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Date Archives: July 2020

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July
31

How to Make Your Offer Stand Out in a Competitive Market

Competitive Market

If you're looking to buy a home and have found one that you love, that's great news, but we are in a competitive market, so you'll need to make your offer stand out from any others that come in.

Our real estate agents love helping people find a new place to call home in the Sunshine State. With the real estate market being as hot as the Florida summer weather, we suggest the following five ways to make sure your offer stands out. 

  1. Keep it Simple
    Make sure that when you make an offer on a home, it's simple. The contract that's most appealing to the buyer is based on price, of course, but also on the number of contingencies it has, and the fewer the better. Common contingencies include your ability to obtain financing or a painting allowance so you can pay to have the home repainted, but in a competitive market, it's best to make your offer as straightforward and simple as possible.
  2. Show That You Can Afford the Home
    Contact a mortgage lender early in the home buying process so you can be pre-approved for a mortgage. Our mortgage partner, HomeBridge Mortgage, provides buyers with a pre-approval letter that can help you submit your offer in the best possible light. You'll receive a pre-approval letter that indicates the amount and type of mortgage you can qualify for based on your financial situation and credit history. This type of documentation demonstrates that you can successfully obtain the mortgage and close on the loan. If you won't be getting a mortgage but will instead be paying cash for the home, submit proof of the funds along with your offer.
  3. Make Your Inspection Period Short 
    You'll want to have a licensed inspector check out any home you're thinking about buying. This includes a close look at the home's structure as well as systems such as the heating and air conditioning to determine if they have any problems. You'll want to talk to your REALTOR® to be sure that you have a plan in place for having a timely home inspection. That way, if the inspection comes back showing problems and you decide not to buy the home, the seller can put the home back on the market more quickly.
  4. Make Your Best Offer on Price  
    You may assume that if the home seller thinks your offer isn't high enough, they'll make a counteroffer. But especially in a competitive market, this may not necessarily be true since the seller may receive other offers that are higher. If you don't make your initial offer your best one, you may not get another chance.
    It's essential to work with a REALTOR® in today's highly competitive real estate market. Contingency clauses are becoming more common and navigating them successfully takes the expertise of a REALTOR®.
  5. Write a Letter to the Seller  
    It can help to write a cover letter along with your offer so you can explain why you love the seller's home. Let the seller know what you appreciate about their home and give them a glimpse into how you'd love living there. Just make sure to let your real estate agent approve the letter so you don't accidentally violate Fair Housing laws.

Contact us at Wagner Realty today to see Bradenton homes for sale and Sarasota homes for sale and let us help you with your search. We'll help you make an offer that stands out in a competitive market and gives you the best possible chance of buying the home you want.    

July
24

6 Natural Remedies for Eliminating Summer Bugs

Summer Pest Removal

While the warm summer weather is perfect for tasty cookouts and swimming, it also brings a variety of pests who want to make your house their new home. Don't let summer bugs distract you from your summer fun.

The good news is you don't need harsh chemicals to get rid of these unwanted pests! Instead, check out these natural remedies for eliminating summer bugs. All of these remedies below are kid and pet-friendly, and they won't cover your home in chemicals. 

  1. Use Dish Soap Where Bugs Have Been Spotted
    Dish soap is a cheap, quick way to eliminate pests from your home. Plus, you likely already have dish soap in your home. Grab a spray bottle and fill it 3/4 full with water. Then, add 10-20 drops of your favorite dish soap. Spray the solution in bug-prone areas. This option is especially effective at killing ants.
  1. Break into Your Spice Collection
    Spices aren't just for cooking; they can also help you deter bugs from entering your home. The smell from your spices acts as an insect deterrent. Bay leaves are one strong-smelling alternative. Sprinkle the bay leaves in your cabinets and pantry to ward off Indian meal moths and other hungry pests. 
  1. Trap Flying Pests with Apple Cider Vinegar
    Apple cider vinegar is an economical way to fight back against flying pests such as houseflies and fruit flys. You can use the fact that these flies are often attracted to apple cider vinegar to your advantage. Pour a little bit of apple cider vinegar in an old bowl or cup. Cover it with plastic and poke a few small holes so that the flies can get in. Once they're in, the flies won't be able to get back out. Some people also like to add a few drops of dish soap to the trap so that the flies drown quicker. These jar traps will work rapidly to get rid of flying pests. 
  1. Slice Up an Onion
    Want a natural way to deter spiders? Slice up an onion and put the slices in a bowl of water. Put the bowl wherever you've noticed spiders entering your home. The smell from the onion will deter the spiders and encourage them to stay outside.
  1. Raid Your Cat's Supply of Catnip
    Catnip isn't just a cat-friendly herb; it's also a pest repellent. The pungent smell discourages icky pests like cockroaches from living in your home. You can sprinkle catnip directly in areas where you've spotted cockroaches, or you can soak cotton balls with catnip oil and put them in pest-prone areas. An advantage of this option is that it's easy to clean up the catnip when our real estate agents notify you that a potential buyer wants to see your home. Just sweep up the catnip or cotton balls, and your home is as good as new. 
  1. Pick Up a Bag of Cedar Shavings
    You can buy a bag of cedar shavings for under $10; this is the bedding commonly used in small animal cages. Grab a handful of cedar and sprinkle it in your bug-prone areas. Silverfish and spiders are just a couple of the pests who dislike the smell of cedar. 

Ready to sell your home? Contact us today to have our team help list your home among the many wonderful Sarasota and Bradenton homes for sale

July
17

7 Ways to Beat the Florida Heat This Summer

Florida Summer

One of the many advantages of living in Florida is our abundance of sunny weather and warm temperatures. During the summer months though, the heat and humidity can leave you feeling a bit drained. Fortunately, there are ways you can beat the heat.

From practical tips to fun and cooling activities your kids will love, our real estate agents suggest the following 7 ways to cool off this summer.

  1. Avoid Using Your Oven 
    Using your oven makes your home hotter, so stock up on recipes for colder meals like salads. These meals will also be more appealing than heavy dishes when the weather is hot. You can also avoid using your oven by utilizing appliances like your microwave or crockpot or heading outside to grill out. Or skip cooking altogether and have dinner delivered from DoorDash. Not only will you not have to cook, but you can also support local businesses at the same time! 
  2. Get a Portable Fan
    Buy a small portable fan that sprays water mist while its blades spin and help cool you off. Best of all, you can use this at home, at Bradenton Beach, or outside when you're out jogging or running errands. They're great for kids as well as adults.
  3. Water Balloon Fun
    Who says you have to have a pool or head to the beach for a fun way to cool off? Turn your backyard into a water balloon playground. Fill water balloons and hang them up outside as singles or in groups. Let your kids take turns swinging at the water balloons like a pinata for guaranteed fun while cooling off. 
  4. Utilize Your Fridge
    Keep ice packs or towels in your fridge and ready for the hottest Florida days. Apply an ice pack or cold towel on your cooling points. These include your wrists, forehead, and the inside of your elbows. Take these on the go and put in a cooler for when you head to the beach. 
  5. DIY Backyard Sprinkler
    Another kid-approved way to turn your backyard into a makeshift water park. Follow these DIY directions to make a sprinkler from a PVC pipe. It gives kids a great opportunity to get soaked and can be made into different configurations.
  6. Easy Homemade Popsicles 
    Consider making the kids these homemade popsicles as an easy (and delicious) way to cool off. Trust us, the adults are going to want some as well! This recipe is super easy and is made with only two ingredients - honey and fruit - so they're refreshing as well as healthy.
  7. Stay Hydrated
    If you've lived in Florida for a while, you know how humid it can get! Florida heat and humidity can make you sweat, which increases the chance that you don't stay properly hydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water while avoiding drinks with alcohol and caffeine, which are dehydrating. You can also increase the amount of water you take in by eating foods with a high water content, such as watermelon, strawberries, or oranges. Next time you're at a local farmers market, stock up on these types of fruits! 

Would finding a new place in Florida be the highlight of your summer? Contact us today to find out about Sarasota homes for sale and Bradenton homes for sale and tour ones that catch your eye. Whether you're looking for a starter home, a larger home, or are ready to downsize, we can help you find a house in southwest Florida that will soon become your dream home. 

July
10

Small Business Spotlight: How to Support Small Businesses in Bradenton and Sarasota

Now more than ever, it's important that we support our local businesses. Our real estate agents encourage you to shop small each week and help stimulate our hometown economy. As you browse our Bradenton and Sarasota homes for sale, we invite you to visit these unique small businesses in the area.

  1. The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime – 821 Apricot Ave., Sarasota, FL 34237
    Explore an indie indoor market when you visit the Bazaar on Apricot & Lime. This venue is full of one-of-a-kind gems and talented, local creators. Stop by and support them in person and visit on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday between 10 am to 3 pm. Don't feel like leaving your house? Be sure to check on their Facebook Live events to see what the bazaar has to offer virtually. 

  2. Write On Sarasota – 1423 1st St., Sarasota, FL 34236
    If you've ever planned a wedding, celebrated a major life event, or operated your own business, then you know that your choice of stationery is quite important. Write On Sarasota knows that wedding invitations, thank you notes, and even custom napkins can creatively express your gratitude, excitement, and brand. From general stationery to graduation announcements, birthday parties, and everything in between, Write On Sarasota will provide you with a thorough consultation and customized products to ensure that your event says exactly how you feel.  

  3. Island Coffee Haus – 5350 Gulf Dr., Holmes Beach, FL 34217
    Who doesn't love a cozy local coffee shop? Island Coffee Haus is the perfect place near Holmes Beach homes for sale to fill up your mug. The shop opened in 2012 and has been delighting locals and visitors with the cozy environment and coffee ever since. The cafe offers a locally roasted blend that includes Columbian, Mexican, and Puerto Rican beans. They also carry locally made artwork and jewelry for sale in the shop so you can support local artists while picking up your morning coffee and bagel. 

  4. Toy Lab – 1529 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236
    No one knows toys like Toy Lab, Sarasota's only independent toy store. This landmark shop has toys and games for kids and adults alike, offering services and suggestions from a team that is passionate about play. Some of the brands that they carry include Playmobile, LEGO, The Manhattan Toy Company, and Ravensburger Puzzles. The folks at Toy Lab will gladly wrap your purchase if you're gifting toys to someone you care about.

  5. The Siesta Key Farmers Market – 5104 Ocean Blvd., Siesta Key, Florida  34242
    Support local artists, photographers, and creators when you attend the Siesta Key Farmers Market. The farmers market is open to locals, and tourists from 8 am to noon on Sunday mornings. The market helps support 30+ vendors in the Siesta Key area.

  6. Pure Florida Honey Company - 417 12th St. W.#104, Bradenton, Florida 34205
    Purveyors of the Sunshine State's finest local raw honey, the Pure Florida Honey Company, also carries varieties of domestic and international honey, gifts from the hive, and much more. These specialty kinds of honey, like the Brazilian Pepper or the Mangrove, make perfectly unique gifts for the foodie in your life. Stop by and see what all the buzz is about!

  7. Village of the Arts – 1017 12th Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 34205
    Downtown Bradenton is home to a thriving arts scene thanks to the Artists Guild of Manatee and the Village of the Arts. Most of the Guild members are also Village residents. The Village stretches from 9th Ave West to 14th St West and offers artists the change to live, work, and play in downtown Bradenton. The commercial overlay of the Village of the Arts offers locals and visitors the perfect chance to support local arts and find one of a kind works of art right here in Bradenton. 

  8. Beach Market at Coquina Beach – 2650 Gulf Dr. S., Bradenton Beach, Florida 34217
    Who says you can't go to the beach and a farmers market at the same time? When you go to the Beach Market at Coquina Beach, you get to enjoy an outdoor market on the southernmost beach on Anna Maria Island. Shop for jewelry, apparel, and gourmet food from local vendors. Be sure to stop by after checking out nearby Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key homes for sale

There are so many wonderful and remarkable small businesses to explore throughout Bradenton and Sarasota. If you'd love to live within walking distance of these fantastic shops, contact us today!

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 08/14/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 08/14/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of Stellar MLS (last updated Sun 08/14/2022 12:03:08 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Wagner Realty may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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