You’ve decided to sell your home and now is a great time here in Sarasota. The local real estate market is quite active, and, at this point and time, sellers have a bit of an upper-hand. Median home prices continue to rise, which means you’ll get more out of the sale. Buyers are out in a big way, taking advantage of low interest rates (though these are beginning to tick-up), new loan products, loosened lending standards, and, new credit scoring models.

All of this means that you will have to impress to make your home stand out from the competition. The best way to do this is to have your home professionally staged. This typically involves swapping out furniture, some borrowed decor, a few strategic changes, and more. It’s well worth the money too, because homes that are staged only spend 23 days on the market, on average, before receiving a purchase offer. That’s an eye-popping 87 percent faster than home that are not staged, according to a study conducted by the Real Estate Staging Association.

If you don’t want to hire a staging professional or just want to maximize the return on your investment, the good news is you can make changes that have a huge impact for absolutely no money. With just a bit of creativity and a whole lot of elbow grease, you can get your home in sellable condition and make a positive impression on potential buyers.


What you should know is exactly what buyers look for the most. The “what” is currently a move-in ready property. While a few years ago remodeling was all the rage, that environment existed because home values weren’t as high. Homeowners could increase the value of their homes by making improvements, but now, with the current real estate market, move-in ready is at the top of buyers’ lists.

“Some economists expect 2015 to be a good one for home sales because mortgage interest rates will continue to hover at near historic lows, the overall economy is heating up and there’s a lot of pent-up demand. For sellers looking to get the maximum out of their home sale, this all means they’ll need to do some careful home prep and staging, without spending so much that they cut into profit from the sale.” —U.S. News and World Report

The reason buyers prefer move-in ready homes shouldn’t come as a surprise. When buying a home, there’s much need to pull out your wallet time and again: inspections, earnest money deposit, moving costs, closing costs, and several incidentals. Buyers typically don’t relish having to spend even more money and time, purchasing a home that needs work.


While you do need to stage your home, you don’t have to hire a professional. However, it’s their insider tips and tricks you need to make your home look as though it’s been professionally staged in order to make a good impression on potential buyers. Here are seven no-cost tips to sell your home quick:

  1. Increase space where you can. Over time, countertops, bathroom vanities, cabinets, closets, pantries, and other spaces become cluttered. Buyers will definitely notice if these areas are stuffed and form a misconception that space is really limited. Clear out these areas–your goal is to reduce it down to about 30 percent so they look more spacious.
  2. Rearrange the furniture, especially in the living room. We tend to arrange furniture to make it comfortable and easy to see the television. However, this might reduce traffic flow and by rearranging the furniture to improve it, buyers will feel as though there’s more room.
  3. Deep, deep clean every room. We’re not talking about just breaking out the vacuum, but real deep cleaning in every single nook and cranny. Tile grout, ceiling fans, window treatments, window panes, doors, crevices, and more. Clean everything in the home and depersonalize as you go.
  4. Set the dining table. Put out the good china, flatware, and linens. Set the dining table to look elegant but don’t overdo it. You want it to appear cozy but roomy at the same time. Buyers love being able to visualize themselves in the home and this is precisely why every single new model home has a set table.
  5. Decorate with freshness and color. Colorful flowers in a vase and a bowl of fruit are quite visually appealing. What’s more, it gives a room a sense of freshness, a bit of color, and, just makes it more inviting.
  6. Clean the exterior. If you are able, clean the exterior to make it look a bit brighter. If you can pressure wash it, that’s great, but, if you can’t, just wash down the entryway and be sure to get rid of any cobwebs and other unsightly things.
  7. Spruce-up the curb appeal. Speaking of the exterior, it’s amazing what a few colorful plants and mulch can do. Spruce-up the curb appeal and buyers will be eager to see the rest of the home.