The temperature is rising … but that’s not all that’s hot here in Central Florida. The real estate market is on the move, and now is the time to take advantage of it.

“Florida is experiencing a huge surge in demand for property right now. Part of it is caused by a rise in mobile working — if you can live anywhere, why not move somewhere sunny and tropical?” says Ingrid Livingston, a Realtor® with Coldwell Banker. “Summer is also the absolute best season for property sales, since more families with children are looking to buy.”

Timing your sale to the market is important — and according to Ingrid, there’s no better time to get on board. But even if you list at the perfect moment, the way you prepare and stage your home to prospective buyers can also play a big role in its sale value.

If you’re looking to sell, the following tips can help you present your home to its best advantage:

  1. Focus on First Impressions. “Those first few minutes after a prospective buyer arrives are everything,” says Ingrid. “My suggestion is to go outside, all the way to the street, and look at your house like you’re seeing it for the first time.”

    Would some fresh mulch lend a tidier look to the landscaping? Might potted plants add a dash of color to the front porch? Can you whiten up the driveway or garage door with a spot of pressure washing? A landscaping crew can make some quick improvements — it can go a long way toward a positive impression.
  2. Simplify Your Footprint. Someone touring a home wants to imagine living there. Which bedroom will the kids sleep in? Where will they hang the family photos? What would it be like to wake up with this view out the window? That’s why, according to Ingrid, “de-personalizing” your residence is so important.“No one wants to feel like they’re intruding on someone else’s home,” she says. “Removing personal items — whether that’s a toothbrush by the sink or magnets on the fridge — helps create a blank slate for your prospective buyer.”
  3. Freshen Up. Now is the time to make sure your home is “the cleanest it’s ever been.” From baseboards to ceiling fans, make sure it’s spotless. And don’t forget the closets: Prospective buyers are likely to take a peek inside.While you’re at it, declutter! Pack up around 50 percent of your décor, paintings, books, and even extra furniture or kitchen supplies — or more, if you need to. Bookshelves and countertops are often key clutter areas. “A streamlined appearance tells the buyer you take care of your home and keep it in good condition,” says Ingrid. “In turn, that increases the perceived value.”
  4. Invest in Ambience. Everyone appreciates a bright home with plenty of natural light – it makes the rooms feel bigger, the air feel fresher, and the atmosphere more welcoming. Take advantage of that, advises Ingrid: “Open all the blinds and drapes, and turn on all your lamps.”Another secret weapon: Scent. “It may sound silly, but an inviting smell is one of the most important tools in your arsenal!” she adds. “Don’t be afraid to light a few candles or bake some fresh cookies — it creates a welcoming and homelike atmosphere that really makes a difference.”

Above all, remember to take it step by step. “So many people believe moving is this stressful, complicated experience,” says Ingrid. “And that’s a shame …  because it really doesn’t have to be. Moving can be fun and exciting, an opening to the next chapter of your life. By being proactive and planning ahead, you can make all the difference.”

Recently, Ingrid joined us at The Mayflower as the guest speaker at our July Lunch & Learn event: “The Value of Your Home in Today’s Market: What You Need to Know.” To be the first to learn about upcoming Mayflower seminars and informational events, email or give us a call at 407.672.1620! We look forward to hearing from you.