We’ve been taking a look at the trajectory of selling a long-time family home located in a classic Seattle neighborhood. From pondering the possibilities to making the decision to sell to planning the details to signing the closing papers, it’s all about the unfolding path.
Sitting around the cozy table again with Barb and Stan, another fresh pot of coffee ready to go, we began exploring all that may be required to prepare their home for market. Everything we discuss is generally optional, but to show their lovely home in the best light for the broadest numbers of homebuyers, and to reach for the highest price, the pros and cons get thoroughly reviewed.
From the homeowners’ perspectives, here are some highlights we tossed around together:
- Our new home may not be available for 6 months or we could get a call next week. How do we ready a plan for what we don’t yet know?
- Are there move management companies that can assist in sorting, discarding, packing, storing and ultimately moving wanted items from the family home to the next residence?
- Will the children want to have any furniture or other items, and what would the costs be to have those pieces shipped?
- The enthusiastic desire for (almost all) new things in their next home prompted an exploration into reputable estate sale professionals.
- How should we be communicating our plan to sell with our tenants (and friends) in the lower-level apartment?
- We’re planning to paint the home’s exterior, but should we also paint the interior? If so, which rooms and what color scheme?
- What about the wallpaper…should it come off? Can we keep the upstairs carpet?
- We’ve been wanting to renovate the half-bath, but is it necessary now?
- The old boiler started leaking. Should we repair it or replace it?
- Is it okay to live here while on the market or should we consider vacating all together?
- Do people sell homes that are empty of furniture or is staging still expected in a down-turn? How much does staging cost? Will we recover the cost in the sale price?
- What are other homes going for in the neighborhood? Are they still getting full price offers?
- We assume we’ll need to enter into an agreement with you at some point? What documents do you need from us – and when – to move forward?
Over time, many paths have been explored with Stan and Barb, but it was the journey down those paths that led to more and more clarity. Some paths were dead-ends, some veered off in surprise directions while others were simply non-starters. The main driving factor has always been that more information will understandably inform the journey. If we don’t at least ponder the pathway laid before us, we’ll never take the first step.
Barb and Stan have shown tremendous willingness, enthusiasm, curiosity and courage as these questions – and so many more – offered all sorts of avenues to research, probe and test. As their real estate broker, I provided them with tangible resources while being a sounding board for ideas and possibilities.
Mostly, I listened, offered expert guidance and wrote-up short task lists for each of us so that lingering questions could get answers. Following our visits, I also allowed them plenty of space for everything to sink in with time to gather up new information. It’s what any excellent, caring real estate broker would do because every client – seller or buyer – must be able to come to their own decisions every step of the way.
MARK JACOBS, REALTOR®