Hot Brookaven market, professional advice set stage for quick sale

Names: Sara and Chris Wakefield

The home: A three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home built in 1983

Where: Brookhaven

Why they sold: Sara, a marketing and PR professional, and Chris, who works in construction, wanted to move back to the Johns Creek area to live closer to family and Perimeter Church, which they attend.

Days on the market: 10

Original price: $400,000

Sale price: $400,000

What it took

Laura Moye of Harry Norman, Realtors, suggested that the couple change the exterior color from yellow to a more neutral beige. Moye suggested they work with Sharon Clarida from SOS Staging, who worked with their existing decor and rearranged their furniture to improve the “flow” of the floor plan. Spending a couple hundred dollars for the staging was beneficial to have someone help them get the house ready to show, especially since they were still living there, Sara said. They also removed most of the personal photos, cleaned closets and decorated with fresh flowers.

Some standout features were the two-story great room with a bay window, a vaulted screened porch, and stainless steel appliances and an island in the kitchen.

“We put it on the market and within less than 24 hours, we had three offers at full asking price,” said Chris. “The area in Brookhaven is going crazy right now. The selling was awesome.”

Potential stumbling block

The most difficult part was getting the home ready to sell, the Wakefields said. The couple had lived in the home for four years and had accumulated many belongings, which either had to be staged or packed away. That process took about two weeks. They spent about $10,000 for exterior and interior cosmetic changes, such as new paint, fixing windows, and updating normal wear and tear in the 1,910-square-foot home, Sara said. Ultimately, they believed it led to a higher sale price, they said.

“We didn’t realize it would cost money on the front end, but it was the best money we ever spent,” said Sara.

They closed on the Brookhaven home and their new home, a six-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath house in Johns Creek, in June 2015.

Seller’s hint

Find a real estate agent who has sold homes in the area and who can identify and explain market trends. Moye put in the legwork to research recent sales and buying trends and was familiar with neighborhood amenities that may be attractive to buyers. “I feel like you really need to listen to your Realtor,” said Sara.

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