Fourth time a charm for selling Alpharetta condo

Names: Jonathan and Maya Frank. Jonathan, 41, is a marketing executive for Yamaha Motor Corp.; Maya, 39, is creative director for Havertys Furniture Cos.

The home: A two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath detached condo built in 1998.

Where: Alpharetta

Why they sold: The couple, who has a 10-year-old daughter, had owned the home for 11 years. They wanted more bedrooms and an office. "We just outgrew it," Jonathan said. They had tried to sell three times prior to deciding to work with Angela Miller of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby's International Realty in early 2014.

Time on market: 25 days

Original price: $169,900

Sale price: $162,000

What it took

With Maya’s eye for interior design and no clutter, their house looked like a model home to buyers, Jonathan said. For example, stenciling in the bedroom and dining room added a design element.

They already had made some updates, such as installing new faucets, about six months before selling the home. They changed out windows in the two-story living room that had seal failure and the possibility of condensation or fogging between the panes. Prior to officially putting the house on the market, Miller held an agent sneak peek luncheon that brought in agents and generated the home’s first prospective buyer. The response demonstrated the pent-up demand in the area for a good home at an affordable price, she said.

Potential stumbling block

A couple of offers came in too low or with too many stipulations that didn’t make it a “clean offer,” Jonathan said. One buyer offered closer to their asking price and they negotiated closing costs and repairs. For example, the couple had to replace some rotted wood over the porch.

Timing was a challenge. They listed the home in mid-January, which is typically a slower time of the year to sell. Even though the 2014 snow crippled Atlanta a week later, they were under contract the second week of February. They wanted to remain in their daughter’s school district and narrowed their choices to three neighborhoods. They were prepared to move into a temporary apartment in between selling and buying a home. “We knew that we would rather keep looking and get the right house before rushing into it,” Maya said.

Their agent learned that a property was going to be coming on the market in a neighborhood on their list. “It kind of fell in our lap,” Maya said. They rented an apartment for three months and moved into the three-sided brick home, which has a full finished basement, in June 2014.

Seller’s hint

Having a clean, uncluttered home that smells pleasant can set the right tone for potential buyers, Maya said.