Progress on the Homefront

I’m super excited to say that, as of today, my house is officially on the market!

In hindsight, Friday the 13th may not have been the best day to pick. The Realtor had mistakenly said it was the 14th, so I didn’t make the connection until later. But honestly, I’m not much of a superstitious person, so I’m not going to let the date slow things down! I’m ready to get this house sold!

I ended up signing with Realtor #3, who I met with last Thursday. This will officially be his first listing, so he’s working very closely with his mentor. Actually, their company has a team of people who work on every deal, including the Agent, a person who handles all the paperwork (from loans to titles), and a media person, who does everything from photographing the home for listings to creating a YouTube video. I was really impressed with how tech-savvy their company is. It’s a little weird to think that people all over the world can take a virtual tour of my home. But hey, you gotta keep up with the times!

I was also impressed with the amount of information they were able to provide me when we met. The last two Realtors I met with seemed to be at a complete loss as far as what to do with my little 1 bedroom home. These agents came prepared. Turns out, there are 6 two bedroom, one bath homes, with no basement, currently on the market in my area. Square footage wise, I’m in the same ballpark; There’s every indication my home used to be two bedrooms, but one bedroom was removed to create a much larger living room. No doubt, that’s a negative when it comes to selling. But my house has more than twice the land of any other listing. And my house has been extensively updated, which definitely adds to the value.

The listing price of those other six homes ranged from $54,900 to $84,900, with most of them being on the higher end. Since home prices are set by comparison, this was great news for me! The mentoring agent felt that listing the house between $59,900 and $65,000 would be our best bet, and starting below $63,000 would probably garner more interest. That was music to Bryan’s ears; For some reason he’s been stuck on the idea that we should list at $62,500. So that ended being exactly what we did.

Another reason for setting the price at $62,500 came from planning ahead for the possibility that the house may not sell. The agents informed me that, at this time, houses in my area are on the market an average of 90 days. There are general guidelines that help them decide if the house is appropriately priced. If a house is on the market for two weeks with no showings, the listing price is too high. Also, if a house has ten or more showings, but no offers or second showings, then the house is probably priced too high. Their preference is to review the listing price every 30 days, and decrease the price in $5,000 increments if activity on the house indicates it is priced too high. That shocked me a little bit; $5,000 is a lot on a $62,500 listing! Of course, that number/time frame isn’t set in stone. We can choose to hold off on lowering the price, or lower it by a different amount. With $48,500 still owed on the mortgage, I can afford to take two $5,000 price decreases, if necessary, before I end up owing to sell the home (when calculating in commissions and other possible costs of selling).

Of course, my hope is that the house will sell quickly, and I won’t need to worry about price decreases. But I love that they prepared me for all possibilities, and let me know what I could expect if things take a little longer. They also warned me that they’re seeing a lot of buyers “testing the market” right now, and I shouldn’t be surprised if the first offer I get on the house is a complete low-ball. Someone putting in an offer of $49,900 is no indication of what the buyer is willing/able to pay for the house, but rather them testing to see how little I’m willing to accept. They recommended that I always make a counter-offer. The deal may fall through anyways, but at least then I will have attempted to find a middle ground.

I’m definitely nervous to see how this plays out. But I’m also super excited. I felt so much relief the instant we set a date and signed the papers. Everything we planned to do on the house is done. After such a long time, it feels so good to finally be moving on to the next step. Getting rid of the house will be one less financial burden, and many fewer worries and stressors. I’m looking forward to being able to focus our attention on other things.

And now we wait to see what happens!

– Cindy W.

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