Name: Jim Greeley
The home: A three-bedroom, two-bath house built in 2006.
Why he sold: Greeley, a partner in ProLevel Real Estate, purchased the home for $55,000, investing $36,000 into the home and seeking the flip the house.
Time on market: About five weeks
Original price: $160,000
Sale price: $146,000
What it took: The home had sat vacant for about three years, showing the signs of neglect. The front and back doors and all three bedroom doors had been kicked in, plus a window was smashed. Thieves - believed to be after copper - punched holes in the walls and stole the air conditioners, requiring Greeley to purchase two new HVAC systems. The home had 14 different shades of paint, which required a complete interior paint job, including the coffered ceiling in the living room and stairs. The yard needed to be cleaned of leaves and trash. Greeley had his work cut out for him. The trim, doors and windows were repaired. The deck, which had become gray and weathered from the sun, was re-stained. A new refrigerator, range and hood were installed in the kitchen. Nine major leaks needed to be fixed, which delayed progress for several days. Another “painstaking” process, he said, was spending three days pressure washing the driveway, the parking pad and the entire exterior, which made the concrete look new and tidied up the exterior. The clincher was creating a “secret room,” a small space that could serve as a meditation room or exercise room, accessed by a trapezoidal-shaped door in the master closet. “We decided it would create some value and novelty and something to remember the house by,” he said. “Our instincts were correct.”
When priced at $160,000, the home had showings but no offers, Greeley said. Once the price was dropped to $130,000, there were multiple offers in two days. The home was under contract within a week of dropping the price. Agate Lip of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers and Judy Montgomery of Simply Amazing Staging assisted in the sale.
Potential stumbling block: The property’s location delayed the closing because it was in a “high flip area” with investors buying and renovating homes, and selling them for a higher price, Greeley said. After receiving the first appraisal, the FHA, which was financing the loan, required a second, then a third appraisal to verify the first appraisal.
Seller’s hint: Have compassion and understanding. Sellers should take into consideration that some buyers have an emotional connection to the house. It’s more than just a place to live; it’s a place to call home, Greeley said. “The instant they walked through the door for the first time, they knew it was theirs, I knew it was theirs, and they wrote an offer on the front porch,” he said of the buyers.