You’re trading in Boca Raton’s aquamarine waters for the white-capped mountains of Colorado or exiting your waterfront condo for a “mini-mansion” in Boca Del Mar near the Parque Placido. Step one: sell your current Boca Raton home — and do it fast.
You’ve chosen a great time to sell, since Boca’s lifestyle, shopping, gorgeous beaches, and excellent schools are rapidly attracting both families and snowbirds looking to purchase homes.
Area homes have been selling increasingly fast since 2018. Single-family houses in Palm Beach County sold almost twice as fast in 2021 as in 2020, according to a November 2021 market report from the Broward, Palm Beaches, and St. Lucie Realtors. The median number of days to contract was 13, compared with 24 the previous year. Better yet, 99% of single-family homes received their original list prices, as of November 2021.
So, are you ready to seize the moment?
Even in this hot market, common maintenance and repair issues in Boca can slow down a sale, whereas smart prep work and expert marketing can expedite the process.
We’ve done the research and talked to local experts to bring you essential quick-sale tips for Boca Raton, including showcasing the Boca lifestyle, anticipating and managing repairs, and working with a top-selling agent to sell your house faster than the competition.
Showcase the lifestyle Boca Raton buyers expect
Buyers in Boca expect leisure. They want easy access to tennis and golf, pools, the beach, shopping, and restaurants. Set your home’s amenities apart so buyers will know they’d better act fast before someone else does.
Highlight amenities in your listing description and photos
Use your home’s listing description and photos to show buyers they can achieve the coveted Boca lifestyle.
With your listing agent, craft a listing description with details and travel times to amenities. Use strong adjectives and details to answer questions before buyers even ask. Where’s the closest golf course? Tennis court? Whether amenities are private or shared, include at least one photo of each to help buyers envision themselves enjoying them.
Plus, since Boca boasts high-end shopping – and since its total retail sales per capita are over twice the national average – tell buyers if your home is near the Town Center and popular boutiques.
This is your chance to educate out-of-town buyers on the benefits of your home’s location. Curate the information they’ll need to make them want to put a swift offer on your property.
Show off the swimming pool
Boca buyers expect a swimming pool. David Magua, a top-selling agent in Boca Raton with 35 years of experience, estimates that about 60% of single-family homes in Boca have a pool, while the other 40% are often located in a community with amenities including a pool.
If your home has a private pool, stage the area around it to give an inviting atmosphere. Use a grouping of outdoor furniture to help buyers envision lounging by the pool or hosting parties. Make sure the pool itself and the surrounding area are clean and well-maintained. Want more specific advice for pool staging? We’ve got you covered.
In the listing description, include specifics about any fancy features or safety measures that set your pool apart. On the other hand, if you share a community pool, try to give details which still emphasize convenience and luxury. Is it within walking distance, or a two-minute drive? How big is the pool, and what kind? As with a private pool, include photos to help buyers imagine themselves enjoying it.
Inspect and repair the roof to avoid closing delays
The heat and hurricanes in South Florida make the age and condition of a roof on a Boca Raton home particularly important. For this reason, buyers in Boca prefer houses with younger roofs.
To sell your home fast – even if it has an aging roof – invest some money and time before listing to identify and fix any leaks, missing or loose shingles, or broken clay tiles.
Over time, the Boca heat can cause the underlay beneath asphalt shingles to become brittle, which ultimately causes leaks. Another common roof type in Boca is clay tile, which may also need repair before a house goes to market.
Jay Zussman, a licensed home inspector in Boca Raton and the owner of highly-rated Golden City Home Inspections, commonly encounters broken clay roof tiles during pre-purchase inspections. On the other hand, he adds, “the tiles themselves may be in shape, but sometimes the mortar (that holds the tiles down) needs to be removed and then the tile reapplied.”
Because even minor roof problems can delay closing, Magua encourages sellers to be “forward-thinking.” Don’t wait until a pre-purchase inspection to know the condition of your roof: hire a roofing professional to do a thorough inspection and repair before listing a home.
Otherwise – if roof problems appear on a pre-purchase inspection or an appraisal – your potential buyer may not be able to procure insurance, which will hold up the mortgage and therefore the sale.
Ask for a guarantee and paperwork
When working with a roofing professional for repairs, Magua suggests asking if they will guarantee their work for 1-2 years and provide documentation, which could give confidence to buyers who may otherwise consider your roof’s age to be a deterrent.
Remember, a roof in poor condition can significantly slow down a sale and can also be a major tool for a buyer to negotiate a lower sale price. So, attention given to your roof (and documentation of repairs) will not only help you close faster – it may save you thousands at closing.
Plan ahead for big-ticket repairs
The median age of a home in Boca Raton is 36 years old. So, unless you live in a newer build, some of your home’s major systems may be outdated or in need of repair. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need to replace them all to sell your home. But it’s smart to assess them, decide with your listing agent what to replace or fix, and set the price accordingly.
Pay for a pre-inspection
As with the roof, there’s no need to wait for the inspection period during closing to determine what needs repairing. When getting a home ready for listing, Magua hires an inspector to do a “pre-inspection,” so the homeowner can address problems before the house goes to market.
If your home is on the newer side, don’t assume it doesn’t need this level of attention. An inspector will check areas you may rarely view – attic, roof, crawlspace – and if there are any problems, it’s better to know before listing so they won’t delay a closing later.
As with the roof, investing some time and money into identifying and making repairs before listing will ultimately help you sell faster.
Address common repairs in Boca Raton
In addition to roof repairs, common large-ticket issues with many older Boca Raton homes are:
- Aging electrical panels – which can interfere with getting insurance
- Aging water heaters
- Inefficient HVAC units, especially in the Florida heat
- Termites – very common in South Florida
- Deteriorating cast iron piping – especially in East Boca, where proximity to the ocean causes corrosion
- Polybutylene piping (in homes built between 1978 and 1995) – which can be prone to rupture
Eliminate small problems that add up on an inspection report
Use the pre-inspection above as a punch-list for smaller tasks, too. Completing small repairs gives a more polished and low-maintenance impression for showings, and can also help prevent potential buyers being deterred by a long list of items on a report. In fact, some buyers may never put in an offer if they look around a home and see too many little fix-it jobs.
Zussman says buyers often don’t realize many of the repairs on his reports will be relatively cheap and easy to fix. So, he advises that sellers “spend a few hundred dollars to take care of the smaller items. It will go a long way to make the report look better. Instead of having 34 items, you have 18 items. That just presents better to a buyer, even if a lot of those items are smaller items.”
Completing these simple tasks can shorten an inspection report for a Boca home:
- Change dirty HVAC filters
- Make sure all windows and doors open and close smoothly – particularly the closer your home is to the ocean, where corrosion is common
- Keep hardware handy for installing hurricane panels (if you don’t have permanent hurricane shutters)
- Check hurricane straps to ensure all three nails are in place – which can affect insurance rates, Zussman says
- Tighten loose door handles
- Tighten loose outlets and outlet covers
- Ensure you have proper GFCI outlets in kitchens and bathrooms
For concrete block houses, which are very common in Boca, check for settling and cracking. For vertical cracks less than one-eighth of an inch wide, Zussman recommends patching with an exterior caulk. For larger or horizontal cracks, you’ll need to consult a foundation expert.
No time for repairs? Request a cash offer on your Boca Raton home
Looking to sell a home in Boca Raton but don’t have the time, energy, or funds to make repairs? One alternative option is to sell your home “as is” to a direct buyer who can pay all-cash.
Eliminating lender involvement can slash weeks off your closing timeline, plus allow you to save on prep costs and commission fees.
Buy-and-hold investors in particular may be interested in purchasing your Boca Raton home as a rental investment. The area’s high quality schools make it an opportune location to buy property and rent it out to local families.
So if you’re in a rush, consider requesting a cash offer from HomeLight’s Simple Sale platform, which provides cash offers for homes in almost any condition across the nation, including Florida.
You can skip repairs, staging, and showing your Boca Raton home. Instead, tell us a bit about your home and your selling timeline, and we’ll send over a cash offer in as few as 48 hours.
Team up with one of Boca Raton’s top agents to sell your home fast
Not interested in a cash offer? Then it’s essential to choose a top agent to sell your home quickly while also commanding a great sale price.
The top 3% of Boca Raton agents do 1.8x more deals a year than the average agent, and move homes off the market 43.1% quicker, internal transaction data from HomeLight shows.
An agent with proven success in the Boca Raton market will guide you through all its quirks and perks, plus help you create a listing that sets your home apart. They’ll know how much value is added by your location in a gated community or by your proximity to the Intracoastal Waterway.
Not only that, they’ll likely know which Boca roofing professionals work fast and guarantee their repairs. They’ll even have ideas for spiffing up that guest bathroom you haven’t gotten around to renovating yet – without breaking the bank or slowing your timeline.
A top agent will know how much value is added by your home’s proximity to the water, your neighborhood — from East to West Boca — plus what buyers in town want, and how to facilitate a smooth closing.
Consider using HomeLight’s agent matching platform to get tailored real estate agent recommendations, based on data collected from millions of transactions and thousands of reviews.
Launch your listing
Generally, choosing an opportune month to list your house for sale makes it more likely to fly off the market. Data from HomeLight’s Best Time to Sell Calculator suggests that listing your Boca home in December could lead to closing seven days sooner than listing a different month.
Currently, however, there is no slow time for home buying in Boca Raton. Demand began rising in 2018 and skyrocketed in 2020, and yet inventory in the third quarter of 2021 was only 27% of what it was at the end of 2018, according to Elliman Reports for Boca Raton.
For now, demand is high all year round, while supply is scarce. And the typical 40-90 days from list to close has shrunk to only 30-40, according to Magua.
Bottom line: if you’re looking to sell your Boca home quickly, there’s no bad month, and the best time is now!
Header Image Source: (Damijen Photography / Shutterstock)