The house closed about five hours ago!
We had been told there was no way we would be able to sell our house in less then a year. It was rural. It was the most expensive property for sale in the county (about 3x higher then the norm). The children in the area rode their little scooters and told us that their parents thought we were insane. NO ONE would ever buy the place.
This is what I did about that.
1) We hired a realtor who knew everyone. She was a home town girl. She worked in a very small company. I have to admit, this move made me very nervous.
We then gave her $200 dollars of gift cards so she could throw a "realtor's party". She took every realtors' card and did a drawing for 4- $50 cards. Normally 5-7 realtors come to those things in our area. We had twenty.
2) We perfected Zillow.
We staged every room so it looked elegant, livable and clean.
My realtor had a great camera and I gave her permission to move things to the advantage of the camera.
We made sure the pictures were all about the house and not the stuff in the house.
Windows were scrubbed,
Lawns were mowed.
We had already updated the master bath.
The rooms we painted were the "most chosen color" for our area- arctic grey.
Clean lines, good colors, no junk.
3) St Joseph was put in the rose bush to watch visitors.
4) We treated every looker as "the one".
5) We lowered the price every two weeks by a little bit.
That seems counter intuitive
but that brings the house back up to the top of the list
on sites like Trulia and Realtor.com.
It was on the market seventy days before we had a solid contract.
It closed in thirty more days- more because my husband said we could not possibly get out before then.
In an absolutely dead market, we also had two realtors ask if they could show the house for a back up offer.
The lessons we learned were:
1) We are not the only people who purchase a house from the internet.
The people who bought ours said they found it on Zillow
and combed every pictures many, many times.
They had found the house themselves and then contacted a realtor.
2) It is important for your realtor to know everyone.
When we needed small repairs or fixes at a reasonable price.
She made those happen.
3) Clean like a mad man and get rid of stuff!
4) Zillow pays off for seller and realtor. My realtor saw a marked increase in business because her name was on our page! She sold about eight houses in the four months we worked together. Five were to people who had found her on Zillow. Mine was the only house listed by her on Zillow.