Let's face it: Selling a home is stressful. The longer it's on the market, the more stress it brings and the more it typically costs sellers. Having to lower the sales price, sometimes multiple times, carry two mortgages, or delay the purchase of a new home if an existing home won't sell - stinks. You need every advantage you can find to get your home sold. Try a few of these and you'll be packing in no time.

1. Get your neighbors involved.

Neighbors who like you will be happy to help you get your home sold. Same for those who don't like you. Everyone else might need convincing to lift a finger. Offer a $200 prize to anyone who brings you a buyer who closes.

2. Crowdsource it.

Accessing the power of social media will naturally increase the number of people who see your home for sale. Up the ante by offering the same incentive to the person responsible for bringing in the buyer.

3. Throw in the kitchen sink.

Incentives can create additional interest in your home and maybe even convert a "maybe" to a "yes."

"Individual sellers should consider price and other incentives that could entice a buyer to take a look. You have to attract their attention somehow," said Bankrate. "You want to create the buzz."

Everything from gas cards to movie tickets to the furniture you were getting rid of anyway, to a year of homeowners' fees can do the trick.

4. Entice with cookies.

You know how they say the way to a man's heart is his stomach? Chocolate chip cookies are an equal opportunity seduction tool. Have a couple of packages of Nestle Tollhouse cookies on hand to throw in the oven before home viewings and you just might convert a prospect into a surefire buyer.

5. Toy story

Is there a family touring your home? Set out a few key toys in the play room or put some crayons and a few coloring pages on the kitchen table to occupy the little ones.

6. Research your buyers

Don't become a stalker…but uncovering a few facts you can use to your advantage could help make that connection with a buyer. Are they golfers? Conveniently leave out your clubs. Wine enthusiasts? Borrow a few bottles from your best friend's wine collection and arrange on the countertop.

7. Write it out.

Leave a personal note for the potential buyers touring your house telling them how much you have enjoyed living there and offering a few tips about the neighborhood (the best place for ice cream, where to find a good babysitter). The personal touch will endear you to buyers and help make your home memorable.

8. Create a list.

Another way to make your home memorable is to create a "Top 10 reasons to love our house" list. Have it printed and/or laminated and leave it for buyers.

9. Another kind of "leave behind."

Use the best picture of your home to create a magnet or key chain for buyers to take with them.

10. Stage it.

"Sellers need to understand that the way we live in our home is not the way we sell our home," said Front Door.

Homes that are staged "spend 73 percent less time on the market; typically sell for more money; end up on buyers' "must see" lists; are viewed as "well-maintained;" and have fewer concessions requested of the seller," according to the Real Estate Staging Association, said the Daily News.

Staging can cost up to $2,500, but by using tactics used in model homes, sellers might be able to do it themselves. The first step "is a thorough de-cluttering. Sellers should purge the house of all personal belongings, family photos and countertop appliances," said Front Door. "Furniture should be rearranged so as to make the room appear larger. Space sells.

11. Underprice it.

This is no new tactic, but it is one that can result in a bidding war and a higher sales price that would have been achieved otherwise.

12. Forget the open house.

Ditch the typical open house and throw a wine tasting party instead. Feature a few local wines, pull together a couple of appetizers and voila. Not only is this a different approach that will make your listing stand out, it will also showcase the home's entertainment potential.

13. No bones about it.

If there's a loud barker in your neighborhood, offering to pay for a day of doggie daycare during an open house may be warranted. Handing out special dog bones packaged as "Open House Bites" will help occupy dogs on your street and help keep them quiet while potential buyers are touring your home.

14. Borrow some bikes.

If you live in a family neighborhood, make sure it looks like you live in a family neighborhood. Enlisting some neighbor kids to leave their bikes outside—and maybe parents of babies can leave out a stroller or two—during an open house will warm up the street and illustrate who lives there.

Have any more ideas for sneaky tactics you can use to get a home sold? Let us know in the comments.

14 Sneaky Ways To Get Your House Sold

Get Ready for the Move

  So you want to be a Floridian? Get ready to take some important steps. First, make sure your shorts fit. Second, start mussing up your hair like it's perpetually windblown because no one has combed hair in Florida. Third, decide if you can stand not having to rake tons of leaves in the fall or shoveling snow in the winter. Fourth, pick a location (you're on your own with this one). Finally, start looking for property rentals in Florida right away. This is one of the fastest growing states in the U.S., which means nice rentals in preferred places go fast. You can get help with this one by using a professional house and apartment locator.

Schedule your mover as soon as possible, unless you're loading up your own stuff. The snowbirds (winter visitors) and university students are coming and going, and they need movers too. Florida is so darn long that the professional movers traveling up and down the state need extra time scheduling to-and-fro loads.

You must also get some documents together and put out some money to rent. With so many people coming and going, landlords don't play around. Most renters will need a proof of income, valid identification, references and the ability to pay an application fee, security deposit, a month's rent in advance and utility deposit. Some Florida condos and apartments may include trash pickup and cable or maybe water. Generally speaking, take your rent and double it to figure basic monthly living expenses.

Tips for First Time Renters

You've made up your mind - you’re finally going to move into your first apartment. Before you get too comfortable with your new-found freedom, beware. This is real life: A couple of late rent payments can damage your credit significantly and if you have a huge party the police will come. Make sure that your first experience out on your own is a good one with these tips for first time renters from some folks who've learned the hard way.

Tip #1 – Budget wisely

Experts suggest that your rent should be no more than 25-30% of your income. Beware of choosing an apartment that you won't be able to afford three or six months down the road. An eviction can ruin your credit report and will be seen as a warning sign to other potential landlords. To create a reasonable budget for apartment living, take a look at your income after taxes and subtract your expenses. Include things like food, household supplies, phone, car payment, car insurance, parking fees, credit card bills, clothing, cleaners, gas, internet, healthcare, school loans, and entertainment. What you have left, is what you will be able to spend on your new apartment. Keep in mind that this total will need to include rent as well as any additional utilities, such as natural gas, water, electricity, cable and garbage pick up if it is not included in your rent. Make sure to ask your landlord to put in writing what is covered in your rent and what is not.

Tip #2 – Think about the deposits

Not only will you need to afford a deposit on the apartment itself but you might also need to pay a fee to have your electricity turned on, cable and internet hooked up, etc. Your security deposit is most often equal to one month’s rent and the other deposits will range anywhere from $25 to $100. Again, make sure that you plan ahead of time before you sign the lease and move in - moving can create a lot of unexpected expenses so make sure you have the money set aside to cover them.

Tip #3 – Use credit cards in moderation

In order to establish credit, you need to have credit. Having credit cards and paying off your debt in a reasonable amount of time will strengthen your credit report. And, there are times in everyone’s life when you need a credit card. Don't feel guilty about using credit cards, but don’t be careless either. Be responsible when using credit cards and avoid carrying a balance for over three months. Rather than depending on your credit card as a way to make ends meet every month, know that it is there in the case of an emergency.

Tip #4 – Determine what you “need” versus what you “want”

When searching for a potential apartment, consider the things that you need and the things that you want. If you don’t own a car, your apartment will need to be in close proximity to either your place of employment or to public transportation. If you have a pet you will need to find a place that will allow pets. Things like high speed internet, a gym or pool on premise and an in-unit washer and dryer are probably items you want. Be prepared to give up some of your wants in order to get the things that you will need. Of course, the perfect apartment, which has those things that you need as well as want, and is within your budget, may be out there somewhere. Don’t feel rushed to sign a lease for the first place you see. Visit many, ask a lot of questions and you’re sure to find the place that is perfect for you.

Tip #5 - Do not sign a lease without visiting the apartment

Visit the actual apartment that you will be renting, not a model. Perform a complete walkthrough and check on the unit.


  • Take measurements of the rooms and the doors (to make sure your stuff will fit).


  • Pay attention to any off-smells or loud noises.


  • Open all the closets and cabinets.


  • Turn the faucets on and off.


  • Check all appliances to make sure that they work.


  • Ask about the security measures the landlord has in place.


  • Are the parking lots and common areas well lit and cleanly?


  • See if you can speak with one of the other tenants in the building.

If there is damage to the apartment, you can request that it is fixed before you move in.

Tip #6 – Read and understand your lease

Don’t feel rushed to sign your lease immediately. Take a copy with you and read it over in its entirety. Make sure the information in the lease is exactly what your landlord told you verbally. If your landlord said that it was acceptable for you to have a dog and there will be no additional deposits or fees for having a pet, make sure that is outlined in the lease. Look for any additional fees or penalties that may be reflected in the lease that your landlord may have failed to mention. Make sure that the lease details which utilities will be paid for by the landlord and which ones you will be responsible for.

Tip #7 – Get renters insurance

You might be thinking that you really don’t own enough stuff to justify paying insurance for it, but think again. Take a look at all your clothes, books, electronics, furniture, appliances, computer and computer software, etc. You really would be out a pretty penny if everything went up in smoke. Renters insurance will run between $10 and $20 a month, depending on where you live (crime rates, propensity for natural disasters and flooding, and more may affect the cost of insurance) and the level of coverage you choose to get. When you get your insurance, the carrier may ask you to retain proof of the items that you’re covering. Take photographs of your furniture, computer and other electronics and place them, along with owner’s manuals, databases and receipts, in a safe deposit box at your bank or purchase a fire proof safe for their safekeeping. Some landlords actually require all renters to carry renters insurance!

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Phone: 941.479.7802

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