I recently sold a house and wanted to share a few lessons I learned from this particular project. As you can imagine, I learn something from every single property I buy...and sometimes, I learn the same lessons more than once. (lol)
The project was a bit unique in that we had a buyer lined up even when we were less than 50% complete with the construction. Now, I've sold properties within 10 - 20 days after listing the property, but never before have I sold a property we were currently renovating. And by 'sold', I mean having a purchase and sale agreement in place.
I really enjoyed the experience of working with the buyers and with the real estate agent throughout most of the process.
I met the buyers at the house one particular evening to discuss the house and to specifically discuss the "finishes" such as kitchen cabinets, granite countertops, kitchen and bathroom tile, carpet, etc.
I had recently finished renovating another house and shared pictures of the kitchen with these buyers. Much to my surprise, they wanted the exact same cabinet style, color and granite as well as the tile floor. Wow....I thought, this is gonna be a breeze.
They were super easy to work with and on many occassions, I went out of my way to get their opinion/decision on many other finishes.
For example, I remember being in Home Depot on several occassions ready to purchase finish material and I would simply snap a pic of what I wanted to buy, text it to the real estate agent who in turn would connect with the buyers and minutes later, I'd get a response of yeah or nay.
They loved the exterior doors I picked out, so I bought 'em.
The loved the ceiling fans I picked out, so I bought those as well.
It got to the point where the realtor said to simply reach out to the buyers directly when discussing these finishing touches, which I did on numerous occassions.
It truly was a fun time because I was building a house for someone. I was installing things they wanted.
This was a big change for me because on every one of my other projects, I'm buying things that I 'hope' the buyer will love. I am always asking myself...will she like this, will she like that? Because I know, the woman makes the decision and I need to think like a woman...which is not easy to do.
Everything was going along smoothly until I hit delays in getting the work done. I had my contractors on a few different projects at the exact same time and this project was not getting the attention it deserved. On top of that, when my guys came out to the project, they were not 100% focused on project and their workmanship, or lack thereof, showed.
In the end, I had to re-do several aspects of shotty work, which costs time and money to do so, while at the same time causing frustration and angst for my buyers.
Even at the closing table, we agreed in writing that I would address 8 or 9 items that were not addressed prior to closing.
Do I wish this project went smoother...sure I do.
Am I happy with the end result. You bet I am!!!!
These buyers essentially have a brand new home with new windows, new HVAC system (which is very unusual in this neighborhood), brand new kitchen cabinets and granite countertops, brand new stainless steel appliances that they picked out, brand new flooring they they picked out and the walls were painted to their specifications.
As you can see by the pics, the house looks really, really good. And what about what you can't see? Good question. Well, we spent extra money installing sound proof insulation between the party walls. Previous to that, you could literally earn the neighbors in the kitchen talking. We insulated walls and ceilings that were previously not insulated. We had a master electrician run the wiring within the house that was then inspected by a 3rd party inspection company.
I am proud of this house. My only regret is hiring the right guys who could focus 100% on this project and get the job done right and on-time.
Will they have some work to do when they move it...Of course they will. The buyers had some awesome ideas of building custom shelves in the living room and master bedroom as well as the hall closet. I'm sure they are going to create lasting memories in this new home for many many years to come.