Most people know that staging a home is important — especially where the competition for home sales is stiff. With an abundance of properties to look at, your home needs to impress buyers. While you might know the basics when it comes to staging a home (like deep cleaning every nook and cranny and tidying up your lawn) there are always little adjustments you can make to entice buyers. It never hurts to go above and beyond to make your home as appealing as possible. Following are four staging tricks you might not know.

Buy a New Welcome Mat

Most potential buyers will enter your home through the front door. Your lawn and front door will be the first thing seen by buyers. Beyond commonly known advice like keeping trees, bushes, and your lawn tidy and trimmed, little details matter, too. Forbes recommends looking at your welcome mat (if you have one). Is it worn down by weather and sun exposure? Is it looking dingy? Consider replacing your welcome mat. For less than $20, a new welcome mat will make buyers feel welcome and leave an impression that your home is well taken care of.

Spruce Up Your Foyer

Again, like your front entrance, the foyer is the first room inside the house buyers will see. While this room might be small, little decorative touches and an impeccably clean appearance can set the stage for what the rest of your home has to offer. De-clutter your foyer of shoes and piles of mail. Do a deep clean and throw away or store anything that doesn’t add to the space. Better Homes and Gardens advises home owners to place a small table against the wall with an arrangement of fresh flowers on it or replace dingy, dated light fixtures to modernize the room. This will lend a welcoming and homey atmosphere without crowding what is already a small space.

Float Your Furniture

The way you place your furniture is important, and the positioning of couches, chairs, and tables can affect the perception of a room’s size. Most folks’ instinct is to push furniture against the walls to open up space in the center of a room. While this is common and instinctual, you should actually do the opposite according to Better Homes and Gardens. Pull sofas and chairs away from the walls and place them in cozy, conversational groups. This will define a room’s space while also making it appear larger and more inviting.

Keep Bedrooms and Bathrooms Gender-Neutral

Spaces that appear overly masculine or feminine can turn off buyers and narrow your home’s mass appeal. Whenever possible, it is best to stick to a neutral color palette with gender-neutral textures and designs. For instance, if you have floral, pink bedding, swapping it out for beige and gray tones will appeal to more buyers. This is especially important in master bedrooms, according to HGTV.

These four tips along with standard advice like cleaning and de-cluttering should help you get a decent start with staging a home. For more tips, give me a shout!


18 Mistakes Most Sellers Make When Putting Their Home on the Market

  1. Pricing your home too high: Have a professional determine comparable sales and listing competition. You want top dollar, and you want all the buyers to see your home.  The top agents know how to walk that fine line.
  1. Small repairs bring big profits and fast sales: Have a professional give you low-cost solutions to minor repairs that will yield big profits. I arrange for a professional inspection for my sellers so we are actually selling “pre-inspected properties”, which is another reason why I get more showings for my sellers.
  1. Not considering other financing terms (besides cash): Have a professional give you options that may be better than cash for you, the homeowner, and financing options that excite a buyer. All of my sellers have a flyer that we give them on the “Fifteen Ways a Buyer Can Finance” detailing how new buyers can finance your home.
  1. Market Timing: Have a professional determine if the market cycle is poised to net you the most money. At least ask to be shown how you make profits in a down market.  There are opportunities in good and bad markets.  At Sanford Systems, we study market trends and know what is around the corner.
  1. Providing easy access for showings: There are many ways to show a home. Appointment only is the most restrictive; lock boxes are the least restrictive.  Have a professional help you determine which is best for your lifestyle.  I have a full-time staff that will make sure your home is shown when that buyer is ready.  Another exclusive service of Sanford Systems is that we train each of the agents in our office on how to best show your home.
  1. Staging your property correctly: Can you put items in storage? Create more light or music?  Walter can help you with ideas, a handyman, or designer.  We have the experience and ‘know how’ to make your property a better value every week.
  1. Choosing the right REALTOR®: If your home didn’t sell last time, make sure and get it right this time with someone who knows the market and how to create a customized marketing plan to bring top dollar.
  1. Believing that selling property is seasonal: Do not base selling decisions on the seasons. Property is always selling.  In fact, in the traditional “off times” there is less inventory, and, therefore, more activity on individual properties as a result.  One of my biggest months for sales and seller success has been XXXX.
  1. Pricing their home too low: One reason to hire Walter is to make sure that no money is left on the table. We will make sure all of the features and benefits are not only brought out in a real world marketing campaign, but also that you get paid for them.
  1. Not using current marketing technology: Make sure your agent is on the “Information Highway” with 800 interactive voice recognition systems, personal web sites, search engine technology, and the latest in buyer communications. Check out our web site and buyer resources here XXXXX.
  1. Re‑evaluating the marketing plan every 10 days: The market, you, and your property require intuitive changes on a regular basis. That is why we schedule a meeting with our seller clients every ten working days.
  1. Believing the agent is not doing the job: Do you know that 80% of buyer activity comes from signs and the MLS? Even the most mediocre agent can bring these tools.  So if you lack showing problems look at your price, terms, and staging first.  At Sanford Systems we can add value to your property in many ways.
  1. Ignoring first impressions from the buyer: Sales are often hampered by unkempt lawns, cluttered closets, unpainted front doors, hard‑to‑work locks, dead light bulbs, bad colors, stains, unlit areas, and unusual smells. Spend time on the little things; double up on your gardener, keep things cleaner than usual and “marshal” the pets.  Understanding you still have a life, I will give you a simple list of small items to consider.
  1. Not giving the sales effort enough time: You should never give too little time to something that is inherently a long process. Estimate the time you have to sell and then add some time so that you are never put in the position of having to do something based on deadlines. Walter can help you with the average time on market in your area in your price range.  We do, however, pride ourselves on beating the average days on market, as published by our Multiple Listing Service.
  1. Dealing with unqualified or unsavory characters: One of the best reasons to hire a real estate professional is they have the ability to pre‑qualify a prospect before valuable negotiation time is lost. More importantly, they have the tools to discover if a prospect’s motivation to see your home may be other than purchasing a house.  Understand that I use a team approach in achieving your goals as a seller.  One of my team members is a local lender who I will involve in your sale early who will pre-approve every buyer that I show your home to.
  1. Believing they are powerless to make a difference: Top agents in the industry report that sellers themselves are responsible for one out of six sales. You can network with your business and personal friends, hand out flyers to your personnel department, and keep the house “ready to move into.”  Your professional real estate agent should be ready to hand out all sorts of easy assignments to make the “team effort” successful.  I have a list of thirty items you can help with, if you are so inclined.
  1. Testing the market: Never put your property on the market unless you really want to sell. Get ready for a professional sales effort if you list with a great agent.  If your plan includes indecision, be prepared for frustration because top dollar sales success is Walter’s objective.
  1. Not setting up expectations with their agent: Your agent needs to guarantee how fast the return phone calls are made, how many websites your home will be on, numbers of showings, and a myriad of other goals. Sanford systems provides these guarantees (as many as 300 marketing points) in writing.

by Walter Sanford

2495 S Tropical Trail

Nestled in a picturesque setting of mature trees and manicured greenery, this 5 bedroom, 4 bath home is the ultimate oasis directly on the IntraCoastal. As you enter the heart of this home, you embrace a spacious living, dining, and entertainment area with a wall of cathedral windows overlooking the Indian River. The spectacular kitchen boasts rich wood floors, granite counter tops, two full size ovens, an abundance of cabinets, and a breakfast nook. An additional 2nd kitchenette, laundry, and entertainment area make this home complete. Step onto your enormous back deck with never ending views of the river where you will find your 235 foot private dock, jetski and covered boat lifts, and lush landscaping offering “green” privacy. Enjoy the dolphins and manatees with spectacular sunsets.

Michelina #703

mich Enjoy one of the most elegant ocean front condominiums in Cocoa Beach. This spacious 2400+/- sq. ft. home captures stunning Atlantic ocean views, including KSC rocket launches and sun/moon rise/sets. Southern exposure ensures warm sun in winter and cool shade in the summer. All amenities within walking distance. Spoil yourself in this luxury 3bd. 3bth home that has angled upgraded tile throughout, Custom designed cherry wood kitchen w/ pull out drawers & roll out island, Designer DACOR brand appliances, Central vac., LG frig /bottom freezer, Surround sound w 5/built in precision speakers, Structured wiring throughout for flexible phone or cable outlets, intercom in every room. Residents enjoy hot spa, steam room, dry sauna and exercise room.


142 W Park Ln, Cocoa Beach, Florida

142 W Park, Cocoa Beach

Welcome to 142 West Park Lane. The embodiment of beach side living, this pool home sits walking distance from the ocean in a highly desired Cocoa Beach neighborhood.

Front View2From the moment you set foot in this charmer, you are treated to a spacious living room and dining room which together form the middle of the split bedroom plan.

Dining & Living AreasBeautiful wood plank tile flooring in a gray weathered oak finish can be found throughout giving the home a perfect dose of modern flavor. Speaking of modern, the theme continues throughout with touches such as tri-blade fans, LED light fixtures, textured ceilings, new base boards, new doors and so much more.

Light Bright Kitchen

Microwave over RangeAt the heart of the home is the spectacular kitchen, remodeled from the ground up with new cabinets, quartz countertops and matching stainless steel Samsung appliances including a gas range. No worries about the roof, because that is new too.

Family Room_Solarium

Family Room DenViews from the enclosed Florida room are dominated by the lovely in ground pool.

Large backyard & poolThis property is over a quarter of an acre and the expansive backyard showcases this perfectly, with not only the pool, but also a stylish patio, fruit trees and a well-cared for lawn. When you don’t feel like spending time at this personal paradise, remember you are just walking distance from Ron Jons, Publix, the Famous Cocoa Beach Pier, Starbucks, local restaurants and putting your toes in the sand.

Bathroom 2

Master Bathroom

Dining & Living AreasSmell the salty air…  Have you been dreaming of living the beach lifestyle?
Watch the Cruise Ships leave the port

Cocoa Beach3

Dining Area