From Shabby to Showplace: A Lifestyle Real Estate Services Success Story (Part 3 of 3).
As we hinted about in the previous installment of this series, our client at 440 Meadowlark owned a property that had a value of around $360,000 if it were sold in its present, as-is condition. As you saw from Part One of the “Shabby to Showplace” series, the house was suffering from deferred maintenance, it needed a new roof, and seemed to be the victim of shoddy workmanship from “upgrades” previous owners had made through the years. Our seller was in a unique position in that he had about $40,000 cash he could invest, with our guidance, to do some upgrades before putting it on the market. As you saw in Part Two of this series, the connections and know-how of our expert team of project managers, designers and stagers leveraged that investment for the best possible return. The results were shocking — read on!
Part of the rehabilitation project was taking the garage, which had been repurposed by a previous owner to being a “man cave” complete with a bar and a fake fireplace, and converting the space back to being a garage. We put the property on the market as a 3-bedroom, 2-bath, 1573 square foot house priced at $499,000. Agents started showing the house to their clients, and we had a steady stream of showing appointments.
One comment was consistent with many people who viewed it — “it seems small.” The folks who walked through simply didn’t feel that it was nearly 1600 square feet, even though that was the square footage listed on the property taxes (we don’t typically measure our listings as it creates a representation issue, we typically refer to the public records for statistical data).
That led us to our “offers due” date; we received an offer for $490,000. Our seller was pleased, knowing that the list price was a bit optimistic, and we opened escrow. The buyer was getting financing, and their lender had the house appraised. The appraisal, which includes a rough measurement of the living space, came back with a surprise — the house measured only 1105 square feet. No one had realized the previous owner who converted the garage had actually done so with a permit and by re-purposing the space back to being a garage we had reduced the amount of living space by roughly one-third!
The buyers loved the house and the work we had done to improve it, which led us to a shocking surprise: even though it was substantially smaller than they had thought it was, they agreed to purchase it for $485,000! They were fully aware they were paying WAY more per square foot than any home had previously sold for, but they wanted to buy it anyway.
That is the power of what we do — we create an emotional connection between a home buyer and a property. Our work doesn’t just benefit our clients though; when a home sells for an enhanced value, it benefits the entire neighborhood!
Keep in mind, this was an honest mistake based on seemingly reliable information we took from public records. Had we known this home wasn’t 1573 square feet, we never would have agreed to market it that way (scenarios like this are also the reason you’ll notice, on our marketing pieces, a disclaimer saying “Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.”). We’re an honest group, and we’re strong advocates of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics.
Still, the results of our efforts were highly profitable for our seller. To check out the final marketing photos of the property which include our staging design, click here and then click the “Property Photos” link on the left-hand side.