We relisted our house the first week of March and had 4 showings in 2 days and received an offer from one of those. Buyer saw the house one time before offering. Buyers were cash buyers so from contract until closing was only 19 days.
I've posted a lot over the last year as we were listed last year and didn't sell. So, FWIW, my musings on everything.
1. We spend quite a bit getting our house ready to sell (new carpet, new paint, some new appliances, refinishing floors, new granite countertops). Since we had to bring a check to closing it is easy to regret having done this. Yet, I do think it made the house look much more updated and probably did help us. That said, we could have probably just done the carpet and paint and maybe the appliances and skipped the rest. We did get flack for having mismatched tile downstairs and if I had to do it over again I would have carpeted over the tile that we had put in that didn't match the other tile downstairs (we had planned to eventually do it all but never got to it).
2. We did have a stager come in. They were helpful in giving us suggestions on what to do (for example to wood but the actually staging part I don't think did much for us beyond what I could have done.
3. Interview more than one agent. When we were listing I was uncertain whether to go with the agent we had worked with several times before (mostly in buying but also in selling some land we owned). I trusted that agent so didn't talk to others. As it turned out it was obvious later that the agent did not give us good advice on what price to list for since we said we wanted to sell fast and wanted to price on the low end. I think the agent thought the advice was correct but it wasn't. Maybe if we had talked to a couple of others we would have priced better from the start.
4. I wish I had asked her at the time if there was anything negative she noticed about the house that we needed to do anything about. Early on, we had some negative feedback on something that we didn't realize and she said she had known it all along. Why she didn't say anything I have no clue... We did get it modified but it caused some wasted time.
5. We did a realtor open house and it was helpful. That was where I got feedback on some negatives I had not realized and I first found out the price was too high. That said, we lost a couple of months when we were first listed with a price that was too high.
6. Reducing prices while the house was listed the first time didn't do much for us. Maybe by the time we reduced it was already June and by then our market is slowing and nothing was selling much.
7. Taking the house off the market for about 3 months did work well for us. The listing expired after Thanksgiving and we took it off until the first week in March. I was uncertain whether to do that but it did give us the opportunity to come back on as the market was heating up. It is true fewer houses were on the market when we were off but I followed the sales and not much was selling either.
8. Price. When we decided to relist we talked to a couple of agents well known in our area and who have the most sales. I asked both of them what to list at. Both felt that our last listing price or higher from when our listing expired was a fine price supported by comps. (The one who said higher believes that you should generally price at the top of the search price range and that anything in the middle of the range -- where we were before -- doesn't get you any additional people to look at the house so is a waste of time). Then I asked them what they would list at to make it very likely that we would sell within 3 months (in our area it is very common for houses to take over a year to sell -- the house across the street just sold over being listed almost 3 years. It is the exception for a house to sell in less than 6 months). Both of them suggested the top of the price range below the one we had been listed at. That was difficult to do because that price was a full $100k below the original listing price and they both felt a price that was over $35k above that suggestion was supported by comps. But the carrying costs on the house were high and we wanted to sell now and not in another year. So we went for the lower price.
9. Our big fear had been that we would list for this really low price (and yes it was well below comps) but that a buyer would come in with a really low offer thinking they should get another 10% off. That was typical for most houses that sold in the area. Thankfully, that didn't happen. The offer we received was very close to that last listing price.
- But was it the price? It is easy to say that we sold so quickly because we priced the house where it was more favorably priced than other comparable house. And I would have said that.
And yet.... We had spent a lot of money when we moved into the house doing some expensive, yet not typical fencing (double gating, a couple of small fenced areas, etc.). We never expected to get back that money and knew that some people wouldn't like that fencing. At the closing, the buyers commented about how when they first saw the house they thought our fencing was perfect. And, of course, it was. For anyone who has dogs. We had set up the property for having multiple dogs and that is exactly what the buyers were looking for. So, maybe the price wasn't everything or even anything. (That said, I'm sure the low price was attractive and if it had been priced higher they might have never looked at it).