Death of a Spouse: Helping a Relative Settle Affairs

The death of a spouse after decades of marriage is a staggering emotional loss for an older adult. The situation is made worse when the surviving spouse doesn’t know how to make financial decisions. And there are plenty of matters to resolve and questions to answer when a spouse dies. It can be too much for an overwrought individual who doesn’t understand how life insurance works, doesn’t know how to access money from their spouse’s will and hasn’t a clue how to take care of burial and funeral arrangements.

These are typical areas of concern when someone dies. If you have a senior loved one who doesn’t know where to turn, here are a few points to consider as you help them through what is likely the most difficult period in their life.

Life insurance

A life insurance policy can be a tremendous financial resource for your loved one. It can be used to help pay for leftover medical bills and funeral costs, and for living expenses in the wake of a spouse’s death. Many people are unaware that a life insurance policy can be sold to help pay for medical or end-of-life expenses or for long-term care if your relative is in need of assistance.

Legally empowering documents

Help your relative gather all the legal documents needed to process life insurance claims, execute a will, and file a Social Security death benefit claim (you’ll need copies of the death certificate). Gather all outstanding financial records, including the departed one’s remaining bills so you can determine what’s left to be paid and to help make temporary arrangements with creditors. Depending on the size of your loved one’s estate and the state of their finances, it may be helpful to discuss their situation with a financial planner, someone who has experience helping older adults monitor finances after the death of a spouse.

Living will

It’s likely that your departed relative’s estate can be used to help pay bills and final costs (e.g., funeral, burial) if he or she had a will. If you’re not sure how to proceed, reach out to their attorney for accurate information about final financial arrangements and how much your relative is due as a surviving spouse. They may need to make a new will of their own and delegate someone to hold durable power of attorney for finances and healthcare decisions.

Paying bills

Surviving spouses are often blindsided by debts left behind by their partner. With so many arrangements to make and final dispositions to pay for, your loved one may be left holding the financial bag if there’s insufficient money left over from the estate. Providing the copy of a death certificate and having a frank conversation with creditors can give a loved one enough breathing space to get all their affairs in order without doing irreparable damage to their credit and financial resources. Setting up automatic bill payment is often sufficient for creditors because it ensures they’ll be paid on a regular basis.

Living arrangements

If your relative has been left with a large home, it may be time to talk about downsizing and seeking more manageable living arrangements. This may be a necessity if your loved one suffers from limited mobility or has health issues that make it difficult to clean and perform routine home maintenance.

Discuss downsizing options and preferences. If there’s enough equity in their home, they may gain enough from the sale to purchase a smaller house or move into an apartment or assisted living facility. (Be aware that downsizing necessarily means decluttering and getting rid of belongings, some of which may have emotional value.)

A bereaved elderly relative is probably in no condition to delve into the financial particulars of their departed spouse’s estate or make final disposition plans for their interment. A sympathetic, informed, and caring relative can be a blessing in such circumstances. Seek the advice of a financial expert in legal matters involving wills and physical legacies, such as real estate.

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Relocating to Ease the Pain of Losing a Loved One

It is a pleasure to introduce guest writer Lucille Rosetti. Lucille is the author of an upcoming book, Life After Death: A Wellness Guide for the Bereaved, which will offer information about moving on after death, including how a change of scenery, whether that means moving to a new home or simply making changes in your current one, can be beneficial when dealing with grief. In her post below, Lucille shares valuable knowledge on the grieving process. Learn how to manage difficult, emotional decisions such as home selling, home buying, and which of your departed loved ones’ items to keep or discard.  Please feel free to share with family and friends who have experienced the loss of a loved one.

Moving on After Death

The death of a spouse, child, sibling, or parent is devastating. It takes a significant toll and creates an emotional burden that can continue to grow. Sometimes, a fresh start in a new home – and a new city – is the best way to move forward. But changing your entire life is not a decision to be made lightly. During this time, you may also decide it’s necessary to downsize and relocate to a smaller home. By doing so, you’ll have lower utility bills and fewer areas to clean, which could help out tremendously if you don’t have the time or energy to devote to maintaining a large house. Before you begin, take a look at the housing market and get an idea of what houses are going for these days; for example, homes in Sarasota, Florida, sell for approximately $273,000, though that number will fluctuate depending on your location.

Practice Patience

One of the worst things you can do is pack up and leave if you aren’t sure that’s what you need. It is easy in the emotional aftermath of death to make decisions with knee-jerk reactions. This can lead to further regret and won’t make the situation any better. Be patient. You have already experienced a major life change and a traumatic event that will be with you the rest of your life.

Before making a major decision, take the time to decide if the move is what you really want. The Muse cautions against doing things because society thinks you’re “supposed to.” No one can tell you how to grieve, and if you try to placate everyone else without processing your emotions, you may do more harm than good.

If you have children living in the home, you may also want to reconsider the psychological effects of moving, especially when compounded with the loss of a parent or sibling. ScienceDirect reports that children who move from their family home may suffer from poor mental health, although there are other factors that also come into play.

Prioritize the Practical

Once you are certain that you need a new backdrop, you will need to get hands-on with the packing and moving process. Start by researching areas you’d like to live and determining if it fits into your budget. Also, remember that the move itself will cost a pretty penny; in-state moves cost around $2,300, while people heading out of state can expect to pay around $4,300. Money worries now will only add to your stress levels and can trigger health problems you simply don’t need during this time.

Cleaning out your home is another necessary step in the process, but one that can launch you into an emotional roller coaster. At some point, whether now or later, you will need to go through your loved one’s belongings and determine what items to keep and which to let go. If you aren’t ready to make these decisions just yet, rent a self-storage unit which, according to 180-day trends, should cost approximately $88.44 per month in the Sarasota area. As difficult as it is, you can donate your loved one’s personal items to local charities. The process of letting go may be especially cathartic if the charity is one that was near and dear to your loved one. In the case of an infant, there are numerous national organizations that accept gently-used clothing and nursery gear, and a few of those groups (like Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity) will pick up large furniture items, like cribs.

Don’t Do it Alone

When it’s time to move, let your closest friends and family know as soon as possible. Not only will they be able to lend a helping hand, but waiting until the last minute won’t give you all an opportunity to address the wide range of emotions that is sure to be felt. Liberty Mutual suggests you also create a “structured, room-by-room packing” plan for everyone to follow to make the process as seamless as possible for you and your helpers, which will also help cut down on your stress. If you and your loved ones simply can’t bear the thought of packing, consider giving yourselves a break and hiring professional movers. Thumbtack notes that the average hourly rate for these services nationally is about $250 to $350 per hour.

In addition to the support of friends and family, you can make the process go more smoothly by partnering with a realtor who can help you get your home in order and handle the practical and legal aspects of selling. Hire a licensed moving company, which Zillow recommends, especially if you’re relocating out of state.

Other persons to involve may include a home stager, housecleaner, and lawn maintenance professional. If you are still unsure in your decision, you may also wish to seek the services of a therapist or counselor to talk through your emotions. Even if you’ve waited for several months after the death, your mind may still be in “fight-or-flight” mode, and the decision may have been made more hastily than you’ve considered.

Remember, your new life is just that – yours and new. But you shouldn’t try to leave the past completely behind you. The memories you have of your loved one are something to be cherished. Don’t try to erase them completely, but avoid the temptation to dwell on the past. If a new home is what you need to move forward, you can still honor their memory while you continue to progress with your life.

Follow these tips and simple suggestions on what to do before putting your house on the market.
With a number of Sarasota accolades, you will see why so many people fall in love with our amazing city.

Sarasota County Public Schools – Florida

Contact Information – Sarasota County Schools

Sarasota County School District
1960 Landings Boulevard
Sarasota, FL 34231

Sarasota Public Schools

Below is a complete list of Sarasota County Public Schools serving all of Sarasota County. For details on the best Sarasota Florida Public schools and to learn which schools are ranked the highest, click here. You will be taken to the U.S. News & World Reports Best School Rankings where you will be able to search by school name.


🏫 Sarasota Elementary Schools

Alta Vista ElementaryEnglewood ElementaryLamarque Elementary (North Port)
Ashton ElementaryFruitville ElementaryLaurel Nokomis Elementary
Atwater ElementaryGarden ElementaryPhillippi Elementary
Bay Haven ElementaryGlenallen ElementarySouthside Elementary
Brentwood ElementaryGocio ElementaryTatum Elementary
Cranberry ElementaryGulf Gate Elementary
Emma E. Booker ElementaryLakeview Elementary


🏫 Sarasota Middle Schools

Booker MiddleLaurel Nokomis MiddleVenice Middle
Brookside MiddleMcIntosh MiddleWoodland Middle
Heron Creek MiddleSarasota Middle


🏫 Sarasota High Schools

Booker HighSarasota HighPine View School
North Port HighSuncoast Polytechnical HighOak Park School
Riverview HighVenice High

Sarasota Charter Schools

Charter schools, like public schools, are allocated public monies. They operate under a performance contract also referred to as a “charter”.  They hire their own teachers, set their own curriculum, control their own finances, have a board of directors, and are free from most of the rules and regulations imposed for the public schools.  Per the Sarasota County School website, below is a list of Sarasota Charter Schools providing quality educations.

Sarasota County School Zones

To learn what school district your home is zoned for, visit the Sarasota County School Boards Search for School Zones Page.  Simply input your address and discover what school your child should attend.

Sarasota County FL School Calendar

Get your Sarasota school schedule and school supply lists here!

Request More Info

We pride ourselves on quick response times.  Please fill out the below form and we will be in touch with you shortly.


Helpful Sarasota Resources

This quaint, little city is dotted with spectacular waterfront mansions and beautiful beaches. It’s home to many including the rich and famous. See who has lived here and why it is the choice over many other popular areas.
Browse “Gina’s List” of best Sarasota providers related to the real estate industry and beyond. Referrals include title companies, attorneys, lenders, home inspectors, contractors, doctors, pet sitters, and more.
Our beautiful city offers an abundance of fun and unique things to do including sporting events, cultural events, shopping, dining, and beautiful beaches. From arts and culture to local attractions, discover some of the best things to do

Sarasota, FL | Big City Feel, Small Town Charm

Chrystal white sand, clear blue water, and plenty of sunshine – you can have it all. Situated along the west coast of Florida is a quaint little city which sits along the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay. Its coastline is dotted with spectacular waterfront mansions and award winning beaches. It is a popular sunny escape for the winter weary and a place where many fortunate residents, including myself, call home. This wonderful little area is Sarasota, FL. If you plan to vacation or move here, I must warn you, between golf, the beach, and all types of water and boat activities, you may never want to leave.

Sarasota Florida Real Estate

Sarasota, FL attracts buyers of all kinds, including the rich and famous who have owned homes in our beautiful city either now or in the past. Celebrities such as Joe Perry, Randy Savage, Jerry Springer, Dick Vitale, Stephen King, Michael Jordan, Tom Selleck, and Tom Cruise have all added Sarasota homes to their list of real estate.

There are plenty of reasons why one might choose Sarasota real estate over other popular areas. It may be a peaceful escape or to live closer to relatives. Or maybe they just want to take advantage of our beautiful Sarasota Florida weather with some fun in the sun at the world famous Siesta Key Beach.

Sarasota, FL is a city rich in history and architecture and many of its historic neighborhoods still remain today. Located on the outskirts of downtown Sarasota is Gillespie Park, an affordable neighborhood of bungalows and cottages named after the first mayor of Sarasota, Hamilton Gillespie. If you prefer history combined with walkability, then there is the historic Laurel Park boasting a mix of homes and apartment buildings dating back to the 1920’s. The allure of both these neighborhoods is the close proximity to the heart of downtown Sarasota.

As you venture into downtown Sarasota, in the heart of the city is Main Street, with streets, many named after fruits, branching off on both sides. This historic city is filled with shops, restaurants, and colorful bungalows. Downtown Sarasota is divided into five districts: The Rosemary District, Burns Court, The Historic Palm Ave District, Towels Court, and Gillespie Court.

Read more about the best downtown Sarasota historical districts…

Traveling west from downtown, over the Ringling Bridge, you will find the communities of Lido Key, St. Armand’s and the popular St. Armand’s Circle where you will find high-end retail shops, boutiques, and restaurants.

As you travel South towards Siesta Key Beach, west of Tamiami Trail, is the historic community of Cherokee Park. This is one of the oldest and premier historic neighborhoods along Sarasota Bay offering tree-lined streets and homes dating back to as early as the 1920’s. Sarasota real estate prices in Cherokee Park start in the high $800,000’s.

A short drive from downtown is the renowned community of Siesta Key, an 8 mile island, home to one of the most popular beaches in the nation, Siesta Key Beach. Homes on this barrier island range from affordable condos to million dollar homes along the glittering waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Sarasota offers cool and chic condo living throughout its wonderful city. A large number of high rises line the coast of Sarasota’s barrier islands including Siesta Key, Longboat Key, and downtown Sarasota.  Condominiums for sale in Sarasota Florida are offered in a variety of price ranges, styles, and locations.

Sarasota has over 80 golf courses so for those who want to live in an above par community and get their game below par, there are plenty of golf communities to choose from.

For the boating enthusiast, you have your pick of places to launch your boat, marinas to store your boat, or homes with boat docks.

The area has several master planned communities including Palm Aire, Palmer Ranch, and Lakewood Ranch which was recently recognized as the third best selling master planned community in the nation. These large-scale residential neighborhoods boast recreational and commercial amenities including golf courses, lakes, community parks, community pools, restaurants, and quality schools.

Small towns near Sarasota FL include Anna Maria Island, Bradenton Beach, and Longboat Key. These nearby Florida beach towns are a fun place to visit when venturing outside of Sarasota, FL.

Sarasota FL Zip Code

Sarasota Florida Weather

Sarasota is Florida’s own slice of paradise, especially for those looking to escape the cold winter months in the northeast. With warm tropical weather year round, one can plan on removing the word winter coat from their vocabulary. During the hot summer months of June through September, Floridians can expect temperatures in the 80’s to 90’s, humidity, and periods of daily rain, with storms that roll out as quickly as they roll in. The humidity drops and temperatures begin to cool during the dry months of October through May, with average temperatures in the 70’s. That is not to say that Sarasota does not experience near freezing temperatures. During the months of December through March, the area can experience random temperature drops into the low 30’s, yet on average, there is only one frost per year. 

Sarasota is a year-round outdoor playground and recognized as one of the healthiest cities in the nation. The sunshine allures residents and visitors alike to take advantage of the surf and sand. There are plenty of outdoor activities that meet just about anyone’s needs. You can kayak, paddleboard,  or jet ski. There are fishing charters, dinner cruises, and plenty of scenic locations for fishing, jogging or walking.

Sarasota Florida Beaches

Known for some of the most gorgeous beaches in the nation, Sarasota attracts visitors from all over the world. Our beaches offer soft white sand, crystal blue waters, and a less hectic atmospheres than the bigger city beaches. When visiting our local beaches, expect some solitude and relaxation along with manatees swimming and dolphins gracefully playing.  Take a stroll along the Gulf of Mexico shoreline and you will find unique seashells, sun-cured sand dollars, and coral washed ashore. You might even find an unusual treasure like a sea sponge.

It doesn’t matter which Sarasota beach you choose because all offer free parking and a unique experience. Let’s take a better look at each of our beautiful Sarasota area beaches.

Siesta Key Beach

Address: Siesta Key Beach 948. Beach Rd., Siesta Key, FL 34242

Having won accolades more than once for the best beach in the nation, Siesta Beach has become one of Sarasota’s most popular beach spots. A recent $21.4 million renovation only adds to this famous beach’s allure. The expanded parking lot with 141 additional spots and the newly renovated visitor’s area are only a glimpse of what lies beyond. Beautiful, spacious walkways cut through the expansive quartz sand beach directing visitors to the sparkling blue waters.  These walkways along with wide open access points throughout the beach make it easy to navigate to the perfect spot with your beach chairs and coolers in hand.

One of the newest highlights is the elevated, two-story, concession with an open deck for capturing some of the most magnificent views. As with most beach concessions, the food can be a bit pricey.

For a fun activity, gather some friends for a game of beach volleyball in the baby, soft sand. The Siesta Beach volleyball courts attract players of all levels and have been host to collegiate and commercial tournaments throughout the years.

Every Sunday night, about an hour before the sun sets, just south of the Pavillion, is the Siesta Key Drum Circle.  What started as some friends playing on the beach has blossomed into a big attraction of many people playing percussion instruments and dancing while the sun sets on the horizon. It’s a time for everyone to have fun and enjoy themselves. Both the event and parking are free, but it is a popular event, so get there early because parking fills up quickly.

Lido Key Beach

Lido Key boasts three beaches: North Lido, Lido Beach, and South Lido. John Ringling, an influential Sarasota figure with a love for Italian, referred to the beach as Lido, which translates to beach in Italian. Although smaller than Siesta Key Beach, Lido Beach is a close match with its turquoise waters and soft white sand which squeaks as you scuff your feet through it. During low tide, enjoy a walk out to the sandbar where you will see an abundance of beautiful shells and live sand dollars.

Lido Key is a small barrier island lined with many condos, yet the beach rarely feels crowded. Head there early to catch the sunrise and meditate amid the sounds of seagulls and crashing waves.  Spend the day relaxing on the beach, watching the Pelicans and Osprey dive for fish, then wind down with a beautiful Florida sunset.

From mid-June until the fourth of July, Lido Key Beach is home to the annual Sarasota Power Boat Grand Prix Races. If you plan to attend, this is a popular event, so get to the beach early.

Parking at Lido Key Beach is free.

Lido Key is within a short walking distance to the upscale St. Armand’s Circle with restaurants, shops, and boutiques.

If you are in Sarasota, Lido Key Beach is a must see.

Other Beaches

For those who want to venture outside of Sarasota, there are many other nearby beaches to enjoy. Situated between Lido Key and Bradenton are the beaches of Longboat Key, accessible by residents who visit the local resorts or guests and owners of beach condos and houses. Whitney Beach, offering public parking and public beach access is located at the north end of the Island. Although the beaches of Longboat Key offer no amenities, visitors will enjoy the soft, white sand and beautiful green-blue waters.

North of Longboat Key is Coquina Beach with picnic areas and grills. Heading north from Coquina Beach is Bradenton Beach boasting a historic fishing village. Continue traveling north and you will fall upon Manatee Beach. All are public beaches with free parking.

Things to Do in Sarasota

Sarasota offers an abundance of fun things to do including sporting events, cultural events, shopping, dining, and beautiful beaches. From arts and culture to local attractions, discover some of the best things to do in Sarasota, Florida.

Baltimore Orioles Spring Training – Pick up some tickets to watch spring training at Ed Smith Stadium.


Celery Fields – This 360-acre manmade hill, owned by Sarasota County is great for bird watching, walking, and biking.  See more than 200,000 aquatic plants, wildlife, and trees. Access points and two boardwalks are located off Palmer Blvd and the other off Raymond Road.


Christmas Boat Parade – Held every December, boats decked out in holiday decor and festive music parade along the waters of Sarasota Bay.


Classic Car Museum – Located across the street from the Ringling Museum, this nostalgic museum boasts over 90 cars with over 100 years of man’s greatest invention.


Farmer’s Market – Pick up fresh fruit and produce at the Farmer’s Market, held each Saturday in downtown Sarasota.


Historic Spanish Point – This is a preserved Sarasota archeological site once inhabited by Indians. See prehistoric shell middens and learn about our Prehistory,  Pioneers, Palmer, and Plants.


Historical Downtown Sarasota Walking Tour – Sarasota is an interesting city full of history and architecture. During this guided walking tour, you will discover the history and folklore of our area, both past, present, and future.


John Ringling Museum – Located on the grounds of John and Mabels Sarasota mansion, visitors will enjoy Ringling’s art collection, circus museum, and their breathtaking gardens.   


Jungle Gardens – A wonderful children’s attraction featuring interactive experiences with birds, reptiles, animals, and entertaining shows.


LeBarge Tropical Cruises – Enjoy a two hour cruise along the Sarasota Bay where you will see dolphins, manatees, and various other marine mammals. Select from a menu of cruises, each offering something totally different.


Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsey – Stroll through a garden setting of art and whimsey. Open November through May. 


Manatee Village Historical Park – Located in Manatee County, this historical village takes you back in time with historical  landmarks dating back to the 1860’s – 1930’s.  Historic structures include a courthouse, church, store, school, and cracker house.


Marina Jack Dinner Cruise – Enjoy sightseeing on the Gulf of Mexico. Located on the downtown Sarasota bayfront, this narrated lunch or dinner cruise is a must do.  


Medieval Fair – This annual event is held in November of each year.  Enjoy food, rides and games, face painting, artisan and craft demonstrations, and entertainment. 


Mote Aquarium – Say hello to Hugh and Buffet, the aquarium Manatees. See sharks, sea turtles, and other marine life through touch pools, working labs, and interactive exhibits.


Myakka Wildlife Tours – See and learn about alligators and our area wildlife on a narrated, one hour covered airboat tour. 


Professional and Amateur Theaters–  Take your pick of theaters including Florida Studio, Asolo Repertory Theater, West Coast Black Theater Troupe, Urbanite Theater, Players Center for Performing Arts, and the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.


Sarasota Film Festival – This 10-day long annual event showcases local and independent filmmaking. With over 850 film festivals across the nation, the Sarasota Film Festival (SFF) consistently ranks in the top 10%. 


Siesta Key Crystal Classic – This event attracts professionals from all over in an annual sand sculpting festival. These masterpieces are a must see.


Sporting Events – Sports enthusiasts will have their share of sporting events to choose from including the Sarasota Polo GroundsPremier Sports Campus Lakewood Ranch, Premier Rowing Facility of Benderson Park, Fiesta on Siesta, Sarasota Power Boat Grand Prix, or the Baltimore Orioles Spring Training Facility.


St. Armands Circle – Located just over the Ringling Bridge from downtown Sarasota, the circle offers fabulous dining, shopping, and sightseeing.


State Parks & ForestsOscar Scherer State Park, Myakka River State Park, Myakka State Forest.


The Children’s Garden and Art Center – An enchanting place to bring the kids! Children can dig, play, and explore the magical gardens with fairies, dragons, pirates, and more. Art and nature classes are offered weekly.


Towels Court – Explore this artful neighborhood in downtown Sarasota filled with artist studios, galleries, and restaurants.  From October – May, from 5-9 PM meet the artists and enjoy some live music while you stroll Towels.


TreeUmph Adventure Course – For a unique athletic experience, gear up for some climbing, swinging, zip lining, and aerial adventures at the TreeUmp Adventure Course located in Bradenton, FL. 


Sarasota Restaurants

Sarasota is filled with an abundance of delicious dining options, with a restaurant to please just about any palate. With over 21 Zagat rated establishments, the below list is just touching the surface of all the wonderful restaurants Sarasota has to offer.

Barnacle Bills – One of Sarasota’s well-known seafood restaurants offering resort style food at friendly prices. They offer two dining locations, N. Tamiami Trail and downtown Main Street.


 Bijou Cafe – Zagat awarded fine continental dining. Located on 1st Street in Sarasota.


The Blue Rooster – Located on 4th Street in downtown Sarasota, offering creative southern comfort cuisine.


 Cafe Amici –  Set in the heart of downtown Sarasota, this is your classical Italian cuisine.


 Cafe Baci – Delicious northern Italian cuisine, specializing in osso bucco.


 Capital Grille – Wonderul dry aged beef, seafood, and an award winning wine list. Located at the prestigious University Town Center Mall.


Clasico Cafe Bar– Situated on Main Street, Sarasota, this popular restaurant offers cuisine with a European flair.


Drunken Poet Cafe – A local attraction on Main Street, Sarasota offering Thai and sushi cuisine.


Flemmings Steak House – In addition to the perfect ambiance, you will enjoy prime cut, mouth-watering steaks and fine wines.


 Hob Nob – For a bit of nostolgia, visit this original 50’s drive in with outdoor seating, hot dogs, hamburgs, and shakes. Located at 1701 N. Washington  Boulevard, Sarasota.


Hyde Park Steak House – Delicious thick cut, charbroiled steaks, chops, and seafood in a chic urban environment. Located in downtown Sarasota at 35 S. Lemon Avenue.


 Kona Grill – Located in the Mall at University Town Center, this casual restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating, a contemporary American cuisine, and specialty drinks.


Louies Modern – A dining hotspot and bistro in dowontown Sarasota offering indoor and outdoor seating and an American cuisine menu.


 Marina Jack – Enjoy waterfront dining with expansive Sarasota Bay views. The menu features seafood, a raw outdoor patio bar, and a piano bar.


Mattison’s City Grille– Located in the heart of downtown Sarasota on the corner of Main Street and Lemon Ave, this restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating, music, and an award winning menu.


Nancy’s Barbeque – This popular barbeque hotspot is located in downtown Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch Main Street. Enjoy a casual atmosphere with a choice of smoked chicken, pork, ribs, and brisket.


Old Salty Dog – Offering spectacular water views and a casual atmosphere with both indoor and outdoor dining. The menu consists of pub food, seafood, and of course their legendary, salty dog.


Ophelia’s on the Bay –  This Siesta Key seafood restaurant offers beautiful waterfront views while enjoying casual, fine dining.



Sarasota is home to the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, making travel to and from the area easy.  The airport is conveniently located off University Parkway. Rental cars services and shuttle services are available near the baggage claim area.

Downtown Sarasota offers iShare, a free electric car shuttle service available from 11:00 am. until 11:00 pm. For the Saturday Farmers Market, the shuttle service begins at 8:00 am.  It covers downtown Sarasota and the Rosemary district.  Its boundaries are 14th Street to the north, Mound Street to the south, School Avenue to the east and the Bayfront to the west. To take advantage of this service, call 941.444.2585.

SCAT is the Sarasota County Transit System, offering bus service from the south of the county to the north. If you want to avoid the hassle of finding beach parking, the SCAT transit system runs 10 times per day from the Westfield Southgate Shopping Center to Siesta Key Public Beach.


How To Sell A House Fast in Sarasota


Our home seller’s guide will provide you with the best tips and tricks on how to sell your house fast whether it be in Sarasota or anywhere else.  It will cover:

Mistakes in pricing your home

Preparing your home for the market 

How to find the best real estate agent

The importance of a home inspection

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. This is a complimentary service and your results will be provided 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 Avoid Pricing Mistakes

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. Buyers don’t only compare your home against sold listing, they compare against other homes on the market. Active listing are your competition. When listing your home, you want 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 there are resources 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 your home is overpriced, you will lose a large pool of what could have been interested parties. After the listing becomes stale, you are forced into multiple price reductions and you start to invite low offers and bottom feeders. This is why it is so important to get the pricing right as soon as you put it on the market. You have one chance to make a first impression, so make it a good one.

The Rule of Thumb When Searching for Comparable Properties

When searching for comparable properties follow these guidelines. You will find these are some of the best tips and tricks to sell a house fast.

  • 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.

Key Items When Preparing 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.

The Exterior

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. Follow these 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.

The Interior

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.

The Proper Way 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”]

The Importance Behind Professional Photos

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. Declutter to sell a house fast. 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

Prayer to Sell a House Fast

If you are Catholic, then you’ve probably received advice on how to sell your house fast for top dollar by way of burying a St. Joseph statue and reciting a prayer. 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.

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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!


what is my home worth
nokomis waterfront homes for sale

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