How to Sell a House in Just 5 Days: We Dissect the Speedy Sale of a Modernist Masterpiece

It's a given when the housing market is hot, homes sell. But a home that's barely on the market for five days before it sells? That's an anomaly, although some agents (and sellers) are able to hit the jackpot with an ultraquick sale. That's exactly what happened to this modernist masterpiece in Chula Vista, CA.

So sellers and agents, take note: We're diving into the ins and outs of one of the quickest sales we've seen.

Co-listing agents Keith York of Big Block Realty and Modern San Diego Real Estate and Jayson Brewster of Encore Premier Properties wanted to market the home known as the Lincoff Residence in all its glory, but the home built in 1966 was in need of moderate restoration.

So instead of using new photos, they opted to evoke the home's history through the use of beautiful black-and-white snaps. York says they went old-school to "capture the imagination of potential buyers by leveraging the romantic qualities of original, vintage photography over the standard approach to images."

With help from the architect, Leonard Veitzer, and the homeowners, the agents were able to procure vintage photos of the house from the '60s. The photos had been professionally done and were visually appealing.

With photos in tow, the agents put the property on their website. They added Veitzer's professional credentials and bio to complement the photos and weave a story, creating an emotional connection with potential buyers.

An emotional connection was crucial for a sale, because the owners wouldn't sell to just anyone. The agents had to find a buyer who "would not consider the home a tear-down or even a candidate for remodeling and updating," Brewster says.

In turn, the owners understood they'd have to make concessions. The agents drew up a list of necessary restoration projects that could adversely affect the sale price, putting the owners "in the shoes of the buyer," Brewster says.

To attract buyers and work toward creating an emotional connection, the agents ditched the idea of having an open house. Instead they used invite-only, wine-and-cheese openings to show off the home. For traditional tract homes, this technique might be tricky, but if a home is unique or well-known by local architectural enthusiasts, as was the case here, it could work.

"Often our clients agree that open houses do not sell the house, but a more intimate showing where buyers can effortlessly experience a house by themselves is where the magic happens," Brewster says.

To spread the word about the exclusive open house, the agents used an e-newsletter and social media. For a finishing touch, they enlisted the help of Veitzer at the invite-only gatherings, and the architect took potential buyers through the home while sharing memories of its construction.

Within days multiple offers rolled in -- including one from a solid buyer who expressed an emotional connection to the home and a willingness to work with Veitzer on the restoration. The agents did not reveal the sale price, but the list price was $675,000.

Although this home clearly had some history and pedigree on its side, there are lessons every seller can extract from this extremely quick sale.

"Regardless of the type of home and its condition, working in concert with a highly regarded real estate professional that knows their community is key. We collaborated over many weeks to present this home at its best. The laundry list of preparation (repairs, cleaning, etc.) and smart marketing (including quality photography) to a community of interested, informed buyers is key to a quick deal," York says.

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