Why they sold: To shorten Erica's stressful commute to Sandy Springs, which was at least 45 minutes to an hour each way.
Time on market: 5 days
Original price: $165,000
Sale price: $165,000
What it took: Having a move-in ready house. Since they bought the house in 2009, Andrew had finished the basement, which boasted a den, bar area and a half-bath. Other do-it-yourself projects had included adding steps to the deck and crown molding in the house. Before listing the home, they repainted the trim, rooms and garage doors, put in Pergo laminate floors in the kitchen and fixed three rotten windowsills. The kitchen also had newer countertops and stainless steel Jenn-Air appliances.
Their agent, Madalyn Suits with Keller Williams Realty Peachtree Road, listed the home on a Thursday and they saw a “mad dash” to the house that weekend, Erica said. They received two offers within two days and accepted an offer at full asking price. “We got so lucky. We priced it exactly right,” Erica said.
Potential stumbling block: Since the home sold so fast, the couple was worried they would have to return the $8,000 federal tax credit they received in 2009 as first-time homebuyers. A stipulation of the tax credit was that they needed to live in the home for three years before selling. They were able to stall the closing until Oct. 1, which meant they did not have to return the tax credit, Erica said.
They were the first to see a brick Colonial house with a fenced yard for their dog, Beau, and a bonus room over the garage in Marietta’s Mitsy Forest neighborhood, said Ed Robeson, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty First Atlanta, who assisted them in the purchase. Both closings were only an hour apart in early October. They were able to take ownership of the east Cobb County home that day. The location shortened Erica’s commute to 25 minutes each way and placed them in the top-ranked Walton High School district.
The couple already has appreciated the close-knit nature of the community, with neighbors bringing by baked goods on the day they moved in. “You find people that have been here for many years and know their neighbors,” Andrew said.
Sellers' hint: Don't ignore your yard and the value of a first impression. They put in fresh mulch and trimmed the bushes. "People fall in love with that first glance and it needs to be ready," Andrew said. "Everybody that stopped by said, 'Your backyard and front yard look amazing.'"