Selling a Home–a la Kelly Blanchard
For those who know my family and me–and know my career–it is no surprise that we have moved several times. In our (nearly) 16 years of marriage, we have owned 5 homes now, and two rentals. Our first few years were filled with moves every 2-3 years, a series of renovation projects, and even a new build. However, we stayed in our last home for 7 years, which felt like a small victory for us since it was well over twice the amount time that we had spent in any other home!
Moving this time around gave me an opportunity to slip in to the shoes of our clients–especially on the sales side of a transaction. Preparing your home to sell is no easy task. Here are some of the things we experienced first-hand from the process that we thought could help you:
The list seemed endless: Paint entire rooms. Touch up paint where needed. Fill and patch holes where art has been removed. Touch up trim paint. Replace light switch covers. Mulch the yard, trim the plants, pot annuals. Clean air vents and replace air filters. Tighten door knobs. Replace any lighting we wanted to take with us. Power wash. Reseal countertops. Fix that ice maker that broke a week before you decide to move . . . I could go on, but you get the idea. We enlisted the help from a favorite contractor or two, and had our fair share of late nights with paint brushes in hand . . . and, somehow, it all got done.
Packing the contents of your life is not for the faint of heart. From collecting boxes, keeping track of your scissors and paper and tape, to actually putting everything you own in to a box, it’s tough work and even a tad emotional. This process has me considering minimalism as a family motto.
Setting the price for your home in a seller’s market is something that I take very seriously, and it was no different when considering our own home. Because of our obvious connection to this home versus pricing homes for clients, I enlisted some help of trusted agents in the area in which we lived. I wanted a gut-check – I wanted to be sure I wasn’t being a typical seller and understanding value to be out of proportion to what was reality. Inviting fresh eyes to look (and walk) through our space gave me an opportunity to see the home as others might see it for the first time, and I was even encouraged to be a bit more aggressive than we had initially planned in terms of pricing. Bonus!
Pricing a home is one of my favorite parts of the sales process, and I take a lot of time and thought toward nailing the price of a home. It’s important in a escalating market to be mindful of what’s happened in the recent past to a degree, but I believe it’s more important to look ahead to how you anticipate the market will perform due to both trends and current competition.
THE SALES PROCESS
It was clear that the elbow grease we had put into the preparation process paid off: We set a price, had many showings, and we had three solid offers in hand by the end of the weekend. All of the offers were over asking price with escalation clauses, and we felt grateful to have a hard decision to make. What was also very clear in this part of the process was that the saying “the market will set the price” rings true. Each offer was within a couple thousand dollars of the others. The buyers who are willing and able to buy your home are smart: they understand the market and will act when the list price reads fair.
The weeks between contract ratification and closing can be tumultuous, but thankfully ours was a friendly and amicable transaction. The inspection revealed items that we recognized as legitimate and were willing to work towards terms that everyone felt was fair and right. It is always helpful when both buyer and buyer’s agent have realistic expectations and also have the same goal of working towards an easy transaction. This process does not have to be riddled with fear: when everyone is working toward the same goal, the obstacles are all worthwhile and are easy to overcome.
Passing a home from one family to the next is a delicate dance of paperwork and emotions, but it is a indeed a special process in which to participate. The new owners of our most recent home would know that we loved our time there. If walls could talk! We laughed hard, we entertained well, we all grew up, even cried in that home. We will never forget our time within those walls. They will be fondly remembered and forever a part of our family story.
Looking for a house or know someone who is? We’d LOVE to work with them! Shoot us an email or give us a call, and we’d love to connect with them!
This spring, when you refer someone to Kelly, Kim, or Shannon and they close on their home prior to July 31, 2018, you are eligible to be one of three winners of our favorite things: shoes from allbirds.com or $100 gift card to Kuba Kuba, Galley, or Little Nickel!
Hoping for a few more house pictures of the Blanchard’s? Visit the full photo gallery here!