The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 11 No. 7 - November 17, 2010


What will sell your home

The Florida selling season is upon us, and this season is shaping up to be busy now that buyers have finally figured out that Anna Maria Island, in my opinion, has the best waterfront for the value on the west coast of Florida. So what do you do or don’t do to make your house or condo stand out from the pack? Some ideas are obvious, but some may surprise you.

If you own a single family house you need to start with the time tested real estate position of having good curb appeal. Basically, this means that when prospective buyers drive up to your home, they’re motivated to get out of the car and go inside. Cracked driveway pavement is one of the biggest turn offs, as is peeling paint and overgrown landscaping. With a quick and inexpensive sealer, old driveways will look great, and the addition of a paver walkway could, let’s say, seal the deal. Inexpensive exterior lighting can create a pretty landscape effect when those buyers come back for a nighttime drive by. And if Feng Shui appeals to you, paint your front door red for good luck. In fact, paint the front door any color you want as long as it looks fresh.

You always hear that new kitchens and bathrooms sell the house and that’s probably true, but there are a few things that can cost real money that will not. Over-the-top renovations like Italian marble and steam showers in modest homes won’t get you any more money than a plain vanilla bathroom renovation. Same thing with kitchens, unless your home is considered a luxury property, stay away from wine cellars and Viking ranges.

Swimming pools are, of course popular in Florida, but in other parts of the country, rather than being an asset, they can quickly turn into a liability. Even in Florida, many families with small children may discount a house with a pool until their kids are older, especially when the beach is right around the corner. Carefully consider what you spend on pools if selling is not too far down the road.

It seems like everyone has a home office today. Where else do you put your computer and all the other electronic stuff that was conceived to save you time? But if you’re designing a home office, just make sure its flexible enough to be converted into space that potential buyers can envision will fit their needs.

If you own a condo, there isn’t too much you can do about the exterior space and common elements. Hopefully, they have been maintained and will appeal to buyers. But inside pretty much the same rules apply. Don’t over improve for the value of the property, and don’t do anything too funky. One time when I was showing a condo to a prospective buyer, the owner insisted on showing us his under cabinet lighting in the kitchen. He proudly said it’s really helpful to better see the bugs, not a good thing to volunteer, even if the lighting was attractive.

There are many seasons on our annual calendars that we prepare for, but if you own property in Florida and want to sell it to move on, the winter selling season is the only one that counts. Winter on Anna Maria brings out the buyers. Now’s the time to get your property ready before everyone else knows what we already do – that paradise is only 7 miles long.

Real Estate Transactions
Closed sales between June 28 and July 31, 2010

Anna Maria

812 South Bay Blvd. Single family $880,000
114 Mangrove Ave. Duplex 645,000
213 Spruce Ave. Single family 605,000
5 Lakeview Pl. Single family 550,000

Bradenton Beach

1801 Gulf Drive N. #175 Condo $215,000
2412 Gulf Drive N. #220 Condo 152,900


4204 126th St. W. #505 Condo $240,000

Holmes Beach

105 78th St. Single family $575,000
514 69th St. Single family 490,000
504 75th St. Single family 445,000
320 64th St. Condo 439,000
613 Concord Lane Single family 428,000
716 Key Royale Drive Single family 399,900
3206 Sixth Ave. Condo 277,500
3503 Sixth Ave. Duplex 269,000
6812 Palm Drive Duplex 202,500
3805 E. Bay Drive #201 Condo 145,000
446 63rd St. Half duplex 132,000

Source: Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office

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