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Two weeks of preparing a home for sale leads to an over-asking price.

exterior1_afterJust after our engagement, I ask John if he would like to stay in his current home or move to another. A few weeks later and out of the blue, he makes the surprise announcement, “Maybe we should look for a new house.”

The next day I ask my friend and agent to take us to see four homes. These include a raised ranch (move-in ready), a raised ranch (blower-upper), a traditional center-hall colonial, and a traditional ranch with a walk-out basement.

To my surprise, John really likes the traditional ranch home. When I pursue the topic to ascertain how much he likes the ranch, I ask, “Enough to buy it?” When he answers in the affirmative, I drop the bombshell that every savvy reader knows is coming: “You know what that means, right?” It means a lot of hard work and about $8,000 to prepare his home for sale.

My original intention for this outing is just to show John the basic home styles available in our area, not to actually find a new home. But I like the home just as much as he does. It has the perfect floor plan for our future family’s needs, along with a convenient and appealing location.

We now have two weeks to prepare his home for sale. The interior needs to be fully painted, back patio stained, front yard mulched, weeded, and exterior fence and house power-washed. Not to mention more cleanout, new carpeting for the basement, a deep-clean of all spaces, and minor repairs.

We start with the exterior. Luckily, my brother-in-law worked at a nursery when he was in college and knows exactly what to do. He comes over with a helper and, with my husband, makes the front of the home beautiful in just 2 (very long) days.

entry1_afterThe interior is my territory. Along with my sister, mother, and agent/friend, we review the staging plan. They agree with the ideas and help pick the final paint colors. My sister even loans us her small leather barrel chair for the new living room.

The world’s fastest paint job, carpet installation, cleaning, and staging occur. The home is ready for sale the day after Labor Day. Just shy of two weeks from when we started.

Sadly, the ranch home we want is no longer available. So after a short time, we take John’s home off the market and decide to look again in the spring.

After the long winter, the lawn service guys find the original For Sale sign, which had been buried under the snow. And what do they do? You guessed it, they hang it up!

Following a few calls from interested neighbors and my agent, we have an offer from a lovely family who had seen the house in the fall. They missed the chance to put in an offer before, so they jump at the opportunity now. (Their interest is so high that they had left more than one note in my husband’s mailbox over the winter.)

Because these buyers are afraid the home will not be available for long, they offer 5% over asking price and also agree to postpone closing until the end of August, or later, once their home sells. As we are in no hurry—and it means that we will not have to restage or deal with more showings—we accept.

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Master Bedroom – Before

master8_after

Master Bedroom – After

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Master Bedroom – Before

master3_after

Master Bedroom – After

Basement Before

Basement – Before

Basement After

Basement – After

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Upper Bath – Before

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Upper Bath – After

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Bedroom – Before

bedroom5_after

Bedroom – After

bedroom7_before Bedroom – Before

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Bedroom – After

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Dining Room – Before

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Dining Room – After

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Dining Room – Before

dining2_after

Dining Room – After

dining3_before

Dining Room – Before

dining3_after

Dining Room – After

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Dining Room – Before

dining4_after

Dining Room – After

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Family Room – Before

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Family Room – After

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Family Room – Before

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Family Room – After

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Family Room – Before

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Family Room – After

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Front Walk – Before

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Front Walk – After

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Office/Guest Bedroom – Before

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Office/Guest Bedroom – Afterguest_bedroom2_before

Office/Guest Bedroom – Before

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Office/Guest Bedroom – After

kitchen1_before

Kitchen – Before

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Kitchen – After

kitchen2_before

Kitchen – Before

kitchen2_after

Kitchen – After

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Kitchen – Before

kitchen3_after

Kitchen – After

kitchen4_before Kitchen – Before

kitchen4_after

Kitchen – After

living1_before

Living Room – Before

living1_after Living Room – After

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Living Room – Before

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Living Room – After

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Living Room – Before

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Living Room – After

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Living Room – Before

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Living Room – After

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Patio – Before

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Patio – After

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Upper Bath – Before

upper_bath1_after

Upper Bath – After

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