Selling in Seattle: Michael & His Childhood Home

Read one seller’s story of selling a home he adored – and discover the staging and remodeling tips that allowed him to be successful.

The Coldwell Banker® brand has aligned with Apartment Therapy to explore the lives and homes of people who’ve recently sold a property in one of the hottest markets for sellers: Seattle. In the second post of five on Apartment Therapy, real estate power duo Team Franz + Joe of Coldwell Banker Bain introduced us to their client Michael Marian, owner of Marian Built. Here, Les Christie, a veteran real estate reporter, will take a closer look at Michael’s experience and share Franz + Joe’s top advice for prepping your home for sale.

A Seattle-based builder of custom homes, interior environments and reclaimed furniture, 34-year-old Michael Marian considers his houses “works of art” and was pleased to find real estate agents who share his taste and vision. He has used Franz Diessner and Joe Overland, affiliated with Coldwell Banker Bain, to sell three new construction homes he built from scratch and his childhood home after an extensive remodel.

What he likes best about the team is that they’re professional, motivated and extremely detail-oriented.

Michael also appreciates their candor. “They didn’t treat me with kid gloves,” he said.

One of Michael’s most memorable experiences was selling the home his father built in 1983, in which he grew up. Applying his unique artistic style, he refreshed his childhood home by tearing down a kitchen wall to open up the floor plan and remodeling the kitchens and bathrooms. Once the physical changes were done, he placed the sale in the hands of Team Franz + Joe.

After properly pricing the home, Franz + Joe marketed it through their extensive network of advertising avenues. Professional staging allowed them to capture the essence of the interior environment. The home has a clean, contemporary look, so the team highlighted features and finishes with sleek contemporary furniture. The 3,700-square-foot remodeled home sold for $1.4 million.

What was the best advice Franz + Joe gave Michael as he sold his Seattle home?

How to get the most bang from your remodeling buck: To remodel your home to sell, you have to learn what buyers are looking for. A home remodel should fit the style of the neighborhood, according to Joe. It’s important to update kitchens and baths, but don’t go overboard. Staying budget conscious is important. Your budget should reflect the values in the neighborhood. Expensive new cabinets, fixtures and appliances can result in over-improving during your remodel. New carpeting and paint is a highly effective way to get the most return when you sell.

How to stage an empty house: For homebuilders like Michael, a house may be impeccably designed, but empty rooms can be cold and unattractive. Rooms usually look smaller when they’re cleared out and it’s hard for potential buyers to visualize what a house would look like without furnishings.

The solution is to add sofas, tables and chairs. Personal furnishings such as vases, pictures and accessories complete the space. Team Franz + Joe have invested in staging inventory so they can easily create interesting spaces for sellers and create tremendous added-value for their clients. The cost of staging is almost always more than repaid by a higher selling price.

“Staging sets the scene,” said Franz. “You have to paint the picture for people.”

Learn more about Team Franz + Joe and the Apartment Therapy series on our Blue Matter blog.

Originally written by Les Christie.

Senior Manager, Content & Multimedia at Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. In his role he manages content strategy and execution across several platforms. He’s held other roles within the Marketing Department ranging from Previews & Product Development to the day to day management of the coldwellbanker.com redesign. Besides being a marketer, Gustavo is a filmmaker, musician and writer.

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