My Journey as a Seller - The Beginning

Real Estate Agent with Allen Tate Company

Five Towns Real EstateFor many reasons my husband and I have decided it is time to downsize. We just don't need all the space anymore.

With the shoe now being on the other foot, I thought I would keep this online blog/diary of my Journey as a seller. The emotions, the sweat, the trials, the tribulations and hopefully the victory and then my follow up Journey as a Buyer!

When we decided it was time to sell I began to look at my house differently. From the eye of an outsider, of a potential buyer.  And WOW is it a trip.

First - Do I sell it myself? That was a pretty big decision. I spoke with my Broker at length, his suggestion originally was to let another agent in my office handle it. I could see his point. However, I decided to be the listing agent myself, but he would handle all the negotiations for me. Here are the reasons:

  1. I do a lot of extra marketing such as Trulia, Featured & Showcase listings etc that I need to be the primary lister for. How could I not practice what I preach and use these resources.
  2. When I go on listing presentations - how could I tell a potential seller that I did not trust myself to sell my own house? That I let someone else handle it for me? What does that say? 
  3. I guess the biggie is #1. I need to avail myself of all possible resources, hence I am the primary listing agent on my home. We will see how it goes

Second- Time to De-Clutter -Iit is amazing how much clutter gathers in a house over 15 years, On shelves, in closets, in the garage, in the basement. Number one on the list was to remove the clutter. The dozens and dozens of big silver contractor bags of clutter.

That engagement gift that has never been opened TRASHED! The pants that are too small to even dream about wearing again DONATED! The old photo albums and children's pictures I forgot I had CHERISHED!

Third - Time to give the house a much needed facelift. The ceiling where the roof leak had been fixed but not the inside ceiling - REPAINTED! The wood floors that have needed refinishing for years DONE! The dark color walls that I have hated for years but never got around to doing - LINEN WHITE! What a difference.

Fourth - What do I do about family pictures? That was a big one for me last night. After the painters left I went to put all my family pictures back up. Then I stopped. Are they too distracting? Wouldn't it be better for people to imagine their pictures? But I really love my kids pictures. What to do - what to do.

The fireplace mantle looked so naked - it was screaming for pictures. So I decided to put up the old family pictures. The Great Grandparents. I could use their good spirits looking over me, so they are the only ones I decided to put up.

Fifth - Cleanliness is next to godliness. I have cleaned the last week like I have never cleaned before. I don't think there is a corner of the house that I have missed. The last thing I want my house to be remembered as is the Dusty House, the Dirty House - I want to be the house with the great den! The house with 2 fireplaces! The clean house that we have to buy!

Sixth - The Price.  I ran the comps, I know the market. I had a price. But was it accurate? Too high or too low because of emotional bias? I wanted to be sure. So again I went in and talked to my Broker and a couple of the other successful agents in my office.

First question they asked (of course) was - How quickly do you want to sell? I bet you can guess my reply "I want to sell quickly, BUT I DON'T WANT TO GIVE MY HOUSE AWAY!" At that moment I truly felt like a seller. Remember how you felt the first time you heard yourself sounding like your mom when talking to your kids? Well that was the feeling and it was weird!

Turns out my price was close to what they thought, so I went with it know that "I CAN ALWAYS LOWER IT LATER ON." Big Cringe.

Seventh - The Sign! The lawn sign went up yesterday. That was truly weird and made it very real.

My journey is officially underway. As I write this my camera is charging. Then I am off to take pictures, make my virtual tour and take the next step on my Journey.

I hope that you will continue this journey with me and see things from the other side of the table as I share them with you.

Wish me luck and if you ae looking for a 6 Bedroom Colonial in Old Woodmere Long Island  - have I got one for you!

Comments (9)

Kristal Wilson
KB Home - Fontana, CA
Cause We Like 'Em New ~ New Home Specialist!

Donna ~ I look forward to reading the adventures you encounter as the Seller/Listing Agent. I really like point # 2 but I think it's wise to leave the negotiating to another party. Good luck!

Mar 24, 2011 08:53 AM
Marcie Sandalow
Marcie Sandalow, Compass 301.758.4894 - Bethesda, MD
Bethesda Chevy Chase DC real estate

Donna- Good luck!  I listed my house about 7 years ago.  It was great to sit in the shoes of my buyers and sellers to understand the emotional roller-coaster they ride.  It was really instructive (and I bring it up often!).  Plus, I got to test a few things on myself that I might not normally recommend for a client... like: do I list the house over a holiday weekend?  I'd heard the pros and cons.  It was a con.  Thankfully, I was the only one to suffer... and it wasn't much of a suffering. Hope you have a speedy sale.

Mar 24, 2011 09:17 AM
Donna Galinsky
Allen Tate Company - Cornelius, NC
Make Lake Norman Your Home!

Kristal - 100% agreement - my Broker will take care of that for me.

Mar 24, 2011 09:19 AM
Liz Wallace
Century 21 Sherlock Homes - Rockville Centre, NY
Broker C21 Sherlock Homes, Rockville Centre, LI, N

Good luck Donna.  I handle all the negotiations for my agents too.  You are too emotionally attached to do a good job.  Good Broker.  I promise you will have a lot more respect for sellers from now on.  Tough side of the fence to be on.

Mar 24, 2011 09:36 AM
Melanie Serrato
Melanie Serrato, Rawlings Realty ~Corona, Norco, Eastvale Ca - Norco, CA
CA Realtor - Corona-Norco-Eastvale Homes

Donna, great idea to chronicle this process!  I look forward to hearing how all of your extra marketing pays off, when you sell quickly.

Mar 24, 2011 09:56 AM
Donna Galinsky
Allen Tate Company - Cornelius, NC
Make Lake Norman Your Home!

Marcie - Thanks for the support. It is going to be quite the roller coaster I am sure.

Liz - Thanks!

Melanie - I hope I sell mine as quickly as I have sold some of my listings.

Mar 24, 2011 10:10 AM
Peg Barcelo
Fluff My House! Home Staging Inc. 250.486.6369 - Summerland, BC
The FlufftasticStager from Summerland, BC

Donna, hope you get through this okay, there have been other posts on AR by other folks selling their homes and they all wanted to scream by the time it was over for the #6 reason. IMHO, maybe some nice art for the mantle, as people will still find portraiture distracting and personal. You're definitely on the right track with the painting and de-cluttering! I'm sure there's an AR home stager in your area that you could contact...:)

Mar 24, 2011 11:36 AM
Donna Galinsky
Allen Tate Company - Cornelius, NC
Make Lake Norman Your Home!

Peg - Thanks for the tips. I have some artwork hanging around - I will see what works

Mar 24, 2011 02:28 PM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I made a commitment to myself a long time ago that if it ever came time to sell my home, I'd hire someone else to do it.  Take the emotions out of it. 

Mar 25, 2011 07:06 AM