Chris Kallin, shares about a recent significant sale that illustrates the importance of choosing your representation wisely.
In mid-July, I was contacted by the desperate owners of a struggling West Seattle listing along highly-desirable Beach Drive. I had been made aware that they might wish to speak with me and was prepared for that call. The backstory goes that they had a longtime broker-friend who had helped them buy and sell several homes over many years. They gave her the opportunity to list their West Seattle home despite the fact that this broker had moved to Gig Harbor several years prior. It was suggested that this was done out of loyalty with no thought given to potential consequences. This broker enlisted the help of another, who happened to live on the Eastside and do most of her work there as well.
When the sellers and I spoke, it was via Zoom. After having been presented with the backstory, I was asked to shared my thoughts about the listing. My general response was that the home was under-prepared, that it suffered from unusually poor photography, made worse by a lack of staging, and that it was overpriced by more than 10%. I supported these statements by showing several of my past listings, to demonstrate what proper staging and excellent photography should really look like. Then I took them through a spreadsheet with up-to-the-minute market data that strongly suggested their pricing error. And finally, we looked together at what was currently on market, showing them where their home logically fit relative to what was currently on market. They agreed on all counts. The original listing was grossly misrepresented.
Before we spoke, I had learned that they’d already made a commitment to stage the home with a top-tier stager. Prior to our conversation then, I had pencilled a reservation with my preferred photographer and worked out the timeline such that I could have the home on market the morning after the 3-day staging was completed. If you’re a frequent seller of homes in our area, you know this to be a nearly superhuman feat. I pulled numerous strings to produce such a rapid deployment, but it allowed me to get them back to market two weeks earlier than their existing representation was prepared for. This was important because we were in the final weeks of summer, racing to beat the start of the new school year (a time when you generally don’t see families move). Beyond these details, I made commitments to host two mid-week broker’s open’s and public open houses every weekend in both the daytime and evening. And lastly, I committed to private showings between the stated open houses. This would permit me to show the home in great detail, discuss the hyper-local market with prospective buyers and their broker’s, and report back to the sellers in real-time with my finger squarely on the pulse. I offered to do all of this, starting immediately, but not without the a $288,000 price reduction. They spoke briefly in private and awarded me the listing on the spot.
Despite being in a sellers market, where the vast majority of homes are priced below expectations with a tight offer review date, I felt that we could not list this way. A home can only be freshly listed once, you see. I felt strongly that we were now in damage control, forcing us to list at the home’s true value, reviewing offers as they came. At five days on market, we received an offer just below asking price and it might have been a winner if not for strange terms. I had shown the home to this buyer a few times and cautioned the sellers that the extremely lengthy inspection period smelled fishy, relative to what I knew about his intentions. I believed that he was attempting to use a lengthy inspection as something of a feasibility period during which he would try to get clearance for a structural change with the city. On my advice, we verbally countered that detail and continued to show the home.
At 11-days on market, we received a full-price cash offer with very favorable terms. I called brokers with serious buyers to suggest now-or-never and, after consulting with the sellers, they happily chose to sell to this ideal buyer. If you’re keeping up with the details, this meant that I had the home under contract before the previous agents could even bring it to market. Well done, if I don’t say so myself. Once we were closed, one of the sellers wrote this amazing Google review which I’m very proud of:
“Professional, proactive, positive, intelligent real estate agent who handled everything from getting top notch photos in record time, early afternoon and twilight opens on first two weekends, two brokers’ opens two and four days after home went on market on and over 20 private showings. In just 11 days we had a full price all-cash offer from excellent buyers. Chris offered immediate availability, wise advice, a charming sense of humor, timely home showing reports and every imaginable detail taken care of, well beyond the call of duty, with total class. Seamless experience from our first meeting with him to closing. It is obvious he not only loves and takes pride in his job as a real estate agent but cares deeply about the process of buying/selling homes and loves people. Amazing and very pleasant home selling experience with Chris Kallin! Thank you Chris!!!”
I am proud of the referral that produced this opportunity, proud of the work, and very happy for the seller’s outcome, but that review…. WOW! That’s real estate gold right there. If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home and you’d like to have a consultation, it would be my pleasure. Whether you ultimately choose to work with me or not, I will appreciate the opportunity and show respect for your time. I can be reached at email@example.com or 206-999-6920.