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Monday, January 19, 2015

We Sold Our House, Ya'll!

Happy new week, friends, I hope you had fabulous weekends! I'd like to say ours was productive, but we got swept up in celebrating, and never managed to do any painting or packing. You see, as of Friday, we were no longer the owners of two houses! Just 16 days after listing our house for sale, we signed the closing papers, handing our sweet house over to her new owners. And what's even crazier, is we had 18 offers over a three day period!

Hi Sugarplum | How To Sell Your House Fast

We knew we were taking a big risk buying the other house before listing this one, but we didn't want to chance losing the new house, nor completely hijack the holidays by trying to sell and move. Our market is really hot right now, and the schools in our neighborhood are exemplary, so we hoped we would have only a few months of overlap. But never did we dream it would happen this fast!

Hi Sugarplum | How To Sell Your House Fast

I think it was a combination of a really great realtor, hard work, a hot market, and luck! We've been updating this house for the past 10 years, but worked especially hard in the week leading up to listing it. And while having a fully-updated Kitchen and Bathroom were huge in it's appeal, the little things made a big difference too. They aren't rocket science, but I thought I'd share them in case you're thinking of selling soon.

Hi Sugarplum | How To Sell Your House Fast

The attraction to a house starts the moment a buyer pulls up to the curb. Before they even walk through the front door, they've already judged it, or even made up their mind. The saying, 'You never get a second chance to make a first impression' is especially true when selling your house.

So we paid special attention to the outside, first by adding shutters to accent the large windows. These are just stained cedar boards, nailed together, and attached to the brick. It took only a few hours and cost about $100 for three windows, but makes our house really stand out from others around us.

Hi Sugarplum | How To Sell Your House Fast

We had all the trees and shrubs trimmed, so they looked tidy and didn't rub against the house. The plant selection is slim this time of year, but we still added fresh color to pots by the front door, and put new cedar mulch (don't use the stinky kind) in all the front and backyard beds. We also raked up all the leaves in the yard, and swept the porch and sidewalk clean. Windows were washed, paint touched-up, and gutters and eaves cleaned, too.

Hi Sugarplum | How To Sell Your House Fast

We paid the same attention to the inside, without making any major updates. Our Master Bath never received a full makeover, but it was transformed with new faucets and mats. And fresh caulking around the tub, vanities and shower made the space feel brand new. 

We also swapped out the remaining dated light fixtures and ceiling fans in the house for newer, yet basic and inexpensive ones. I can't tell you how many times Mr. SP and I looked at each other, and wondered aloud what took us so long to do this stuff!?

Hi Sugarplum | How To Sell Your House Fast

Some of the other things we did that our realtor insists made a difference:

* Deep clean the entire house so it shines, including windows, carpets and blinds. Organize closets and drawers because potential buyers are snoopers! Make your house look so good, you'll wonder why you want to sell it.

* Touch-up all baseboards and moldings, and putty and paint any wall dings. We also repainted areas that were showing wear, like the inside front doors, and hallway outside the kids' rooms.

* Our Laundry Room was the only place where the original honey oak cabinets and brass pulls remained, so they got a quick coat of white paint and new chrome knobs. We also swapped out the nails holding up the brooms and mops for an actual rack, so you could see all the uses for the space.

* Stage the house like a model home, so it's obvious people live there, but there are no indicators of the human side of real life...like toothbrushes by the sink, soap bar in the bathtub, or dirty dishes in the sink. People want to envision themselves living there, not picture strangers spitting toothpaste in their future sink, and shaving in their tub.

* Remove evidence of pets...we packed away Maggie's toys, and took her food, bowls and bed with us during the showings. You don't want to put-off someone who might not happen to be a dog person. But then again, do you really want to sell your house to non-dog people?! ;)

* Make sure all lamps and overhead lights have working lightbulbs. Agents like to turn on every light in the house, so you want them working. Little things like burned-out lights make a buyer wonder what else you don't take care of or might have overlooked.

* Pack up the clutter...no piles of papers, or overflowing baskets of toys and stuffed animals. Stash the TV remotes in a basket, fold throw blankets over the back of chairs, and limit the family photos. Basically pose your house to look like the perfect, unrealistic family lives there.

* Make your house available for showings, so as many people as possible can see it. One of the fortunate things about listing during the holiday weekend...after prepping the house, we then packed up the kids and dog, and left for three days. Our agent was able to approve showings at any time, and host an Open House, without having to clear it with us, or wait for us to clean up each time. Obviously this isn't always possible, but opening weekend is typically the busiest for a new listing, so we wanted to take advantage.

Perhaps the smartest thing we did, was choose a great agent! Ours happens to live next door and be a good friend, but I also knew her to be very well-respected and savvy in the field. She had professional photos made for the listing, promoted our house through all the sales sites and social media, and created excitement with 'Coming Soon' signs and online posts.

She was also well-studied on the comps in our area, and priced our house so fairly, that she created a stampede of offers, and it sold in a bidding war 15% over asking price! (Yes, I'm happy to share her info for you Dallas-area peeps...just shoot me an email!) We were anxious about the process, but she guided us through with so much knowledge and patience.

Hi Sugarplum | How To Sell Your House Fast

So now we are tenants in the home where we shared 10 years of love and memories...and that's a little weird, and a lot sad...but we're also excited for the next chapter. And just so grateful that the process went so smoothly. Hearing about the offers pouring in that first weekend in January, was the final confirmation that we had made the right choice. And speaking of choices...I posted our new Kitchen tile selection on InstaGram and Facebook this weekend, did you see?!

Do you have any great tips or success stories about selling a home?

41 comments:

  1. Wow, 18 days? Awesome. So great everything fell into place for you. Definitely a sign that this was the right move. Congratulations!

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    1. thank you, thank you!!! We definitely got lucky!

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  2. It's AMAZING what a difference those shutters make!!!!!!!! Congrats friend! So happy for you!

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  3. Those shutters are fab! Can't wait to see you transform the new house!

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  4. Congratulations! I knew with 18 offers, you'd be signing papers soon! When we sold our house two years ago, we rented a PODS storage cube and loaded up tons of "extra" furniture to clear out some rooms and make them appear larger. We just kept the bare minimum. Like I told you, our house looked it's absolute best when it was on the market. It seems like a lot of work, but it always pays off.

    I love, LOVE your new tile! Gorgeous!

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  5. Congrats! It's such a great time to sell, and I'm so glad it happened quickly for you.

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  6. Congrats you guys! So glad it worked out the way it did, and your home sold so fast. That my dear was certainly a God thing!!

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  7. So exciting how everything worked out for you! Your home is gorgeous and you obviously did all the little things right to attract buyers.

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    1. Thank you Claire...it's nice when hard work pays off!!

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  8. Congratulations! You've got me thinking the key to getting all those little jobs and finishing touches done round here is to imagine that we are putting our house on the market next week!

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    1. I have no idea why we wait...the changes are so simple and easy, yet make such a huge impact! I wish we'd done it sooner!

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  9. Congrats, girl. You're house was picture perfect to begin with so I am sure doing all those extra touches put it over the edge. I'm sure its a bundle of emotions. The stars are aligned right now!!!

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  10. Oh good! I'm so happy for you! All those are great tips!

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  11. I am insanely jealous. 3 years ago, we put our house in Houston up for sale. It took 6 months before we got a single offer, and we had to sell it for less than I paid for it (and i lived there for 10 years!). We walked away with only $5,000. It just so happened people in my neighborhood all lost their jobs, etc when my husband was promoted (and we relocated to Philly) so of the 15 homes for sale in the 'hood, only ours and 1 other weren't a foreclosure or short sale. :( It absolutely sucked, and made buying a new home (which we did just a few months ago) difficult since 10 years of equity (even the down payment money!) was gone, gone, gone.

    Congrats to you and your family, though! I can't wait to see what you do with the new place!

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    1. Oh man, I'm so sorry to hear that, Stacey! We certainly lucked out with a good market and desirable neighborhood!! I hope you're happy in your new house though, and all that is forgotten!! xo

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  12. I go to China for three weeks and you move! Congrats friend!!!

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  13. Congrats! I am so happy for ya'll! I am sure that's a huge relief! I can't wait to see what you do with the new place and to see your completed backsplash with that gorgeous tile!

    www.designbyrobinsnest.blogspot.com

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  14. 18 offers in 3 days? That's a true blessing. The whole thing was meant to be :) Thanks for the awesome tips. Happy Monday & Congratulations, Cassie :)
    http://www.lovecompassionatelee.com/thinkoutloud/2015/1/19/11915

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  15. Wow that is so great! We've had our house on the market since July and not a single offer. Homes in our price range in our area just aren't moving right now, even though we've done everything "right". Blah. Showings have picked up lately, though, so I have hope!

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    1. We certainly got lucky....I'll be praying for you guys! All you need is that one person who has to have your house!!!

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  16. Congratulations Cassie!! Looking forward to following along with you as you enter this new exciting chapter. So happy for you!

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  17. Congratulations. This is really great news. So happy for you and your family.

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  18. So excited it all worked out for you guys! Totally meant to be. I know you will be thrilled to have all the work done and settle into your new space.

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  19. Congrats! So excited to watch the next transformation!!!

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  20. YEH! So happy for you all! What a relief to not have two house payments! Congrats! We know we will be moving in a couple of years so your tips will be saved for future use for sure :)

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  21. Congrats!! I remember when my parents sold there house it was like the biggest weight had been lifted off their shoulders!


    http://cashmereandclass.blogspot.com/

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  22. You made me tired reading all of those improvements! It's crazy how we make our houses perfect just as we're turning them over to new owners!! Congrats!!

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  23. That's awesome Cassie!! Selling a house is so very stressful, so I'm glad the process went quickly for y'all. A few years ago we had put our old house on the market when the market was slow, and it stayed there for a year. We had to always have the house in shape to show at a moment's notice and it was stressful and draining. We took a break and when we re-listed a bit later it sold in two weeks. So nice!!!

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    1. That had to have been scary! I can't imagine what we'd have done if we'd had two mortgage payments for awhile! Thrilled it finally worked out for you guys though!!

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  24. Wow it looks amazing! I would love the name of your realtor, we are unfortunately on the other side of the 18 offer war in Dallas and it seems like every property listed has a ton of offers immediately and sell just as fast... so frustrating!

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    1. Hi Katherine -- I'm happy to share my realtor with you...just shoot me an email and I'll give you her contact info. Best of luck on your house sell!

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  25. Please post a DIY for the shutters! I need to do this for my house! :)

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  26. Congrats, and I know this is a random question,but do you happen to know the roof shingle color on this house? We have a house with a similar brick color, and are trying to decide what shingle color to go with.

    Thanks!

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    1. Hi Jessica -- I'm not sure of an exact color name...it was a charcoal gray...does that help!?!?

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    2. a little, thanks for trying! We picked a grey color for ours, so lets hope it is close! :) Good luck getting your new place like you want it. I love all of the pictures so far!

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  27. As a Realtor in the Phoenix area I was a little nervous to click on this post. Sometimes I see people give useless or bad advice on how to sell a home. Your article, however, was spot on! It's everything I tell my clients. I wish all clients prepared as well you as you did to sell your house including knowing your agent's history/marketing techniques. Congrats!

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Your comments are like popcorn with milk duds, I just can't quit them. Thanks for taking the time to share your positive thoughts! xoxo, cass

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