Ask a Realtor: When Does the Seller Have to Leave the House Prior to Closing?

Q: The last time I sold my house (in another state) I got 2 days after closing to completely move out. Now my Realtor says I have to be out by the day of closing on my house in Florida! Why, what gives?

A: Your Realtor is right. The Florida FAR/BAR As-Is contract (the most common one used) states that on the day of closing, Seller will have removed all items from the home and deliver all keys, garage door openers, etc.  The expectation under the law is that the property is to be “broom swept clean” for closing and free of trash and debris.  It’s a nice touch to really have the property clean and sparkling for the new buyer.

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There is an option in the contract for post-occupancy.  Usually when this happens, the Seller leases the home back from the Buyer, with a full Florida lease, deposits, etc. in place.  This is a riskier option for the Buyer, because what if something breaks or the Seller damages the property after the closing occurs?  That is why these are not very common in my experience.

The closing procedure may work differently in other states, but this is the norm in Florida, and something worthy of reminding Sellers when they list their home so they can plan accordingly.

Just Sold at 100% of Asking Price: 6046 Bayou Grande Blvd NE

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As you might’ve heard, the market is hot out there!  The home at 6046 Bayou Grande Blvd NE in St. Petersburg’s Shore Acres neighborhood just went under contract in only 8 days and sold for 100% of the asking price.  Congrats to our seller Lee!



Wondering what your home could sell for in today’s market? Just click to find out!

Record Setting Sale for Sun Ketch St. Petersburg Townhouse!

120 50th Ave N, St Petersburg, FL 33703 has Just Sold for $394,000!

This represents the HIGHEST SALE PRICE for a SUN KETCH TOWNHOUSE IN THE LAST 2 YEARS in either of Sun Ketch Northeast OR Sun Ketch Venetian Isles.

This beautiful Sun Ketch at Northeast townhouse was sold for 98.5% of the asking price.  It went under contract in just 14 days.  Sun Ketch townhomes are in high demand by buyers right now and prices are rising!  If you are considering selling yours, please contact me today to find out what yours may be worth.
Recent Sun Ketch Northeast and Sun Ketch Venetian Isles sales:
  • 228 50th Ave N – 2,218 sq. ft. – Sold 5/14/14 for $335,000
  • 4639 Overlook Dr NE – 2,788 sq. ft. – Sold 8/11/14 for $367,000
  • 239 49th Ave N – 2,300 sq. ft. – Sold 1/27/15 for $355,500
  • 217 49th Ave N – 2,320 sq. ft. – Sold 3/31/15 for $362,875
  • 120 50th Ave N – 2,371 sq. ft. – Sold 4/10/15 for $394,000

Pictures of 120 50th Ave N:

St. Petersburg Short Sale Success Story

I got into the real estate business in 2006, just as the market was starting to crash.  I knew that if I wanted to survive in real estate, I was going to have to learn about short sales and foreclosures – because they were becoming quite common at that time.  Since 2006, I’ve listed and sold dozens of short sales for underwater homeowners throughout the Tampa Bay area.  I took the CDPE designation course – which stands for Certified Distressed Property Expert – so I could learn the ins and outs of short sales.


Though St. Petersburg short sales are becoming less common now, in 2015, there are still a few out there.  The sellers of this 1925 Craftsman came to me last year.  They bought it at the height of the market in 2006, just before things crashed, and put a lot of money into the home with renovations over the years.  Then one of the Sellers got forced into early retirement.  We tried to sell the home first for what they owed, but didn’t get an offer high enough to cover their payoff.  Finally they decided a short sale was their best bet.


After we dropped the price, we got an offer pretty quickly.  Now, the short sale process is not easy – don’t let anyone tell you it is.  It requires a lot of time and patience, and loads of paperwork.  This one took about 6 months to complete in order to get all the bank approvals in line and title work completed.  In the end, the Buyers ended up with a great deal on a fantastic historic home, and the Sellers qualified for the HAFA program and received $3,000 in relocation assistance money at closing.

If you are struggling with a property that is underwater and are interested in exploring your options – please call me today.  727-475-7235

Summer Real Estate Dreams Come True!


My clients James and Michelle are a young couple with three children – ages 5, 3 and 1.  They came to me after another Realtor failed to sell their modest 2 bedroom 1 bath first home near the Kenwood area.  They bought it in the height of the market and knew it might be tough to sell it for what they owed on it, but they were getting desperate.  5 people sharing 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom was just not working.   So, we put our marketing to the test and gave it a shot.

Alas, after lots of new marketing, some great photos and dozens of showings, we got an offer – and a good one at that!  Hallelujah!

Then the work began with James and Michelle looking for a new, bigger home under the $250,000 range – a tough price point because LOTS of buyers want homes in that range and we are in a competitive market.  Finally they found one – a 4 bedroom 3 bath home in north St. Petersburg and we closed on both the home they were selling, and the one they bought today.  The best part?  The kids have not seen the new house yet – and they have no idea that their new home comes complete with a swimming pool, hot tub and a BIG slide!  I wish I could see the look on their faces when they see it for the first time!  What great summertime fun to come!  Congrats James and Michelle – clients like you are why we do what we do.