How We Sold Our House
My wife, Megan, and I bought our first house in 2009. It was a brick, 2,800 square foot home on almost 3 acres. It was in a subdivision, but our house was the last one at the very back. The best part of the house was that it was a foreclosure, so we got a good deal on it. The downside of the property was that it had not been properly maintained. In fact most of the general upkeep had not even been done. It needed lots of help. So over the course of the next 11 years, we fixed, updated, and improved the property, increasing its value with each step.
In 2020 with all of the craziness that was going on, we decided it was time for a change. It was time to sell our beloved home and find a more rural piece of property. We wanted to be able to plan this property from the beginning to suit all of our needs. I hope sharing this list which helped us successfully sell our home can help you be as successful in selling yours.
1. Make A List
When we began to think about selling, we knew that there were some things we needed to finish up. So we walked through our entire property and made a list of all the little things that needed to be addressed. Most of them were simple things like replacing a light switch, pulling some weeds in the garden, and pressure washing the soffits. Others required some professional help. We quickly made all of these last minute repairs and we even took the time to freshen up the landscaping a little. We wanted to finish up these small things before we listed our home because we didn't want anything that stuck out or might throw up any red flags to a potential buyer.
2. Interview Agents
As the Broker here at Carter Group Real Estate, I could have listed the property myself, but I mostly deal with land sales. I wanted to use someone that knows the residential sales market in this area inside and out. So, I called Shawn Oliver. She has worked for us since we opened in 2009 and has proven herself as the top producing agent in our community.
If you aren't as familiar with an agent in your market, ask around and find out who the best agents are. Take the time to interview a couple of them. Ask them to come out and give you a listing presentation. Ask them pertinent questions such as:
- How they plan to market your home?
- How many homes have they sold in the last year?
- What should the listing price be?
- What are the comparables to back up this price?
- What is the average number of days on the market?
- How many showings can you expect?
- What is the commission percentage?
- Will they come to the property showings?
3. Hire The Right Agent
Take time to think about which agent that you interviewed would be the best fit for you. Don't allow anyone to pressure you into signing a listing agreement before you are ready. I recommend finishing all of your listing appointments before you make any decisions. This isn't the time to just choose the agent that's a friend of the family, or even the agent that your personality matched the best with. Think about what you are doing. You are about to sell the one thing in your life where most of your wealth is probably stored. Make a decision based on which agent will do the best job.
We, of course, hired Shawn to list our home. She suggested a listing price that was a good bit more than what we expected, however we trusted her judgement and went with it. We listed the property thinking that we might have to come down on the price in a month or two to get any action. To our surprise, we immediately had several showings, which turned into several offers. In less than a week we were under contract for nearly our full asking price. This was so exciting! We had definitely hired the right agent. She fully exceeded our expectations.
4. Under Contract
We were ecstatic to have our home under contract so quickly, but this also created a problem. We hadn't had time to identify a property that we liked enough to make an offer on. We were in a mad dash at this point to find a piece of land that we liked. I'll fill you in on this in a later post, just know for now that this can be a long, drawn out process. Be patient during this time and most importantly be flexible. You might not find the perfect place right away. You may have to make some concessions on things that you think are very important. I suggest making a list of all the things you must have in a new property and a list of all of your wants. Don't sacrifice on the musts, but be prepared to budge on the wants if necessary.
Rely on your agent during this time to guide you in the process of what you should do while you are under contract. Make sure that you are paying attention to all of the dates in your contract. There will probably be a due diligence period during which the buyers will be getting all of their inspections done. Work with the inspectors to make sure they are able to complete their inspections. Complete any agreed upon repairs in a timely manner. Start the packing process early, so that you are ready when moving day comes. All of these things are important to make sure that the sale of your property goes smoothly.
There will be bumps along the way. That is just the nature of real estate. Trust your agent to work with you during this time. Their job is to make sure that your best interest is being taken care of. If at any point you don't feel like that is taking place, talk to your agent's broker. Trust me, as a broker, we all want to make sure that our clients are being taken care of. That is always our number one priority.
Our home sold in 30 days to a wonderful young family. Because of COVID concerns and scheduling problems, we didn't get to meet them before the closing, but we were able to meet them shortly after. We were thrilled that projects that we had worked so hard on like the playset in the backyard would still be enjoyed by their children. We invited the new family to church and they have since become members. It is exciting to see what they are doing to the house to make it their own and the work they are doing in the neighborhood to help others.
We are working on our new property currently and are excited about being able to share this process with you. Follow along on this journey with us here at Relocate Rural or at our blog yondersouth.com.