Suwanee home sells in hours after price boost

Name: Mary Tucker, a consumer experience and business process executive

The home: A three-bedroom, two-bath ranch home built in 1999

Where: Suwanee

Why she sold: Tucker bought the home in 2004 but soon rented the house as her job situations changed. First, her employer offered her a two-year position in Europe, and although she intended to return to Atlanta afterward, another job opportunity arose, this time in Washington, D.C. She decided to keep renting the house as the economy and housing market improved, then decided to sell.

Time on market: 1 day

Original price: $199,900

Sale price: $201,900

What it took: Pricing the home to appeal to more than investors. She previously put the home on the market in 2012 but had it priced at $165,000. She received five offers, but they all fell through. "I think that was appealing to the investor market vs. the home-buyer market," she said. "I think we were appealing to the foreclosure buyers, and I wasn't foreclosing. I wasn't in a desperate situation, but I believe my pricing sent the message that I was." When her renters asked out of their lease early to buy another home, she decided to put it on the market with Melanie Carawan of Harry Norman, Realtors. Carawan provided data that showed nearby homes of the same size and age were selling for $190,000 and $195,000. They sold the home in eight hours for above asking price, and Tucker believes the open, ranch floor plan and updates appealed to the buyer.

Potential stumbling block: Selling the home while living out of state presented challenges, but that's where Carawan's assistance was crucial. Tucker filled out a form on the Harry Norman, Realtors website and was connected with Carawan. They only interacted via phone and email, never face to face. "One of my biggest concerns was, how was I going to sell this house and do what I know needs to be done and I'm living in D.C.?" Tucker said. "From our first conversation, she shared with me how she worked with other out-of-town clients and she would run block and tackle for everything." Carawan helped schedule and negotiate rates with contractors and set up the termite inspection, in addition to coordinating paperwork needed to close on the home. "I felt like she did so much more to sell my home," Tucker said.

Seller's hint: Go into the process expecting to pay some money on upgrades. She spent about $15,000 to update the kitchen with nicer countertops and new appliances (which were included in the sale), add new carpet and hardwood floors, and make repairs. She also bought a two-year home warranty for the buyers.