This is the final part of our “Behind the Scenes” series, in which we show the nitty-gritty of putting a home on the market.
Part 1: How we prep a listing
Part 2: No-cost kitchen updates
Part 3: Ready, set, sell
Part 4: We Gambled, and… (this post)
We’ve been working on 15512 Stone Ave N since November, remodeling and updating to help it sell for its maximum potential value. We put in some serious time, work, and money into these updates. About $40,000 worth of updates, in fact, and we didn’t know—not for sure—that they would pay off.
Updating a listing, especially this extensively, always carries some risk. Would this remodel actually raise the home’s value enough to justify the months of work we poured into it?
There’s no magic formula to rely on. Instead, we had to depend on our own knowledge and past experiences, along with our understanding of costs and the general market environment. It was a gamble, but with our 30 years of experience in Seattle’s real estate market, we make very educated gambles.
In the case of 15512 Stone Ave N, the sellers were longtime clients who trusted us completely. As soon as they decided to list with us, we had an inspection completed, and based on that information, we made a list of improvements that we thought would maximize the home’s value without a great deal of risk. We sent the sellers a breakdown of our plan, along with the costs and time involved. The sellers approved it immediately. They gave us the keys and carte blanche to do whatever we thought would best enhance the marketability of the house.
That’s some hefty responsibility.
We made sure that, at worst, these updates would be a break-even proposition for our clients—we wouldn’t put the sellers at risk of going backward by listing to our recommendations. And at best, putting in all this extra work before listing their home would yield tens of thousands of dollars beyond the initial investment.
We also made things easy on the sellers by paying for the improvements ourselves. We agreed that the sellers would reimburse us at closing, which let us take on some of the risk and let the sellers avoid the hefty up-front $40,000 price tag for remodeling. Whenever we partner with a client to sell their house, we treat it as if it were our own, so shouldering the financial burden like that just made sense. We wanted the best for them, and if that meant putting our own necks on the line… better ours than theirs!
The results of the update spoke for themselves. About seventy prospective buyers showed up to our Saturday and Sunday open houses, where we heard all sorts of glowing comments about the home: love for the floors, appreciation for the openness of the kitchen, compliments on all the new finishes, and lots of positivity about the house’s overall charm.
The sellers received eight offers, and on February 28, the home closed for $605k, a full $76,000 above the listing price of $529k, with the winning offer also waiving all contingencies.
The money we put into renovating the place returned almost double, and it made the sale easy breezy. The sellers walked away from 15512 Stone Ave N very happy. You can read their own words about working with us.