Suwanee couple worked on a tight deadline

Scott and Cris Townsend of Suwanee had been thinking of downsizing for a couple of years. Here's how they did it:

About the home

Name: Scott and Cris Townsend. Scott, 56, works in small business lending. Cris, 55, is a freelance graphic designer.

The home: A five-bedroom, five-bath home with a finished basement built in 2002.

Where: Suwanee

Time on market: Eight days

Original price: $439,000

Sale price: $419,000

What it took

Their agent, Cynthia Goodman with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokers, had professional pictures and video shot to show off the 5,296-square-foot home. “When we looked at the virtual tour online, we said, ‘Do we really want to move?’” Cris Townsend said. The images highlighted the changes they had made over the years, including redoing the hardwood floors. In the basement, which had 14-foot ceilings, they had added surround sound, a big screen TV and a bar. Off the basement, there was a deck that overlooked the golf course.

Why they sold

The couple had been considering downsizing for a couple of years, but they were unsure about choosing an intown location or staying in the suburbs. Scott also wanted to continue playing on their neighborhood golf course, Edinburgh Bear’s Best, and wanted to make enough on the sale of the home so that they would not need a mortgage for their next one. “We were lucky,” Cris Townsend said. “We actually had a lot of equity in the house. We had reached the point where we could sell it for a realistic amount and if we found a house in the price range we were looking for in the low $200,000s, we could buy the house and not have a mortgage.”

The homes in Shadowbrook, adjacent to Suwanee Town Center and just five miles from their existing home, had the right size and access to restaurants and events, such as farmer’s markets and concerts. “There was a house we liked that had good bones. We found that people were renting it and they wanted to stay as long as they could. We figured we would put an offer on it because them being in there would cover the mortgage,” Cris said.

Sellers’ hint

Cris Townsend says to make the sale happen, you have to be realistic about price in a buyer’s market and do everything on the inspection list so the sale won’t fall through.

Potential stumbling block

They were concerned that the short sales, foreclosures and other homes in the neighborhood would be stiff competition. Nevertheless, they had an offer within a week for $409,000 and they were able to negotiate a higher price. But the buyer wanted to close in two weeks. Since the home they were purchasing had renters, they would need to give them 30 days’ notice. To make the deal go through, they offered to give the renters money if they could move out earlier. The renters were moving into another house, but those occupants needed to leave for all the pieces to fall into place. “It was a big domino effect,” Cris said. They had four days to have carpet installed in the home they were buying and to have the interior of the house painted before they needed to move in.