Updating pool, power washing make home shine

Name: Howard and Annamarie Sohnen

The home: A five-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath home built in 2004

Where: Marietta

Why they sold: The Sohnens lived in the home for nine years, choosing the Walton Oaks neighborhood because of factors such as the strong Cobb County schools. After their children graduated from Walton High School, the couple desired to downsize. “We really loved the home and the location. But it was just really came down to, gee, we’re not using the space,” she said.

Time on market: 48 days

Original price: $825,000

Sale price: $770,000

What it took

Decluttering, repainting, power washing, and bringing in experts such as plumbers to make sure everything was in good condition were important steps as the Sohnens put the home on the market. They removed furniture that was taking up floor space, in order to show potential buyers the size of the rooms, and stored the pieces in their unfinished basement.

The home had a pool, which some other houses on the market in the neighborhood offered. They replaced the heater and pump to make sure their pool did not have any maintenance issues that would be a deal breaker.

Potential stumbling block

An offer came in during the first 10 days, but the buyers had to back out of the contract. The Sohnens were worried if having the home essentially off the market during that time would cause potential buyers to wonder if something was wrong with the home, Annamarie said.

Around the same time, a nearby home had dropped the price. When the first contract didn’t go through, the Sohnens also came down off their original asking price. Other buyers were interested but needed to sell their homes first, but the Sohnens wanted to avoid a contract that was contingent on another sale.

They received a solid offer a couple of weeks later and were able to close in June, assisted by Keith Grogan and Marsha Sell of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. The Sohnens moved into a new four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath house by Brock Built Homes, also in Marietta, in June.

Seller’s hint

Choose an experienced, energetic agent. “Marsha walked into the house and she saw all the pluses in the house,” she said. “When they do that, you know that’s what they’re going to be highlighting as they write up your house and as they talk to other buyers’ agents.”

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