Christmas Events in Sarasota [2017]

It is Christmas in Sarasota, and our beautiful city is full of festive activities and celebratory things to do. Between boat parades, light shows, and Christmas musicals, there is no better place to enjoy the holiday season. Explore the countless Sarasota Christmas events our area has to offer this 2017 season.

Holiday Night of Lights – St. Armand’s Circle

December 1, 2017 Cost: Free Location: Madison Drive, Sarasota, St. Armands Circle This annual magical event, “Holiday Night of Lights”, brings the circle to life starting with a special performance followed by a Christmas sing-a-long, the arrival of Santa, and a tree lighting ceremony. 5:30 – 6:00 PM: Special Performance 6:00 PM:  Christmas Carol Sing-a-long followed by the arrival of Santa and the tree lighting ceremony. 6:30 – 8:00 PM:  Photos with Santa In addition, visitors are welcome to view the nativity scene at St. Armand’s Key Lutheran Church.

Sarasota Christmas Parade

December 2, 2017 Cost: Free Location: Main Street, Sarasota, FL 34236 Time:  7:00 PM – 9:00 PM Join thousands of spectators in downtown Sarasota for the 22nd annual Christmas Parade Sarasota. With 2017 being the 65th anniversary of the film, “The Greatest Show on Earth, this years celebration will feature local circus performers, celebrities from the film, as well as local churches, high school bands, local businesses, and of course, Santa Clause. The parade route is from 301/Washington Blvd to Gulfstream Ave.

Candy Cane Scavenger Hunt

December 2, 2017 Cost: Free to garden members. Included in ticket admission for non-members. Location: 1670 10th Way, Sarasota, FL 34236 Time: 10:00 – 10:30 AM (Doors open at 9:45) Kick off the holiday season with a Candy Cane Scavenger Hunt presented by the Children’s Garden and Art Center. Kids will enter a world of make-believe where Gnomes and fairies will hide the holiday sweet treats amongst the kid-oriented gardens. There will be a coloring station for kids, hot chocolate and baked goodies for sale. Admission is free to garden members and included in the admission ticket for non-members. For ticket purchases visit

Jingle Paws Jubilee 2017

December 3, 2017 Cost: Free Location: 5500 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Phillippi Estate Park Time: 12:00 – 5:00 PM Jingle Paws Jubilee is a fun-filled holiday pet celebration for people and leashed pets of all ages. Bring your dog or cat dressed in their best holiday costume and take part in the Holiday Costume Parade hosted by Susan Marie and Miss Olive of the “Doggy Diva Show”.  In addition, there will be dogs and cats of all ages available for adoption. Enjoy pet photographs, agility demonstrations, animal communicators, music, shopping, face painting, and raffle prizes. All proceeds will benefit the local animal groups in attendance. All attendees are asked to bring a can or bag of dog food, cat food, treats or a pet toy.

Sensitive Santa Meet and Greet

December 3, 2017 Cost: Free Location: University Town Center, 140 University Town Center Dr, Sarasota, FL 34243 Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM This special event is reserved for children on the autism spectrum. For more information contact 941-552-7000. Guests interested in attending should register here.

Holiday Tour of Lights

December 5th – 31st, 2017 Cost: $15.00 per person or rent a whole trolley. No refunds. Location: 4041 Cattlemen Rd, Sarasota, FL 34236, Outside the Regions Bank Time: 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM Tours  (arrive 15 minutes before your tour time) Bring your family and some drinks then hop aboard the SRQ trolley to experience the famous “Holiday Tour of Lights”. You will see some of the best holiday displays in Sarasota including arch lighted streets, a gingerbread house, a copy of National Lampoon Vacation home and more. Buy your tickets here.

Holly Days and Mangrove Lights 2017

December 7, 2017 Cost: Adults: $12 per person, Seniors (65+): $10 per person,Children (Ages 5-12): $5 per person, Children (under age 5): Free Location: 337 N Tamiami Trail, Osprey, Fl 34229 Time: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM Enjoy a magnificent piece of Florida history in combination with a magical holiday ambiance while strolling among 30 acres of lighted walkways and mangroves at Historic Spanish Point. Visit the historic homestead museum decked out in holiday decor and festive music. During the month of December, on Thursdays and Fridays, Spanish Point will remain open until 8 PM. On December 7, 2017, join in the Holiday Party. This event is free to members, $5.00 for member guests, and regular pricing for all others.  There will be festive music, refreshments, and good cheer.

The Living Nativity

December 7th – 10th, 2017 Cost: Free Location: The Tabernacle Church, 4141 Desoto Road, Sarasota, FL 34235

Time: 7:30 PM Experience the reason for the season at The Tabernacles interactive Living Nativity. Over 100 cast members and animals will take you back to the time of Christ’s birth, with flying angels, live animals, music, and treats.  Children can pet the manager’s camels, goats, and sheep. The event takes place outside, weather permitting. Admission is free. For additional information, call the church office at (941) 355-8858 or visit the website at


Holidays Around the Ranch

December 8, 2017 Cost: Free Location: Marina Jack Restaurant, Bayfront Park, City Island and Centennial Park. Time: 6:00 – 9:00 PM “Holidays around the Ranch” brings a touch of winter to Florida with a  fun-filled snow slide. Enjoy hot chocolate, eggnog, stage performances, Carolers, Santa in his horse-drawn carriage, and the lighting of the Christmas tree.

Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

December 9, 2017 Cost: Free Location: Marina Jack Restaurant, Bayfront Park, City Island and Centennial Park (best places for viewing) Time: 6:00 PM The 2017 Sarasota Boat Parade is a fun-filled evening with music and decorated boats of all sizes, parading along the Sarasota Bay.  Bring your lawn chairs and some food, then sit back, relax, and enjoy the festivities. The rain date for this event is Sunday, December 10th.

A Night Before Christmas

December 9, 2017 Cost: Free Location: GT Bray Park, 5502 33rd Avenue Drive West, Bradenton, FL 34209 Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM Santa will be making his annual appearance at GT Bray Park. Enjoy meeting with Santa, face painting, hayrides, and snow, plus lots more. This event is great for kids of all ages.

Holiday Wine Tasting & Toy Drive

December 9, 2017 Cost:  Bring an unwrapped toy donation Location: Michael’s Wine Cellar, 1283 S Tamiami Trail | Midtown Plaza, Sarasota, FL 34239 Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM Taste fine international boutique wines at this walk-about wine tasting. Michael’s Wine Celler offers several kosher wines perfect for Hanukkah. Your toy donation for the Salvation Army Angel Tree Program will serve as your admission.

The School of Russian Ballet – The Nutcracker

December 10,2017 Cost: $17.00 – $45.00 Location:  61 N. Pineapple Ave 34236,  Sarasota Opera House Time: 4:00 PM The School of Russian Ballen will present their spectacular performance of the Christmas Ballet, The Nutcracker. Dancers from the School of Rusian Ballet will be accompanied by international world famous dancers.

Cinematic Celebrations at the Ringling | Elf

December 15, 2017 Cost: $15 Non-Members , $13.50 Members,  $10 Child Location:  The Ringling |5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243 Time: 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM Put on your holiday attire (optional) and head over to the Ringling Museum of Art Courtyard for an evening of music with Josh Walther and Phase5 Band, holiday lights, art activities, photos with Buddy and Jovie provided by Manatee Performing Arts Center. Finish off the evening with the holiday movie, Elf. Your ticket includes hot chocolate, coffee, and candy canes. Popcorn, candy, beverages, and cocktails are available for purchase. Click here for more information

John Ringling’s Circus Nutcracker

December 15th – 16th, 2017 Cost: Starting from $30.00 Location: Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall | 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL34236 | (941) 359-0099 Time: 7:30 December 15 |  2:00 & 7:30 December 16 This wonderful, over the top production of John Ringling’s Circus Nutcracker will enchant audiences of all ages. Set to Tchaikovsky’s iconic and beloved score, the ballet interweaves the history of John and Mable Ringling with E. T. A. Hoffman’s classic The Nutcracker. the Sarasota Orchestra will accompany the performance. This is a Nutcracker like no other.

Elf Workshop & Sweet Cookie Bar

December 17, 2017 Cost: This is a pre-payment event only. Registration required. Location: 1670 10th Way, Sarasota, FL 34236 Time: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM  Bring your little ones to the Sarasota Children’s Garden where the Bird Art Gallery will be transformed into an Elf workshop. Kids can decorate their own birdhouse ornaments and big sugar cookies.  The cost of the birdhouse ornament is $5.00 (plus tax) with admission. The cost of the Sweet Cookie Bar is $5.00 (plus tax) with admission. Kids can have the option to visit one station or both! This is a reservation only event. For more information visit

Santa Comes to Sarasota

December 17, 2017 Cost: $32.00 Adult,  $17 Child (2-12 years). Tickets will not be sold at door. Location: Powel Crosley Estate, 8374 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL34243  Time: 11:00 AM, Lunch 12:30PM Visit Santa and his Christmas Fairy at the Powel Crosley Palace.  Start off with some hot chocolate and some reindeer games. Decorate Christmas cookies then gather around while Santa reads some Christmas fables, then join Santa’s fairy for a delicious holiday lunch. Each child will leave with a gift from Santa’s fairy.

How To Sell Your House Fast in Sarasota




This home seller’s guide will show you how to sell your house fast in Sarasota. It will cover pricing your house, preparing your home for the market, finding the right real estate agent, the importance of a home inspection, and even how to sell your own home. If you are considering selling your home, you will find this information a valuable part of your home selling process. If you are wondering what your home is worth in today’s Sarasota real estate market, call Ursini & Company at 941-812-4894 or use our Home Evaluation Calculator. Your results will be sent to you in 15 seconds.

Know the Sarasota Real Estate Market and Trends

The Sarasota real estate market is constantly changing, so it is a good idea to educate yourself on the current market conditions. Information on average sold prices, the average days on the market, and whether it is a buyer’s or a seller’s market will all come into play when selling your home in Sarasota.  While the average sold price for single family homes is $353,000, it does not mean there will not be variances in the months ahead. Update yourself on the current market conditions with our monthly Sarasota Real Estate Market Reports.

How to Price Your Home Correctly

Every property has the potential to sell quickly, and along with effective marketing, the price is the #1 factor. If your real estate agent is not honest about the pricing of your property, they are doing you a disservice. How so? Because a home that is priced too high will accumulate days on the market, and in the end, it will negatively affect the value of your home. The plain and simple truth is, no amount of marketing will sell an overpriced property. When determining your home’s value, your real estate agent will research past sales, active listings, withdrawn and expired listings. All are important in determining the target price for listing your home. Having an understanding of the true market value of your home is the first step in pricing your property correctly.

Sold listings are the best measure of your home’s fair market value. Knowing what recently sold is the best way to become an informed seller and gives you a sense of your homes market value.

Active listings demonstrate the current supply on the market. This is your competition. When listing your home, you need to stand out from your competition. Proper home preparation, along with strategic pricing and effective marketing, increases the opportunity for your home selling quickly for the best possible price. Getting your house ready for the market can seem like an overwhelming task, but Ursini & Company is here to help make things simple. To give your home the wow factor, follow the suggestions on my Preparing Your House for Sale Checklist. 

Withdrawn and expired listings demonstrate over-priced listings.  It is important to note that the first two weeks on the market are the most important because it is when the home will attract the most buyers. If it is overpriced, you will lose a large pool of what might have been interested parties.  You have one chance to make a first impression. Make it a good one.

The Rule of Thumb When Searching for Comparable Properties

When searching for comparable properties, there are guidelines that you should follow.

  • Find currently active properties as well as sold comps that closed within the past three months.  If you can not find enough comparable sales, then increase your search to six months.
  • When searching for comparables, find property sale prices within 1/4 mile to 1/2 mile of your home.  If comps are limited, you can expand the search to one mile.
  • Do not cross any major streets or highways to find comps.
  • Use comps that are of similar square footage. They should be within 10% (larger or smaller) than your homes square footage.
  • Use homes of similar age by selecting sold properties that are 10 years older or newer than your home.

How to Research Sold Listings

The below bullet points are the best way to search for sold listings to measure your home’s value.

  • Research sold home prices in your neighborhood.
  • Compare the list to sold price ratio of each sold comp.
  • Check to see if the comparable properties had any price reductions.
  • Adjust real estate sale prices for features such as a private pool, view, amenities, upgrades, etc.

How to Research Withdrawn and Expired Listings

Sellers withdraw homes from the market for various reasons, but this may be an indication that the home may have been overpriced for the current market. Follow these tips when researching withdrawn or expired listings.

  • Expired or withdrawn listings are an indication that the home may have been overpriced.
  • Contact the listing agent to find out why they feel the home did not sell.
  • Determine if it was listed by a discount broker.  With a discounted commission, the money advocated towards marketing is typically less.  As previously mentioned, if you want to sell your home quickly for the most money, pricing and marketing are the two most important factors.

How to Research Pending Sales

A pending sale means the buyer has accepted an offer and the home is now considered under contract. By following the tips below, pending sales can be helpful in determining the pricing strategy for your home.

  • Pending properties do not provide you with information on the accepted price on the home.This information becomes public information once the property closes. To learn more about the accepted price, call the listing agent. More than likely, they will not disclose this information but they may provide insight on whether or not the accepted offer was close to the asking price.
  • Take note of the number of days to contract.
  • Investigate the property’s price drop history.

How to Research Active Listings

No one can determine what an active listing will sell for, therefore active listings do not play a part in determining your home’s value.  In short, they are your competition, and you always want to outdo your competition.

  • Look at photos, visit open houses, or actually tour active listings. If something stands out with your competition, try to apply the same idea to your home.
  • To ensure your home stands out from the competition, follow these valuable tips on 10 Easy Ways to Add Value to Your Home.
  • Understand the positives and negatives of your home and price it accordingly.

What is My Home Worth?

To determine an estimated value of your home, try a home value calculator. Within seconds you will receive an instant estimate of your property’s value. This evaluation is an estimate only using the internet to gather local real estate listing and sales data. Each home has its unique features so no one can truly estimate the value of your house without coming out to see it. For a more accurate market evaluation, have an in-house review by a professional real estate agent.

How To Prepare Your House for the Market

To get top dollar for your home, it will need to be in tip-top shape. There are small and easy things you can do to impress buyers. Follow these tricks of the trade for getting your home ready to sell, but look out, you may end up selling it for more money and faster than you expected.

As a buyer drives up to your home, the first thing they will see is the home’s exterior.  Unattractive yards or poorly maintained homes will ward off potential buyers, which is why the first impression is so important. It is one of the most important factors in marketing a home. An attractive exterior will lure buyers inside to see more.  When preparing your home for the market, step back and take a look at it through the eyes of the buyer. What details about your home might a buyer see as a negative. Are the bushes overgrown and blocking sunlight from entering the house?  Has the front door seen better days? Does the house need repainting? Do the flower beds need weeding?  These are small items, but important details, vital to the sale of your home. Here are some helpful tips to spruce up the exterior of your home.
  • A freshly painted exterior.
  • Replace rotted wood.
  • Remove dead plants and weeds.
  • Add a nice welcome mat.
  • Wash your windows inside and out.
  • Pressure wash the house, sidewalk, and driveway.
  • Keep paint colors neutral.
  • Add potted plants. Water regularly!
  • If necessary, add furniture that accentuates the yard.

As with the exterior, you only have one chance to make a good first impression, and this should happen as soon as a buyer walks through the front door. You have about 15 seconds to accomplish this. It’s a very short window, but this is all a buyer needs to make the decision if the home is meant for them. The home’s entrance should create an inviting ambiance that lures the buyer in and makes them feel at home. Opt for relaxing paint colors, fresh cut flowers, and a chandelier that provides adequate light, yet decor means nothing if they walk into a dirty entryway. Make sure the foyer is sparkling clean, remove clutter such as books or shoes and depersonalize. The entire home should be sparkling clean and each room should have a purpose.

Consider what small changes you can make to update the kitchen. A full kitchen renovation when selling a home is not worth the investment. Paint cabinets, change out hardware and update hinges and fixtures. Like the rest of the home, your kitchen should be light and bright.

A bedroom should resemble a bedroom not a partial playroom, craft room or office. A bedroom should feel relaxing so remove clutter, depersonalize, organize the closets, and invest in new bedding if needed.  Make sure the bed is made and the room is cleaned and organized for every showing.

Create a spa-like feel in your bathrooms by painting walls in a soothing, neutral color, update fixtures and lights, declutter the countertops and organize the cabinets.  For showings hang luxurious towels, hide trash cans and toilet brushes, and keep the toilet lids closed.

Each home is unique, so what works for one home may not necessarily be the case for all homes. If you are struggling with where to focus your attention, but want to sell fast, then contact Gina Ursini at the Ursini & Company Team.  Her “Tips for Selling Your Home” is something she offers to each and every seller of hers.

How to Prepare Your Home for Showings

Every homeowner wants top dollar for their home, and getting their wish does not happen by accident.  There are steps that need to be taken to accomplish this. The end result will be a marketable home that stands out from the competition. Once you’ve physically prepared your home for the market, the next step is showing your home to potential buyers. A seller’s number one goal to showing a home is to emotionally capture a buyer as soon as they enter. Buyers should walk in and see it as their home, and not someone else’s home. So, how can you accomplish this? For the ultimate buying experience, follow our home selling tips on how to prepare your home for showings.

Tips for Showing Your House

  • Don’t tag your home as difficult to show. Be open to last-minute showings and do not require your listing agent to be present.
  • Store away all valuable items such as jewelry or medications.
  • Do not require buyers to take off their shoes. There are some buyers that may find this insulting.
  • Keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Not too hot or not too cold.
  • Leave a plate of fresh baked cookies on the kitchen counter or a bowl of candies at the front door.
  • Turn on soft classical or jazz music.
  • Turn on all the lights.
  • Open the windows if the weather permits.  If open windows create traffic noise, keep them closed.
  • If you have a fireplace, turn that on as well, even if it is summer.
  • If you have a water fountain, turn it on.
  • Open up all blinds and curtains so your home looks light and bright.
  • Vacuum your carpets and do not walk on them prior to your showing.
  • Remove your pets and put away all pet toys and belongings.
  • Do not use strong candles or air fresheners. Some buyers may be allergic to them.
  • Display a vase of fresh cut flowers.
  • Leave your home for all showings.  Buyers do not feel comfortable discussing a home in front of the sellers
  • Put away all toys, clothes, pots, and pans, etc.  Your home should show like a model home.

What Paint Colors Help Sell Your House Fast?

picture of paint cans, paint brushes, and paint chips in pastel colors.One of the most budget-friendly ways to update a room is through the use of paint. But with a multitude of colors to choose from, deciding on a paint color can be a difficult task. When it comes to selecting paint colors that sell houses, take your personal opinion out of it and concentrate on what potential buyers like. In a modern setting, a bright red accent wall may add just the right touch, yet would not be suited for a coastal contemporary home. So how do you choose paint colors when selling a home?  There are several ways to go about this.

First, research recently sold properties in your market that sold within a short period of time. Take note of the common color scheme, and mimic this color pallet in your home.  If you lack the confidence to accomplish this on your own, you can hire the services of a professional home stager.  For a consultation fee of approximately $150 – $400, a home stager will assess your home then provide a detailed report on what you can do on your own to target buyers. Included in this report will be specific color recommendations.

When selecting paint finishes, use a finish that best compliments the area you are painting. Gloss finishes look great on trims and moldings but when used on a wall, it can show every little imperfection. There are quality, washable matte finishes that are better suited for walls.  

Exterior Paint Color Suggestions

When selecting exterior paint colors, take your personality out of it and choose colors that will add value to your home as well as attract the widest pool of buyers. Choose neutral colors that provide a warm and inviting feel. Coordinate the paint color of your house with the roof and landscape.  A touch of bold will work on a front door but only about 8% of buyers like bold colors, so avoid using it on the body of the house. If you are not currently selling your home, but plan to in the future, then your paint color selections are just as important.

Interior Paint Color Suggestions

As with the home’s exterior, your home interior should be light and inviting.  There are circumstances in which a splash of bold color may compliment the home, but overall, bold colors such as bright pink, orange, or purple, should be avoided. Pure white walls work well in a modern style home, but in a traditional home, it may be too stark and uninviting.  Evaluate the style of your home and use colors that best compliment your look.

Best Paint Colors to Sell Your House Fast

Paint colors trends come and go but in today’s design world we are seeing the following trends in neutral paint colors. These are great options to select from when deciding on paint colors for both the exterior and exterior of your home.

Taupe: Considered a cool neutral color, taupe can be gorgeous in any space and works especially well in rooms that lack natural light. Use it in a large room with high ceilings and white trim or in a bedroom with luxurious bedding and white pillows. Taupes come in a variety of undertones, so this is where taupe can become tricky. Before committing to a color, try a test swatch on the walls first.

Soft Blue: This sophisticated color works great in a spa-like bathroom, a bedroom, or in a contemporary living room.  It will also work great as an exterior color on Coastal or Victorian style homes.  Pair soft blues with off-white and muted pastels, and you will create a look that will wow buyers.

Gray:  Neutral in tone, this color is one of the most popular colors amongst buyers.  It works perfectly for both the interior and exterior.  According to Zillow, a home painted in greige (a gray-beige) sells for approximately $1500 more than a white home.  For an attractive soft gray-beige color try Sherwin Williams Sand Bar, SW 7547.

White: Whites come in many different shades and can be a timeless choice for home buyers.  Stark white will compliment a modern interior perfectly, especially when used against pops of color in the artwork or furniture. For a softer white on the walls, use Sherwin Williams Origami White, SW 7636. This color trim looks beautiful against Sherwin Williams Sand Bar walls.

[Read: Follow these 5 simple steps on “How to Paint a Room”]

Why Professional Photos Matter

When it comes to purchasing a home, over 98% of home buyers start their search on the internet, which means you have less than 10 seconds to grab their attention, or they are off looking at the next property. Picture yourself as a buyer browsing through home photos. Which one captures your attention and prompts you to view more? The well-organized, clutter-free, sunny home, with fresh flowers and crisp bedding or the photos of a dark cluttered space, unmade beds, and dishes in the sink. I think we all know the correct answer!

Great photos are key to getting buyers to take the next step in personally viewing the home. The website is your best friend, so your online photos should capture all that the home has to offer. Outstanding features such as beautiful kitchens, extraordinary tile designs, architectural beams, attractive pools, and manicured gardens should be showcased in your photos. Furthermore, buyers do not like dark homes so photos should be taken on a sunny day with all the curtains and blinds pulled back.

Photos are the first impression to your listing and the core to selling your home, which is why you should only use high-quality photos by a professional photographer. Because photos will populate into everything else your agent does in marketing, only opt for visually stunning photos of magazine quality. To accomplish this, my recommendation is Matterport photography.  This innovative new technology has outdone the flat professional photos from the past and replaced them with high-quality photos that are full of color and depth.

As an added feature to your listing, include a Matterport 3D tour, which shows your property in fully immersive 3D, so viewers feel like they are in the home. Try out a 3D home tour virtual experience below. 

How to Sell A House That Needs Work

jefferson pines ii sarasota fl

Your home is in need of some major tender loving care, yet you want to sell it fast for the best possible price. You’re wondering, who is going to buy a home that needs a new roof, new floors, a new kitchen, and a long list of minor repairs? It is easy to feel a bit overwhelmed considering the financial investment, time, and labor needed to make your home stand out from the competition.  Let’s face it, not everyone has the time or money to invest in a fixer upper. The good news is, there are solutions for just about any home, any situation. Every home has the opportunity to sell for the best possible price. The reality is, you can not expect to yield the same profit that a similar upgraded home in pristine condition would get, but you certainly do not have to suffice with giving the home away just because it needs work.

When it comes to selling a fixer upper, it is not about perfection, it is about focusing on the features. If you have deferred maintenance on your home, the repairs can add up to a cost that exceeds your budget.  Items such as a new bathroom and new flooring are not cheap. But don’t fret, because these items do not need to be addressed. As a matter of fact, it is best that you do not do a huge over-haul on the home. In most cases, buyers are going to come in and change things to meet their taste. For example, you install Formica counter tops and they want granite or you install carpeting and they want hardwood floors. With that said, it is a good idea to tackle things that are affordable and will put additional profit in your pocket.  These include clean up and repairs such as washing windows and mirrors, deep cleaning the home from top to bottom, mowing and cleaning the yard, caulking as needed, fixing loose door knobs, replacing missing light bulbs, decluttering, and organizing.  Tackle whatever items you can from our handy home seller’s checklist.

When it comes to selling a fixer upper, it is not about selling the finishes.  It’s about getting buyers to see beyond the properties short-comings and selling features such as the neighborhood or the floor plan. As long as there are no structural issues, you are in great shape.

What Type of Buyer Should I Expect to Get for My Fixer Upper?

Not every buyer is looking to purchase a home that needs work, so who is going to buy a fixer upper? There are three types of buyers that will show the greatest interest in homes that need work. These people are either investing money to make a profit, building equity, or seeking an opportunity to secure their dream home in a neighborhood that they otherwise could not afford.


One of your greatest pool of buyers will be investors looking for houses to flip or to hold onto as a rental property. Investors are seeking good opportunities which will provide them a profit, whether it be at resale or their overall net profit from rent. The important thing when selling a home to an investor is to know what your home is worth in today’s market.  Your real estate agent will determine this even before they put your home on the market.

The Home Remodeler

This type of buyer is looking to remodel the home for themselves or to rent out.  For home buyers looking to occupy the home, this is the perfect opportunity to begin with a clean slate.  The new buyers can redesign the home and add design selections and finishes of their choice.  For a buyer who does not have the cash to sink into repairs, they can purchase the home using an FHA 203K Rehab Loan. These government loans provide money for renovating the home. The repair money is rolled into the loan. Not only do they get the home of their dreams, but they can build instant equity in the home too.

The Owner Occupant

This type of buyer is looking for an opportunity to live within a desirable community that would otherwise be out of their means.  They may not have the money to put into renovations, but the locations outweigh the fact that it needs some work. They are willing to purchase the home and overtime add improvements or updates.

How to Advertise a Fixer Upper

When marketing your home your Realtor should promote the idea of buyers using an FHA 203 K Rehab loan to purchase the property.  Not every buyer is aware of these loans, and seeing it in the public remarks will prompt them to ask their realtor for more information on this type of loan. What once may have been a non-consideration is no longer crossed off their list.

An example of how to advertise a fixer uppers features and spread the word about the FHA Renovation Loans might include a description such as: “Fabulous fixer upper on 2.25 acres in DeSoto Acres. Home to one of the greatest trapeze artists for the Ringling Circus. 4 bed, 6 bath, 4452 sq ft. Indoor and outdoor pool with a 4’ underground tunnel connecting the two pools. 4 car garage. Detached guest suite with large entertainment room. No deed restrictions. Great opportunity for investor, ambitious rehabber, or FHA 203K rehab loan purchase. With some creativity and a vision, this home, rich in Sarasota history, could be your diamond in the rough.”

[Further Reading: Remodeling: Where to Spend Your Money]

Selling Your House “AS IS”

When selling your house you have the option of selling the home “as is”. This means that the buyer has the right to an inspection but the seller will not be obligated to put money out for any repairs.  An “as is” contract has advantages specific to both the buyer and the seller. For the seller, they do not have to worry about coming up with additional money to repair items of concern that result from a home inspection.  On the other hand, the buyer has the right to back out of the contract prior to the inspection deadline if they find items in the report that are of concern to them. If the buyer notifies the seller in writing prior to the inspection deadline, then their escrow deposit will be returned in full. [Further Reading: Florida Real Estate Terms and Definitions]

Which 2 Rooms Sell a House?

When you put your house on the market, there are two rooms that sell a house. These are the focal points of the home that you should put your attention on first.  These rooms will weigh heavy on the decision of buyers. They are the rooms to which you can add value so they need to look their best.  The two rooms that sell a house are the kitchen and the master bathroom.

The Kitchen

An attractive kitchen will attract buyers and increase value.  Although a major overhaul is not recommended, sprucing up the kitchen is. Before beginning updates, consider your neighborhood. If the homes in your community are using standard features such as Formica countertops, then you should too. If your community uses Quartz countertops, then if your budget allows it, you should too. This is what local buyers will expect to see.

If your goal is to sell your home fast, then do what you must to make your kitchen appealing to buyers. Paint or resurface the cabinets, replace the countertops, update the appliances, change the cabinet hardware, update the light fixtures, and paint the room in a neutral color. Don’t forget to clean from top to bottom, including the inside of the cabinets and refrigerators too. Lastly, remove all clutter from the countertops and organize the shelves.    

The Bathroom

Making small changes or updates to a bathroom, especially the master bath, will grab a buyers attention. Changes such as new mirrors, updated light fixtures, new sink, new shower fixtures, or fresh paint goes a long way with buyers. As with every other room, make sure it is clean and clutter-free.

Remove toiletries from the countertops and organize underneath the cabinets. A bathroom upgrade can range from one day to one week, but making your space look as fantastic as possible is well worth the effort.

Why Won’t My House Sell?

When selling a home there are things that hurt the sale of your home which you can control, and there are things out of your control. If your home is not selling, there are a number of reasons it may be accumulating days on the market.  To help determine what might be the contributing factor, your listing agent can request feedback from the buyer’s agent.  If you are finding that comments are consistent then this is most likely the reason your home is sitting on the market.

Overpriced: Buyers determine market value and most often this will be the reason your home won’t sell.  When preparing your home for the market, pricing it correctly is one of the most important factors to consider. Most activity on a home will occur within the first 30 days. If priced correctly, the percentage of potential buyers that will look at your home is approximately 60%. Pricing your home 10% above market value drops the percentage of potential buyers to 30%. Pricing at 15% over market value drops the percentage of potential buyers to 10%.

High Competition:  If you are receiving comments that the buyers decided on another home, take another look at your competition.  Does your home stand out from the competition?  Is it priced competitively? Can they purchase new home construction at the same price

Needs Updating: When selling a home it is best not to invest in major renovations, but there are small things you can do to address buyers concerns about the home needing updating. These little fixes are affordable and will add to the value of your home.  They include such things as professionally cleaning the home including mirrors, windows, and appliance, patching holes, painting cabinets, updating hardware and faucets, or cleaning and mowing the yard.  For a full list of items you can tackle affordably, click here.   Once you have completed the updates, take another look at your competition, and make sure your home is priced competitively.

Smells of Smoke:  This is one of the biggest turn-offs for buyers.  Within 15 seconds of walking into a home, buyers will make the decision whether or not the home is for them. It is not hard to guess what they will decide when walking into a home that reeks of smoke, and if interested, chances are they will use this against you and submit a low offer.  You can deep clean the carpets and the furniture or try to cover it up with deodorizers or air purifiers, but these typically do not work.  In most cases, furniture will need to be reupholstered or discarded, carpets replaced, and because nicotine discolors the walls, a fresh coat of paint will do wonders. Not only help to eliminate the smell but freshen up the room too. When done, add some natural air freshners to the room such as Boston Ferns or Fig Trees.

Pet Smells:  Although we are a nation of pet lovers, viewing a home that smells of pet odor can be offensive even to pet lovers.  There are several things homeowners can do to get rid of pet smells. Watch this “Getting Rid of Dog Smells” video by PetMD to learn more.

Clutter: A room full of clutter will make a house look small. Remove excess accessories, plants or furniture. Less is better when it comes to selling a home.

Marketing:   A Real Estate Agent has many duties, and one of them is to get your home in front of as many buyers as possible.  When you list your home with a Real Estate Agent, it will be placed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and syndicate out to a large number of other real estate venues. A creative agent will utilize marketing techniques that go above and beyond. Is your home on the MLS?  What is your agent doing to market your home?

Below are professional Services Offered by Ursini & Company.

In Home ConsultationsAvailable 7 Days a WeekYouTube Video Tagged with Your Property Address
Professional HD PhotographySuperior Contract to Close ManagmentJust Listed Postcards
3D Home ToursComplimentary Staging AdviceProperty Brochures
Single Property Website with custom URL.Reverse ProspectingSecure Electronic Lockbox
Property BlastsAbility to Translate Listings in 19 Different LanguagesProfessional Appointment Center for Showing Requests
Adwerx CampaignsMarketed on Zillow, Trulia,, and Lots More.Open Houses
Facebook Target AdsDistinctive Yard SignsBranded Photos

The Neighborhood: In most cases, you have no control over the neighborhood, but if you are finding that buyers concerns are from a neighboring house, then there may be something you can do, and you will want to because bad neighbors can bring down your home value by almost 10%. Hence, if their yard is overgrown, offer to help mow it, if the fence is down or a window is broken, offer to help fix it. Your thought process should not be “Why should I  help them?” but rather  “What can I do to sell my home fast?”  On a side note, if you have nuisance neighbors, try talking to them fixing the items even before putting your home on the market.

Limited Showing Times: The more restrictions you have, the smaller your pool of buyers. Be open to last-minute showings, do not require your agent to be present, and leave the house for all showings

Traffic Noise: Unfortunately road noise is one of the hardest obstacles to overcome.  If the noise is not too bad, you can try adding a fountain. Otherwise, it always boils down to the price and perceived value.  You loved the home, or you would not have purchased it. Someone else will come along and love it too.

Poor Photography:  The internet is the first place many buyers go to search for homes and photos are the first thing they will see about a property. Quality photos will grab their attention and prompt them to want to view the home in person. Quite the opposite happens with poor photography. After viewing a few photos, if they don’t peak their interest,  they move onto the next property.

Because you didn’t hire Ursini & Company! Call us next time at 941-812-4894

What to Bury To Sell a House

If you are Catholic, then you’ve probably been told by a family member to bury a St. Joseph statue to help sell your home fast. This divine intervention by the Patron Saint of Real Estate started hundreds of years ago and is still popular today, with home sellers testifying that it really works.  Belief has it that by burying the statue, St. Joseph (husband of Mother Mary) will bless you and help you find a new home, just as he did for his family in Egypt. Instruction for Burying the Saint Joseph Statue 

  • Purchase a St. Joseph home selling kit. You can purchase online or at a Catholic supply store.
  • Bury St. Joesph, the patron saint of selling houses, in your yard or garden. If you do not have a yard, bury him in a flower pot.
  • Before burying the St. Joseph statue, wrap him in a protective cloth. For many, this is one of the most important steps because it shows respect for the patron saint of property.
  • Bury St. Joseph upside down with his head facing the house. Why bury St. Joseph upside down? Because he will work hard to leave the ground and find a comfortable spot within your home.  The actual placement varies depending who you ask. Some say it should be near the for sale sign while others say the statue should face the road, but he is always buried face down. Whichever you decide on, it should be followed by a St.Jospeh prayer.
  • Once the house sells, be sure to dig up the statue, bring to your new home, and give it a place of honor. If St. Joseph remains buried, it is believed that your house will sell over and over again.

Prayer to St. Joseph to Sell a House After the burial of St. Joseph, recite the St. Joseph prayer.

O, Saint Joseph, you who taught our Lord the carpenter’s trade, and saw to it that he was always properly housed, hear my earnest plea. I want you to help me now as you helped your foster-child Jesus, and as you have helped many others in the matter of housing. I wish to sell this house quickly, easily, and profitably and I implore you to grant my wish by bringing me a good buyer, one who is eager, compliant, and honest, and by letting nothing impede the rapid conclusion of the sale. Dear Saint Joseph, I know you would do this for me out of the goodness of your heart and in your own good time, but my need is very great now and so I must make you hurry on my behalf. Saint Joseph, I am going to place you in a difficult position with your head in darkness and you will suffer as our Lord suffered, until this house is sold. Then, Saint Joseph, I swear before the cross and God Almighty, that I will redeem you and you will receive my gratitude and a place of honor in my home. Amen.

Novena to St. Joseph to Sell a House

After reciting the prayer for selling a home, for the next nine days, say a novena. A novena is a way of gaining favorable intercession with St. Joseph. Recite the beginning of the prayer daily, followed by the day’s prayer.  Say it with true meaning and with the same cause in mind each day.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen St. Joseph, just and true, with a father’s care you raised the child Jesus, and with a husband’s love, you shared your life with Mary, his mother. I entrust myself to your care and place in your hands this request of mine. In quiet Nazareth, long ago, the Holy Spirit spoke to your heart and you followed God’s will with wonderful faith. In the quiet of my days, and in the hard choices I must make, help me follow the Spirit’s guidance and believe when I cannot see.

Day 1: Oh God, guide of those who listen and helper of those who hear your voice, speak to me, as you did to St. Joseph, and help me accomplish the things you give me to do.

Day 2: O God, you love your people and bless the ordinary lives we quietly live. As you blessed St. Joseph, bless what I do, however hidden and simple it may be, and let all I do be done with love.

Day 3: O God, ever faithful, you remember us always and in time reveal your blessings. Help me trust in you, as St. Joseph faithfully trusted, and never let me lose faith in the wonderful gifts you promise me.

Day 4: God of families, bless the family that’s mine. Keep us safe from harm, and never let evil come between us. Let peace remain in our hearts.

Day 5: O God, who loves children, be kind to our children today. Give them eyes of faith for seeing far, a loving heart for welcoming life, and a place always at your side.

Day 6: God of our heavenly home, bless our home on earth. Let the spirit of Mary and Joseph rest at our table, shape our words and actions, and bring blessing to our children.

Day 7: God, our Father, give your fatherly spirit to those who are fathers now. Like Joseph, give them hearts of devoted love for their wives and children and strength for forgiveness and patience.

Day 8: Give shelter, O God, to those who need it, and bring together families divided. Give us enough to eat, and decent work to earn our bread. Care for us, O God.

Day 9: Bless all families, O Lord especially those in need. Remembering the life of your Son, we pray for the poor, for those who lack a good home, for those in exile. Grant them a protector like Joseph, O God.

How Come My House is Still Not Selling After Burying the St. Joseph?

After burying the St. Joseph statue, there is no guarantee your house will sell. It is not a magic formula. If it was, then we would be in control of what God has planned for us. Maybe it is not the right time to sell.  Perhaps nobody can afford to buy it due to the current housing market conditions, yet if you drop the price you can’t afford to sell it. Maybe there is a plan for you to rent your home for additional income until the housing market improves. Perhaps He is waiting for the perfect buyer.

Another Way to Sell A House Fast

Seek the assistance of an agent who will go above and beyond to market your home and sell it fast for the best possible price. To get the job done, contact Gina Ursini of Ursini & Company. We assist sellers, starting with preparing their home for the market all the way through the contract to close process. If you need assistance burying the St. Joseph statue, we will help with that too. Give us a call today at 941-812-4894.

What is the Average Time to Sell a House in Sarasota

[Updated October 2017] As of October 2017, the median days on the market for single family homes is 47 days. This is on the increase since the same month one year ago. The average sale price for single famiy homes in Sarasota, FL is $381,268.00. This is an increase of 19.4% from October 2016. For October 2017 there were a total of 611 closed sales, which is an increase from 592 closed sales the same time last year. The month’s supply of inventory is 3.9, indicating it is a seller’s market. For up to date Sarasota Market Reports, click here.

Monthly Market Reports Showing Sarasota SingleFamily Housing Statistics

How to Sell Your House Fast on Your Own

Picture of a two story house with a brick chimeny and a beige stone facade.A “For Sale by Owner”, also referred to as a FSBO, is when a property owner attempts to sell their home on their own without the assistance of a real estate agent. The goal is to save money when selling a home, but according to a new study by Collateral Analytics, many times homeowners net significantly lower profits than a home represented by an agent on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). If you are selling your home yourself, follow our helpful guide on how to sell your house on your own in Florida.

Why Would a For Sale By Owner Net Less Profit?

First, real estate agents have access to a number of sites which provide current market data as well as tools to accurately evaluate the current value of your home.  A homeowner can easily access market data for active listings, but sold listings are much more difficult to locate. Keep in mind, active listings are not comps, but rather your competition. Once a home sells, it becomes a comp. Sold comps are what you need to determine your selling price. If you list it too low, you are leaving money on the table.  On the contrary, if you list it too high, then the home sits on the market.  When a home buyer sees a for sale by owner, they immediately expect a great deal. When they find out that it is not, they will move onto other properties.

How to Market a House for Sale by Owner?

If you are selling a home on your own, how will you market your listing? In addition to pricing, marketing is an important factor when selling your home.  Marketing will provide maximum exposure and generate a greater pool of buyers, so merely placing a sign in the yard and advertising on Facebook may not be enough to get your house sold. Take a look at these home buyer statistics:

  • 92% of buyers begin their home search on the internet
  • Only 28% view print ads

These statistics indicate that online exposure is not an option, it is a must if you want to get your home sold fast. Many real estate agents are great at marketing homes for sale. When listing your home with a real estate agent, your home is listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) with exposure to thousands of other agents. In addition, once listed on the MLS, properties are syndicated out to a large number of third party real estate sites, providing additional exposure. Agents will also market a home through the use of social media, 3D tours, videos, eblasts, open houses, target ads, Facebook ads, plus more.  If you are marketing your home on your own, you will want to use these advertising venues too.

Do You Know the Ins and Outs of a Real Estate Contract?

A contract is a binding document and used to protect both the buyer and the seller. When there are conditions that need to be met, within the contract there should be written deadlines for meeting these contingencies. In addition, there are clauses in the contract which if unnoticed, can cost you money. For example, in the Sarasota area  it is customary that the buyer select and pay for their own title services and policy, but if the contract states the buyer wants the seller to pay, and you are unaware of what is customary for your area or overlook this part of the contract, then this becomes a seller cost. Real Estate Agents work with contracts on a daily basis and are aware of what conditions benefit the seller, when contingencies can be removed, and how to best protect sellers. Furthermore, when working with a real estate professional, they will have access to the state contract.

If you chose to write up the real estate contract on your own, familiarize yourself with our Florida Real Estate terms and definitions and be sure that the contract includes the following information:

  1. Names of seller(s) as recorded on the deed.
  2. Name of buyer(s).
  3. Offer price
  4. Amount of escrow deposit.
  5. Name of the title company or attorney handling the transaction.
  6. Financing terms.
  7. Description of property.
  8. Closing date.
  9. Inspection deadline.
  10. Agreement from both buyer and seller agreeing to the sale.
  11. Signatures of both buyer(s) and seller(s).

Should You Sell Your House for Cash?

When selling your home, you may be under the impression that a cash buyer is your best option because you do not need to wait on financing, but this is not always the case.  Cash buyers think “Cash is King” and therefore will come in with a lower offer than many financed buyers.  If your end goal is the amount of money you will net from the sale of your home, then do not rule out financed buyers.

What if Your Home Appraisal Comes in Low?

If your potential home buyer is financing the home purchase, their lender will require a home appraisal. When listing your home yourself, it is important that you find comparable sold properties which support your list price. If not, you may find that your home will not appraise.  If this ends up being the case, there is a chance you will lose your buyers unless you can agree upon one of three options. First, as a seller, you agree to drop the price of the home to the appraised value. Second, the home buyer agrees to come up with cash for the difference between the agreed upon price and appraised value.  If both the buyer and the seller can not agree on either of the above options, then the third option is to cancel the contract.

The Importance of a Property Disclosure

A property disclosure is a form provided by the seller which details everything the seller knows about the home. The property disclosure provides total transparency from the start. It will disclose items such as the age of the mechanicals in the home, zoning restrictions, prior leaks in the home, past or present evidence of termites, plus more.  If there are any issues with your home, whether it be big or small, they should be disclosed so as to eliminate possible problems in the future or potential lawsuits.

File Documents with An Attorney or Title Company

After a contract is executed, the buyer should deliver the escrow deposit to the title company or attorney indicated on the real estate contract. The title company will perform the title search, issue the title policy, and handle the closing. In addition, after closing. the title company will handle the recording of the deed.

Conclusion If you feel the best way to sell your house is by selling it yourself, there is nothing wrong with this decision. Most importantly, educate yourself on the selling and buying process to avoid big mistakes and future problems.  If you find you need assistance, there are real estate professionals here to help you. Ursini & Company will provide you with superior customer service and unique marketing services to get your home sold for quickly for the best possible price.  Reach out to us today!

 [Further Reading: A Glossary of Real Estate Terms and Definitions]

Nokomis Waterfront Homes for Sale | 238 Portofino Dr.

You can have the perfect day, every day, in the exquisitely designed home in Venetian Golf and Country Club.  Start the day off with a round of golf then enjoy an afternoon cook out with your top-of-the-line outdoor kitchen featuring granite counter tops with a large eating island, an ice maker, sink, and Solaire appliances including an infrared 30″ grill, a two burner gas stove, a glass front refrigerator and powder coated cabinetry with soft close drawers and doors. Finish off the evening with pool side cocktails under LED Nebula lighting then a movie in your state-of-the art movie room featuring a 100″ wall mounted screen, surround sound, a fiber optic star studded ceiling, and custom acoustic panels for the ultimate sound experience.

nokomis waterfront homes for sale


BONUS GOLF INCENTIVE ~ Homeowner will pay your golf initiation fee!

nokomis waterfront homes for sale

This four bedroom, three bath, one story house with theater room in North Venice was designed with entertaining in mind. If you have been searching for floor plans with media room downstairs, you will find that this home has one of the best floor plans for entertaining.

If you work out of the home, then the home office featuring wood floors and plantation shutters will suit you perfectly.

Cook in grand style in the chef’s kitchen, clad with premium finishes and fixtures including high-end granite, top of the line stainless steel appliances, wine refrigerator, and a wall mounted fountain. Sliding glass doors in the kitchen/great room and living room showcase the home’s gorgeous lake views while opening up the home to the outdoor entertaining space.

Spill out to the awe-inspiring lanai, where a fully-equipped outdoor stainless-steel kitchen, sun deck, private pool and spa await. Dramatic LED lighting along the lanai cage framework and custom sconce pool cage lighting complete this ultimate outdoor experience.

nokomis waterfront homes for sale

Venetian amenities include nature trails, a resort style pool and spa, lap pool,  club house dining, tiki bar, fitness center and classes, tennis, and an 18-hole championship golf course.

This gated community is conveniently located close to I-75, world-famous local beaches, shopping and dining.

238 Portofino Drive Property Details

Square footage: 3146

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 3

Every detail in this home was carefully selected and designed with entertaining in mind. You won’t be able to find another new construction home with all these upgrades at this price!

  • Premium waterfront lot with western sunset views
  • Upgraded plank tile laid on a diagonal
  • Upgraded wood flooring in master and study
  • Tray ceilings
  • Crown moulding
  • Custom kitchen hood vent
  • Built in wine refrigerator
  • Custom cabinet kitchen panels on backside of kitchen island
  • Complete security system with 4 cameras accessible with your phone
  • Ring doorbell camera system (When doorbell rings it goes to your phone. Communicate with someone at your door when out of town)
  • Upgraded landscape lighting in addition to what builder installed.
  • Custom irrigation system.
  • Sonos ready (wireless sound system). Built in speakers throughout the home and on the lanai.
  • Private pool with fountain and heated spa
  • LED Nebula lighting along lanai cage ceiling framework
  • Custom sconce pool cage lighting on dimmers
  • Hurricane glass throughout, including newly installed front door glass inserts.
  • Plantation shutters or Hunter Douglas shades in all rooms
  • Remote control blinds in master bedroom
  • Ceiling fans in every room including lanai
  • Home theater room with 100″ wall mounted screen
  • Star studded fiber optic constellation with Little Dipper and Orion’s Belt in theater room
  • Outdoor kitchen with granite, ice maker, sink, and Solaire appliances including infrared 30″ grill, 2 burner gas stove, glass front refrigerator and powder coated cabinetry with soft close drawers and doors.
  • Custom stone wall behind grill area
  • Tankless water heater
  • Central vac
  • Low HOA fees of $184 quarterly!


nokomis waterfront homes for sale

Venetian Golf and Country Club Real Estate | Nokomis Waterfront Homes for Sale

7 Step Guide to Buying Your First Home | Real Estate

7 Step Guide to Buying Your First Home | Real Estate

Although there are many good reasons for you to buy a home, wealth building ranks among the top of the list. We call home ownership the best “accidental investment” most people ever make. But, we believe when it is done right, home ownership becomes an “intentional investment” that lays the foundation for a life of financial security and personal choice. There are solid financial reasons to support your decision to buy a home, and, among these, equity buildup, value appreciation, and tax benefits stand out.

Looking for your home begins with carefully assessing your values, wants, and needs, both for the short and long terms. For many buyers, buying a house for the first time will be one of the biggest decisions you have made yet. When buying your first home, because the process is brand new to you, it is very easy to make mistakes. Mistakes can, in fact, cost you money. Below, we have outlined some first-time buyer advice that will act as a guide when you start planning to buy your first home in Florida or anywhere else in U.S.


buying first home guideFinding Your Home


Have you been dreaming of buying a lake home, with a long walkway, a patio, and a little garden in the backyard, yet you work in the city? The closest lake is miles away. Is it feasible to purchase a home at that location due to the distance from your job? Almost anything is possible, but your lifestyle will determine the house and location that will be most suitable for you and your family. Being a first time home buyer and entering into the housing market without clearly defined specifications of what you feel will make the perfect home and the most sense for your commute and your family can be quite confusing. If you already have an idea of what you want in a house, these expectations should be trimmed in line with what is realistically obtainable.

Here are some questions you want to ask yourself when purchasing a home:

  1. What do I want my home to be close to?
  2. How much space do I need and why?
  3. Which is more critical: location or size?
  4. Would I be interested in a fixer-upper?
  5. How important is home value appreciation?
  6. Would I be interested in a condo?
  7. Would I be interested in new home construction?
  8. What features and amenities do I want? Which do I really need?


first time houseFinancing and Mortgage Fees You Can Expect to Pay


While you may find the thought of home ownership thrilling, the thought of taking on a mortgage may be downright chilling. Many first-time buyers start out confused about the process or nervous about making such a large financial commitment, but if you are paying rent, you very likely can afford to buy. An experienced loan officer or mortgage specialist will provide you with an easy-to-understand process to securing the financing for your first home.

A less than perfect credit score will not necessarily prevent you from buying a home. There are numerous real estate financing options, so a short meeting with your loan officer will reveal the options available to you which best fit your needs. It should be noted that several considerations like your financial history and credit score will be considered before you are approved. Your loan officer will guide you in choosing the best option for financing the purchase of your home. Your choice for financing should be a package that will be properly serviced with your income, leaving you with enough funds to cater to other important future costs such as home repairs or medical expenses.

Be sure to ask plenty of questions and clarify the exact fees you will be expected to pay to avoid any hidden or unexpected charges.

Below are some of the fees you can expect to pay if you are financing your home.

  • Loan application fee – Some lenders charge a fee to process your application. Not all lenders charge this fee.
  • Credit report fee – This is the fee for pulling your credit report. It is typically a third party fee that is paid by the buyer.
  • Mortgage origination fee – This is the fee you pay your lender to prepare the mortgage for closing.
  • Discount points – A borrower can purchase buy downs to lower subsequent interest payments. This is an optional fee.
  • Survey – If you are financing a home, this is a requirement. A survey provides information on the property boundaries and locations of structures or fences.  This is typically a buyer expense unless stated otherwise in the contract.
  • Appraisal – A lender will want assurance that they are not lending on a home that is valued less than the agreed upon contract price.The lender orders the appraisal, but it is typically a buyers expense due to the fact that its part of the loan. The appraisal will determine the fair market value of a home. If an appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price, view your low appraisal options here.
  • Private mortgage insurance – Also referred to as PMI, this is the fee lenders charge to protect themselves when they are financing a large portion of the home.  If you are putting down 20% or higher, you may not be required to purchase PMI insurance.


guide for buying your first home checklist4 Important Things You Need When Buying a Home


There are 4 important things you will need when buying your first home.  This list will cover some of the most common items and the costs involved. Keep in mind, there may be additional things required of you by your lender such as copies of your tax returns or employment verification.


  1. Mortgage pre-approval: If you are not paying cash for your home, you will need a mortgage pre-approval from your mortgage lender. This is the seller’s assurance that they will be taking the property off the market for a qualified buyer. There is no charge for a mortgage pre-approval.
  2. Escrow deposit:  Once you make an offer you will be required to put down an escrow deposit, also referred to as a good faith deposit. This proves that you are serious about buying the home and assures the seller that you will not walk away from the transaction. In Sarasota, Florida, earnest money is usually 10% or less and is held by a title company or the listing brokers office. In many cases you can get your earnest money back if something goes wrong with the home purchase, otherwise, the earnest money is applied towards your down payment and closing costs.
  3. Money for your down payment and closing costs:  Your lender can provide you a good faith estimate which breaks down all your costs and provides an estimated amount of funds that you will need to bring to closing. Your down payment will depend on the type of loan you decide to go with, so consult your lender. The lack of a substantial down payment should not prevent you from making your first home purchase. Many first time home buyers opt for FHA financing which requires a lower down payment of 3.5%. If eligible, VA loans and USDA loans require no downpayment. In addition to your down payment, there are closing costs. Closing costs in Sarasota, Florida are typically 1-1.5% of the purchase price.
  4. Home Inspection:  Unlike most major purchases, once you buy a home, you can’t return it if something breaks or doesn’t quite work like it’s supposed to. For this reason, once you are under contract, you will want to perform a home inspection.The home inspector will determine if there are any major issues in the home. In Florida, the standard home inspection period is 15 days. Depending on whether it is a single family home or condo, and what additional items you choose to have inspected, such as an AC or pool, home inspections can run anywhere between $325 – $700 in the Sarasota, Florida area.


buying your first home tips and adviceHome Ownership Expenses


  • Property taxes – For some, property taxes may be included in your mortgage payments, but for others, you will receive a yearly tax bill. In the Sarasota, FL area, depending on the community your taxes can range from $900 per year to over $16,000 per year depending on the location or the community.
  • CDD fees – The Community Development District fee (CDD) is a common fee for newer communities in the Sarasota, FL area. The developer of the community borrows money from the county government for the community infrastructure and it is paid back by the homeowners. The fee is included in the annual property taxes. I have seen these fees range anywhere between $900 per year to $7000+ per year.
  • Homeowner’s insurance – Property insurance is a requirement by lenders. Prices can vary depending on the type of property or the age of the property. It is typically escrowed into your monthly mortgage payment.
  • Utility bills – Water, sewer, trash, gas, and electric are examples of utilities you will need to consider when purchasing a home.  To get an idea of the cost of each, ask the current owner for the average utility costs.
  • Homeowner association fees or condo fees – If you purchase a condo, you can expect condo fees yet, not every community has a homeowners association.  Association fees will vary according to the community and amenities. Fees are typically paid either monthly, quarterly, or annually.
  • Home maintenanceAttention to your home’s maintenance needs is essential to protecting the long-term value of your investment. Every home needs maintaining so make sure you have money set aside for upkeep or repairs.
  • Lawn service – If you plan on maintaining your own lawn, you will need to invest in a mower, yard tools, and landscape materials. It is wise to estimate the costs of these items prior to purchasing a home.
  • Pool service – In Florida, pools are commonplace in many homes. Prior to purchasing a home, it is a good idea to research the estimated cost of what it is to maintain a pool or to have someone maintain it for you.


home buying guideCurrent Real Estate Market Trends


Real estate markets have varying trends depending on the state and community. Prior to purchasing a home, conduct housing market research to understand the current market trends that influence the real estate market where you want to buy your home. Look out for market increases or decreases in statistics such as the average home price, the average number of days on the market, and the monthly supply of inventory. Lower inventory supplies indicate a seller’s market, whereas a higher supply of inventory indicates a buyer’s market. Being armed with this information will benefit you in the negotiating process.

Browse the Real Estate Market Trends and Statistics for Sarasota, FL


first time home buyer guidePets and Homeownership


If you are a pet lover then the type of home you buy should have the necessary accommodation to cater to your pets. If you are buying your first home checklist and tipspurchasing a home which is part of a condo or Homeowner’s Association (HOA), then there may be restrictions as to the number of pets allowed, the size of the pet, and the breed.  Prior to making an offer, be sure to confirm the community pet restrictions. The last thing you want to happen is to move into your new home, then be asked to remove your pet.


Learn more about HOA’s and their homeowner restrictions here.


tips for buying a house for the first timeDo Location and Accessibility Matter?


A commonly used real estate phrase is location, location, location, so yes, your ideal home should be in a good location. This decision will actually depend on your lifestyle and occupation. Houses in centralized areas typically cost more than houses located on the outskirts of the cities.  Getting a home in an area where you can easily access the transportation system, markets and malls will be convenient but may cost more. If you want to live close to the beach, then you can expect to pay more.  So in the end, you will need to decide if living further away from these conveniences outweighs paying more for a home.


Buying your first home doesn’t need to be complicated. There are real estate agents that can deliver excellent services to help you make the best choice from the available options. If you are buying a home for the first time, it is a good idea to seek professional assistance. When seeking the services of a real estate agent to find your perfect home, there is no cost to you, yet they are a great resource for providing you information on things to know when buying your first home.

Talking with a real estate professional will help you understand many other factors that should be considered before you make your final selection from the homes available on the market. Buying a home is an emotional decision; however, your home should be perfect and the home buying process should be smooth. Sadly, any mistakes made along the way may be difficult to correct, which is why it is important to use an experienced real estate broker for all your real estate concerns.

When choosing a real estate agent, qualifications are important. However, finding a solid, professional agent means getting beyond the resume, and into what makes an agent effective. Use the following questions as your starting point in hiring your licensed, professional real estate agent:

  1. Why did you become a real estate agent?
  2. Why should I work with you?
  3. What do you do better than other real estate agents?
  4. What process will you use to help me find the right home for my particular wants and needs?
  5. What are the most common things that go wrong in a transaction and how would you handle them?
  6. What are some mistakes that you think people make when buying their first home?
  7. What other professionals do you suggest we work with and what are their credentials?
  8. Can you provide me with references or testimonials from past clients?

If you have any questions or need professional real estate assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. We pride ourselves in meeting clients needs and exceeding their expectations. We cover Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Longboat Key and have partners in the surrounding areas or across the nation as well. We look forward to speaking with you.



First Time Home Buyer Resources

Our home buyer blog posts will provide you a wealth of knowledge to prepare you for buying your first home.

4th of July Fireworks Schedule 2017 | Sarasota and Manatee Counties

Places to Go for 4th of July Fireworks

Are you looking for a place to watch 4th of July fireworks or a patriotic event? There are a number of events throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties for adults and children of all ages.

Below is the 2017 schedule of events provided by Gina Ursini of Ursini & Company at Ocean Real Estate LLC | 941-812-4894 |

Selby Garden’s All American Cook Out in Sarasota

6:00 – 10:00 PM | July 4, 2017

Offering free parking, delicious food and drink (available for purchase), live music by SoulRCoaster, childrens activities, and a spectacular fireworks show over Sarasota Bay.

Tickets are required.  $25 Members, $35 Non-members, $10 Children 4-11, FREE for kids 3 and under.  Buy tickets here or tickets are available at the welcome center up to 5PM on July 4th.

Selby Gardens is located at 811 S Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236.


Voices of Freedom at First Church Sarasota

4:30 PM – July 4, 2017

The Coral Artists of Sarasota, formerly the Gloria Musicae Singers, will perform patriotic songs to celebrate patriotism and America. Guests can enjoy the 90 minute performance then stay downtown for the Bayfront fireworks.  Tickets can be purchased for $30 in advance or $35 at the door. Students are $15. Purchase your tickets by phone at 941.387.4900 or purchase your tickets online here.

First Church Sarasota is located at 104 S Pineapple Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236.


Sarasota Bayfront Fireworks

9:00 PM – July 4, 2016

Part of the Sarasota Offshore Grand Prix, this privately funded event benefits the Sarasota Charities for Children. Fireworks can be viewed from your downtown Sarasota waterfront condo, Bayfront Park, or from your anchored boat. There is no charge to view these fireworks. The firework display begins at approximately 9 PM.


27th Annual Fireworks Siesta Key Beach

5:30 – 10:00 PM | July 4, 2017

Hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, this annual fireworks event attracts nearly 20,000 – 30,000 people, so if you plan on parking in the public parking lot, get there extra early.

The fireworks display starts at approximately 9:15, just north of the volley ball courts, but can be viewed at a variety of locations to the south of it, including Crescent Beach.


Fireworks over the Manatee River

9:00 PM- July 4, 2017

Put on by the city of Palmetto, fireworks can be seen from either side of the Manatee River. Fireworks start at approximately 9:00 PM.


Annual Freedom Festival Parade in Longboat Key

9:00 AM  – July 4, 2017

This annual parade begins at the Longboat Key Town Hall located at 501 Bay Isles Road. The parade line up begins at 8:30. Children are welcome to join the town commissioners, police, and fire rescue personnel in their annual march.  Participants can dress up in patriotic colors, walk with their pet, or decorate their bikes. After the parade, take part in the Bicentennial Park festivities, which includes, food, drinks, and games.  For more information contact 941-383-2466.


The 4th Annual Fourth of July Parade – Anna Maria Island

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM | July 4, 2017

The annual island celebration of our nations independence welcomes all to participate in the Privateer Pirates Parade procession. Participants must register in advance. The parade will cover 7 miles, which is all of Anna Maria Island, starting at Coquina Beach (South Entrance) and ending at the City Pier at Anna Maria. Last years parade had an estimated 20,000 spectators.

Following the parade there will be an after Parade Party at  “The Ugly Grouper”, 5704 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach Florida . The Privateers will announce the Scholarship recipients, gifting over $20,000.

For more information, contact Marty at 941-209-2212.


Myakka River Kayak Festival and 4th of July Jam Blast – Venice, FL

8:00 AM- 4:00 PM | July 4, 2017

Snook Haven’s 4th Annual Myakka River Kayak Festival  and 4th of July Jam Blast is the perfect way to celebrate the 4th of July. There will be live music throughout the day, kicking it off with Steve Arvey from 11:00 – 12:00, then George Worthmore from 12;30 – 4:00.

Kayak and canoe rentals will be available starting at 8:00am, or you can bring your own. This is a FREE EVENT!

The festival will benefit Friends of Sarasota County Parks, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of parks in Sarasota County.

Snook Haven is located at 5000 E Venice Ave, Venice, Florida 34292.


Fireworks at the Beach – Venice, FL

9:00 PM – July 4, 2017

The Fourth of July is celebrated with spectacular fireworks shot from the South Venice Jetty shortly after 9:00 PM and can be seen from most Beaches in the area, including Venice Beach and Nokomis Beach. The show draws approximately 15,000 spectators, so be sure to get there early. The free show will last an estimated 30 minutes.

Boats viewing the fireworks from the water should be anchored by 8:30 p.m. The Venice Inlet will be closed to boat traffic at 8:45 p.m. until about a half-hour after the display’s grand finale.

June 2017 Sarasota Real Estate Statistics


The Sarasota Real Estate Statistics – June 2017

Are you wondering what lies ahead for the Sarasota Real Estate Market 2017? Here is a glimpse of the most recent Sarasota real estate news including Sarasota real estate prices, Sarasota real estate statistics, as well as some Sarasota real estate listings within our area’s median price range. According to the statistics gathered by the Manatee Board of Realtors, both Sarasota and Manatee counties saw an increase in the following areas: new listings, median sale prices, inventory, and closed sales.

The median sales price for single family homes in Sarasota is $260,000, a decrease of 1.1 percent from May 2016.

As of the end of May 2017, we are still experiencing a seller’s market, yet it is slowly heading towards a balanced market. A balanced market means it is neither a buyers nor a sellers market. This happens when we hit a 6 month supply of inventory. The months supply of inventory is defined as an estimate on how many months it will take to deplete the current inventory.

Currently, Sarasota county single family homes are at a 4.5 month supply, while Manatee county single family homes are at a 4.3 month supply.  The Sarasota condo market is at a 5.2 month supply while the Manatee condo market is at a 4.6 month supply.

June Real Estate Statistics | 2017 vs. 2016

Average Home Price

Sarasota County:

$345,835 vs. $377,779 (Single Family Homes)

$338,511 vs. $358,234 (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County:

$397,883 vs. $357,389  (Single Family Homes)

$210,554 vs. $230,591 (Condos and Townhouses)


Closed Sales

Sarasota County

822 vs 756 (Single Family Homes)

425 vs 377 (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County

625 vs. 608 (Single Family Homes)

238 vs. 250 (Condos and Townhouses)


Paid in Cash

Sarasota County

296 vs. 318 (Single Family Homes)

264 vs. 250 (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County

176 vs. 180 (Single Family Homes)

112 vs. 160 (Condos and Townhouses)


Median Percent of List Price Received

Sarasota County

95.2% vs. 95.1% (Single Family Homes)

93.8% vs. 94.5% (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County

94.7% vs. 94.4% (Single Family Homes)

95.7% vs. 96% (Condos and Townhouses)


Median Days to Contract

Sarasota County

45 days vs. 35 days (Single Family Homes)

61 days vs. 40 days (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County

47 days vs. 46 days (Single Family Homes)

47 days vs. 48 days (Condos and Townhouses)


New Pending Sales

Sarasota County

753 vs. 741 (Single Family Homes)

350 vs. 336 (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County

565 vs. 612 (Single Family Homes)

226 vs. 225 (Condos and Townhouses)


Active Listings

Sarasota County

2,982 vs. 2,635 (Single Family Homes)

1607 vs. 1,504 (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County

2,199 vs. 2,066  (Single Family Homes)

972 vs. 908 (Condos and Townhouses)


Month’s Supply of Inventory

Sarasota County

4.5 vs. 3.9 (Single Family Homes)

5.2 vs. 4.9 (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County

4.3 vs 4.1 (Single Family Homes)

4.6 vs. 4.3 (Condos and Townhouses)

View all of our Sarasota Housing Market Reports

April 2017December 2016November 2016
May 2017June 2017


Browse all newly listed homes for sale just added to the database under $345,835, which is the June 2017 average home price for Sarasota.

Wondering what your home is worth? Find out in 15 second by using our home value calculator or call 941-812-4894. We cover Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Longboat Key and have partners in the surrounding areas or across the nation as well.

Browse Longboat Key, Florida homes for sale

ALL LISTINGS$400,000 - $500,000$800,000 - $900,000
$100,000 - $200,000$500,000 - $600,000$900,000 - $1,000,000
$200,000 - $300,000$600,000 - $700,000$1,000,000 - $2,000,000
$300,000 - $400,000$700,000 - $800,000$2,000,000+

Browse downtown Sarasota condos for sale by building name

1350 MainEmbassy HouseRivo at Ringling
AlinariEssex HouseSarabande
Bay PlazaFrances CarltonSt. Regis
Beau Ciel Gulfstream TowersSunset Towers
Broadway PromenadeOne WatergateThe Q
CityscapeRegency HouseRoyal St. Andrew
Condo on the BayRenaissance
Dolphin TowerResidences at Ritz Carlton

Browse Neighborhoods in Lakewood Ranch, FL

Arbor GrandeDel WebbLakewood NationalShoreview at Lakewood Ranch Waterside
BridgewaterEsplanadeLofts on MainSummerfield
Central ParkGreenbrook VillageMallory ParkThe Lake Club
Concession HarmonyRiverwalkWaterfront at Main
Country Club EastIndigoSavannaAll Lakewood Ranch Real Estate

May 2017 Sarasota Real Estate Statistics

The Sarasota Real Estate Market 2017

Here is a glimpse of the Sarasota real estate market trends for May 2017. According the statistics gathered by the Manatee Board of Realtors, average home prices and the month’s supply of inventory are continuing to increase in both Manatee and Sarasota counties compared to April 2016.

From May of last year to May of this year, the average single family home price saw an increase of 14.7%.

The total inventory in Manatee and Sarasota counties showed an increase in active listings of 9.3%, yet inventory continues to be tight in the lower price ranges under $300,000. Single family homes under $300,000 are going under contract quicker than luxury real estate. For Sarasota County, single family home inventory increased 12.3% and condos by 12%. Manatee County saw less of an increase in active listings with 3.6% for single family homes and a 9.7% increase for condos.

The month’s supply of inventory for Manatee and Sarasota Counties is in the range of 4.4 to 5.5, indicating it is still a seller’s market, particularly in the lower price ranges  as indicated above. This statistic indicates the time it would take to sell all the current active listings currently on the market. When the inventory supply reaches 6.0, the market will balance out, and it will be neither a buyer or a seller’s market.

May Real Estate Statistics | 2017 vs. 2016


Average Home Price

Sarasota County:

$382,073 vs. $333,130 (Single Family Homes)

$312,361 vs. $376,033 (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County:

$362,553 vs. $355,422 (Single Family Homes)

$213,022 vs. $312,146 (Condos and Townhouses)


Closed Sales

Sarasota County

793 vs 732 (Single Family Homes)

381 vs 382 (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County

539 vs. 531 (Single Family Homes)

238 vs. 305 (Condos and Townhouses)


Paid in Cash

Sarasota County

316 vs. 298 (Single Family Homes)

252 vs. 253 (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County

160 vs. 175 (Single Family Homes)

135 vs. 188 (Condos and Townhouses)


Median Percent of List Price Received

Sarasota County

95.2% vs. 95.1% (Single Family Homes)

94.2% vs. 95.2% (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County

95.4% vs. 95.5% (Single Family Homes)

93.8% vs. 96% (Condos and Townhouses)


Median Days to Contract

Sarasota County

45 days vs. 35 days (Single Family Homes)

46 days vs. 35 days (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County

46 days vs. 38 days (Single Family Homes)

50 days vs. 33 days (Condos and Townhouses)


New Pending Sales

Sarasota County

823 vs. 847 (Single Family Homes)

412 vs. 397 (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County

657 vs. 635 (Single Family Homes)

208 vs. 291 (Condos and Townhouses)


Active Listings

Sarasota County

3,070 vs. 2,734 (Single Family Homes)

1703 vs. 1520 (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County

2,243 vs. 2166 (Single Family Homes)

1,032 vs. 941 (Condos and Townhouses)


Month’s Supply of Inventory

Sarasota County

4.7 vs. 4.0 (Single Family Homes)

5.5 vs. 5.0 (Condos and Townhouses)

Manatee County

4.4 vs 4.3 (Single Family Homes)

4.9 vs. 4.5 (Condos and Townhouses)


View all of our Sarasota Housing Market Forecast Reports

April 2017December 2016November 2016
May 2017June 2017

Browse through newly listed homes for sale just added to the database in the average price range for Sarasota. All homes for sale are priced under $300,000.

Wondering what your home is worth? Find out in 15 second by using our home value calculator or call 941-812-4894. We cover Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Longboat Key and have partners in the surrounding areas or across the nation as well. What is my homes value?

Longboat Key Florida Real Estate Listings

Click on the link you would like to view. You will be taken to all the listings in that category on the MLS. When you see something you like, give us a call at 941-812-4894.  

ALL LISTINGS$400,000 - $500,000$800,000 - $900,000
$100,000 - $200,000$500,000 - $600,000$900,000 - $1,000,000
$200,000 - $300,000$600,000 - $700,000$1,000,000 - $2,000,000
$300,000 - $400,000$700,000 - $800,000$2,000,000+

Lakewood Ranch Real Estate Listings

We have made searching for homes in Lakewood Ranch easy.  Click on the neighborhood of your choice and you will be taken to the MLS page of all current listings in that village. Call us at 941-812-4894 for more information or your private viewing.

Neighborhoods in Lakewood Ranch, FL

Arbor GrandeDel WebbLakewood NationalShoreview at Lakewood Ranch Waterside
BridgewaterEsplanadeLofts on MainSummerfield
Central ParkGreenbrook VillageMallory ParkThe Lake Club
Concession HarmonyRiverwalkWaterfront at Main
Country Club EastIndigoSavannaAll Lakewood Ranch Real Estate

Market Statistics for Sarasota | April 2017

sarasota market trend dataSarasota Real Estate News & Market Statistics

The Sarasota and Manatee housing market continues to show strength even as our snowbird season comes to an end. According to the April 2017 report compiled by My Florida Regional MLS and released by the Realtor Association of Sarasota Manatee, both Sarasota and Manatee Counties combined saw a 6.2% increase in its condo and single family home sales as compared to March 2016.

A Glimpse of the Sarasota Condo Market

In comparison to March 2016, Sarasota closed condo sales increased by 13.5%, with 413 sales in March 2017. Manatee condo sales were down 4.4%, with a total of 259 sales.

The median Sarasota condo price increased in March 2017 by 17.3% to $230,000.  Manatee saw an increase of 9.4% to $175,000. The median list price means “in the middle”, so exactly half the Sarasota homes listed are above $230,000, and exactly half are below. When doing statistics, median price is the preferred summary statistic over average price because it is not sensitive to uncharacteristically high sale prices to a small number of homes.

Both Sarasota and Manatee counties experienced an increase in condo inventory. The March 2017 supply of condo inventory for Sarasota is at 6.0, which means the Sarasota condo market is balanced, indicating a buyer’s market.  The Manatee condo inventory remained at a 4.8 months supply, showing no increase from March 2016, sustaining a sellers market.

The Sarasota real estate market trends continue to show a large majority of cash buyers, with Sarasota County seeing an increase of 17.1%, while Manatee County saw a decrease of -14.3%.

A Glimpse of the Sarasota Single Family House Market

Single family home sales in Sarasota increased by 13.5% from March 2016, while Manatee single family homes sales increased by 11.7%.

February 2017 experienced a slight drop in pending sales, yet March 2017 showed  a two-county increase of 6.1% from the prior year. Pending sales mean a buyer has accepted an offer, but has not closed on the property as of yet.  Many of these pending sales will become future closed sales.

Single family homes are not experiencing the same percentages of cash buyers as condo sales, with March 2017 seeing a decrease of  -12.9% in compared to March 2017. Manatee county saw a decrease of -12.1% for cash buyers.

Both Manatee and Sarasota Counties saw an increase in single family home inventory and median sale prices. The median single family home price for Sarasota County is $262,621, a 7.6% increase from March 2016.  The median single family home price for Manatee County is $290,000, up 7.6% from last year.

Simplifying the Housing Data

At the end of March 2017 there was a total of 5,147 single family homes, condominiums, and townhomes on the market without an offer in Sarasota sarasota market trendsCounty. Manatee County had a total of 4,344.

A market is considered balanced when it has a 6 month supply of inventory. With inventory increasing, the Sarasota condo market is showing a 6 month supply, while the Manatee condo market is at a 4.8 month supply. Sarasota county single family homes are at a 5.1 month supply, while Manatee County single family homes are at a 4.7 month supply.  Simply put, the Sarasota and Manatee housing market is heading in the direction of a balanced market, and shifting from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market.

What Does this Mean for Buyers?

If you are looking to buy a home in Sarasota, there is a good supply of inventory on the market for you to choose from. Now that season is winding down, homes will not be scooped up as quickly as they were with our influx of winter visitors. As a result, buyers may have a slight advantage when purchasing a home.

Considering purchasing a fixer upper?  See which improvements will give you more bang for your buck.

What Does this Mean for Seller?

With our high season ending, and inventory increasing, sellers need to make it a point to stand out from their competition. Educating yourself on the best ways to add value to your home will help sell your home fast. If you are a seller ready to list your home, download our home sellers check list. Not only will these tips add value to your home, but they will help your home to sell quickly for the best possible price.

Curious what your home is worth?  Find out in 15 seconds, using our home evaluation calculator.

Sarasota Homes for Sale

Here are a list of homes in the average price range for Sarasota. All homes are listed at $350,000 or less.

View Our Previous Market Reports

December 2016

November 2016

The Hot and Trendy Downtown Sarasota Housing Market

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Downtown Sarasota 55+ Community Homes

1255 N Gulfstream Ave #206 | Bay Plaza Sarasota




Newly renovated and gorgeous in Bay Plaza! This 2/2 plus den luxury apartment in the heart of downtown Sarasota captures the feel of New York yet is steps from the Sarasota Bay. Luxury, designer finishes include a redesigned open concept kitchen with high end BOSCH stainless steel appliances, Quartz counter tops, stainless steel back splash, and European cabinetry. Additional designer finishes throughout include Porcelanosa sinks and fixtures (from Spain), LED lighting, Legrand switches and outlets, over-sized LG washer and dryer, solid core doors, oversized closets, and porcelain plank tile laid in a herringbone pattern.  All new electric and plumbing in walls and the latest in sprinkler technology. Private balcony with a pond view.

Bay Plaza is a prestigious Gulfstream condominium building with the finest amenities including valet parking, 24-hour concierge, community pool, hot tub, fitness, plus shopping and restaurants just outside your door.



Built in 1982, this Sarasota Gulfstream condominium is one the few downtown buildings with unobstructed views of the lovely Sarasota Bay.  The building is 13 stories and consists of 97 units, ranging from 1,600 square feet to 3,500 square feet.  On the lower level, there are retail and mixed-use office spaces.

Bay Plaza is pet friendly, allowing one small dog or two cats under 25 pounds.

Unit owners are allowed to lease out their units a maximum of once per year.


downtown sarasota condos for sale

Bay Plaza is perfectly located between Palm Avenue and Gulfstream Avenue, and offers residents the choice of Bay Plaza’s fine amenities and the quaint and lively downtown Sarasota conveniences.  For those who enjoy the beach, Siesta Key Beach and Lido Key Beach are a short drive away.

  • Valet Parking
  • 24 Hour Concierge
  • Heated Community Pool
  • Spa
  • Fitness
  • Media Center
  • Within steps to downtown restaurants, shops, boutiques, and theaters.
  • 10 minutes to the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport
  • 10 minutes to Lido Key Beach
  • 20 minutes to Siesta Key Beach



Real Estate Agent Sarasota

Downtown Sarasota Renovation Tour

downtown sarasota condos for sale

A Tour of Downtown Sarasota Renovations 

Four professionally remodeled condos will be open for viewing on Saturday, March 25th from 11 am – 3 pm.  If you have been in the market for renovated downtown properties, then you don’t want to miss out on this home tour.  These gorgeous downtown condos  provide buyers a first hand opportunity to see some of Sarasota’s finest craftsmanship and innovative design ideas in home remodeling.

This is an exclusive opportunity to experience what it is like to live in some of the most stunning Sarasota condo renovations.  The tour kicks off at 1350 Main Sarasota, Unit 600, anytime between 11 am – 3 pm.  Please visit this property first. Owners will accompany visitors to their preferred properties on our list.

Step Inside Some of Sarasota’s Most Beautiful Condos

Learn more about property incentives by downloading our brochures!

1350 Main St. #600

Spectacular 2 bedroom 2 bath renovation in the heart of downtown Sarasota ~ Mid $900,000’s

770 S. Palm Avenue #402

Masterfully renovated, 2 bedroom, 2 bath residence with panoramic Bay views ~$649,900.


1255 N Gulfstream Ave. #206

Trendy and chic 2 bedroom 2 bath renovation in the heart of downtown Sarasota ~ $725,000

Promenade condos for sale


1211 Gulf of Mexico Dr #603

Luxurious renovation with top of the line finishes and Gulf of Mexico views ~ $864,000

Meet the Home Renovator

Brista Homes | 1656 Main Street, Sarasaota, FL | 941-373-0500


Brista Homes Home BuilderMark Ursini is the renovation contractor for the properties on our home tour. He is founder and president of Brista Homes, Inc., a development and construction company that specializes in custom-built homes and remodels in the downtown Sarasota and Longboat Key areas. His mission goes beyond building high quality, distinctive houses. He takes that extra step in making your house a home through his superior attention to detail. His team takes pride in not only fulfilling client’s individual needs, but also exceeding their expectations. His many years of experience provide him with the knowledge and expert craftsmanship to build or renovate quality homes within your budget. As a family oriented company, he understand the true value of creating a home where lasting memories can be made.​

View more home renovations at