When you've literally written the book on how people should sell their homes, you better believe there's some pressure that comes with selling your own. Just ask Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff, who just listed his Madison Park 4-BR for $1.295M.
Built in 1994, Rascoff has rented out the 3,470 square-foot property for five years but decided late last year that it was time to sell. While he preaches the ideal time for a seller to list is between March and June, the home's July start date was at the mercy of repairs after renters moved out in the Spring.
One of the repairs (which totaled $25K) was the master bathroom, which Rascoff has said is the key room to any remodel over, say, the kitchen. While you can scare off potential buyers with an ornate kitchen, the bathroom is usually much more straightforward. "It's important not to do any remodel that different buyers would have different perspective on," Rascoff told Curbed in an exclusive interview. "Go straight down the middle of the fairway. Make it look fresh and new but don't overspend."
That's a lesson he got to learn first-hand this time around. "As the seller, it was an interesting exercise to me because every check I wrote to a contractor was painful and I had to be very thoughtful about it. I followed the advice of my agent."
In fact, Rascoff leaned heavily on that agent, Gordon Stephenson of Real Property Associates. Not just on repair advice but also in terms of asking price, photo order, and listing language. When it came to the nuts and bolts of listing the home, "some things are best left to the professional. Gordon is more expert than I."
That said, while it's important to trust your real estate agent to drive the car, Rascoff thinks it's just as important to "be in the passenger seat." To that end, Rascoff will keep a close eye on the Zillow listing popularity stats. If the home isn't selling, it might be the lead photo ("an incredibly important decision") or the price, but it might also be a lack of exposure.
You'll have to check out the house for yourself to find out if it's a good fit ("good first family home"). However, there's one indicator that Rascoff thinks is proof-positive of its overall value. Something that he's on the record as saying is an ideal indicator of great location. It's two blocks from a Starbucks. But not just any Starbucks...the Starbucks that Howard Schultz himself is known to frequent.
Fret over the minutia of the real estate listing all you want, that might end up being the most important stat of all.
· 3808 E Madison St [Zillow]
· Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff debunks myths for homebuyers [CBS]
· There's One on Every Corner, but None Like This [NYT]
· Madison Park Townhome for Sale in Seattle [SDH]