can be a real source of information, since they live in the house. The best advice is before you allow your house to be shown, make sure it’s vacant of tenants, teenagers, and grandma.

In the meantime, let’s see what’s happening as far as sales and listings over $1 million in Cortez and the three cities of Anna Maria Island. This analysis will be for April, May, and June. Closed properties are from the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office and the properties on the market are from These properties are either single-family homes, condos or vacant land.

Cortez did not have any properties closing at $1 million or more during this period. In the previous three months, there was one sale. Anna Maria city had nine sales at $1 million or more, ranging from $2,400,000 to $1,004,000. For the previous three months, there were 11 sales. The combined cities of Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach had 19 sales, ranging from $2,424,000 to $1,000,000. For the previous three months, there were eight sales.

Properties on the market as of this writing are:

Cortez has four properties $1 million or over ranging from $1,500,000 to $1,135,000. Last time there also were four properties in this price range.

The city of Anna Maria has 64 properties priced at $1 million or more, ranging from $4,899,000 to $1,099,500. There is one property at $4 million or more, six properties at $3 million or more and 13 properties at $2 million or more. Last time, there were 56 properties.

The combined cities of Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach had 77 properties at $1 million or more, ranging from $9,500,000 (Gulf-front land) to $1 million. There was one property at $5 million or over, not including the $9.5 million land, three at over $4 million, one at over $3 million and 15 at over $2 million. Last time, there were seven properties in these price ranges.

Getting back to deal killers, the home inspector has always been the terror of real estate professionals and sellers. The good ones can present simple or even substantial defects in such a way that they do not seem insurmountable, but the bad ones will send buyers down the street. And if you have a buyer who wants to get an OK from his/her Feng Shui advisor before moving on, best not to count your pennies just yet.

Always remember selling is a process, the best you can do is remove any obstacles that may trip you up.

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