A Bit of My Own Advice…

I recently took the opportunity to heed some of my own advice. Home prices at new highs, inventory at all-time lows, a seller’s market entering its fourth year, and a desire to change things up a bit all combined to push Lori and I into action. Step one of the process (hopefully the process of downsizing to a new home in Madison Park) was to sell our home in Clyde Hill. Check.

That oversimplifies both the decision-making and selling processes, but not by too much. It feels good to kick into action and once you do the process seems to fall into place. Here are a few of the early takeaways from our very much ongoing adventure.

A dose of your own medicine. All realtors should be required to take some of their own advice periodically; just as management consultants should periodically have to stick around and execute one of their own plans. It’s really eye-opening to see the world first hand from the other side.
It’s a process. Don’t try to get your house ready to sell in a day or a week. We started chipping away at it right after the holidays and managed to be ready to go by March first. Take as long as you need to do it right.
Seek professional help. Preparing your house for sale can range from doing the dishes and putting a sign in the yard to curating a museum exhibit. Understand that you are too close to it all to be objective. Get some outside input on which projects to do and which not to do. Then hire a professional stager to make prepping your house less personal. (Hint: Apparently, Mom’s antiques and the shrines to your kids can go to storage.)
Run away! Get everything ready and then GO AWAY, at least for the first weekend you are on the market. It’s not about you. It’s about letting buyers have access. Turn things over to your realtor and let them me work it.
Gut Check. For years I’ve been telling anyone who would listen that “you can’t underprice your house in this market”. It’s true. Hit the market at a reasonable price and if your home is worth more you will get more. The “shoot for the moon” pricing strategy is tempting when things are hot, but it often leaves beautiful homes sitting on the market. Everyone gets this idea conceptually, but it’s a real “gut check” when the time comes to make the call on the final price.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Let your agent know what, in addition to price, is important to you in a transaction (quick closing, rent back, inspection terms, financing, etc.). Remember, you are selling in a seller’s market so you might as well ask.
If you’re interested in more detail or in putting your own plan into action give me a call anytime. I’d be happy to help get you started.

With a little luck, next month I’ll have some interesting (and happy) tales to report from the buy side. Wish us luck!