Sold Our House in 10 Days
I have read this forum religiously from the time we began thinking about putting out house on the market. I learned a lot here that helped us be successful in selling our house so quickly, and at full asking price! I was too "superstitious" to post while we went through the contract to closing period, but I wanted to share our success story as it might be encouraging to others.
Our local market is very bleak. The only houses selling were smaller starter homes. Development went crazy in this town in the 90s which resulted in a glut of large, high end homes. When they go on the market, they just sit there forever. Those houses were our competition.
We took a risk in selecting a listing agent. He was relatively new to RE sales. But he was being mentored by a very experienced agent who we worked with when we bought our new home. Their specialty focus is staging and marketing. Both agents have a decorating/design background. For no extra fee, he came to our house and spent HOURS staging. Honestly, the house looked ready for a magazine shoot. He made suggestions--repainting of most rooms, recarpeting one room, new lawn in front--which we did. He hounded us until we cleared ALL clutter and cleaned until the house was spotless. When that was done he brought in a professional photographer (again, no charge to us--just the basic 6% commission) who took stunning photos. He created full color brochures, a video tour, etc. He arranged two back to back weekend open houses within days of the listing hitting the MLS and realtor.com. He had a brokers open house and individually invited every local agency and agents. He served refreshments, and wouldn't let any agent leave until they filled out a feedback sheet asking about the property, price, etc.
Pricing of the house was very carefully considered. He reviewed all recent sales and what was on the market. He found a hole in the market, about 4% under what most of the "mcmansions" (which weren't selling) were listed at. There was nothing in the price range, so that's what we picked. We listed at
$412,500. Other houses with similar sq and features were around $430K.
But again, they weren't moving at all, and the few comparable sales he found over the past year were between $390-415. The plan was to get the house on the market, priced exactly right, and create a lot of buzz.
The house was shown about 3x and had one open house. The day before the second open house we had 2 offers coming through. First was good, second was great--full asking price! Went through inspection and the buyers accepted everything as is (no major problems, but certainly issues that many buyers in this market would use to negotiate).
Had some stress and anxiety going through the financing commitment stage--as I've read here the banks are really, really crazy. They string you along, make vague promises, miss deadlines, etc. Mortgage commitment squeaked in at the 11th hour, but we had another glitch at closing (paperwork delays on part of bank) that ended up delaying the closing two days. But we closed yesterday and now have our check in hand, so I felt secure enough to post our great success!
It was a lot of hard work getting this house ready for sale, but we followed the "formula", were extremely realistic about pricing, and ended up doing better than we ever imagined--all in a really tough local market. So there is hope out there!