Photo of Sharon Zuccaro

Have you decided to sell your home? Perhaps you are considering to go it alone without the assistance of a realtor to potentially save thousands of dollars in commissions. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Price Your Home Competitively. You may utilize online pricing calculators like Zillow’s Zestimate, or websites like Trulia, to assist you with determining what comparable homes sold for in your community. They are only estimates so you may want to obtain a competitive market analysis from a real estate agent, usually free, or hire a local home appraiser.
  2. Prepare Your Home. Make your home look great on both the exterior and interior. De-clutter and brighten up your home, clean it from top to bottom, and ensure it smells good.
  3. Draft Your Listing Ad. Your ad should be thorough, yet concise. Be sure to include important home facts such as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and any upgrades and/or improvements. The photos of the home should be as appealing as possible. Considering hiring a professional photographer.
  4. Advertisement. Since so many buyers begin their search online, you should consider some popular websites such as Zillow, Trulia, HomeFinder, FSBO and Craigslist.
  5. Host an Open House. Once your home is listed for sale, host an open house. To prepare, visit a few open houses in the community and take notes. Create an information sheet with photos of your home for potential buyers or print copies of your ad from Zillow or the like. Schedule your open house on the weekend in the early afternoon.


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Typical Troublesome Scenariohome inspection magnified.jpg

You have just found the perfect home and you are ready to sign the purchase offer. Either you failed to fully read the contract or your home state’s laws allow you the right to terminate the contract if you are dissatisfied with the home inspection, so you assume you have the same rights in Florida and happily sign the contract. The home inspection report later reveals problematic issues that prompt you to want to immediately terminate the contract, but you soon learn that the form contract you signed does not afford you with such right. Instead, you are now forced to proceed under a contract to purchase a home you no longer desire.

Florida Law


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Michael Burke.JPGD. Michael Burke left his career of 15 years in Ohio as the owner of a computer hardware servicing company, to grow into one of the top producing real estate agents in Southwest Florida. Michael has become the “voice of real estate” in Lee County, Florida through his weekly featured column in the Fort Myers News-Press Saturday’s Home Finder section, and his own publication with 20,000 subscribers “The Coconut Point Press” which features local real estate market trends in Southwest Florida. D. Michael Burke is a licensed real estate agent with Keller Williams Elite in Bonita Springs.

Michael believes that there is no reason why homes should not sell in the current real estate market.  In the last couple of years, the market in Southwest Florida has shown clear signs of stabilizing with the number of closed sales rising each month and lower inventory levels. So, as we conclude 2011, we would like to share D. Michael Burke’s top home selling tips for sellers to effectively sell their properties. The following are Michael’s best home selling tips, listed in the order of priority from highest to lowest:


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Contracts.jpgNon-compliance with Florida Statute §720.401 can be fatal to the closing of a purchase and sale contract. Given the current real estate climate, sellers of residential property cannot afford to lose a sale, or become involved in a lawsuit due to mistakes associated with the required homeowner’s association disclosure (“Disclosure”) specified in such statute. By understanding the law and being aware of the mistakes, a seller and his/her agent can increase the odds of closing a sale without an adverse surprise.

The Law

Florida Statute Section 720.401, requires owners of real property subject to a homeowner’s association(s), to deliver to a potential purchaser the Disclosure prior to contract execution. The form of the Disclosure must be substantially in the same form as identified in the statute.

Non-Compliance

As a practical matter, the Disclosure is seldom signed before contract execution because the selling agent does not typically know of all the required assessment information to be included in 


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