DIY

On Privately Selling our Home!!

April 26, 2021  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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You guys, we made it through! In case you missed our Instagram stories, we’ve been showing our house over the weekend, and I feel like I can breathe now. I let Chris do the honors of letting the potential buyers in, while the girls and I skipped town. This was my way of stepping away after I’ve done everything I can, and also to keep the kids, I mean the mess, at bay. We showed our home over 3 days and every morning Chris would send me a little video walk through for my peace of mind that every light was on and pillow was in place. He always went above and beyond though–turning on some soft music to show off our surround sound and even laid s’mores stuff around the fire pit for the nighttime showings.We knew that moving across the country would come with hurdles to overcome and this feels like a big one.

Selling our house privately was an early decision we made and I wanted to share a bit about what that process looked like for us. When we announced we were moving, we had a handful of people reaching out who were seriously interested in our home, so it just naturally made sense for us to sell it without having to list in on the MLS. We hired a real estate attorney and Chris created an email for people to contact him through, and once we nailed down a weekend to do showings, we set-up appointments for people who showed a letter of pre-approval. We KNOW that listing it would have brought even more buyers, but at this time, we were more interested in limiting the amount of people coming through our home and, hey!, we only needed one buyer, right?! We knew that if it didn’t work out this way, we could list it.

We took a few house hunting trips to North Carolina before making an offer on a beautiful brick-covered, modern traditional house (did you catch the sneak peak I posted on Instagram?). We found out our offer was accepted the night we made our way back to Idaho, and we took a little piece of our little home with us – a cute folder-sized brochure of our future house. It was a glossy little highlight reel of the house’s best features, including text call-outs, and photos of the house to tide us over until move-in day. Polly was even carrying it around for a little while and it was the sweetest thing to see her be excited about the new house in her own little way.

I immediately took note of this, and wanted to give the home buyers something to refer to as they explored the house. We had a really awkward showing in NC where the homeowner was doing the showing and it was hard to talk about what this house COULD be when they’re listening in, so we wanted to give them the space to walk about on their own.

So we went to work and started pulling images of our home’s best angles, and wrote some text call-outs to things you DON’T see in a room: heated floors, sound system, motorized blinds, etc. And instead of putting sticky notes on appliances, or furniture available for purchase around the house, we tastefully included it in the brochure: (Kitchen/ laundry appliances, dining room set/bed for sale). We also photographed the exterior of the home (is this the last time??) at dusk to show the house in its true graphite color, with its best LIGHTING on: sconces, lamp posts, torches, etc.)

We were very selective in what rooms we would include in the brochure. If we included all of them, the photos would be too small, so we highlighted the 4 main living spaces on the bottom floor: living room, dining room, music room and kitchen, and showed the full primary suite: Bedroom, bathroom and closet. We including the laundry room to remind buyers of the impressive 4 appliances included, and chose to show Faye’s room because it’s simply a show-stopper.

The exterior of the house really needed its own page and we included “Other noteworthy exterior features” to give a comprehensive guide to everything you’re getting with the house.

Because horizontal photos can show a lot more than a vertical, we chose a landscape orientation and designed this from scratch in Adobe InDesign (for those who want to get technical). We don’t really need to print things often for this job (especially not photos of our own home) but we had experience with Alphagraphics before and knew they would do a good job with what we envisioned. And they really did! They showed a few paper options, and we went with the thicker paper in a Satin finish. What can I say? I like my paper how I like my paint, NOT shiny haha.

I checked their website and Alphagraphics is actually located in most states AND they’re international, so be sure to check them out if you ever need anything printed. They were beyond helpful and were so willing to go back and forth with a few proofs before everything was finalized.

I’m not saying everyone needs to print a full-on brochure for their house if they’re looking to sell, but I’m so happy we did. It was an extra little touch, and I’m not only anticipating the buyers holding tight to theirs to tide them over, but we’re definitely keeping one for us – just a token from a chapter of our lives we don’t ever want to forget.

Chris handed each of the 12 showings in (many came twice over the 3 days) and handed them the brochure and let them know he’d be outside if they had any questions. Only one couple asked him to walk around with them, which he gladly did. Each appointment was blocked out for an hour and everyone took at least that long. It felt good to have so many thoughtful families considering our home. We had many offers come in and last night we accepted one and are OFFICIALLY UNDER CONTRACT. It feels bittersweet for sure, but also, I couldn’t be more excited for the next family who gets to call this house, home.

What do you think?

  1. Betty Pittman says:

    Well done!

  2. Eileen Rinehimer says:

    You did a top notch job with every aspect of privately selling your home. I know it’s not your modus operandi, but your house would’ve sold just as quickly, and for top dollar regardless, because it is so very WARM, BEAUTIFUL, & CLASSY.

  3. Whitney says:

    Congrats to you and your family!! We are in the middle of an across-states move too and you’re right! Having the house sold, while it’s bittersweet, is one stressor off your plate now. Happy for you all!

  4. Janet Campbell says:

    Congratulations. I’m sure there are plenty of realtors who would have loved the opportunity and gotten you more money for your home.

  5. Shelley says:

    Saving a minimum of $40k in realtor commissions is also a significant plus with the private sale! :)

  6. Sue says:

    So happy for you!! I know you mentioned wanting to limit the number of people in tournaments home. Would you kindly consider disclosing as to the other “whys” you wanted to go that route vs MLS?

  7. Ashley says:

    So so happy for you all! Thank you for sharing with all of us and taking us along for the ride. We’ve all seen how much heart and soul you’ve poured into this home, but we’re so excited to the next chapter to be filled with even more joy and good health! Love you all!

  8. Jill says:

    I’m crying????? My parents just sold our family home, they move out next week. Moving from these “dream homes” is filled with emotion, but I am so excited for what’s next for your family with this move!

    On a related note, yourself, Safiya Nygaard, and Rob Cesternino have all just announced moves to Raleigh. Some of my favorite “internet people!” You three are going to create a little influencer hub out there by accident!

  9. Dianne says:

    Beautiful description of a flawless process! I’m shaking (cheering) my pompoms for you as the selling step can be painful. I’m not surprised at the perfect show you planned for and performed with a great outcome. Now you can focus on the future. Look forward to what is to come for you all.

  10. Shari says:

    Curious- did you list it publicly anywhere or it was all word of mouth? We are thinking of doing the same thing in Southern California as the market is insane and paying a huge commission when we know our house will sell itself is tough to swallow. Things are selling in a day for hundreds of thousands of dollars over asking in our area. Thanks for any additional insight – and so happy for y’all!

    • Julia says:

      It was just word of mouth. But I know that you can pay a small fee to have your house listed on the MLS, even if you’re selling it yourself.

    • Kate Bilger says:

      We sold our home in Northern Virginia privately before moving back to Southern California at the end of last year. Got $125K over asking and 18 offers in 1 week of showings. And perhaps I could have gotten more with a realtor but market comps tell me that it would not have been enough to cover their commission. I did not list it on MLS. I paid like $50 to list FSBO on Zillow and then listed it on other free sites like Redfin. I created a professional looking yard sign directing people to a website I bought and quickly made on word press. I also created a flyer like CLJ. Obviously, the situation is very personal and specific, but that was my experience.

  11. Linda says:

    That’s wonderful! Excited for you guys…excited for us to follow along!

  12. Kari Sterling says:

    Lucky new buyer. Your house is just simply gorgeous!

  13. Kirsty says:

    Congrats!

    Brochures are standard practice for Realestate sales in australia. One double sided page for a standard house, folded booklet for bigger/fancier places. They also include a floor plan (which is also listed online).

  14. Mary says:

    I love the brochure! We received one when we looked at our house. It was mainly just the MLS listing in a a plastic sleeve with some extra photos. I loved being able to look back on it when deciding to but the house or not. With only an hour to look at the whole house you need some extra time to look over the pictures. And if you look at more than one in a day, it really helps remember what you loved about the house. Also 5 years down the line I love to see what it looked like when we bought it. Its a cool keepsake.

  15. Raluca says:

    This house is a dream and this process seems like the most authentic way to showcase it. Thank you for sharing so much of it with us — cannot wait to follow along on your next (undoubtedly beautiful and thoughtful) chapter.

  16. Katy says:

    What a treasure to take with you as you leave this beautiful home you worked so hard on and sacrificed so much for. You should make one with ALL the rooms and spaces just to take for yourselves. Just to remember it all and have it one place.

  17. Hannah Gokie says:

    Wow! So happy for you guys that you got under contract!!! :)

  18. Rachel says:

    I love this! Hopefully you can stay in contact with the new family! We bought a Mid-Century home with oozes of character. The people we bought it from had carefully maintained it for over 30 years and we have worked really hard to keep all the character as we have made updates. The people we bought it from were the second owners. We are the third. We still talk to them on a regular basis and when they come into town after being snow birds we always have them over to hangout. It’s really fun when you can share your love for a home with someone else! =)

  19. Erin says:

    Congratulations family Marcum! Way to take it to the next level with that fancy brochure. Thanks for sharing your experience and Cheers to your next chapter!

  20. Denise says:

    Amazing and impressive, such a beautiful home.
    We relocated from Florida to Asheville a few years ago, you will love North Carolina. I enjoy hearing about people’s moves and seeing how different homes are in areas of the country, can’t wait to hear all about yours!
    Question; since you had made such progress on the design of the kitchen remodel, are those plans something you would pass onto the buyer for consideration? Kinda like a housewarming gift 😊

    • Erin says:

      Ooooh! Better yet, let your buyers know that the new kitchen design is done and they can contract with CLJ remotely for e-design services when they are ready to update…..

  21. Jamie says:

    Wow! I love the idea of a brochure. Everything looks so luxurious and high end. It probably helped the buyer feel like they were getting a great deal to see everything in one place. Congrats on your sale! I’m excited for your next adventure.

    I would love to hear about the moving process for your family. We have made a couple cross country moves and it has been a crazy experience every time. I have found that the more you can do stay organized, the easier it is in the long run. BUT, I’ve never had to move a big house with lots of furniture. It would be really interesting (and helpful) to see what has works for you and doesn’t work for you with packing/moving.

  22. JL says:

    Congratulations Chris and Julia!

  23. Maggie says:

    Congratulations folks. Such a thoughtful touch to have the brochure. So happy for you that the weekend went well.

  24. I’m sure that family is so excited!! What a beautiful way to show your home and I’m taking notes for if/when we ever sell our home!

  25. rhana says:

    I love this idea of the brochure you created – may be using this idea in our own move soon. Looking at all the photos of your home and how far it’s come brought tears to my eyes – I can only imagine how your family + you feel! Can’t wait to see what the new house in Raleigh looks like and how Chris + you will be updating it.

  26. Karen says:

    Congratulations on the sale, all your hard work paid off. I love the idea of getting a full color brochure, it helps the new owners correctly remember all the things they saw and loved.

    I can’t wait til y’all move to NC. Right now it’s lush and green and everything is fresh and new. You will really enjoy having shorter, milder winters. (And laugh when most of the state closes down for snow)

  27. Breanna says:

    Beautiful! Do you think the new owners are comfortable with the address of their home being shared publicly though? Especially if it was done private and wouldn’t be able to be found on Zillow?

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We believe we should all love where we live.

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