Windermere Professional Partners

Every Little Detail Matters When Preparing Your Home to Sell (Yes, Even in Today’s Hot Market!)

Professional Headshot of Sharon Chambers-Gordon June 25, 2021

In March of 2021, REALTOR® Sharon Chambers-Gordon worked with her seller clients to sell their gorgeous 5-bedroom, 2.5-bath home in Fircrest. They had lived in this home for 31 years and were ready to downsize. Sharon listed the home for $675,000, and just days later the home sold for $750,000—a whopping $75,000 over asking price!

This home in Fircrest is really something special, and the sellers put years of work into the home. When they were ready to sell, they hired Sharon to help them position their home to sell for the most money possible. Join us for a behind-the-scenes look at exactly how Sharon made sure this Fircrest home sold for top dollar!

For most people, their home is their most significant financial investment. This means when it’s time to sell, you want to make sure to maximize on that investment and sell your home for the most money possible (and with the least amount of stress possible!).

In Pierce County’s current real estate market, homes are selling quickly and bidding wars have become the norm. It might seem like anyone can sell a home these days, but believe it or not, we’ve seen homes sit on the market and fail to sell. Thoroughly preparing your home, making sure your home is marketed and shown in the best light possible, and selecting a strategic listing price are just a few of the things you’ll need to do in order to make the most of your investment. An experienced, knowledgeable real estate agent will be able to guide you through each nuanced step.

A Brief Backstory

Sharon had been acquainted with these particular sellers for a while, and they reached out to Sharon in October 2020. They shared that they had seen Sharon’s social media posts, and they knew they could benefit from her real estate knowledge and experience!

The sellers were ready to downsize to a one-level house, and they didn’t want to leave the Fircrest community. They were able to purchase their new home before selling their 5-bedroom, 2.5-bath home, which was very helpful—it’s nearly impossible to buy a home with contingencies these days, and this allowed them to comfortably move out of their home during the preparation and listing process.

A Magical Walk-Through

When Sharon first visited the Fircrest home, it was one of the happiest walk-throughs she’s ever done. The owners had been loving on the house for 31 years, and it showed. They had put a great deal of sweat equity into the home along with hiring professionals to make upgrades along the way. Not only had the owners taken the kitchen and upstairs bathroom both down to the studs to do complete remodels, but they also updated some of the electrical, and had a new furnace and water heater installed.

The owners had also added immense value to the property by building a detached garage in 2010 that matched the style of the 1925-built house, and the garage even included an upstairs loft with a lift that could help move hundreds of pounds up and down for an easy storage option. They also had 2 outbuildings built, one of which is a cute little log cabin! Things were just absolutely dialed in a move-in ready.

Even though things were in pristine condition, Sharon was able to make some recommendations as to what could help the home appeal to buyers even more. Sharon recommended some dark paint color be replaced with lighter paint to brighten up one of the spaces, and she also recommended some of the carpet be replaced so it had a totally fresh feel. They also had their banister wood refinished. The sellers took all of Sharon’s suggestions to really enhance each space and make sure every little detail was addressed.

Then it was time to really take things to the next level. Sharon provided recommendations for professionals to come in and clean the windows, clean the carpets, and more. If you need a recommendation for a local contractor or service person, Sharon has a list of people who she has either hired or had recommended to her by colleagues. She’s happy to share her recs with you!

After everything was shining like new, it was time to stage the home. The sellers were a bit apprehensive about having people move a bunch of furniture into their house—they were understandably concerned their newly painted walls and refreshed floors might get scratched or damaged along the way. However, Sharon assured them that the stagers she worked with are totally accustomed to moving things in carefully, putting down padding to make sure not to scratch floors, etc. Plus, staging a home is a key part of marketing the home. Sure, in this market, Sharon knew that this home would sell. But she also knew that beautiful staging would add to how people would see the home, in turn increasing its final sale price. Sharon’s sellers agreed to follow Sharon’s advice, and the staging really helped to showcase each of the home’s impeccably upgraded and lovingly maintained spaces.

Executing a Robust Marketing Strategy

Sharon then had professional photos taken of the home, and she also had a video tour created. She created flyers to help showcase the home’s features, she made sure to share the listing with all of her colleagues, and her clients helped promote the home as well. Sharon also created a blog post that shared an in-depth tour of the home, and she shared photos and video on her Facebook and Instagram accounts.

The home went live on a Thursday, and Sharon noted in the listing remarks that Monday was the offer review date. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there were no open houses allowed, but there ended up being 54 separate showings. Unsurprisingly, there was a great deal of interest and ultimately they received 4 offers. (Once it became a multiple offer situation, some potential buyers decided not to compete.)

Choosing the Best Offer

Once Sharon had all of the offers, she prepared a spreadsheet and organized the offers using different categories including offer price, closing date, increased down payment addendums, seller requests, etc. Sharon wants to make sure she really breaks down all of the numbers and terms for her sellers so they can better weigh their options.

They ended up with 2 very similar offers, but one ended up standing out due to its higher earnest money, the fact that $10,000 of the earnest money would be released to the sellers once it was received by escrow, $50,000 in case of a low appraisal, and its quick closing date. And, of course, the offering purchase price was attractive at $750,000, which was $75,000 over the list price.

Only after the sellers chose the winning offer, Sharon told them that the buyers with the offer they chose cried when they saw the house in person. In addition to many, many things they absolutely loved about the home, the buyer did woodworking and one of the outbuildings was going to be just perfect for projects!

Then, it was time for the appraisal. Sharon made sure to provide all of the offers and comparables for the appraiser, and she made sure the appraiser had the documents when they arrived at the home. The home appraised for $715,000, and thanks to the appraisal terms in the accepted offer, the transaction was able to continue on smoothly. And due to the fact that Sharon made sure her sellers had their furnace serviced, their water heater serviced, etc. prior to listing, everything proceeded to closing date without a hitch!

When Sharon’s sellers bought this house 31 years ago, the previous owners handed them the key at the front door, so they wanted to do this with their new buyers!

Here is the testimonial that Sharon’s seller clients wrote for her:

"Sharon was a true professional from the first point of contact. She was always available via text or phone and more often than not initiated contact. She has a keen understanding of the local market and current market conditions. Sharon is a good listener, but willing to speak up to provide her opinions when necessary. She had a strong marketing plan built around our schedule to prepare the house for sale. She was in constant contact to check on our progress and to provide suggested third party resources when needed. She is a very strong advocate for her clients and stands her ground when needed with other brokers or prospective buyers, but always in a respectful way. Sharon has a great disposition for a broker, strong; calm; a great sense or humor; and a warm inviting smile. I think the best testimonial that we can give is that we have already recommended Sharon to friends and family (and will continue to do so) and we would use her again in a heartbeat should the situation arise!" - Richard & Sue Little

Do you have a question about selling your home? REALTOR® Sharon Chambers-Gordon is happy to help! You can reach out to Sharon via email at scgordon@windermere.com, call/text her at (253) 970-4049, or contact her here.

You can also follow Sharon on Facebook and Instagram.