Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Right Real Estate Agent

Photo by: David Jenkins via TMLS
"This is where the decision will be made," he said. "Right here in the kitchen." Of course, I'm biased. I like the kitchen. I love the breakfast area with windows on three sides. I love the lighting we chose for the breakfast area. I love the lighting we chose for the "island" area of the prep area. I love how the table and the island work well in the space. 

The kitchen is bright and airy which the natural hardwood floors highlight.
I've always wanted a red kitchen... and this kitchen is red. 

The right Real Estate agent can make a huge difference in how well the process goes and our Realtor is the BEST

When we were entertaining the idea of downsizing we considered townhouses and condos as well as apartments. I'm so glad that we waited to list our house until we were comfortable that we found just the right person to work with.

Selling your house is deeply personal. It is an odd thing to try to remain objective. I mean, who wouldn't love everything we did to make the house modern? Right? Who wouldn't love all the things that we did to put our personal stamp on the place? But, of course, I know / knew that a personal style stamped on your home is not universally loved. So, the trick of thinking of the house as a business transaction and not my home is, well, tricky.
Photo by: David Jenkins via TMLS
We met our Realtor at one of his listings. I had seen the townhouse online and knew I would love it. The kitchen was bright...with white cabinets and black granite counters. There was a window over the sink (I love that!). The lower level had hardwood floors and the family room had a lovely blue accent wall.  I had to see it. It had some of the elements of what we had done in our home like, the flooring and color and a modern look. So we started with the potential of a new / smaller space and made an appointment to see that space with the listing agent. That turned out to be the BEST thing we could have done!
Kitchen, Dining Room
Photo by: David Jenkins via TMLS
I'd like to say that finding an agent based on their listings was our savvy approach. But, no. It wasn't a plan. We had no actual plan and I was a little bit terrified about that.

We met another agent a few weeks before and we talked with her about the market and what we could expect if we listed "now" and if we listed with her. She said the market was surprisingly "hot" right now. She encouraged us to move quickly as summer is nearing an end. I believe she was spot on with both of those thoughts. I decided to feel her out about what we should expect to get the house ready for market.  I told her that we upgraded all of the light fixtures and mentioned some of the features that we thought would matter. She was visibly disappointed when we told her that although we have updated light fixtures and new hardwood floors, had not replaced kitchen counters with granite. She was also discouraging because we haven't renovated the bathrooms. 

I told her...we used bold colors...but colors that we think work."Well," she said, "you'll want to go ahead get your house ready before listing it. You'll want to paint the walls a neutral, etc." But, I didn't want to paint our walls a neutral. What if I painted our walls neutral and the house didn't sell? Then I'd be living in a vanilla house. I said something about hesitating to paint and she said, "You have to commit. Before you list you just have to commit that you will do what you need to and you will sell the house." 

Clearly, she wasn't the "one". But, the agent that listed the modern, bright townhouse? He was the "one" and choosing the right one made all the difference.

I'll write more next time about the "right" fit. 

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