Persistence Pays! In this market, when you have the right price and the right agent, you can only win. Listed for $337,500–Sold for $330,000.
When I initially assessed this elegant high first floor unit in autumn 2008, I consulted with the seller about strategies to prepare the space for a positive first impression. The turn-of-the-century brownstone end unit was an estate sale and needed to have many personal belongings packed and shipped to various family members across the country. Sarah Buckwalter, Organizing Boston, came in with her dream team, sorted, packed, and shipped what was designated, and donated the remainder. My staging skills as an Accredited Staging Professional, ASP, proved useful in preparing the two bedroom unit for showing. Freshly painted, floors sanded, strategically furnished, the scene was set.
Once the property hit the market, listed at $347,500, there was a flurry of activity. The spacious unit was located in a prime spot in Jamaica Plain near local shops and restaurants and in close proximity to the Jamaica Pond recreational area. Open houses were well attended. I received many calls prompted by the virtual tour on my 7Lakeville.com (since expired), as well as postings on Boston.com and other top real estate sites. Interested buyers were given a copy of the virtual tour on CD to help them jog their memories about the historic features of the unit.
All the details the Condo Association need to be disclosed to prospective buyers. In this case, the condo association, in doing their job of attending to the necessary capital improvements, was in the process of planning some external repairs. Because they had not yet determined how to fund these repairs, there was the possibility of a special assessment on the table. Further uncertainty was a pending lawsuit against the Association. In late October, the mortgage crisis hit and condo associations were particularly affected because of the new rigid and evolving lender criteria.
In the fall, we received two offers. The first buyers were unable to take on the prospect of a special assessment, because they were at the top of their price range to begin with. The second offer was withdrawn due the uncertainty in the mortgage market. In any case, the offered amount was too low for the seller to further negotiate.
In January, we reduced the price of the unit to $337,500 hoping to attract a new round of activity. I sent a postcard to all residents in the Association. I made calls to the brokers and buyers who had previously expressed interest. I sent targeted emails to all MLS agents with potential matched buyer clients. We received another offer which the seller accepted. Unfortunately several weeks were spent only to find once the lending requirements could not be met by the buyers.
As I anticipated, once the Association announced a plan which included NO SPECIAL ASSESSMENT and the lawsuit was resolved, the pent up demand exploded. We soon had a multiple offer situation on our hands with three offers for the seller to choose from. Multiple offer situations need to be handled very carefully. All parties need to be treated with professional consideration. A good listing agent will advise the seller on the pros and cons of each offer and strategize how to sell the property at the best price possible with the least inconvenience to the seller.
One of the offers had no mortgage contingency. No surprise, the seller accepted the “cash” with a quick close after all the difficulty with mortgage requirements. Unfortunately this first time buyer was not represented by an agent and succumbed to the strains of buyer remorse and ultimately withdrew her offer. In the meantime, the other two buyers had moved on, one to a rental and the other to another property.
One final wave of marketing activity, more calls and emails to brokers with matching clients, steady as she goes…in June a offer was accepted. The property closed in August for $330,000. I represented this property for 250 days with cheerful consistency. Although there were plenty of ups and downs in the process of selling this home, by staying centered and falling back on strong professional standards, in the end, my seller was pleased and sent me the following testimonial.
“Janet is a conscientious, hard-working Realtor. She also has a keen eye for what can and should be done to make a home as attractive as possible to potential buyers, and has a strong support staff behind her. She won’t hesitate to put in whatever time is needed to close a deal.”
Nothing could make me happier.