A Tale of Two Home Sellers: Which One Are You?
I have a tale of two home sellers to tell you. Much like most tales, there are many details that are the same and some that are different throughout the story, but in this case, there is a happy conclusion. You see, these two awesome home sellers got what they wanted, but one fared better than the other. In this case, that seller wasn’t able to fare as well also had a handicap. Here’s the story:
A tale of two home sellers: Seller One
Seller One called about six months ago asking for me to help him find a new home and then to sell his current home. I love those calls, and this one was no different. This seller had a plan. He planned ahead of time and was ready to keep his current home for a few months after buying a new home so he could do some renovations to get top dollar on his sale. This home owner was wise. He had a plan and his plan was awesome.
The seller meticulously painted his entire home. He made all the repairs needed and he upgraded the areas that needed an upgrade. The bathrooms were new, the kitchen was new and he installed all the curb appeal plants necessary to make those passing by take a second look. He cleaned the home from top to bottom and closed the door. Selling a home can cost money too, but the best return makes it money well spent.
His gifted and talented Realtor, entered amazing photos online, wrote incredible prose to woo buyers, set the price based on trends and above the comps, and in three days, a flood of buyers showed up offering multiple offers and all were full price offers with few concessions. It was difficult to choose which one. Finally, the best deal was chosen and the seller headed for a short sprint to closing.
A tale of two home sellers: Seller Two
In our tale of two home sellers, Seller Two also had a wonderful home, but it had been sadly neglected. It wasn’t totally Seller Two’s fault. Seller Two had been transferred to another part or the country and had placed the property on the rental market. The home had been a rental for a number of years when I received the call.
Unlike Seller One, Seller Two was not able to make any repairs, upgrades or even paint. Seller Two’s property needed all of those things, but the distance between Seller Two and the property was too great to do much of anything. So, it was cleaned and it was made as presentable as possible.
The sale is about more than price.
The price was set at the top of the market knowing it would likely be negotiated down. A realistic and honest description was placed in the listing service, letting buyers know they would need to do a little TLC, and it was launched. Much like Seller One, there was a flurry of activity in the beginning. Within a few days, multiple offers came in, and as expected, they were below list. Ironically, they were above the neighborhood comps, but they were within the trend-line for similar properties.
On day 5, a contract was accepted and the deal is heading to its own closing. The biggest difference between Seller One and Seller Two is the investment the sellers made in getting top dollar. Seller One received 100% of what he wanted from his sale. I think he might have been a little surprised at where I listed his house, and even more so that multiple people thought it was worth that number.
Seller Two also was a little surprised at where I listed, but the trend in that neighborhood was moving beyond the past 90 day comps. I listed at the trend line and the contract is above the 90 day comps. Both sellers received more than expected, but Seller Two received less than possible based on condition.
The moral of the tale of two home sellers
If you want top dollar for your home, do the necessary repairs prior to list. Make sure the paint is fresh and the floors are in excellent shape. Update outdated appliances. Clean, clean, clean, and make sure there is plenty of light. Manicure the lawn and remove anything thing that is distracting. Make the home woo buyers in the door.