Every once in a while, a property is able to be marketed twice and the second attempt is for a higher amount. This stacked townhouse condo with a one car garage in Gainesville’s Parks at Piedmont South at 14443 Macon Grove Lane is one of those instances.
Originally listed on April 30, 2022 for $325,000, this condo had been tenant occupied at that time. While the seller did everything in their power to make sure the home looked fantastic by de-cluttering and cleaning, even getting the tenants a hotel room for the first weekend on market, the level of wear and tear on the carpets and walls left the buyers that had gone under contract with it feeling remorseful. At least that’s the conclusion that the seller and I came to after those buyers voided their contract over a gas fireplace not igniting that cost less than two-hundred dollars to fix. After that, the seller waited for the tenants to vacate, had the home painted and new carpet installed. They fixed the fireplace and even ordered a new refrigerator. Those improvements warranted an improved list price as the home was in move-in ready condition. On June 23rd, it hit the market again at $350,000.
No seller of mine hits the market under prepared, relying solely on conditions to get their price. They get preparation advice, light staging and professional photography. Even though professional photos had been done during the first listing period, new photos were ordered AFTER light staging to increase buyer enthusiasm on the improved offering. It is not my business practice, even in a seller’s market, to do what is easy or cheap.
Even with the mortgage interest rate increase that buyers have had to cope with, they still find themselves in a seller’s market. There is no real estate crash on the horizon, despite some buyers making offers that are trying to will it in to existence. Inventory is still not meeting buyer demand. In fact, at the time that the first offer came in on this Gainesville condo, it was the only non-age restricted condo on the market in Haymarket and Gainesville below $400K. The only competition it had was a one bedroom condo. Yet, buyers still called with low offers and one made a written offer so low it made me think their agent had made a typo.
A serious buyer whose agent was advising them of the true market conditions and not a pipe dream of a buyer’s market coming to fruition made an offer that, with mild tweaking from the seller, hit the spot. On this 4th of July holiday, my seller is celebrating that she is under contract and is on track to close before another condo fee or HOA fee is due.
The hard reality for buyers is that, while many have been priced out of the market due to the continued rise of home values and now the steep increase in mortgage interest rates, there are still many buyers out there that can afford to buy. Affordability is not the problem of a seller. Smart buyers who hire experienced agents know that. They are making deals and taking advantage of what are still, historically low mortgage interest rates.
If you are a seller looking to sell in seller market conditions, don’t listen to the doom and gloom the news feeds you day in and day out. Get in touch with me. I’m a full-time licensed agent that has been at this since 2005. I have seen market crashes and know the signs. Buyers are more deliberate now, but there are still not enough homes to meet the demand in most Northern Virginia locations. My seller consultations are free and carry no obligation. Let’s talk!
Six years ago, in a very different market when only the hottest homes sold in a matter of days, it was not at all unusual for a single family home to take one to two months to sell. Looking back at the first six months of 2015, the average days on market was forty-five. It was during this time a couple called, disappointed their home hadn’t sold after seventy days with their former listing agent.
Based on what I was seeing online, it seemed the listing agent prior had put in zero effort into advising this couple on what to do to sell. The sellers were eager for advice and did the preparation I advised. Taking it one more step, I helped them edit their rooms to make the home show perfectly and do some staging.
My favorite contrast in how I market is a comparison shot between the previous shot of the hot tub and mine.
A little effort goes a long way. Simply removing the cover of the hot tub would have made a much improved photo. Adding a little fluff just elevated it that much more. It sells the luxury of having a hot tub and invokes a feeling of relaxation and enjoyment. And this wasn’t expensive. Every staging item was purchased at the dollar store or donated by the owner for the photo. The home was under contract in eleven days…in less than half the average marketing time of that period.
Back then I was still taking my own listing photos. Now when I remove hot tub covers to actually show a hot tub (always awkward and cumbersome, but so worth it,) the professional photos look even better. Selling a home is one thing. Selling the lifestyle of a home is what gets you the highest offers the market will bear.
Professional marketing is what makes a property get bid even higher than a competing listing, even in a frenzied seller’s market. Who you hire to list your home matters just as much now as it did when the market demand was slower. It shows more in your bottom line than in marketing time these days, but still creates that buyer enthusiasm that boosts your home above the competition, or most recent sales, like a rocket.
Get in touch with me when you are considering the sale of your home and find out how my professional marketing and attention to details will make you even more money than you imagined.
The story of my listing at 15124 Santander Drive started in the summer of 2020 when the sellers consulted with me about listing their home for sale in the beginning of 2021. There was a job relocation on the horizon and they wanted to get an idea of what their home would be worth and what projects they should do between then and listing.
At the time of our first meeting, the home was in good shape, but had an unfinished basement. A list price of $599,000 would have been reasonable. Between that first meeting and hitting the market on January 22nd, the basement was finished, giving this four bedroom home, two more legal bedrooms, one more full bathroom for a total of four full bathrooms and recreation space. They also refinished the hardwood floors on the main level. We looked over comparable sales and got to $635,000 for the list price.
Opening day on the market, January 22nd, it was obvious this home was going to be more in demand than even I had anticipated. We had two open houses, one Saturday, one Sunday, and met Sunday late evening to go over the twenty-six offers the sellers had received. They quickly narrowed twenty-six offers down to four by focusing only on the offers that waived ALL contingencies. They were under contract on Tuesday with their second highest buyer of the four, when the first had expressed some doubt after being dubbed the winner.
Today, February 23rd, this home sold for $676,000….$41,000 above its list price.
If you have been waiting for the top of the market to sell your Gainesville home, this is the time. NAR (National Association of REALTORS®) anticipates prices to continue to increase this year. Of course, we will only know we have hit the top when we start the decline and see the top behind us. The great news about the ride to the top of the market, there is very limited inventory which is what is driving us to the top. By the time we are headed down, you’ll have more competition.
Get in touch with me for a free, no obligation consultation if you want to investigate the sale of your Gainesville home.