Tips for Selling Your First Home

Selling a home is a lot different than buying a home. When you’re buying, there are usually plenty of emotions involved, while selling is typically focused on maximizing the home’s profit potential. 

Get it Move-In Ready

IF at all possible, do everything you can to make your home in San Diego move-in ready before putting it on the market. Make all necessary repairs even the tiniest ones like a leaky faucet, ripped window screen, broken baseboard and loose cabinet knobs. Potential buyers are going to be looking at all the little details, inside and out. Eliminate clutter and store personal items like the kids’ art work and family photos to give them a sense of what it will be like to have their own things inside. It should be sparkling clean, so if you’re not up to the task, hire a professional as it will be worth the relatively small cost in the long run. Your home will have to be in tip-top, ready-to-show condition at all times.

Hire a Top Realtor

While you might be tempted to go FSBO, or for sale by owner, you could end up losing money in the end. The National Association of Realtors reports that over 90 percent of all FSBOs fail and sellers ultimately have to turn to a realtor anyway. If they are successful, on average, they sell for quite a bit less than a home that was sold with the assistance of a real estate agent.

Of course, hiring a top agent is key for selling your home quickly and for the best price. Try to get recommendations from friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and so on. If you’re tempted to work with the realtor who helped you buy your home, keep in mind that buyer’s agents don’t necessarily make the best seller’s agents. The best agent will have lots of experience selling homes in your area, with a proven track record and be able to offer things like a comprehensive marketing plan.

Pricing Your Home

A reputable real estate agent who sells homes frequently, ideally in your neighborhood, can help ensure that your home is priced accurately. They’ll put together what’s referred to as a comparative market analysis so that it’s not priced too low or too high. A CMA analyzes active, inactive, pending and sold listings to get the most accurate information. It will provide a lower and upper price limit – if you decide to price your home at the higher end of that range, it will likely take longer to sell, but if you aren’t in a hurry to move, that can be a good way to go, particularly during a sellers’ market. If you hope to sell as quickly as possible, you may want to choose a price at the lower end of the range as you’ll get a lot more potential buyers coming to take a look.

Be as Flexible as Possible with Showings

While there’s no doubt that having strangers come through your home on a regular basis to inspect it is rather intrusive, it’s a necessary part of the selling process. Be as flexible as you can when it comes to showings, ideally leaving the house so that agents can show your home without interference. 

Advertisements

Attempting to Be the Next Chip and Joanna Gaines By Painting Our Back Porch (Two Different Colors?!)

As we have recently have decided not to make the easy $80,000 profit from selling our house right now, the focus has instead become finding ways to make small upgrades without having to spend too much money; as our agenda is to pay off our mortgage as soon as possible.

While my parents were still in town for my wife’s birthday so we could enjoy going to the Kenny Chesney concert in Nashville without worrying about the kids back at the house, my wife suggested we run out to Lowe’s the morning after to buy supplies to stain the back porch again.

Admittedly, I had been faithful to keep it stained… up until our daughter was born over 2 years ago.

Being the thrifty Millennial parents we are, we decided to check out the “Oops” section at Lowe’s, in an attempt to keep from having to pay nearly $50 for the stain.

I had remembered from last time I stained the porch that it took one big can and one small can to do the job. Turns out, there happened to be one big can and one small can there in the “Oops” section, with labels clearly confirming they were the exact same shade.

When we got back home, my wife chose dibs on the railings, which meant I would handle the deck itself. Once she opened her small can of stain, she mentioned her surprise that the color was more of a classic red; as opposed to the more natural look I had used before.

But oh well, we spent only $17.50, as opposed to nearly $50. Not to mention, as least we would be improving the quality of our back porch; even if it meant changing the color.

My wife was already a few minutes into starting the railing before I opened my big can of stain. Then I saw it… I shouted, “Hey! Stop. Look at this…”

I showed her how my can, despite the label indicating it was the exact same shade as her small can, was actually more of a salmon color, instead of classic red stain.

After a 2 minute deliberation, we decided to just to go for the two-one, knowing that A) we will likely stain it again (all the same color) before we eventually sell our house, and B) that most people probably wouldn’t even notice the colors didn’t match anyway…

Unless I made it obvious by doing a blog post about it.

Oops!

The Crazy (Not So Crazy?) Idea to Downsize to a One Story Home in an Effort to Pay Off Our Mortgage Quicker

When our family moved into our brand-new construction home back in January 2015, we had somewhat of an idea that we were potentially getting the last great deal in our bedroom community outside of Nashville.

But we didn’t realize that would mean the value of our home would increase more than $25,000 each year following.

In our neighborhood, houses are constantly for sale, and often are sold before a “sold” sign can even be posted in the yard.

My wife has been keeping up with the growing selling prices of our neighbors’ homes. It’s no exaggeration: We would easily make $80,000 if we sold our home today.

Contrast this to a decade ago when we bought a town home the year we got married, which happened to be right in middle of the The Great Recession. The value of that town home began dropping almost immediately. When we finally sold it in 2014, we barely made $1,000 off of it.

My wife and I are mutually obsessed with paying off our mortgage as soon as possible; as we have been debt free for 5 years now: No student loans, no car payments, no interest to be paid- other than our mortgage.

Last weekend was consumed by the quest to find out it would make more sense to actually downsize to a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, one story home in our area; compared to the 4 bedroom (plus a bonus room), 2 and a half bathroom, 2 story home we have now.

Even with the cost of other homes rising in our town, the $80,000 profit from selling our current home would greatly minimize our monthly payment; which we’re already paying several hundred dollars extra on each month.

We learned that ultimately, the amount of money we owe the bank would remain the same, but with the monthly payment being several hundred dollars lower, we could increase the amount we pay on the principle by that much more. And therefore, we could pay off our home years sooner.

However, it’s still a gamble…

Because at the rate our home is increasing in value each year, this means that two years from now by 2020, our home would be worth $100,000 more than what we bought it for in January 2015.

So while we are still open to the idea of downsizing in order to have a paid off mortgage that much sooner, it might be smarter to wait a few more years as our home continues to increase in value at the rate it is.

Therefore, it looks like our plan is to be working on simple upgrades for our home in the meanwhile, so that not only we will be able to enjoy our current home that much more while we are actually living it, but so that it will also be that much enticing for future buyers.

The problem is, I’m no Chip Gaines when it comes to my handyman skills. That will prove to be the biggest challenge for now…

5 Reasons Our Townhouse Sold In Just 3 Days

5 Reasons Our Townhouse Sold In Just 3 Days

Last week I revealed that my wife and I sold our townhouse after it was on the market for just 3 days; for more than our asking price. See Dear Jack: We Sold Our Townhouse… It’s Official! Thank The Lord!

And yes, we made a profit. Today, I would like to highlight what enabled that to happen.

I have to start off with what is, for me, the most obvious part of it: God orchestrated all the events I’m about to talk about.

5 Reasons Our Townhouse Sold In Just 3 Days

#1: We prayed for the right people to find our house. More important than focusing our prayers on our house selling for our personal benefit in our time, we focused on the future buyers being blessed by finding it. That way, they would know our home was the right one once they found it. Here’s an email excerpt from the buyer of our townhouse:

“As for selling points these are the things that really sold us: Open concept, large bedrooms, more bang for your buck with a townhouse versus detached home, safe neighborhood close to entertainment and work, reasonable HOA fees. The extra half bath was also huge; huge garden tub and double vanity in the bathroom.

We looked at 2 others. One was unimpressive and we actually put in an offer on another one that was an end unit. It was a blessing in disguise that we missed out on it because this home really is so much more perfect for us.”

5 Reasons Our Townhouse Sold In Just 3 Days

#2: We had an excellent real estate agent. I have known Dave Stanley with Reliant Reality for most of the time I have lived here in Nashville, since 2005. He is assertive and calculated. He went through the process of figuring out exactly the perfect price point for our model in our neighborhood. We actually received more than our asking price for our townhouse which set a new record for that model in our neighborhood.

5 Reasons Our Townhouse Sold In Just 3 Days

#3: We had kept our house immaculately clean. I mean this as a compliment to my wife: She is obsessed with cleaning to the same degree as Monica from Friends. We don’t smoke, we don’t have pets, and we clean everything weekly. Here is another excerpt from the buyer:

“The fact that [your home] came from what looked like a good family who kept it very clean and up to date was huge. At least 50% of our decision if not more.”

5 Reasons Our Townhouse Sold In Just 3 Days

#4: We staged our home well. It went on the market in October, so we made sure we set out a pumpkin, as well as seasonal flowers, in our staged home. As for the bigger stuff, my dad and I put in a backsplash in the kitchen (seen in the picture above, where I had my smoothie station set up). Not to mention, we painted some of the rooms to bring them to life, but not that same dark red color that most people in the neighborhood used: Another email excerpt from the buyer:

“YES! I totally forgot to mention the backsplash. This was the only house we saw that had a backsplash. That really set the house apart from the rest. I can’t believe I forgot that! It’s one of my favorite features!… We [also] really liked the paint y’all had which made the transition easy.”

5 Reasons Our Townhouse Sold In Just 3 Days

#5: We were debt-free when we put the house on the market. Like most “normal” young couples, we were tens of thousands of dollars in debt for the first several years of our marriage. Thanks to following Dave Ramsey, on our 5th wedding anniversary we official paid off our final debt (as seen when I originally posted about it on my corporately sponsored blog, The Dadabase on Parents.com). That enabled us to be better prepared financially for when we found our new home. Had we not been debt-free, the time would not have been right for us to be able to afford a bigger home when we did; taking advantage of a good deal when we saw it. Additionally, we were able to put our townhouse on the market when the market was ready; not simply just when we were ready.

Hopefully our experience in selling our home in just 3 days for more than the asking price can help you. Individual results may vary.

http://wp.me/pxqBU-5jz

Dear Jack: We Sold Our Townhouse… It’s Official! Thank The Lord!

4 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack: We Sold Our Townhouse... It's Official!

Dear Jack,

The pictures you see here are not totally recent… they are from December 1st, 2014; more than 2 and a half months ago.

I’ve been hinting that we sold our townhouse. But for me, there just wasn’t closure with the story:

We were waiting on a reimbursement from taxes that we accidentally double paid, which ultimately was the profit we made from selling our townhouse.

Well, that check arrived in the mail last week; about three weeks after moving into our new home. Closure has now arrived.

I don’t want to portray this story lightly. I consider it a miracle of God that it happened the way it did:

After just 3 days on the market, our real estate agent, Dave Stanley with Reliant Realty, informed us that a nice young couple bought our townhouse from us. And we didn’t have to simply break even to sell it.

We had been praying that God would bring the right people to our townhouse. I believe God prepared them in their lives to see our townhouse when they did. (And it turns out, all the little upgrades we had been working on, like repainting the walls, and adding the backsplash, actually impressed them. They also liked our clean we kept it.)

To me, this is miraculous because it was mostly wishful thinking on our part that we would actually be able to sell it (especially for a profit) before we moved into our new house.

Dear Jack: We Sold Our Townhouse... It's Official!

I was miserably prepared to become a landlord for the next couple of years.

Instead, we don’t have to worry about it anymore!

Our townhouse was great for what we needed it for when Mommy and I first got married. It was our brand new starter home.

And now, I am so grateful to know it went to a good home.

No, wait… that doesn’t make sense. What I meant to say was, I am grateful to know that our good home went to such good new owners.

I am so happy to be where we are in life. As I’ve said it before, we worked very hard to get where we are today.

It’s not that things are just handed to Mommy and me. But every once in a while, people like us get a break.

And our townhouse selling (for a profit) in 3 days to happy new owners is definitely one of those breaks for us. Thank the Lord!

The townhouse chapter in our life is now complete. Right on time.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Our New Home Is Now Being Bricked And Insulated

3 years, 11 months.

Our New Home Is Now Being Bricked And Insulated

Dear Jack,

This past weekend our family checked in on the progress of our new house being built in a ‘bedroom community” outside of Nashville.

As you can see from these pictures, the bricks are being put into place on the front. We had no idea which color the bricks would be, but I’m happy with the selection, which is obviously matched to the bluish-gray siding we also chose.

Our New Home Is Now Being Bricked And Insulated

Our new home is also being insulated right now as well.

Our New Home Is Now Being Bricked And Insulated

And as for the piles of dirt you see in our front yard, the pipes are being installed for the sewage drain.

Something that I was particularly happy about was to see how the sidewalk is being set for the wooded area around the neighborhood.

Our New Home Is Now Being Bricked And Insulated

Just the thought of that makes me feel like I’m truly going to be a real American dad. I know that probably sounds weird, but seeing our new house built really makes me happy, as your Daddy.

I already envision that sidewalk is where I’ll be teaching you how to ride a bike.

It was also exciting to see you meet one of our future neighbors, a fellow 3 year-old boy, named Aiden.

Our New Home Is Now Being Bricked And Insulated

You guys obviously got along just great, running around the lawn of the model home and sort of sword-fighting with balloons.

While we were there, Mommy and I also signed more paperwork with our real estate agent David Stanley, as we are currently in the process of selling our current home, a townhouse in Nashville.

Our New Home Is Now Being Bricked And Insulated

As I should be, I’m not getting my hopes up too high that everything will go effortlessly and as scheduled: I’m keeping my expectations low where they should be, particularly in regards to the move out of our townhouse.

But so far, this has been a very enjoyable process.

Our New Home Is Now Being Bricked And Insulated

I can only imagine what must be going through your mind right now. It’s pretty exciting times for our family right now, but I bet that’s especially the case for a nearly 4 year-old boy!

Love,

Daddy