It all happened so quickly, our heads are still spinning. From the time we listed our home, Stagg Reno, to the day we reviewed offers (we got 10!), it was four days total. Utah’s blazing hot real estate market certainly had a lot to do with how quickly our home sold, but we also feel like we did a lot of things right. Today I’m breaking down what we did to get our home ready to sell, and what we did to make the process as seamless– and painless– as possible. I’m also sharing the photos from our real estate listing!
I wouldn’t say we have a lot of clutter normally and our home is typically styled just as I style any client’s home. That said, everyday items from living happen (kids artwork, notes, random home items, etc). I was surprised how much our agent, Kristi, suggested we clear out. We went thru every room, drawer, and closet and packed up box after box. We staged the closets at about 2/3 capacity, and made sure they were organized and things were pretty and pressed. Even the coat closet got cleared out and staged.
I didn’t think people would bother to open many drawers and cabinets, but you guys, they did! (I know because I stalked our security cameras during showings as a normal homeowner does– ha!). We packed away a lot of toys, cleaned the junk drawer, packed away a lot of clothes and coats, etc. and I think it made a big difference.
All appliances, every nook and cranny, baseboards, light fixtures, the whole shabang, on top of what we do weekly for cleaning. We had our painter come through and touch up any minor knicks and scuffs. We wanted every space to feel fresh and immaculate.
It sure helped a lot that we had beautifully documented our home as we finished spaces and had a lot of photos to choose from, but Kristi suggested we still have a real estate photographer come in. I’ll be honest, I kind of turned up my nose to the idea at first. Interiors photographers and real estate photographers have a very different style. Real estate photos use a wider lens, they are higher contrast, less light and airy, and they look a little more graphic to me. But, we trust Kristi completely and went with it. It was about $500 for the real estate photos plus a video tour set to music produced for the listing. He did a great job, turned them around quickly, and together with the photos we already had, our home was really beautifully documented for the listing and the handout.
And that brings me to the next thing we did….
This was a standard size front and back paper with the cool facts and features that didn’t really work for the listing itself. Things like smart home features, appliance details, where the home had been featured, the extent of the renovation, etc. The front had a collection of pretty photos, the address, asking price, and agent contact info.
We only wanted serious buyers walking through our home. When we announced we were selling on social media, we had a lot of curiosity and requests to walk through. I totally understand! So many people had watched our home come to life through the years! But it’s a really personal thing having strangers come through your home, and we wanted to limit that to those actually interested in living there.
This is possibly the most brilliant thing we’ve ever done when listing a home. It really just worked out that way– we listed the week of spring break, and already had plans to go to Las Vegas. We listed our home on the Wednesday we headed out of town, and showings started 30 minutes after the listing went live. We stopped showings on Sunday evening, and came home to an empty house. One of the most painful parts of listing your home is leaving every time it’s shown, making sure it’s perfectly clean constantly, and so on. The hot real estate market helped make this possible because homes are selling so quickly, but it really was a dream.
Between Wednesday to Sunday, we had over thirty showings and received ten offers. Buyers had written us letters with family photos, telling us why they wanted to live in our home. It was gut-wrenching and we feel so grateful we had a stand out offer that helped us not have to decide between all of these wonderful people. One buyer made us an offer we couldn’t refuse. It was cash, significantly over asking (and every other offer), and they gave us a 75 day lease back option, free of charge. Both our agent and the buyer’s agent said they had never seen an offer like this in all of their years of real estate. I mean, we never could have imagined when we bought Stagg Reno in its sad, lonely, vacant, outdated state that in six years and a massive renovation this would have been our exit purchase.
There are sellers who think you can stick anything on the market right now, ask top dollar, and buyers are so desperate they’ll get it. I’ve watched it backfire recently on a few homes not far from Stagg Reno and they sit on the market and buyers get turned off, thinking something must be wrong then steer clear.
Here’s what I think made our home sell so quickly, and at top dollar:
Every single thing was finished, and finished really well. From the moment buyers walked in, there wasn’t a single space unfinished, un-styled, un-anything. Our landscaping is beautifully finished and the outdoors sold the home as much as the indoors. Because of that, there wasn’t anything buyers could look for to go below asking.
Our asking price wasn’t at the very top of the market. We (Jon, Kristi, and I) went back and forth on the best strategy for asking price. We decided to ask a price we felt was really fair, and I think this worked in our favor. Our home became a “hot house” immediately because it wasn’t over the top in pricing, and wasn’t too low that buyers were suspicious. We knew after the very first showing it would receive multiple offers, and buyers did too so they brought their very best offer to the table. It honestly was really hard for me to think about everyone who was making these really incredible offers, desperately wanted our home, and didn’t get it. The market is so brutal right now. We really feel for anyone house hunting.
We were accommodating, made the process seamless, and didn’t try to create a bidding war. Buying in this market is kind of the worst, so we were straightforward, said yes to every showing time, and really did our best to show buyers respect.
Because it was a cash offer, it closed within a week, which is nuts! We are staying in our home until the end of June, then we’ll be renting nearby while we launch into our new renovation. It will be a sad day when we turn over the keys to the new owners. We love this home so darn much.
Our new adventure is almost ready to begin, and we’re taking you along for it all. We still have a lot of content from Stagg Reno to share. It’s going to be a great summer– we can’t wait!