OK, house is going on the market on Thursday, just as I take our two dogs on a long road trip (good thinking, perhaps) - leaving my husband to fend with getting everything perfect for the Open House on Sunday! Somehow my account got messed up, so I figured since I was moving to Florida from Northern Virginia, I would just go ahead and change my user id. We have killed ourselves getting the house ready, and as soon as I get the MLS number, I'll post it. We're pricing to sell, and it's a bit depressing to have a larger, updated house on the market as smaller, un-updated houses - BUT, the goal is to sell, and we'll have to see how it goes. Houses have been moving here, and its a good neighborhood that is great for families, so let's see if Murphy can just take a vacation for a little bit of time... I'm making the list for my husband of things he can do after I leave! We've given away about 1/3 of our stuff, put another 1/2 in a Pod (was picked up on Monday), and the rest has been spread throughout the whole house. Gave away a bed, and then remembered we had another bedroom to stage - so we had to deal with that (this has happened alot). Our house is pretty large, but it's so much more empty now that it echos. I lost the "my home" feeling when I lost all my "stuff"... I can't WAIT to move!!! Florida - here we come!!!
First of all, Deb, WELCOME to the Real Estate Boards! Sounds like you have been working hard and can use some back-up to bolster your spirits! Well, you've found it here!
Let us know the MLS number as soon as you get it BUT, most importantly, know that you aren't alone! Hope it sells fast and for the best possible price but, even more importantly, hope you sell with confidence, dogs are happy and your DH handles things for at least a few days!
PS. Have it on firm authority that Murphy is otherwise occupied so all looks good - post back when you have a chance!
ETA: Taking a wild shot here but is this you, Debid? If so, no worries - Wayne plans on attending the open house - says no one can resist him so it will sell over-night! This message has been edited. Last edited by: Idaho Resident,
Yes - it is Debid..... and here is the MLS number: FX7838798. We've had one showing today (that I know of), and another scheduled for tomorrow. Murphy snuck back in this morning, and I poured fingernail polish all over the white table cloth that I had on the kitchen table. First, it was handmade from one of my trips, and really a favorite of mine, but mostly, I was just trying to get the dogs out the door and in the car..... There is one photo that I really don't like of one of the bedrooms (you WILL be able to tell which bed is the fake bed), but the other photos are okay. I would have put more of the backyard, because I think that will be what sells the house.... My husband is now left with the instructions to not mess up anything for the next 3 weeks while I'm traveling around the South and then heading to Florida.... I think I'm most excited because I actually CAN'T do anything more with the house since I'm not there. I think that's a good thing.......
Debi - I checked out your listing and it looks great! I can see how hard you must have been working to get it ready - GREAT JOB!
Your agent has done an excellent job with the written description; the house itself looks wonderful - wow, you really did get it de-cluttered! - and the photographs, for the most part, are pretty good. I'm with you on maybe having a few more of the yard since, in your case, it is absolutely gorgeous and a great selling point!
Given the size of the house, it's likely a family will be buying so I checked out the schools - great for the ES and MS (both nines) but high school is only a seven but that's still not bad. Kudos to you for doing such a good job....
Hope it sells soon - keep us up-dated!
The house is pretty great - and Fairfax county schools are about the best in the country, so the neighborhood is highly sought after. We have a strong HOA, but I have to say, it's a great one because the houses are really kept up well, and the board works hard to be fair and keep things attractive (we've gone to several "working sessions" and it's impressive the time people put into it....). We've had 7 showings since it went on the market Thursday afternoon, and some have said offers are coming - we'll see, right??? And if the offers come in, will they be good ones.... The Open House is Sunday as well, so we'll see what happens through the weekend.. I'm just glad I don't have to obsess about keeping everything perfect . Of course, my husband does.....
That's terrific, Deb! Beautiful home and nicely staged. Congratulations! It's obvious how hard you worked and sounds as if you'll be rewarded. BTW, your listing price appears appropriate.
Only looked at your listing quickly but had a couple of thoughts. I'll go ahead and post them. They might help someone else in cyberspace or be interesting to you, if the expected offers don't materialize. (Sorry to even post that, Deb - you s/b very positive at this point.)
I may be wrong but it appears your listing's s.f. figure includes the finished basement. Obviously, the appraisal will value the basement separately. IME, realtors usually follow their local practice WRT basement s.f. when publishing their listings. Your realtor did appropriately disclose the basement s.f. but it's definitely in the fine print.
Given the age and price range of your development (built in '89, IIRC), I'd expect most of the homeowners have finished basements. (I'm assuming the builders probably didn't finish them but homeowners completed them over the years.) When I took a very quick look at your closest competitors, it appeared they didn't include their basement s.f. in the overall total.
My concern would be a letdown if/when potential buyers tour your home, expecting above-ground s.f. and instead discover your basement. It might be something to review with your realtor. Obviously, I could be wrong but it jumped out at me.
Noticed your realtor follows the practice of listing every (or almost every) one of the home's features. Not my favorite method - it reminds me of a lengthy resume that hiring mgrs don't read. Most people, IME, check out the pictures and lack the time to peruse the details.
If this were my home or client, I'd lead the description with the commute times and options. If I had to guess, I'd say you're probably 30-45 minutes from the Mall, w/o traffic. That may be your biggest selling point and would speak to your most likely buyer, IMHO. I'd place that front and center.
WRT the pictures, agree that the backyard s/b included. (The buyer assumes a negative for major pix omitted.) Besides that, I'd probably include at least a couple of photos of your community's amenities.
In addition, to highlight the au pair space/basement, I'd probably include a photo of the separate entrance and follow that one (in the order posted online) with the au pair/basement pix.
Your kitchen's terrific but it's a little hard to see the eat-in area. I suggest 1 additional photo to highlight that and emphasize your kitchen's spaciousness.
Only noticed a few minor staging items. Love your formal dining room. To highlight it, I suggest dressing the table. For your dh, it can be very simple: neutral/formal tablecloth, china or your best everyday dishware (plates only), no flatware, nice glassware, rolled fabric napkins with a pop of color (red usually works well, BTW) placed on top of the plates. Add a couple of candles and a simple centerpiece - done. (Incidentally, can't see your tablecloth well in the photo. I realize it may be very nice.)
Is the twin bed hiding a bad patch or spot on the wall? (Sorry, that's what potential buyers may think.) I'd suggest centering it on the wall. If your dh can't add a very simple, inexpensive, faux headboard, then I'd place a colorful sham (vertically) behind the pillow to at least give it a little more height and some color.
The fireplace had some small items on the mantel and hearth (?). I found myself distracted by them so potential buyers might be, also. I would remove all of them and simply place a tall item on the hearth to emphasize the f/p's height. One possibility: a houseplant. It would also add some life to the room.
WRT the bathrooms, I would remove the peach (?) shower curtain. Besides the color, it appeared too short. We use clear shower curtains, liners actually, and stage them pushed back, like you did. They're only a few dollars. That way, you show off your beautiful tile job and make the bathroom feel larger.
Another very small item: one of the bathroom pix featured a dark wood vanity and dark towel(s). Feels a tad dark and small. Here's an easy one for your dh, BTW. I would change out the towels to a light color. Some other tiny things - I would remove the vanity chair from the other bathroom and place a couple of light-colored towels in the (2?) bathrooms that lack them.
Don't know if your things were all packed away and what your dh's interested in doing but, again, someone may be interested in a few, minor staging ideas. Obviously, if you receive offers, you're already good to go!
One add'l room, sorry - I realize your dh may be working and even though it's minor, I suggest packing the office up a little more. It'd be nice to remove one of the credenzas and float the desk in the center, if possible.
Great job! Hope your hard work's rewarded right away (bidding w*ar, please), allowing you to complete your move to FL, worry-free.
All of the above, JMHO. YMMV.
Safe travels, take care. Say "Hi" to Murphy!This message has been edited. Last edited by: RErocker,
I'm in love with your master bedroom closet. WOW!
ReRocker - thanks for the comments. In our area, there doesn't seem to be a "norm" on if the basement is included or not (house is about 3700 sf without it) - but the basement can only be finished if there is full access out, which many houses in our neighborhood don't have, or it doesn't meet code. You can certainly dig out the back and add an exit, but so many people don't visualize things that way. So, in our neighborhood, there are actually many unfinished basements, and some that are, are against code. As for changing anything else in the house - I'm not in town, and my husband is working all the time, and other than mow the lawn, don't think he'll do any more... One offer has come in, but I haven't gotten the details yet - we're trying to schedule a time when husband, me and realtor can hook up, but Open House is tomorrow, so we'll try to hook up tonight or tomorrow afternoon. Depending on the results, we may make some picture changes.. The single bed is where it is to allow the most room for the wall of closets that you don't see in the picture. We tried centering it, but it didn't show well - it made the room seem crowded, and it's not a tiny room, so we moved it a bit.
Jewel - and we just finished that closet - it is pretty awesome. There used to be two tiny walk-ins, which were pretty useless, and really dark, so the change was just amazing in adding light to the whole room.
No worries, Deb. It's beautifully staged. (BTW, ITA agree w/Jewel - bet everyone's drooling over those master closets.) Mentioned above that I understood you were off and also expecting at least one offer so you probably wouldn't make any changes. I've discovered we have many lurkers around the RE section so I was posting more for their benefit (if my mumbo-jumbo benefits anyone) than yours.
Yes, around 3,700 was my guess for your above-ground s.f. The appraiser will value the basement separately, even though it's a walk-out. You'll receive a positive appraisal adjustment but it won't be valued at the same rate as above-ground s.f. Moreover, it's a perception issue, IMHO - I've seen buyers disappointed when things like this come up and actually find some minor reason to cancel a deal.
Does sound like it'd be a good idea to add a photo of that separate entrance to delineate/highlight the rooms that constitute the basement space by reordering the shots. Found myself wondering that and guessing as I went through your photos. BTW, I realize they might be in walk-through/tour order now but it's tough to tell -
Did have the thought that you might have something out-of-frame in that bedroom, like closets, forcing the bed into that position. Too bad the standard 2 twin set-up doesn't quite work in that room. I realize you use an office elsewhere but that room could be a good one (depending on its location) to stage as either an office or a special purpose room, e.g. a craft room.
That's an extra bedroom, however, so it's probably not that big of an issue for a potential buyer. IME, in general, as soon as you reach the optimal number of bedrooms for your area, extra bedrooms don't add that much to a home's value. Additional s.f. adds value at a declining rate but it's the overall determinant factor WRT value. (This was discussed in a recent thread, BTW.)
If you expect multiple offers after the weekend, Deb, do you and your agent plan to set up a day and time (say, early next week) to receive them? We're fortunate enough to frequently find ourselves in that situation (or unlucky enough b/c it does produce certain other challenges) so we typically schedule everyone 30-45 minutes apart and then chart all of the various factors (price, cash or financing, downpayment, deposit, etc.) to compare and contrast the strength of the offers.
On the plus side, it encourages the buyers to come in upfront with their highest and best offer. Besides that, if the offer schedule's busy, it's not uncommon for the most interested buyer to increase their offer when they/their agent notice(s) the level of competition. B/c you're on the road, it might make it easier to simply set-up one conference call with you, your dh and your agent.
In general, if you receive an early, single offer, just after you list a home, that first offer's usually the best, IME. (I've seen too many sellers reject the initial offer and then watch their home turn into a stale listing, eventually.)
Hope the offer(s) meet your expectations. Best of luck and safe travels, too.
All of the above, IMHO and YMMV.This message has been edited. Last edited by: RErocker,
We did receive 3 offers, and have asked realtor to let them all know there are multiple offers and ask for BAFO. We would like those by Monday night, and we'll make a decision on Tuesday. 2 of the 3 are fine, 1 had a contingency that doesn't work for us, but the Open house is going on now, so we've let the agent know our schedule. We definitely priced to sell - and I think we did that, so we'll see what the final offers will be, and who knows, maybe we'll get some great Ts&Cs.....
RE rockerThis may be an impolite question..so I apologize in advance if you are offended but what is the name of your real estate firm?
Debiin Fl Fingers crossed for the best outcome!
That's terrific news, Deb! Congratulations! Your hard, hard work's paying off. In addition, you made the right decision when you purchased a property in an attractive, apparently well-planned, located and managed development. (Incidentally, that's when you make money, IMHO - when you purchase a property.)
I am personally hoping that the buyers all submitted proof of financial qualification, i.e. loan preapprovals (unless someone's coming in with all cash) - not loan pre-qualification. I'm also hoping that your agent retains a second offer, if possible, assuming everyone's qualified, as a back-up offer.
I'm sure you understand that deals can be difficult to close in many, if not all, markets around the country. You never know, however, the 3rd offer's contingency may magically disappear, if they have a high level of interest - unless it's something that's financially insurmountable, obviously, like a sale contingency WRT their current home. If nothing else, you will probably learn who's the most motivated to purchase your home and has the means to close the sale, after tonight!
Incidentally, we always prefer, if possible, to have the agents present to both us and the seller, in person. It doesn't work well for all sellers and we have to carefully consider the ramifications before making those arrangements. For others, however, even though the agents don't typically see each other, it definitely encourages an auction-type, highest-bidder atmosphere. We can't disclose offer terms to anyone but a poker face or even an innocent expression sometimes encourages a potential buyer to increase their offer, on the spot. Occasionally, they're negotiating against themselves and subsequently another buyer will attempt to match them, even though they don't know the highest offer amount. It all depends on the level of interest in your property.
We're sending positive thoughts your way, Deb, and hoping for the best. Good Luck!
All of the above, IMHO.
kiwi, no worries - feel free to ask me anything. Because of the m.b. advertising prohibition, however, I can't answer that question. AYK, someone will accuse me, if I do. Take care and have a great day!This message has been edited. Last edited by: RErocker,
RE -- you can always private message your response to Kiwi.
Well - we picked one, and we're actually pretty happy with the deal - and pricing at the low end worked out well for us. We ended up having more offers, and they were very good. NOW, to just find that new house in Florida.....
Oh, wow, late to the party here but it appears it was a really fast party. Congrats, Debid! Now keep us posted along the way.
Happy for you, it was quick, seems you did all the work ahead of time.
Enjoy your new search.
Charcoalsmom - you're not late to the party, I took all the advice that you and a whole bunch of the rest of the people on this website, and I did everything (again - our goal was to see fast, and that was the number one goal). All of the tips about decluttering, getting rid of personal stuff - we did it all. We filled up one POD, and I have to tell you, the house was looking fine. In that process (and it's been discussed on this forum), it became a house instead of my home, so it just made it easier to sell..... What also certainly helped is that I left (with my dogs) the day it went on the market, so there was no sign of animals anywhere.... Now, the focus will be on getting moving (and probably storage) while we find a new house in Florida. I'll definitely keep everyone in the loop, because I'm sure something else will go wrong....
OH - and I forgot - I put my St Joseph's statue in one of my huge pots (upside down and facing the house) right outside on my bak patio. I think he was very happy there (planted next to gorgeous plants).... Can't believe I forgot to mention that..... Staging is one thing, but you've got to have the statue. When we leave, I'll clean him up and bring him with me. Do you take him out after you close or when you get the contract? I certainly don't want to mess that up.....
Congratulations, Deb - great job! Here's to a smooth, uneventful closing!
If I were you, I'd let St. Joseph watch over your home until you close. You never know. Going under contract is one thing but closing is another, IMHO.
Best of luck with your FL search. Take care,
- rockerThis message has been edited. Last edited by: RErocker,
I've been following your story, too but limited time to post -
Just wanted to say Congratulations too and hope this is the easiest closing ever!
Debi, Leave St. Joesph there until the day of possession change! No sense taking chances now!
Deb. regarding St. Joseph.
When I accompanied my soon-to-be-husband at his closing, I fretted over this. I believed that the statue must stay at the house until closing and then take a prominent place in the new house I finally told the new owners that I was going to stop at the property and get the St. Joseph statue after the closing. I said we had a family tradition of "bringing the happy memories from one house to the new house.' The new owner said "I am Catholic and I appreciate St. Joseph, please feel free to get him."
I have a cabinet full of crystal, etc (ok, multiple of them.... ), and I always had that little statue sitting in the middle of that. So - AFTER the closing, I'll write myself a note to get him out, clean him up, and put him back in the cabinet - where he can be displayed happily - when we get to Florida.... I'm guessing the movers will have already been through and he'll get a "personal" trip down to Florida.... Inspection is next week, so fingers crossed for that......
dbinfl, where are you moving to in FL? Congrats on the home sale. Prices here in Sarasota are slowly going back up. Some areas in FL never lost too much value like, Venice Island, Longboat Key, Casey Key. I will tell you that you are going to have to check the area prices and what homes are now selling for very carefully. Best of luck to you and yours.
I'm moving to Tampa. We have seen houses we like move pretty quickly, but one thing that makes this an easier move for me than any of the others, is that I have a small target area of where I want to live, and some specifics on what I want in the house. It makes the number of options less, but doesn't waste time looking at what are lovely houses, but not what we need.... Now, if we can just find one that a) doesn't sell before we get there to look (this week), and b) can close quickly - we close on our house at the end of June.... I just picture a moving truck circling Tampa looking for a place to stop.....
We just came back from a wedding on Treasure Island and that area is lovely. It is about 30 min. from Tampa.
I'm excited for you...what drew you to Tampa? Do you want to live close to the water? Wishing you the very best in your house hunt!
Good Luck, Deb!
Hope the purchase goes as smoothly as your sale -
We're not looking for water - in fact looking North of Tampa. BUT - they do have EXCELLENT dog parks here..... . I found a few houses today that made the down-select, and identified a few more to see tomorrow. Hope to get offer in this week.... Hope hope hope hope hope....
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