Name: Tim and Kim Pruitt and their children, Emily and Colby. Tim, 33, is a sales manager for Arauco, a wood products company; Kim, 32, is a psychologist.
The home: A two-bedroom, two-bath condo built in 1984.
Where: Roswell Pointe community, in Roswell
Why they sold: To have a larger home and yard for their kids and pets. The couple had bought the home in March 2004, but then they added two dogs and had kids. “As newlyweds, it worked really well for us. Then we welcomed our (children) and ran out of room,” Kim said.
They were trying to make use of the space, such as turning the sunroom into a bedroom for newborn Colby. They wanted to find a home where they could spread out, have bedrooms for their children, and eat in a dining room instead of the same room as the TV, Kim said.
Time on market: About six years off and on, but the last two years continuously
Original price: $124,000
Sale price: $92,500
What it took: After buying the condo, they replaced the carpet with hardwood floors and gutted the kitchen, bringing in new countertops, cabinets and appliances. A leak caused them to update the second bathroom. “What really set our condo apart was the upgrades we had done. I think that’s what led to the sale that finally happened,” Kim said.
They knew they faced competition from other units that were on a bottom floor and may appeal to older buyers (theirs was a second-floor unit). Condos in other locations, such as downtown Atlanta, Midtown and Vinings, likely had a greater appeal to young, single buyers, they said. The condo was on and off the market until October 2012, when they finally snagged a buyer, working with Ed Robeson, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty First Atlanta.
Once they got a contact on their home, they started looking for a home to buy. In November they bought a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home in the Westfield neighborhood in east Cobb County. It has about double the square footage of the condo, plus a basement. The new paint and carpet throughout, as well as new cabinets, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, showed that the seller had taken care of the home, which also had a much-needed outdoor space. “We’re enjoying the backyard. It was important for us to have a backyard and just some nice general areas for our daughter and eventually our son to play,” Kim said. “It’s great really being able to spread out a little bit and have a different room, as far as the kitchen and dining room and the living room.”
Potential stumbling block: As potential buyers came and went, the couple had to undergo the negotiation process each time. “We got our hopes up several times,” Kim said. Finally, they found a cash buyer who did not require them to pay closing costs. The couple replaced the water heater, which was covered under their home warranty, and had electrical outlets and a railing repaired.
Seller’s hint: Be flexible. “If your Realtor is saying, ‘We need to lower the price, you probably need to lower the price,’” Kim said.