Sweet St. Pete Unique

We love Real Estate, and we love St. Petersburg. These posts share some of our thoughts on both, and well as information that you'll appreciate, whether you are a buyer, seller, or just looking to learn a little.

Feb. 1, 2015

Imaginary Real Estate - 2 of 2

Imaginary Real Estate, Part 2


When potential buyers are walking through your home, or even looking at photos of it on-line, they are always, at some level, engaged in an imaginative reverie, feeling what it would be like to live in this particular home, to come home to it, to invite their friends over. The better we can make this imaginative experience for the potential buyer, the more likely they are to actually buy.


Last month we wrote about how depersonalizing your home can make it easier for buyers to imagine themselves living there, but in addition to depersonalizing it, we also want to show the house off to its best advantage in every way. Clearly, buyers want not only a home to call their own, but also a home that will enrich their day-to-day lives and that they can be proud of.


One of the best tools we have to help the buyer see the potential beauty of your home is the home stager. The stager is like an interior designer, but with a special skill set. Instead of customizing the interior of your home precisely to your liking, the stager’s talent lies in finding optimal uses for each space in your home and then staging it in such a way as to appeal to almost anyone.


Take a look at this empty, lonely, and utterly uninteresting bedroom.


Master Bedroom Unadorned


It’s hard to imagine having a reason to stay in there for more than 30 seconds, let alone living 1/3 of your entire life in it.


But after the magic touches of professional stager Peggy Mustoe, the room is transformed into an inviting, elegant space. 


Master Bedroom Well Staged and Elegant


Not only is there a place for your body to rest, there’s a place for your mind to rest. All of a sudden you can imagine yourself spending time there, relaxing, unwinding, and enjoying.


A good stager is a master of vision and design, able to see past the current furnishings, or lack thereof, to quickly surmise the home’s full potential. The stager will then choose and place furniture and décor in such a way as to make the home feel more modern, spacious, and livable.


Besides helping the buyer to pull the trigger, staging a home can also foster the perception of its true value. The staged bedroom above not only looks more inviting, it looks like a bedroom in a more expensive home.


Not all homes need to be professional staged, of course, but it’s a rare instance where we can’t at least make a few suggestions, based on a quarter century of walking buyers through Tierra Verde and Pinellas Bayway homes.



Jan. 1, 2015

Imaginary Real Estate - 1 of 2

Imaginary Real Estate

When selling your home, one of the most important elements that will determine your success or failure is something you’ve never seen and never will, invisible and intangible, and yet ultimately the most important factor in the success of your endeavor: The buyer’s imagination.

When potential buyers are walking through your home, no matter if it’s the first time or the 5th time they’ve viewed it, the one activity in which they are constantly engaged is that of imagining themselves living in it.


Consciously or unconsciously they are cooking in your kitchen, sleeping in your bedroom, or even getting ready for a night out in front of your bathroom mirror. The decision to purchase or walk away from your house is going to be largely based on the experience of living in it that takes place in their imagination.


If they can really imagine themselves living there, and if this is an enjoyably imagined experience, there’s a good chance they’ll put pen to paper. If their imaginary experience doesn’t measure up, or if they can’t imagine themselves living in your home, no other enticement on Earth will get them to make an offer.


If you keep the buyer’s imaginative journey in mind, it will help you prepare your home and create a space that welcomes the buyer’s reverie and therefore increases the chances of finding the right person or family to sign that contract as quickly as possible.


If you’ve been reading our past articles, you already know some of the more blatant items to remove. It’s hard for anyone to imagine living in a home with someone else’s family member staring back from the picture frame on the shelf or fridge. But there are other, more subtle ways that you can disrupt the buyer’s imaginative journey. For instance, if you display your collection of plates, spoons, or ninja swords, the buyers will inevitably stop and look at your collection, and in that moment, they will clearly be in your house, and not in their house.


Of course, some people can see through these personal effects and will only focus on the house itself, analyzing the space and features in a more calculated way. However, the process of choosing a new home is often driven less by rational analysis and more by emotion and imagination, and you want to give every buyer the best chance you can to imagine themselves as kings of your castle.


Nov. 12, 2014

Holiday Real Estate

Holiday Real Estate


Real estate might not be the first thing on the minds of most people during the holiday season, but this is precisely what makes it such an interesting time for those of us who are always thinking about real estate.


Generally speaking, the real estate market is in the habit of resting during November and December. Most people are busy making preparations for guests arriving or getting ready to leave on their own adventures, and this can leave little time or interest for the pursuit of real estate goals.


Some sellers choose to take their homes off the market during the holidays, or at least ask their broker to postpone showings until after the new year. Needless to say, with a house full of visiting family, the last thing you want to do is to put all the festivities on hold and have to clean up the house because some stranger wants to come take a look at it.


Likewise, buyers tend to have other things on their minds during this time of year, and showings naturally decrease and often don’t ramp up again until the middle or even the end of January.


However, buyers who are bucking the trend and who are out looking during the holiday season can be more motivated to find the right property. Clearly, these are the buyers that you do want to make time for.


There is a popular conception that sellers who keep their homes on the market during the holidays must really be desperate to sell.  Whether this is actually true or not, the idea that there might be bargains at hand can also bring more serious buyers out on the hunt.


Of course, many folks are down here visiting from places with very unfortunate climactic situations, and when your home thermometer is reading -20° F and you haven’t seen the sun for three months, short sleeves and sunshine can be very powerful motivators toward securing a piece of the Florida dream.


If you are serious about selling your home, we definitely suggest leaving it on the market, but you can certainly call your Realtor and black out any times when you’ll be especially busy, and we can schedule showings around those times.


 Whether you are buying or selling, remember to ask your broker if he or she is going to be around for the holidays, so that you can establish appropriate contingency plans if an offer comes in or if you’d like to make one.


Of course we will be here for the entire holiday season, and we hope to see you around the island, the bayway, the beach, or perhaps downtown after a carriage ride to see the gorgeous lights and decorations along Beach Drive and through the Old Northeast.


Happy Holidays!