At the end of May, 2005, my mom who was 88 and I drove to WA to visit my sister and one of my closest friends in Gig Harbor. On the spur of the moment, I decided to sell my condo in Channel Islands and move to Gig Harbor. I made an offer on a house after looking at 10 in one day…and by the way, I was not a realtor. Then I called one of my best friends, Christie Harth who had been an agent in the Palisades for 30 years, and told her I was selling my condo and moving my mom with me to Gig Harbor.
Decluttering is Key
OMG!!! I got home on Sunday, met with Chris who told me what to do on Monday…by the way, the same thing I tell my clients…take down all the family photos, pictures, and chatzkees, pack them up and put them in the garage. You will move them anyway, so get going. Take out most of the small furniture…put it in the garage. You want to make the rooms look as big as possible. Chris didn't think I could do it because I had so much stuff!!! I have to admit, it was daunting because I had so little time and not much help…but I was determined.
Put Yourself in the Buyer's Shoes
I walked thru the rooms and looked for things that would turn me off if I was a buyer and I fixed them…there wasn't a lot, because I had just painted and put new carpet in…but I did take the smelly carpet out of my bathroom and put in vinyl…small cost to get a full price offer the first day on market….and all this happened in just 5 days. The house was listed on Saturday and open house was Sunday and we had a full price offer by end of day Sunday…much the same is happening today in lots of markets. And I was working too! One of the things I tell my clients is to paint the front door and make sure it looks great…it is the first thing prospective buyers see.
Worth it in the End
My goal was in sight and both houses closed on June 30, 2005 and we moved lock, stock and barrel on July 2 to Gig Harbor and I love it. Best thing I ever did for myself. Leaving my kids and friends was tough but the prospect of living in this beautiful community was awesome and I haven't regretted a minute. I have made a lot wonderful new friends. And my old friends and kids love to come visit!