Buckhead home off the market in one week

Names: Karl and Tina Kottke

The home: A five-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath home built in 1987

Where: Atlanta

Why they sold: The Kottkes, who purchased the home two years ago, were moving to Chicago for Karl’s job.

Time on market: 7 days

Original price: $750,000

Sale price: $767,501

What it took

The Kottkes moved out first, instead of trying to sell the home with themselves and their two elementary-age boys living in it. Working with Kirsten Conover of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties - Midtown, the couple focused on making a strong first impression the day the Buckhead home went on the market.

“We significantly invested in staging and we did a full renovation on the master bathroom,” Tina said. “It needed to be at its very, very best.”

The Kottkes took a giant leap of faith in gutting their 1980s-style bathroom, which had brass fixtures and outdated colors, Conover said, but recognized that Buckhead buyers expect updated and upgraded homes. The $28,000 renovation included adding a frameless glass shower, new cabinets, quartz countertops, marble tile and a free-standing tub.

“We did a standalone tub that became the centerpiece feature of the bathroom,” Tina said.

Home stager Kathy Nielsen of Georgia Interior Solutions selected furniture, art and accessories that were customized to the house and the buyer demographic, Conover said. The homeowners also updated the paint, replaced outdated hardware and light fixtures, and added two planters at the front door.

Conover held an open house and Realtor caravan as soon as it was listed, and used social media to promote the listing. Professional photos by Iran Watson captured the updates and staging. Exterior photos were shot two months early when the lawn was at its best, instead of waiting until the end of summer, when the home was listed.

Potential stumbling block

The backyard leads to a creek for a scenic setting, but since it was on a flood plain, there was some concern that the likelihood of flooding and cost of flood insurance would detract buyers. The sellers were upfront, explaining to potential buyers that the home itself had never flooded but the crawlspace did during the 500-year flood in 2009, Conover said. Several potential buyers expressed interest and they put out a request for “highest and best” offers. Of the two offers, they chose the highest price.

Seller’s hint

If you have older, beaten-up furniture, consider staging the home.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.