i'm not sure if i've mentioned this before, but at one point in his career, mike was a realtor. we had always kind of thought that we might try to list the house ourselves, and do a for-sale-by-owner, since we had mike's real estate background to help us. but, due to the quick timing of our move, we decided that it was probably best to go ahead and list with a realtor.
the first thing that we did was contact several realtors. we decided to talk with 3 different people - to be honest we also wanted to get an idea of listing price and must-do projects from several sources. we were very nervous about meeting with the realtors, the market was picking up but we weren't sure we'd be able to list the house for a fair price. we weren't looking to make a huge profit, but with all of the time and money we'd spent on renovating the house, we were at least hoping to walk away feeling like we were in the positive with the sale.
realtor #1 was the person who helped us buy our house. we loved working with him 6 years ago, so it made sense to talk to him as a potential listing agent. after meeting with him, we walked away a little discouraged because he felt that our house had a max price (for the neighborhood), and it was a little lower than we had hoped. but, we also wanted to be realistic about the sale price because we did not want our house to sit for too long.
realtor #2 was the person who actually listed our house when we bought it. he was a neighbor, and someone we had kept in touch over the last 6 years. he was much more optimistic about the list price, and had been having good luck with sales on our street recently. we liked the idea that he was on our street, not only because he could easily keep an eye on our house, but he also had extra motivation to push for a good price. he was very positive about our renovation too, since he had been so familiar with the "before".
realtor #3 was a person that we found online, based on her company's website. the company offered many things that others did not - tons of professional photos, floor plans, tours, and a very impressive website. the company also seemed to be selective about the listings that they take on, so we knew that having our house listed with them would set us slightly above the rest. the realtor was very thorough with her questions and presentation, but did not want to give us a suggested price until we committed to listing with her.
after carefully reviewing all of the information and suggestions that the realtors provided, we decided to go with our neighbor, realtor #2. we were hopeful that his streak of recent sales on our street would continue with our house. we also liked that he was so familiar with our "before" house, since he would be able to thoroughly describe all of the changes that we had made to the house over the last 6 years, to hopefully justify the price.
after we finished up our remaining projects, the realtor had his photographer come over to take the listing photos. since our timing was so tight, we decided to wait to formally list the house until a few days before we moved out, with no showings until after we left. we figured that showing the house full of half packed boxes probably wasn't ideal :) we packed up most of our belongings (except for staging decor and all of our furniture), super cleaned, and left on a friday. our first open house was scheduled for sunday. we wanted to leave the house staged, plus it didn't make sense to pay to keep our furniture in storage when we could just "store" it at the house.
our first open house had over 30 visitors, and the feedback was all positive. the realtor also had an agent open house the following tuesday, and again had a great crowd and great feedback. we had 5 or 6 showing requests in the week that followed, and we were feeling pretty good. at the beginning of week two, a few couples even came back for second showings. we were in the "top 3" on one couple's list. we also started to hear our first negative feedback - the yard was too small and needed some work, and the price was "a little high", but in general everyone was still saying good things.
and then we had about a week or so with nothing - no showing requests, no calls. not that concerning really, but we wanted to keep the momentum up, so the saturday morning about 2.5 weeks after we originally listed, we dropped the price by $4k. just as we hit "send" on the formal price drop email, we received a showing request, go figure. that couple toured the house that afternoon, and that evening we received a phone call from our realtor saying that the couple was preparing an offer!!
we received their offer the next day, and after some negotiations, we were in contract. ahhh!!!
while we were obviously hoping that our house would sell quickly, i don't think that either one of us actually thought we'd be in contract in less than 3 weeks. the new owners apparently really liked our kitchen and bathroom remodel, and the fact that the house still had all of it's original stained woodwork, stained glass windows, and character.
we hope that they love the house as much as we do.