WHY THEY SOLD
The Zureks, who had lived in the home for four years, were being relocated to Europe for Aric’s job with GE. During that time, they made a multitude of changes: converted the carport into a garage; added plantation shutters; knocked out a kitchen wall to add a wet bar and mudroom; designed a new stone front entrance and door; replaced the outdoor shutters; repainted nearly every room; changed out the hardware (old brass to vintage bronze); and updated all the lighting. In the basement, they built new stairs, renovated a guest bathroom and bedroom, carpeted one room to create a home gym, renovated the kitchen with granite and new stainless appliances, added molding and replaced doors from the 1950s.
WHAT IT TOOK
Its Chastain Park location, appealing décor and setting the right price for the right amenities helped the home quickly sell. Some buyers cannot look past poor paint choices and poor taste in decoration, so buyers who have decorated the home attractively can be way ahead of the pack, Claire said. “I became nervous right before the actual listing, but prior to that, I had been very confident about the renovations we had done, the way the home was painted, decorated and presented,” she said in an e-mail interview from Europe.
To prepare to put the home on the market, the couple used the knowledge they had gained in five previous moves with GE. They tried to view the home as a potential buyer, by toning down the décor, de-cluttering and slimming down items in the closets, Claire said. They went through every closet, drawer and cabinet to purge possessions.
Present the house with flair, organization, neatness and cleanliness. Using neutral paint colors helps potential buyers picture their life there. Put away a quarter to half of your personal items, unless you already have a clean and sleek style. “When I’m about to sell a home, I get the feeling as though I’m preparing for a final exam from my college days. It’s the ultimate presentation of everything you have to offer in the way of your home,” Claire said.
POTENTIAL STUMBLING BLOCK
“We were initially like most home buyers with the desire to list it for higher in order to get more back on our renovations,” she said. Michael Bunch with Keller Williams Realty First Atlanta talked them out of that by sharing market data, including the average home sales from the past few years to the past few weeks. He advised that it is better to get 95 percent of a lower sale price than 65 percent of a higher asking price. “Once we understood all the stats, it made so much sense,” she said. They put it on the market at a fair price that enabled them to get their money back from renovations, but not in excess, she added.
The first day it was on the market, the home received an offer slightly over list price and multiple offers soon followed. Bunch said there were not many homes on the market in Chastain Park in the $700,000-$1 million range and with the features this home had to offer. “I coached the owners to be strategic with the list price to maximize the buyer interest and sense of urgency,” Bunch said. “Preparation and price positioning were the key. In the end, the sellers were thrilled because the strategy worked perfectly.” They closed on the home in May.
ABOUT THE HOME
Name: Aric and Claire Zurek, and their children, Miles, 4, and Olivia, 2
The home: A five-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath ranch home built in 1957
Where: Atlanta’s Chastain Park neighborhood
Time on market: 3 days
Original price: $799,000
Sale price: $815,000