I was inspired to start a blog to share our home selling journey by my friend and colleague Betsy Talbot, who blogs at www.marriedwithluggage.com.

Betsy just moved into temporary quarters on Queen Anne before leaving the USA in a few months with her husband Warren to travel the world for three years.   She and Warren did all the right things to sell their Fremont townhome within three weeks of listing it for sale.

Did they use the power of social media?  Yes!   Read more about this here.

Betsy even set up a Twitter account, and her series of Tweets is really engaging.  That Fremont house has some serious personality!

Given the challenging times the economy has dished up, I followed Betsy’s lead and launched a category on this blog to chronicle our journey. Here is a link to a series of blog posts I prepared since February 27 to share our experience of selling our home in today’s market. In the world of small worlds, both our home and Betsy and Warren’s home will close on the same day — TODAY!  We plan to get together over dinner to celebrate.

I asked Betsy about what role social networking played in the sale of her home, and here is what she said:

“Our buyers did not come through the social networking as far as we know, but they did tell our realtor that they connected with the house as soon as they read our letter about why we were selling because they are long-term travelers, too. You just never know which of your marketing efforts is going to pay off, so you can’t really slack on any of them. I also think having the buzz out there from your entire network – in person, on FB/Twitter, searching through Linked In, blogging and emailing – helps in creating excitement around the sale of your home. Especially when you can tie it to something positive – in your case that you moved up to a home that better suits your needs.  In our case, we sold our home to pursue a dream of travel.”

When Betsy told me that the letter she shared with open house guests was inviting some favorable feedback, I posted a similar letter to my blog and to the refrigerator door at our home for sale.   That same day, while watering the plants after the most recent open house had concluded, a real estate agent came by with buyers to offer a private showing of the home.  I took the opportunity to answer their questions while sitting on the sofa in our nicely staged living room.  We were two moms talking about the schools, the neighbors, and the paint colors.  A few days later, these buyers made an offer.   Did that personal connection between buyer and seller make a difference?  I think so.

When we were in the negotiation phase, I took the extra step of writing a personal letter to the buyers to set the stage of cordial and respectful negotiations. That seemed to contribute to a quality process from my perspective.

So often, in my media relations work, I hear people speaking about social media and the role in plays in creating results that matter.  For us, we used every tool we could to invite a winning parade of potential buyers to consider purchasing our Somerset home.  My community at Facebook has certainly been supportive as I’ve dealt with the highs and lows of selling a home in 2010.   Having a chance, personal encounter with our buyers played a role.

Our agents Mary Lee and Jeff Shaffer from Windemere worked tirelessly and with great attention to detail to stage and market the property in the traditional and online media, host open houses, and more.  Oh, by the way,  Mary and Jeff are among the most attentive to detail, professional, hard working real estate professionals I have ever been in contact with.    The business of real estate is not for the faint of heart.  Mary and Jeff bend and sway with the challenges with professionalism at every turn.

The good news, of course, is that houses are selling in our Bellevue backyard and well beyond.  In fact, just last weekend, the neighbor’s house came to mutual acceptance after just a little over one week on the market.

All this is to say that things are getting better.  And social media can play a part in influencing good results that matterKitchen View New Home and generating support and encouragement for those who are in the trenches trying to get to the winning results they seek.  That is welcome in the best and the more demanding of times.

As for me and my husband Steve and our son Kyle, we are thrilled to be able to shift our focus away from the business of real estate and just be happy forever in the lovely house we now call home.   Thanks for following this home selling journey that has now come to a close.  Onward we go!

If you have anecdotes to share about how social media has played a role in helping you buy or sell your home, please share.   I can’t wait to hear all about it, and the readers will most definitely benefit from the wisdom of your experience.  Who knows.  Maybe the media will even take interest!