True to form, there have been and are to come a lot of big changes in my life. To prepare for such, I decided to sell my house, wanting to minimize expenses and increase flexibility. I was motivated by fear that the home selling process could take a while. Standard could be three to six months. Long-term could be a year or more.
Almost as soon as I moved into that house in Travelers Rest, I knew it was farther out in the country than I wanted to be. I thrive on activity and wished to be closer to downtown right away. It was a home and property too great for me alone and also not where I wanted to settle down.
But I was there and needed to make the most of it. To avoid the huge immediate headaches of selling, moving and paying any capital gains tax, I had to wait. Besides, it was a lovely place – hardwood floors, wood-burning fireplace, stainless steel appliances, custom open plan, tons of storage, tremendous outdoor spaces, etc.
Once I passed the two-year safety mark, however, for my sanity and purse, I veered toward putting the house on the market. Thinking I should start the potentially drawn out process, I went ahead and listed. A bit to my chagrin, I used a realtor, whose time could be devoted to the sale. I did negotiate a five percent max commission, so that eased the pain of payout. Her company also had the key element of 10-plus online listing tools that I couldn’t readily access.
I prepped by cleaning the house from top to bottom, literally using a cobweb brush in every ceiling corner and scrubbing the baseboards. All the rooms had finally been filled with furniture and wall décor. I hired a lawn maintenance man to keep the grass and leaves at bay and improve curb appeal. We enlisted a professional photographer to really capture the beauty of the house. (No doubt photos sell!)
The house went on the market September 22. The first showing was booked about five minutes later, after a buyer who’d been looking for that exact style home in that exact area saw an automatic email notification come through. Okay. Prospects coming at 4 p.m. I must rush home to stage!
That I did – Swiffer floors, fluff pillows, spray room freshener, place flowers, dim ambience lighting. The kicker was the handouts presentation on the bar, complete with a Home Highlights list, personal Letter from the Owner and Duke Energy Efficiency Report. And if they needed another touch, just grab a mint from the treats bowl.
Hardwork paid off. Within 24 hours, we had an offer. And in another day, we had a signed contract. I got my asking price and made a profit after only two years of ownership. The buyers were the cutest little family to fill that home with love, growth and happiness, a young couple with a seven-month-old half-Asian baby girl. Don’t worry about anyone’s savvy here. This was the best outcome that could have been expected. One day on the market – better yet the best outcome ever.
My entire life, I have only heard horror stories about people selling houses. Take a lesson here. If you pick a wonderful home and thoughtfully take care of it, some buyer down the road will recognize that. Kind of crazy though… I thought I had months to plan my next move.