Briscoe Saga Part IV - Getting Our Home Ready to Sell

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This is Part IV of the saga of me as a Realtor buying and selling my family's personal residence, and I am sharing my thoughts because I now have actual and first hand knowledge of what my clients experience. When we put the offer on the townhouse my husband asked me, "But can you sell our house?" Remember this was Thanksgiving week, not the prime time to be selling a home. My answer was affirmative: "Of course I can sell our home; it's just whether it is at a price you would be happy with!" Any property (real estate or otherwise) will sell at a price. That's the basic fundamental premise of an auction and what E-bay has built their business model on. You can take this to the bank; I've seen it happen over and over again! So since the seller (my husband) thought his house was worth more than the Realtor did (me!), I wrote into the listing agreement that we would reduce the list price by 1% per week. Thankfully it took only 1 price reduction to generate an offer, but I was determined to find the market as quickly as possible, as paying 2 mortgages was not something I wanted to do.

As a typical family we had accumulated stuff over the 10.5 years we lived in our last home. So our biggest hurdle was the nemesis of most people: to de-clutter! Our home didn't have a basement, so all of our junk migrated northward to the attic. Goodwill hit the jackpot from our many truckloads of what had become our junk and which we were hopeful would be another man's treasure.

Next on the list was what to do to get the home ready to sell. Almost all property is in a state of deterioration, requiring ongoing maintenance/improvement. The rule of thumb I have found is that a homeowner should plan to spend/invest between 1-3% of the home's value into the maintenance/improvement of it every year. So for a million dollar home, $10,000-$30,000 per year should go into the upkeep. Everyone has been in a home where time has stood still, bearing the badge of the era. For example: it still has pink/grey bathroom tile from the 50's, shag carpeting from the 70's or that flowered heavy wallpaper look of the 90's. Fortunately we had our home on a constant improvement schedule, so after the de-cluttering we were quickly ready to enter the marketplace.

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If you find yourself in the need of some guidance from a professional Realtor, please visit our website for more information at: Or contact Karen Briscoe with the Huckaby Briscoe Group at 703-734-0192 or as we would be delighted to be of assistance.

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Briscoe Saga Part IV - Getting Our Home Ready to Sell

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This article was published on 2010/04/14