Price: Be sure to price your property competitively. Either have an appraisal done or have your agent conduct a Comparative Market Analysis. Typically the agent will give you a price range that would be appropriate for marketing your home based on current market data. If you start at the top of the range, be willing to reduce the price if your house is on the market without much activity. Key West is a busy market so little activity on your house may be the result of a non-competitive price. Talk to your agent about repairs, upgrades, and amenities that would contribute to the value of your home. It’s very helpful for the agent to know what has been done to the house and when.
Appeal: Many things contribute to the appeal of a home to a prospective buyer and there are some things the owner can control. Of course curb appeal is important. A prospective buyer may see a house that has a real estate sign and if it’s attractive, he will contact the agent. However, if there is a lot of debris on the property and the appearance of deferred maintenance, the buyer may walk on by and never make it into the house. The front of your house is what can bring the buyer in. But also quite important is the interior of the home. When placing your home in the MLS system, your agent should take as many photographs as possible. But if those photographs show sloppy housekeeping, moldy showers and all round lack of maintenance, it can be a deterrent. These things say to a buyer “I have not maintained my house very well. There could be latent (or hidden) defects that I might find out about after closing. Key West is an expensive market and the buyers expect more and definitely expect clean and well maintained. Otherwise, expect low offers as they will be looking for a deal knowing that they will probably have to put some money and effort into the house after purchase.
Financing: You may want to consider owner financing – it’s a good way to invest money. If you do, be sure and require at least a 10% to 20% down payment. And be sure that you run a credit check on your buyer and validate a “proof of funds” for the down payment. However, if you do not finance the loan, have your agent request proof of funds for the down payment and pre-approval for bank financing.
Licenses: Does your house have a Transient License? If so, contact the City to be sure it can transfer with a sale. If it can, be sure that is highlighted in the marketing material. A Transient License is an attractive amenity for a property in Key West.
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