Name: Kristin Gray, 31, who works in internal communications for a technology company.
The home: A three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home built in 2003.
Why she sold: Gray purchased the home with her fiance, but when the couple broke up, they had to sell the home just six months later. If you are considering buying a home with a boyfriend, girlfriend or fiance, Gray recommends taking time to talk about what you would do if the relationship ends. “I think those sorts of talks are important,” she said. “My fiance and I did not do that. We literally got engaged and were like, ‘We’re buying a house.’ It’s so great and wonderful but at the same time I think you need to think about: Are we prepared to go through the process if it doesn’t work, financially and emotionally?” Both of them were named on the mortgage. They contacted their real estate agent, Tonya Marlatt of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, again to help them sell the property. “It was definitely a stressful time,” Gray said.
Time on market: 70 days
Original price: $219,000
Sale price: $209,000
What it took: Dropping the price. “We kept lowering and lowering it,” Gray said. The home sold in December 2013. The Decatur neighborhood (Preston Place) and size of the home also appealed to people, especially first-time buyers, she said.
Potential stumbling block: They were going to put their home on the market the day the hostage situation happened at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy, just three blocks away, in 2013, so they delayed for a bit. Then they received an offer the first day the home went on the market, but the buyer was asking $20,000 under asking price. “Then it was such a dry spell after that,” she said.
A couple more offers also weren’t worth entertaining, because they needed to come out even on the home. Toward the end it was so frustrating that the couple was willing to just take what they could get, Gray said. “Luckily somebody came along and actually gave us what we were asking,” she said.
Seller’s hint: If you know the home may need repairs and if you don’t have time or money to make them, consider how much you will need to take off the asking price or to pay toward closing costs. They bought the home knowing they would need to repair the wood shingles, but did not have time to make the changes before putting the home for sale. They paid more in closing costs as a result. “In hindsight, I think that once we moved in, I wished we would have fixed those sorts of things just to kind of get them out of the way,” she said.