Who Would Have Ever Thunk!
April 20, 2015
By P.R. “Randy” Cooney
Publisher of the Arizona Journal of Real Estate & Business
It’s July of 2014 — for a variety of reasons it was time to sell the family home of sixteen years. The property is in the Arcadia area; therefore, it would make monetary sense to do some updating prior to listing it on the market. That means spending a month selecting contractors, colors, counters, cabinets, flooring and more.
As always, once a home project begins, it takes more time and money than estimated. By mid-November 2014, improvements were completed and it was ready for the stagers to come in and do their magic. The stagers’ task was to convert this 1948 ranch-style home into a more contemporary look. I used The Luxury Look, Staging & Design Company and they did a marvelous job.
GRAND OPENING WEEKEND
Approximately, 500 invitations were sent out and 200 guests attend including many neighbors and Valley brokers. They all give the home a BIG THUMBS UP and agree it should sell relatively quickly.
With the holidays approaching, the market stalls – all four homes for sale in the subdivision get little buyers interest. I begin to question whether to adjust the price yet decide not to at this time. In early January, 2015 an offer comes in, the potential buyer and I go back and forth for a week and could not come to an agreement.
DAYS ON MARKET (DOM)
- Days start to accumulate and it’s time to ramp up everything:
- Commit to sitting multiple open houses for more exposure.
- Weekly house cleaner, pool maintenance, landscaper to keep all pristine.
- Spend more dollars adding extra touches of appeal.
- Purchase additional furnishings for staging.
- Reduce the price.
- New flyers with price reduction.
- Ads on Zillow, Trulia, Craig’s List, AzCentral.com.
- Purchase more open house signs – now using over 20 signs to draw traffic.
- Give gifts to all those who visit.
- Gas cards provided to any agent who shows or previews.
- Plant more flowers.
- Re-write MLS verbiage.
As the offer appears on my computer screen, I do what all sellers do, look down to line #8 where it states the purchase price. The price offered was not what I was hoping for; however, it does have possibilities. I then read the other terms and conditions – it’s a very clean offer! I go back to line #1 to see who has made this lower than desired offer. As I read the name, I say out loud “NO-WAY.” In 30 years of real estate, I was unprepared for this; you too will not believe it. Never before has any real estate broker, trainer, instructor, mentor or coach mentioned this possibility of a buyer…
It’s a very family-oriented 3,200 square foot home with a guest house and within walking distance to both an elementary and high school.
The answer is: The buyer, named on the contract, was the same person that I purchased the home from sixteen years ago! She had seen the home on the Internet and found an agent to write up an offer to purchase it back for nearly three times what she sold the home to us for in 1998.
If I had just picked up the phone and called the previous owner of the home and said: Thought you might want to know that the home you sold me sixteen years ago is going back on the market. Would you or someone you know be interested in purchasing it? That call, if made in this case, could have saved me thousands in preparation, marketing, advertising and commissions.
Many of you reading this more than likely have lived in different homes in the Phoenix metro area. Occasionally, for nostalgia reasons, you may drive by your former home. If there were ever to see a For Sale sign out front, might you call out of curiosity?
My recommendation for you from this day forward is to pull tax records for every property listed and research all previous owners – then find a way to contact them. As we always say when making contacts, “You never know what can happen.” In the case of selling my own property: “Who Would Have Ever Thunk?”