Listing Prep Works: South Riding Townhouse Under Contract in 3 Days
When I first meet with the seller of 42917 Golf View Drive in South Riding, he was overwhelmed at the idea of getting his townhouse ready for market. He and his wife are were overwhelmed with stuff. Floor to ceiling boxes and totes in the home made it impossible to actually see the home itself.
With the wife already in Florida for a job she accepted, getting the house ready fell to the husband. There was a path to walk through the home through all the stuff. And talking to the seller about clearing out the house for carpet and paint, well, he was ready to sell as-is. Too much effort.
"My neighbor sold as-is for $385,000 a couple weeks ago. If the comps are about $400,000, I think that's money I'm willing to walk away from to not have to deal with this stuff more than once to put it on the moving truck."
The neighbor had also had a stuff problem, but one that had trashed the house. The neighboring house was one with a dumpster in the driveway and everything being tossed out of the home into that dumpster by the investor that had bought it. A couple of clicks on the phone revealed that the next door neighbor did what a lot of seller do -- he lied. He actually sold for $310,000. That made a lot more sense. My seller was in much better shape stuff-wise and it turns out ninety-thousand dollars is a lot to lose to not dig in and do the de-cluttering and updates needed to get a home ready for market. So we developed a plan and took it day by day.
While the sellers had already identified their dream home, we talked over strategy and I hooked them up with a lender that was able to finance their dream home with a loan that the sellers would be able to re-cast when they got their proceeds from selling this townhouse. There was no immediate rush to sell for the proceeds. So it was on to de-cluttering.
Many weeks were spent donating, trashing and limiting what was making it to a moving truck. Moving stuff to trash it at your final destination may feel like a good idea, but it is entirely too costly. When the stuff was gone, there was a home in serious need of cleaning. Turns out, you can't clean around that much stuff. The seller was pleased to see his home even before the carpet and paint. Stuff has a way of overtaking a home and he didn't realize it until he saw his vacant townhouse. Unfortuantely, he was due in Florida before the upgrades were going in and wouldn't be in town to see them.
In addition to carpet and paint, the seller had luxury vinyl plank put in the kitchen, family room and three of his bathrooms. Items that needed attention, like plumbing fixtures, were addressed by a handyman. A new garage door was installed, exterior trim replaced and painted. Even new house numbers put on.
The final prep was a landscaper freshening up the outside of the home. Meanwhile, I did some light staging to make sure the home was welcoming. Towels and shower curtains in bathrooms, lamps in rooms without, a little kitchen and main level decor. I made sure every light bulb worked and even ditched custom switchplate covers for plain white. The end result was a gorgeous, move-in ready townhouse that had been minimal cost, but maximum effort on the part of the seller. We were able to UP our list price prior to hitting the market!
Priced at $412,000, after eight showings over three days, we got an offer that had the seller smiling down in Florida. We had been prepared for two to three weeks on the market, based on what the comparable sales showed.
There are moments when sellers get impatient with the prep and want to rush to market. This seller never did and reaped the reward. It is always a good idea to take your time and do the listing preparation. This seller is so pleased, he and his wife are coming back to physically see the final product. They are tickled pink.
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