Atlanta condo proves popular with quick sell

Names: John Kutsko and Marlei Olson

The home: A two-bedroom, two-bath condo built in 2002

Where: Atlanta's Enclave at Briarcliff complex

Why they sold: John and Marlei work in different cities. John is the executive director of an academic society in Atlanta, and Marlei does PR work for a nonprofit in Nashville, Tennessee, called Thistle Farms. Since the couple moved to Atlanta in July 2010, Marlei had been splitting her time between a condo in Nashville and the condo in Atlanta, which was a transitional space rather than a homestead. They decided to sell the DeKalb County condo and purchase a house that felt like a more permanent residence. The pair said they were eager to find a home with plenty of natural light and more living space.

Time on the market: 4 days

Original price: $187,000

Sale price: $183,500

What it took

The most important part of the selling process was staging their condo to look attractive to buyers, John and Marlei said. They focused on details such as adding pops of color throughout and making organizational spaces, such as closets, look neat and functional. The couple’s real estate agent, Cheryl Gosa of Gosa Properties at Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Midtown, had them hire a professional photographer to take pictures of the interior after it was staged. The ultimate goal, according to Marlei, was to give the condo an appearance of being comfortable and casual.

“Specifically when it comes to condos, people want something that looks like low-maintenance living,” she said. “You absolutely have to make it perfect and take out all the excess.”

The second-floor unit featured a balcony that looked onto a courtyard. Bonus features included a storage unit in the complex, which has a pool, clubhouse and fitness center. The kitchen boasted stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.

The couple received several offers before the condo was officially listed on the market and selected an all-cash offer. They closed on the home in May 2015 and purchased a four-bedroom, two-bath home built in 1950 in DeKalb County that same month.

“The condo market was moving so fast,” said John.

Potential stumbling block

Because the condo received offers so quickly, John wondered if they might be able to get a better offer on the condo if they waited longer. Ultimately, John had to trust their real estate agent’s market knowledge about pricing.

“I wanted to squeeze every last penny, but I had to trust Cheryl that we were getting the best deal that we could,” he said.

Seller’s hint

Look for a real estate agent who is well connected in the community and will keep your best interests in mind. John and Marlei relied on their agent to help them identify the right price to sell their condo. She also made sure they had good relationships with both the seller of their current home and the buyer of their condo. “It was a nice transaction and it was facilitated by a real estate agent we put our trust in,” said John.