The seller: David Young, a 45-year-old manager at Bombardier.
The property: A 1,000-square-foot two-bedroom off Royal York Road, where the recently divorced David and his five-year-old son, Andrew, had lived for just nine months.
The story: Young bought the house to give his son a backyard and himself a chance to use some of his handyman skills. It was perfect for the two of them. Then things between Young and a new girlfriend started getting serious, and they were talking about living together. Since he had Andrew and she had a seven-year-old son, they needed a bigger house.
The prep: They found a place in Mississauga—three bedrooms, twice the square footage—but with finances stretched to the limit, Young needed to sell the old house fast. His agent priced it at market value, and they got only one serious offer in three weeks. Frustrated, Young went back to the agent he bought his first house with, Andrea Bock. She dropped the list price by $30,000, painted the kitchen wainscoting white, switched the dining room furniture with the living room furniture for better flow, upgraded some light fixtures, threw down some area rugs, and washed the windows. “It was staged so nicely,” says Young, “we almost didn’t want to move.”
The offers: Bock held two open houses on a weekend in September, baking apples to infuse the place with a homey scent. By the following Tuesday, they had three offers, the highest $40,000 over asking (and $10,000 more than the previous agent’s list price). After some haggling on the closing date—Young wanted it snappy—the deal was done the same day.