A booming business district, growing restaurant scene, Ybor City’s bars and nightclubs, the Riverwalk along the Hillsborough River, and white-sand beaches all welcome visitors to the city of Tampa.
In this desirable Florida Gulf metro, housing prices have risen by 112% since 2015. While sales at all price points are increasing, the highest demand is for properties valued up to $400,000.
The Tampa Bay Times attributes the shortage of homes for sale to the large number of houses in the area scooped up by institutional investors during the housing market crash. Most of the properties purchased were in the $100,000 to $300,000 range and remain rentals.
So, if you have a home that’s under $400,000, you’re going to have plenty of interest from buyers. But to sell your house fast in Tampa and for the most money possible, you need to stay on top of local buyer wants, design trends, and this unique market blending business and the beach lifestyle.
We’ve done the research and talked to local real estate pros who know their market inside and out so you can focus on what’s important—moving on and enjoying your life.
Selling Your Tampa Home? Harness the Florida Sun and Rain For Luscious Curb Appeal
The houses you’ll find lining the streets of the Tampa Bay area are mainly block concrete and stucco construction. Both building materials are ideal for the warm, wet, buggy Florida climate, offering a guard against insects and severe weather.
It also means that there’s a good chance your house looks exactly like the rest on your block. One way to stand out from the crowd is by investing in luscious landscaping that takes advantage of the 50 inches of rain and 246 sunny days in Tampa every year.
You also want to make a good first impression. “The outside of the home is a reflection of what the inside is going to look like,” says Liz Piedra, a top-performing real estate agent in the Tampa Bay area.
Before you put your home on the market, refresh the exterior with some simple, low-maintenance curb appeal boosters:
- Create pops of color with “sun-friendly” plants. 5-star Tampa Bay home builder Highland Homes recommends planting beautyberries, beach sunflowers and even certain types of palm trees to freshen up your landscaping.
- Add a rock garden to cover up any bare spots. A rock garden is as low maintenance as it gets (you certainly won’t have to water it!) and can add a decorative feel to your yard on a budget. River rocks are under 2-inches in diameter and can actually protect from erosion and help with drainage during Tampa’s rainy summer months. You can buy a bag of Dorado Beach river rocks from Home Depot that will cover 6 feet of space for $9.48.
- Use natural fertilizers in compliance with local regulations. Did you know there are limits to the types of fertilizers you can use in Tampa? That’s because the city doesn’t want you polluting nearby bays and rivers. Rather than using nitrogen, go to your local garden center to pick up iron (you can also get it at Home Depot), or get potassium or magnesium fertilizer from Amazon.
- Fake it ‘til you make it. “Sometimes I’ve had sellers that have put artificial flowers and they look really pretty,” says Piedra. “Some of the quality ones out there you can get away with, and they’re pretty all the time, especially for photos. We have one opportunity to showcase that home and we want to show it as vibrant as possible.” Highly-rated artificial flower shop Afloral has a selection of durable and weather-resistant silk flowers and outdoor plants. Piedra also recommends red mulch and red landscaping rocks for a bright color dynamic against a neutral-toned house.
Make Splash With Tampa Buyers by Showing Off Your Pool
If you’re one of the many homeowners in Tampa with a pool, you’re in luck. According to Piedra, homes with pools are more likely to sell quickly.
To show off your pool, Piedra suggests investing in landscaping—so buyers aren’t just looking at a concrete pool deck—and poolside furniture to transform this area into an attractive oasis for buyers in the Tampa heat.
To dress up your pool with tropical-inspired furniture, check out the on-sale section from online retailers like Overstock for great deals, like this Acacia Wood Chat Set with Cushions—a 4-piece set for just $380. Even this Simple Living 3-Piece Estero Bistro arrangement would set the scene.
If you have a screen enclosure around your pool, you’re already at an advantage with buyers who’d rather not get eaten alive by vicious Florida mosquitos or find any unexpected guests of the alligator variety taking a casual dip.
Before you list your home, get rid of any built-up grime and mold on your screen enclosure with either a low-pressure power washer nozzle that’s designed to infuse the spray with a cleaning agent or (an even safer alternative) get an exterior window cleaner packaged to attach to your garden hose.
Actually adding a screen enclosure to your pool will cost you a pretty penny—either around $8,000 for a professional install or $2,500 for the DIY route.
Use Subtle Coastal Design Trends and Modern Home Decor in Your Tampa Home
According to local lifestyle magazine duPont Registry, the hottest luxury real estate design trends in Tampa for 2018 are recycled materials, reclaimed wood, 3-D wall art using tiles or wood, and brassy metal tones.
Midwesterners snatching up their second home in Tampa want coastal flair without their place feeling like a full-on beach house. Modern, sleek lines are also very en vogue, according to Piedra. If nothing else, for staging purposes remove any bulky furniture.
“Those lazy boy couches…no. Get rid of it, that’s not going to work,” says Piedra.
To give buyers heart eyes, browse fun design accents at local award-winning home furnishings boutique Blue Moon Trading Company as well as gorgeous artisan-made furniture like this magnolia tree dining table to bring a warmer, modern touch to a space. For more affordable options, IKEA and Wayfair both have extensive selections of modern pieces.
Sell Your Tampa Home in September to Fetch A Higher Price
HomeLight data shows that September is the best month to sell in Tampa with homes typically going for 9.76% above the yearly average.
On the heels of summer, you may be poised to capture the attention of snowbirds looking to buy a home before the holidays. Florida, after all, is the most popular state for out-of-town buyers.
September is also a big month for hiring, and Tampa has attracted new buyers in recent years as a leader in job creation with growth in the IT, business services and healthcare industries.
Work with A Top Local Agent To Price Your House in Tampa
The Tampa Bay housing market is on an upswing, with some counties experiencing as much as 17% yearly home price growth. But how do you know where your house fits into that picture?
You love your home, so it must be worth a million dollars, right? Ha…actually though, getting your price right the first time is no joke. It can be the difference between sparking a bidding war on your house or it becoming stagnant on the market.
Top local real estate agents have their finger on the pulse of the Tampa housing market and have sold hundreds of homes in your area.
That’s a huge advantage when it comes to pricing your home, which they’ll do using a comparative market analysis that factors in all the basics of your house (square footage, beds, baths) and the more nuanced factors, like any recent updates you’ve done, lot size, curb appeal and architectural style.
When Selling Your Home In Tampa, There’s No Substitute For Local Experience
The only thing consistent about real estate is that it’s local. Market dynamics and buyer wish lists vary from city to city, so when you’re selling your home in Tampa, you have to know the rules for your neck of the woods.
There are nearly 8,500 active real estate professionals in Tampa alone, and not all of them will get you the same outcome. If you’re ready to put your home on the market, cut to the chase and get matched with a top Tampa real estate agent who comes armed with a wealth of local knowledge and has successfully sold many a home just like yours.
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