Jackie Swagerty: Sold in 8 Days

Jackie Swagerty

Everyone should have a why, and Jackie knows her why is to help those in need.  After 15 years in real estate, her why has given her an edge that fuels her success.  Jackie believes in lifting those around her and shares with us her strategy in getting a mature townhome by the railroad tracks sold in 8 days.

DOM: 8

Sale/List: 99%

Neighborhood: Heights

Style of Home: Townhome

Type of Stage: Vacant

Listing Price: $385k

The more someone hangs out in a place, the more ownership they feel. The next step is buying.

What challenges did you expect prior to listing?

1. The home was close to the train tracks (which I love but isn’t an easy sell)
2. There was new build competition all around 
3. The other units in the complex weren’t selling

How did you decide on the list price?

I assessed the comps: I knew it would appraise ~$400k no prob. But I had to consider DOM and holding costs, so I made the price competitive.

How did you promote the home?  And how did you procure the buyer?

My number one thing is photography- it’s the first thing a buyer sees online and it’s gotta look good.  Every real estate professional should be using professional photography to evoke an emotional response. It’s quick, it’s affordable, it’s a service to the seller and the entire industry. There’s no reason not to do it.

A picture is worth more than a thousand words- it’s worth 1000’s of dollars.  

Then I just leave it to MLS. If the price and presentation are right, the rest is gravy.

Besides staging, what other updates did you perform to make the home more marketable?

We didn’t have a big budget so we did the minimum to achieve a modern standard. 

The biggest change was the kitchen: 2009 dark cherry cabinets and black granite made the place feel heavy so we painted the cabinets white and we changed out the light pendants to give a light, bright airy feel (think Scandanavian).  We replaced the island with a butcher block waterfall. It was one of a kind (built by my husband) which provided a unique centerpiece and brightened up with space without losing the warmth.
The important final touch was the staging because the space was very open and barren.

Did you consider virtual staging?

Virtual staging is fine- but because of the train tracks and barren space, I wanted my buyers to hang out and sit on the furniture and experience the place to see for themselves that the train sounds are really cool!  

The more someone hangs out in a place, the more ownership they feel. The next step is buying.

I can say 100% of the time, after visiting 5-6 homes, buyers don’t remember anything about empty rooms.  An empty room doesn’t evoke an emotional response.

The neighboring and nearly identical unit has been on the market for over 200 days.  Why do you think your property sold so quickly?

Staging, photography, and the updates we performed (kitchen, smart fixtures, etc). The unit next door was an empty sad sad house.

No updates vs Jackie’s updates…  buyers loved the difference.

What do you look for in a stager?

The cost is not important.  People are scared to invest money in selling, but they’re ok with going down on price?  This doesn’t benefit anyone.  
I have a trifecta of expectations:  I want to combine what I want + what the house needs + their professional experience.

Pricing the house right and staging it right from the beginning benefits everyone involved.

Given your experience with flipping, what advice would you give in this market?

Make it easy for the buyer to feel positive emotions.
When I started teaching myself real estate photography, I realized how involved good photography really is:  Lighting, editing, real furniture as a focus- all these elicit positive emotions, instead of a warning that something is off.  People gravitate toward what’s real.
• Be sure to look at your competition on a super local level

• Look from the viewpoint of an appraiser (comps, year built, pools, updates)

• Look from the viewpoint of the buyer (based on location, job, school)

Connect with Jackie


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