Date Archives: December 18th, 2020

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December
18

It's chilly, blustery, and it gets dark as soon as you leave work – yep, it's winter. For many Floridians who view the cold weather as a personal attack, that means spending less time outside until spring's warm touch returns. But if you're determined to get outside despite the chilly weather – especially in your backyard – you can make it happen. Here's how to make the most of your backyard during winter.

Make it Toasty

The best way to combat the cold? Heat things up! Install a firepit in your backyard for the ultimate winter hang-out spot where you can roast marshmallows with the family. If a firepit won't work for your yard, add some heat lamps to create a toasty atmosphere.

Light it Up

Part of what makes winter hard for some people is the seemingly inescapable darkness. Depending on your schedule, it might be dark when you go to work and dark when you get home. That's why adding lights to the backyard goes a long way towards brightening things up literally and figuratively. You have tons of options, too: LED, solar, path marker, string lights, spotlights, and more.

Go for Coziness

Swap out your summer furniture for more winter-appropriate items. Or if you can't, just cozy your usual furniture up! We're talking warm rugs, blankets, pillows, anything that makes you feel safe and snuggly. Do make sure whatever you use is weather-resistant, though, lest your cozy days be ruined by ruined furniture.

Keep Grilling

Grilling doesn't have to be a summer-exclusive habit. Especially in Florida where we rarely get truly frosty weather, you should keep grilling all winter long! Wear an extra layer and enjoy the radiant heat from the flame as you flip your burgers.

Get a Hot Tub

If you're in a position to, get a hot tub for your backyard! It's an immaculate luxury item, and there's nothing quite as exhilarating as spending an evening soaking in the hot tub on a frigid 32-degree night.

A Technicolor Makeover

In addition to installing lighting to raise spirits, adding some color to your backyard surroundings can have a similar effect. Plant some colorful flowers that thrive in the winter, like Japanese quince, pansies, snowdrops, winter jasmines, or cyclamen.

Decorate for the Holidays

Hang garland, put up Christmas lights, accessorize your outdoor furniture with wintry color schemes, and more to get your backyard holiday-ready.

December
18

Whether you've sold a home or not, you're likely familiar with some common home-selling tips or pieces of advice that you've been told or read in some article. You may even believe some of them! Even if delivered with the best intentions, the fact is a lot of the most common home-selling tropes are myths, and we're here to play the role of real estate myth busters. Here are eight home-selling myths you shouldn't believe.

The Myth: My house will sell in the first week!

The Truth: Your home may very well sell in the first week! We're currently in a seller's market, which means there's more demand than there are homes for sale. So if you were to list today, there actually is a good chance your home would sell very quickly.

However, that's only true when the market favors sellers. In other times, selling in the first week just isn't likely. Having lived in your own home for years, you've naturally developed a strong emotional connection to it. Unfortunately, not everyone else has the same connection, and it might take time to find someone who vibes with your house the same way you do.

The Myth: These huge renovations will pay big dividends in the sale!

The Truth: So you've poured thousands of dollars into a remade kitchen or a high-class bathroom in hopes that it will increase your home's value. On a very technical level, they may have. But it doesn't necessarily mean your house will sell at a higher price. The unfortunate truth is that depending on what you spent, you may not even make it back in the sale. Everyone's taste is different, so sweeping upgrades may not gel with potential buyers. Instead, talk to your agent about which upgrades might pay off. You can also take notice of other homes in the area and see what they're doing.

The Myth: My home should have a high asking price to leave room for negotiation!

The Truth: Unless you find a buyer who is head-over-heels smitten with your home, the only thing a high asking price will get you is a price change after a few weeks. Instead of creating room for negotiation, you're pushing away serious buyers who will balk at the exorbitant asking price. Instead, trust your agent to set an appropriate listing price based on the market, your home's value, and other factors.

The Myth: I received my first offer really fast. I must have underpriced my home!

The Truth: Remember when we said it's unlikely your home will sell in the first week? Sometimes, it does happen – you might get a bite just days after hitting the market. Don't overthink it: you didn't underprice your house. If anything, you likely priced it perfectly, which is why you're attracting serious buyers so quickly.

The Myth: I'm not going to accept my first offer, because I'll likely get a better one down the road!

The Truth: A common thought when receiving an initial offer – especially if you deem it less than attractive – is to hold out for a better offer from someone else. Of course, if the first offer fits what you're looking for, then by all means accept it – you know what's best for you. Talk with your agent about evaluating the offer – is there room to negotiate to bring it closer to what you want?

But turning down an offer just because it's the first can have unforeseen consequences. For example, the longer your home stays on the market, the more questions buyers will begin to have. What's so wrong with those house that it hasn't sold yet? What am I not seeing? Suddenly that first offer you turned down doesn't look so bad.

The Myth: I don't need to depersonalize my home when selling!

The Truth: As we mentioned earlier, you likely have a strong emotional attachment to your home. It's full of personal memories that you'd never dream of hiding. But you really should when it comes time to prepare your home to sell. You want potential buyers to be able to envision themselves in the home. Let them imagine making their own emotional connection without the roadblock of your family photos lining the shelves.

The Myth: My house will sell itself!

The Truth: Lovely though it may be, your house is highly unlikely to sell on its own merits alone. A well-thought strategy goes into every home sale, including marketing, staging, studying the market, and so much more. Simply sticking a For Sale sign in your front yard isn't going to get the job done. That's why hiring a trusted real estate agent to assist you is paramount in selling.

The Myth: I'm going with the agent who values my house the most, because they'll get me the best return!

The Truth: Go with the agent who properly researches the local market and values your property fairly according to said market. That's who will give your home the best chance to sell.

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