First Person: How We Got Our Home Sold

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It took us plenty of hard work and nail biting -- not to mention a lot of money -- to sell our home. Preparing our home for sale and keeping it looking good during the 18 months it was on the market cost us plenty in upgrades, improvements, reductions in price, and eventual concessions to our buyers. Here is how we prepared our home for sale and how we finally managed to arrive at a deal with our buyers.

Upgrades and Improvements

We knew that even though the market had dropped substantially over the past few years, that it was still a buyer's market and that we would need to make certain improvement to make our home more attractive. Therefore, in an effort to increase our home's curb appeal, as well as spiff up our interior, we put about $2,400 into the appearance of our home through the following improvements before a single prospective buyer ever saw the place.

  • Tore off aging garage roof shingles and replaced -- $1,400
  • Replaced torn back porch canvas awning -- $500
  • Purchased mulch and turf builder for yard -- $25
  • Repainted kitchen cabinets, purchased new kitchen cabinetry hardware, and bought new window treatments for the living room, dining room and master bedroom -- about $300
  • Replace cracked floor tiles in bathroom and kitchen -- $160
  • Rented carpet cleaner and deodorizer for fresh clean look and smell - $30

Concessions to the Buyer

Eventually we found our buyers. However, they were obtaining an FHA loan and were looking for some concessions from us. In fact, one prerequisite of their obtaining the FHA loan was that the seller (us) had to put $3,500 toward their closing costs. In addition, the buyers also requested a number of repairs or improvements be made to the property to which we agreed. These adjustments included some tuckpointing work on the front of the home, repairing a moisture issue on one of the basement walls, as well as doing

allair front of the home, repairing a moisture issue on one of the basement walls, and doing some hich we agreed to osts. certain electrical work, and making several other adjustments to the home that cost us about another $1,500

Final Sales Price

We had purchased our home for $295,000. Unfortunately, when we put it on the market, we did so at a price of over $300,000, which was too high for the market conditions. We held steady at close to our initial asking price for the first six months. This proved too long to stay in the price range, and once we realized our mistake, it was too late. We were left playing catch up with a real estate market that was continuing to decline. After 18 months on the market and multiple price reductions, our final sales price was $230,000.

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