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Seller's Guide

How to sell your home in the South Florida, Port St Lucie, Palm City, Stuart, Jupiter and the Palm Beach Real Estate Markets.


Tip 1 - Hire a professional, licensed Realtor®. Not every real estate agent who is licensed is a Realtor® and only a Realtor® can list your home in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) to market your home to other Realtors® and the public. Further a Realtor® has a full list of duties in their representation to you. For full representation you should insist upon a Seller Broker Agreement. This places your agent in the position to represent you and only you in the real estate transaction and thus no bias will be given to any potential buyer of your South Florida, Port St Lucie, Palm City, Stuart, Jupiter and the Palm Beach home.


Tip 2 – Unclutter your home. Buyers, when viewing homes, do not want to see your family photo collage. Keeping an excess of personal defects in the open space of the home could distract a potential buyer from seeing the home as theirs.


Tip 3 – Stage your home if it is not occupied. This adds a special cozy touch to the home and draws emotion to and out of potential buyers. This can include decorative dish towels in the kitchen and baths, silk flower arrangements, patio furniture, simple furniture in the living areas and more.


Tip 4 – Be reasonable and approach the selling of your home as a business venture and not an emotional ride. Everyone believes their home to be worth more than anyone else’s home. The reality is, a Comparative Market Analysis provided to you by your Realtor® is going to be the best analysis of what your home is worth in the current Real Estate market. A CMA compares your home to other comparable homes in the area and makes appropriate adjustments to ensure value compares apples to apples. Also if you take offers to purchase personally you may actually miss the best offer on the home. Many times your first good offer is the best one to take; there is no assurance something better may come in. Know in advance what is going to be acceptable based on the CMA value.


Tip 5 – Understand the financing options involved in Real Estate transactions. Real Estate transactions can be settled through various means. The easiest and surest settlement is a cash transaction. With a cash transaction the sale is not contingent on financing or appraisal. The two most common types of loans are FHA and Conventional. An FHA loan is insured by the Federal Housing Authority and the home must pass an FHA appraisal which not only looks at the home value but the living condition of the home itself. With an FHA buyer, the home must have a working A/C, flooring and more. FHA loans are also known as a First Time Homebuyer Loan but you do not need to be a first time homebuyer; you just need to be purchasing a primary home that you intend to homestead. With a Conventional Loan, they buyer usually has to put down at least 20% of the sales price and finance only 80%. There are fewer appraisal guidelines for this financing type. Conventional loans are usually for a secondary home purchase, investment home purchase or if someone has the money to put down and want to avoid Mortgage Insurance (MIP or PMI). VA loans are for active and retired military personnel. They are guaranteed by the Federal Governments Veterans Authority. With a VA loan no down payment is required and the seller is allowed to contribute 6% towards buyers closing costs and pay for the appraisal. Essentially the homebuyer could purchase without any out of pocket money.  Other types of financing can include private lenders (individuals who lend their own personal money), owner financing (the owner serves as the bank and collects interest) and various locally offered grants and programs.


Tip 6 – Understand what costs are involved in selling your home when evaluating offers. In the state Florida and even more specifically in each market, there are customary buyer and seller paid closing costs. It can vary by market. In the South Florida, Port St Lucie, Palm City, Stuart, Jupiter and the Palm Beach Real Estate Markets, customarily the seller pays for the owner’s title policy, title search, documentary stamp tax on the deed for the amount of the sale and of course the Real Estate Commission earned by their Realtor®  and any cooperative Realtor ® involved in the transaction. Have you agent provide you with a preliminary HUD, otherwise known as the Settlement Statement. This can be generated because seller costs are not dependent on the borrower’s loan costs which are paid by the buyer. In the case of an FHA Buyer, FHA (The Federal Housing Authority) will allow a seller to contribute up to 6% towards the buyer’s closing costs. Beware, many times they don’t need a full 6% and for the seller to pay Title, Docs ect.


Tip 7 – Time is of the Essence once under contract. Once you are “bilateral” (this is once both parties have signed all the same documents confirming mutual agreement to the terms of the sale) there are some key dates to track. Buyers have “x” amount of days to complete a Home Inspection. In the state of Florida, including the South Florida, Port St Lucie, Palm City, Stuart, Jupiter and the Palm Beach Real Estate Markets, the buyer may elect to opt out of the contract for any reason even if no home inspection is done. It is a good idea that once this date has come and the contingency expired, to have the buyer sign and acknowledgement that this contingency is off the table. If the buyer is financing the transaction they have “x” amount of days to obtain a loan approval even if it is conditional (approved provided certain conditions are not yet met, will be). Be sure your Realtor® obtains a copy of this approval for your files.


Tip 8 – Communicate with all parties on your side of the transaction. Your Realtor® should be the main communicator during the initial phases of the process to closing. They should inform you of the key dates to watch (inspection, finance contingency deadline, ect..). Later in the process, however, the Title Company and or involved attorneys may contact you directly to coordinate the settlement details, date and time. It is important you communicate directly with them as well.


Tip 9 – Be packed up and ready to move in a timely manner. The home may not be able to close unless fully vacated. Some buyers simply will not allow a seller additional time to vacate after the settlement and funds have exchanged hands. There can be a risk to both parties and potentially a need to draw a lease to cover the time the sellers are still occupying the home after close. In the case of an FHA buyer, FHA will send out the FHA Appraiser just before closing to ensure the home is vacant and ready to be occupied by the FHA Borrower.


Tip 10 – After the settlement/closing of the selling of your home, RELAX.  It is over. If your Realtor® did a good job be sure to provide them with a positive testimonial they can use in marketing themselves and be sure to recommend them to others seeking Real Estate services. Remember, referrals and repeat business is the best compliment a professional Realtor ® can get.



If you have questions about selling your home, please Contact Us.

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MLS data updated 05/25/2024

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