Decisions Had to Be Made
Recently we decided it was time to sell our condo in Florida. The first step was to decide if the timing was right. That meant talking to a fellow neighbor and agent that has kept us up to date on what had been happening in our community for the last 10 years or so. We viewed her as an expert in our area and felt comfortable she would give us a fair assessment.
It wasn't an easy decision. We had made many memories there. Our kids were little when we first bought it and we had dozens of vacations, long weekend trips and couple get-aways there. Our adult children even took their families there. I quickly identified with other sellers and how difficult is can be for them to part with their homes and why they might drag their feet.
Another complication was the neighbor agent wasn't the only agent we knew in the area. I know and had met several other agents including two which are members of ActiveRain. I trusted the AR agents as well, but the fact that the neighbor agent owned in our complex and had kept us on a drip for so many years trumped the others. We would run into her every now and then and her husband served on the Board of Directors with my husband.
So we asked her to take a look at our unit and give us an honest opinion of value and if this was a good time to sell. As it turned out no other units in our complex was currently on the market. Values had risen and most units that had recently sold had sold "as-is" subject to inspection within days of going live. She said the timing was excellent for the fall investor season.
We knew our unit was in need of some updates and if we decided to keep it we would invest several thousand to make it fresh and current. However, everything is about timing and we felt like we needed to make a move now on selling it now rather than later. Who knows what will happen to interest rates after the mid-term elections? Who knows if financing restrictions will come into play on condos or second homes? The time to sell seemed right.
She told us to remove as much personalization as possible and to make it look airy and present it in the best light. We didn't want to buy new furniture and wanted to put as little into it as possible to sell it. We decided to sell it furnished, so we rearranged and staged, moved pictures, adding a few current and appropriate accessories, removed unnecessary items and scrubbed it sparkling clean and touched up the painting. This was all done in a spontaneous whirlwind day and a half trip and the unit was transformed to look market-ready.
Our agent assured us it would compete well in the current market as presented. She had professional photography done and used social media marketing. Showings happened immediately and 2 offers came in. We finalized a full price offer and even were able to resolve past the home inspection contingency within a few days time.
Our agent was right. We made a good decision in our choice and 2 weeks after the quick decision to list we closed and had our proceeds wired directly to bank account.
The moral to the story, listen to your agent. Use a local agent and do your part in getting the property ready for market. Being a real estate agent in another state doesn't mean you know the market everywhere. You have to trust the neighborhood expert in the area where your property is located. In my case it paid off.