How To Select The Right Condo For You

Couple Searching For Condos Online

Couple Searching For Condos OnlineBuying a condo is an exciting life decision with many factors to consider. Here are some tips for how to select the right condo for you.

Define your needs. Do you plan to use the condo as a vacation home or live there full-time? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Consider how you'll use the space and determine your must-have features.

Set your budget. Condo prices on Sanibel Island vary depending on whether you are looking for a smaller unit or a luxury property. Decide how much you can afford to spend and get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start seriously shopping.

Consider the location. Think about what's most important to you - being close to the beach or local attractions, having shops and restaurants nearby, or a quiet spot with more privacy. Visit different areas of the island to get a feel for locations you might like and see what's available in your price range.

Evaluate the complex. Assess the overall condo complex and its amenities. Things to consider include security, parking, storage, pools, gyms, clubhouses, and community rules. Learn about the community and homeowners association.

Inspect individual units. Once you narrow down your options to specific condo complexes, thoroughly inspect each unit in person. Look for any signs of damage or needed repairs and check that all features and appliances are functioning properly. Consider how the space is laid out and if it will suit your needs. 

Make an offer and negotiate. When you find a condo you want to purchase, make an offer. Be prepared to negotiate if there are other interested buyers or if the seller's asking price seems high. Work with your realtor to determine a reasonable offer and negotiate a deal that satisfies both you and the seller.

With some time and effort, you can find a wonderful condo on Sanibel Island that will be the perfect place to make memories for years to come. Feel free to contact Phaidra McDermott if you have any questions or want help with your search. As a top realtor on Sanibel Island, Florida, Phaidra has helped many people find their dream condo.

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Home Renovations That Offer the Best ROI for Resale

Beautifully Remodeled Kitchen

If you're planning to sell your house, increasing its value should be one of your main priorities. Luckily, you can achieve that by investing in home renovations that offer the best ROI for resale. Here are some of the best home renovation projects that can help you get the most value out of your [...]

How to Get Your Home Ready for the Spring Market

Beautifully Staged Kitchen

Beautifully Staged KitchenAre you planning to put your home on the market this spring? If so, it's important to get your home ready for potential buyers. Here are some tips on how to prepare your house for a successful sale.

1. Improve Curb Appeal

The outside of your home is the first thing potential buyers will see, so it’s important to make sure the exterior looks inviting and welcoming. Freshen up trim and paint, mow the lawn, and add some seasonal flowers or plants. Take care of any shingles that need to be replaced and make sure the walkways are clean.

2. Clean Up Inside

Clean out all the clutter in order to create an inviting feel throughout your home. Remove any unnecessary furniture or belongings from rooms that look crowded or unappealing. Be sure carpets or hardwood floors are clean and polished, drapes are cleaned, all surfaces wiped down, walls touched up with paint where needed and windows washed inside and out.

3. Make Necessary Repairs

If there are any repairs that need attention such as leaky faucets or broken kitchen appliances, take care of them prior to listing your home on the market. Potential buyers will be more likely to consider purchasing a house if they know all necessary repairs have already been made ahead of time.

4. Stage Your Home

Before listing your home online, stage it with attractive decorations such as centerpieces for tables, artwork hung on walls, or flowers in vases placed around the house. This will help create an overall appealing look throughout your home.

If you are considering selling your home in Sanibel or Captiva, be sure to contact Phaidra McDermott and put her island experience to work for you. She can give you expert tips and guide you through the home selling process as seamlessly as possible.

Top Home Selling Myths & Facts

Home Sellers Working with Agent

Home Sellers Working with AgentThe best way to sell a home is to partner with a trusted real estate agent. It’s that simple. This is their profession. They will answer all your questions. They will quickly dispense with the lingering questions you might have regarding common home selling myths. They will price, market, and sell your home efficiently, professionally, and for the highest possible price (it really is that simple). Here are some of the top home selling myths & facts to consider when selling a home in Sanibel Island and Captiva Island, Florida. 

MYTH: You can sell your home effectively and make more money by doing it yourself. 

FACT: Working with a professional realtor is the wisest, and most cost efficient way to sell your home. You will be paying a 5%-6% commission for the sale of your home, but it is money well spent. Your seller’s agent will know the local market and how to best present your home to qualified buyers. They will price your home correctly and negotiate potential offers for higher prices. 

MYTH: The real estate agent with the lowest commission rate is the best choice. 

FACT: The average commission rate is 5%-6% (as stated above). It might be tempting to search for an agent with the lowest commission rate. But you get what you pay for. Quality service with an experienced and trusted agent costs a little more, as do all the best things in life. It’s that simple. 

MYTH: Online home valuations are accurate. 

FACT: While online home valuation tools are a great way to get an estimate of your home's value, many factors come into play beyond the scope of basic calculations. Professional real estate agents often include free comparative market analysis for sellers. Opening up a dialogue with a local agent, using their tools (online or in person) is a more accurate way to begin. When partnering with a local seller’s agent ALL the factors will be considered and put into play and your home will be listed at the highest price for the current market. 

MYTH: I need to renovate my kitchen and bathrooms. 

FACT: Major renovations are best discussed with a professional real estate agent. They will help you better understand if a large project will provide a respectable ROI (return on investment). Every home and every market is different. A local agent will help steer you in the right direction with home improvement projects to undertake before listing your home. Sometimes kitchens and bathrooms will need renovation, but typically smaller home upgrades (which require less money upfront) provide a better ROI and will very effectively attract qualified buyers. 

MYTH: The first offer was good, so I should wait for a better offer. 

FACT: Generally speaking, the first offer is usually one of the best offers you will receive (provided it’s in the ballpark of your asking price). New listings get a lot of attention in the first week, and then attention starts to wane. Your seller’s agent will advise you when to wait for another offer, or strike when the iron is hot. 

When you partner with Phaidra McDermott you will be connecting to resources and relationships to move forward in the selling of your home quickly and effectively. I look forward to helping you with all of your real estate needs in and around Sanibel Island and Captiva Island. Contact Phaidra McDermott today!

Most Important Things To Do Before Listing Your Home

Working with a professional real estate agent is an intelligent way to navigate the challenges of local markets. We are experiencing challenges in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian on Sanibel & Captiva Island. The Sanibel Causeway reopened to traffic on January 2nd, 2023. This is great news. It is a good time to make a plan if you want to sell [...]

Top Home Staging Mistakes to Avoid

Beach House with a View

Beach House with a ViewHome staging is an important step when selling your home. Proper staging will gather interest from qualified buyers both online and in person. The basics of staging are tried and true. They include cleaning, decluttering, depersonalizing, curb appeal, and painting. Consider the basics, make a plan and go over your plan with your seller’s agent. They are sure to point out ways to make your plan even more effective. Here are some of the top home staging mistakes to avoid when selling your home. 

Not Starting with a Plan: Keep yourself organized and on schedule with a plan. Write it down. Follow the plan. You can do the work yourself, or hire it out. Just follow the plan. 

Not Working with a Seller’s Agent: Hire a seller’s agent. They will be working with you every step of the way when you are selling your home. This includes the staging process. If you’ve already assembled a staging plan, present it to the agent. They will help streamline your plan by omitting items deemed unnecessary and including items you may have overlooked. 

Not Cleaning Thoroughly: Clean, clean, clean, and clean some more. Clean the floors, clean the walls, clean the appliances, clean inside the appliances, move the appliances, and clean underneath. Clean all the bathrooms thoroughly. Clean all the rooms of your home. Clean your home inside and out. 

Not Getting Rid of Clutter: Removing excess furniture and clutter is critical. We will sometimes recommend sellers rent a storage space for excessively large furniture. This will open up space in a home. It is also important to remove family photos and overly personal items. Buyers need to envision themselves living in your home. Excessive furniture and personal items are distractions that take up valuable physical and emotional space. Clear the clutter! 

Not Painting Interior Rooms: The interior rooms of your home need a fresh coat of paint. You will want to choose a light neutral color for the walls. This will help walls to reflect natural and artificial light and make rooms appear more spacious. 

Not Staging with Respect to Photography: A large number of interested buyers will first be viewing your home online by way of digital photography on a website. It is important that the staging works well both in person and in photographs. You want to draw buyers in virtually. They will then make arrangements for viewing in person. 

Professional photographers have a number of tricks up their sleeves when staging homes. One trick of the trade is to utilize windows or the fireplace as a focal point. You can place furniture so these elements appear in the same shot, which will give viewers a proper sense of scale when viewing photographs of interior rooms online. 

Not Maintaining Your Yard: Curb appeal is part of the staging process. This includes your landscaping. It is important that your front yard looks its best no matter the season. The grass should be mowed in the spring and summer. Leaves should be raked in the fall. Walkways need to be clear of snow in the winter. Basic yard maintenance is imperative for home staging. 

Decorating with a Specific Style: Staging a home is different from interior decorating. Interior decorating will focus on a particular style and incorporate a number of elements to reinforce the chosen aesthetic. Hiring a professional designer to stage your home is often money well spent. They will know how to create inviting and interesting spaces and avoid overwhelming potential buyers with superfluous items and specific styles. When staging your home without the help of a professional designer just remember to keep things simple. Don’t over decorate. Less is more! 

Removing all the Furniture: We always recommend decluttering spaces. This includes removing excess furniture. But you don’t want to remove all of the furniture. It will make rooms appear smaller. Too much furniture, or excessively large items such as couches, has the same effect. It is a balancing act. When uncertain, simply defer to a home staging professional, your seller’s agent, or a friend or neighbor with an objective eye free from emotional attachments. The antique dining table that has been in your family for over two hundred years and seats 16 guests comfortably might be a perfect staging element depending on the size of your formal dining room, or it might need to go. It’s a balancing act that can be achieved with careful judgment. 

Phaidra McDermott is your exceptional and trusted real estate professional on Sanibel Island and Captiva Island. I look forward to helping you market and sell your home. Contact Phaidra today!

DIY Projects to Increase Your Home's Value

Painting a Room

There are quite a number of excellent home improvement projects that add value. Sometimes it is hard to decide where to begin. Hiring an engineer to perform a home inspection, inviting a home appraisal specialist to appraise the property, or partnering with a qualified real estate agent is a great way to help create a home improvement list. [...]

Tips for Staging Your Most Important Rooms

Beautifully Staged Home

Beautifully Staged HomeProperly staging your home before selling has proven to increase the value and will often result in a quicker sale. The most important rooms of your home include the living room, master bedroom, and kitchen. The dining room, landscape, and bathrooms are next on the list. Guest bedrooms and the children’s bedrooms are generally considered less important. Here are some tips for staging your most important rooms. 

Declutter: Getting rid of clutter is the number one recommended staging tip for all the rooms of your home! This project can prove a little overwhelming for homeowners who have lived in their houses for many years. Don’t try to declutter all at once. Schedule time in your week and follow the schedule. The living room is a great place to start. Have boxes marked and on the ready for keeping, donating, and throwing away. With a little help from family or friends, the project will be far less intimidating. Treat the helping hands to a delicious meal. They are more likely to return next week knowing it is a catered event. 

Clean, Clean, Clean: Your most important rooms need to be exceptionally clean. Clean the windows, clean all the surfaces, sweep the floors and vacuum the carpets. Remember to move your appliances and clean them underneath. Clean inside your appliances. When you step outside for a little fresh air don’t go empty handed. Bring the broom! Sweep the front porch and tidy up your entryway. Clean, clean, clean! 

Depersonalize: Potential buyers will want to imagine themselves living in your home. Personal photographs of you and your family, vacation photos, and other personal nostalgia need to be removed. This is a good time to assemble your favorite photos and vacation souvenirs into a storage bin and have them ready to hang and display in your next home. Keep in mind that when finished the walls shouldn’t be left bare. Bring in new artwork to showcase the local market: coastal and nautical photographs are appropriate for Captiva and Sanibel, Florida. Strategically placed mirrors are another trick of the trade. Mirrors help buyers see themselves in your home right away. 

Fresh Paint: Your most important rooms need a fresh coat of paint. We recommend light neutral colors. A light color will make rooms feel more spacious and reflect both natural and artificial light. A fresh coat of paint on your front door is also of great value. Neutral colors of gray, black, or brown are often your best choice. A recent survey from Zillow demonstrated that painting your front door black can increase the price of your home by $6,000. Every market is different. It’s always best to consult with your seller’s agent to help determine the best course for your particular staging regiment (including door color). 

Minor Repairs: Simple repairs include fresh caulking around windows, sinks, and tubs. You can tighten the hardware on doors and replace stripped screws. Updating doorknobs and hinges can also make a big difference. But you don’t need to go overboard with minor repairs. Buyers won’t be expecting your home to be perfect. It is reasonable to have scuff marks on baseboards and a ding or two on a wall. Your home was lived in and it has a history. 

Landscape: Although your front yard is not technically a “room” in your home it does require attention for staging. Best practices include your weekly lawn care routine and weeding the flower beds and garden. When time permits you can return to the front yard and make additional improvements to catch the eye of potential buyers by planting fresh flowers, edging the pathways, trimming the bushes, pruning trees, and adding new mulch. The front yard and outdoor spaces are the first things buyers will see when viewing your home and you want to make a good first impression.

Phaidra McDermott is your exceptional and trusted real estate professional in Sanibel Island and Captiva Island and can help you sell your homeContact Phaidra today! You may also be interested in reading summer staging tips or fall staging tips.

Where to Find Live Music on Sanibel Island

Live Music with Acoustic Guitar

The music and nightlife scene on Sanibel Island is fairly low key, as it is a family oriented community. The restaurants and bars host local musicians and smaller acts in the evenings and on weekends. An evening performance of classical music is a short drive away in neighboring Ft. Myers. If you have a younger family member looking to cut [...]

Things to Consider Before Buying a Home for Retirement

Retirement Couple Walking On The Beach

When thinking about buying a home for retirement it is important to remember you will be growing older in the home. In addition to getting your finances in order, you will want to remember the importance of your social network, the proximity of grocery stores and healthcare, recreation, transportation, and the layout of the home (so you can [...]

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