One of our biggest life “moves” recently has been selling our first house. It was a rollercoaster from trying to get it ready to sell while being super pregnant and then the “whiplash” (I don’t even know how else to describe it!) of our first weekend on the market! It truly is hard to believe that we have officially closed and moved out of our little Fireside Drive. So many of you have reached out and asked about our selling experience, so I’ve decided to blog it for the mems and for all inquiring minds!
We bought our house as young 23-year-olds. We had been living in Richmond for a year in an apartment. Our whole goal that first year was to get to know the area before deciding what part of town we really wanted to settle down in. I stalked Zillow like it was my job. I dreamed of a colonial style house and fell in love with our house before it was even on the market. In the Spring of 2014 we moved into Fireside Drive and immediately did all the things new homeowners do – paint and clean. We always knew this first house would not be our forever home, but it was ours and we were so grateful!
Once we decided to grow our family, we started talking more seriously about moving. When we would move? How would we know it was really time to move? And how would we go about the whole process?
Throughout Sienna’s first year of life, we realized pretty quickly that our home and the layout of it wouldn’t work for a family bigger than the three of us. With both of us working from home and now running three businesses out of our house, our space quickly became tapped out. We couldn’t easily host guests because our office doubled as our guest room. That meant when people were visiting, Ty wasn’t able to work on his computer. Sienna didn’t really have anywhere to play inside which meant toys took over our living room. We flipped rooms around quite a bit but ultimately decided our next move was to sell our little piece of paradise.
However, before we could sell, we knew that we needed to do some major upgrades to our house. We chatted with our realtor, Jess in March of 2020 shortly before the pandemic really ensued about what it would take to sell our house well. Naturally, the upgrades we needed to do were major, super expensive ones. The siding and windows were original to the house which was built in 1989 and well loved by the neighborhood woodpeckers. The HVAC was also original to the house and any contractor that we had come out to look at for service told us we would never be able to find parts for it if it ever broke. We also had the beloved 90’s trend of carpet in our master bathroom in front of the vanity and knew that needed to go. And finally, we just needed to touch up the paint in a few rooms. Jess was very honest with us that if we wanted to make a profit on our house and not just break even, we would have to invest in doing the work before we sold.
So, we hired all the contractors we needed to do the work to get our house ready to sell in September of 2020. With Covid delaying building supplies, this meant that our installations wouldn’t even begin until as early as the week before Thanksgiving and as a late as January of 2021. That made me so anxious! Mainly because I was pregnant and you don’t get less pregnant as time goes on! But we were hopeful that everything would be complete before January 21st which is when Jess suggested we list in order to be closed before our baby was born.
We were very intentional about what else we did to get our house ready for showings. We truly tried to think like buyers and what we would want to see in a house we might be interested in buying.
We ended up having 70 showings over those four days and 15 offers. Our realtor posted our listing as coming soon the Thursday before our showings began. This gave potential buyers an opportunity to look at the listing online and decide if they wanted to book a showing. We also think the reason we had such a high number of showings was because we freed up our space by being gone all weekend. And we made it known when we would be reviewing offers. So if a potential buyer wanted to see our house in person, they had to book a showing before our offer review began.
We also think the upgrades we did to our house were particularly intriguing to a potential buyer because it made the property basically turn key. A part from changing a paint color or replacing the carpet, they didn’t have to worry about major upgrades to make the home livable.
In the end, waiting to list until the time that we did, investing in the upgrades that we did, and going the extra mile with getting a storage unit and moving out all of our personal items is what really sold our house! We are so grateful for our experience and excited for the new owner to enjoy Fireside Drive as much as we did!
I can’t end this without thanking our relator, Jess enough for sticking with us for such a long time and investing in our relationship even when we hadn’t committed to selling yet. She was pregnant with twins throughout our sale but picked up my phone calls every time and always made sure our best interest was a top priority! I think having a realtor that truly wants what is best for you and not what is best for them is the best kind of realtor to work with! If you are looking for a realtor in the RVA area, I can’t recommend Jess enough!