Another Happy Seller!

Tom is taking his sign rider for a memory. 

So you need a realtor. I have some thoughts on how to find one, and
better yet, I have two Realtors, Stacie Dye and Kay Stephenson of Go
Realty, that I recommend highly. (Stacie and Kay work as a team; I
worked most closely with Stacie, so much of what I say is about her
specifically, but all the dealings I had with Kay echo those I had
with Stacie.)

Interview at least two candidates so you have some basis on which to
compare. Prepare for the interviews and ask your key questions, and
pay close attention to both the answers and the way in which your
questions are addressed. This person is going to assist you through a
stressful period. Is (s)he going to add to or alleviate your stress?
Are your questions being heard, and are they being answered? Don't
forget who's working for whom. Your realtor will have suggestions and
recommendations, but ultimately it's your house, your sale/purchase.
Beware the realtor who talks and does not listen.

The two Realtors I chose work as a team. They are Stacie Dye and Kay
Stephenson. Stacie was recommended by a colleague at work, who engaged
her services as a buying agent. I engaged Stacie and Kay as selling
agents, and was very impressed with both of them from start through
finish. A bit of background; I bought and sold two houses in New
Mexico, totaling three transactions, in 1979, 1989, and 1999. One of
my biggest regrets in leaving NM was the loss of my realtor, who I
thought was a once in a lifetime find. Probably the first thing I said
to Stacie and Kay was that they had an impossible act to follow, and
specifically that my last house sold on the day it was listed. I
challenged them to top that. They promised that they would do their

The interview was thorough and illuminating. A lot has changed since
1999, notably including the ways in which housing is marketed (notably
due to the Internet), and the expectations of buyers with regard to
the staging of a house, regardless of whether it's a buyer's or
seller's market. At the initial interview Stacie and Kay outlined
generally the state of the market at that time and place, and provided
a cogent assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of my house. They
then worked up a detailed and specific analysis with a suggested
selling price, and then patiently addressed my questions and concerns,
as well as making specific suggestions on what else needed to be done
prior to putting the house on the market. Of course they provided
clear context in terms of comparables on the market.

I believe every sale involves compromises. I had prepared the house as
best I could in the time available but chose ultimately to enter the
market at a point in time rather than holding back until I was able to
complete improvements. Stacie and Kay were entirely accommodating in
that decision, while another candidate I interviewed was not.
Interestingly, the asking price that Stacie and Kay suggested was
about 6% higher than that recommended by the other candidate, without
"demanding" I complete additional improvements to prepare for going on
the market. Conclusion: Stacie and Kay did not low ball the price in
order to achieve a quick sale, nor require endless improvements in
order to further ease their job of achieving a quick sale. Instead
they took the house as it was, and worked to make the most of it.

And work they did. They do their own staging, and spent eight full
hours between the two of them getting the house into unbelievable
shape. I came home from work, expecting them to be gone, but both were
there for an additional hour and a half. They also made cogent
recommendations on improvements I might consider, and for those I
opted to do, they had competent professionals available to do the work
in a very timely fashion. They also have as part of their service a
professional photographer who truly impressed me with his work. He
arrived on time, left on time, and produced an amazing ensemble of
photos that formed the backbone of the individualized website for the
house sale.

Stacie emailed me at 2:30 on a Saturday afternoon to say "we're live."
I had just enough time to look at the website and send the link to
friends and family before I got a call from Centralized Showing
Services asking me if I would allow a showing at 4 that afternoon. I
did; the showing resulted in an offer; Stacie called me with the
details that evening; we ended up having four conversations before
coming to a verbal agreement to sell; and somehow they managed to top
my same day sale of 1999. Even with the house being flagged as under
contract the marketing campaign evidently was effective, as I observed
individuals driving by the house until the day I moved, and the weekly
statistics that Stacie sent on web traffic showed ongoing interest.

The negotiations for the sale were stressful, as was the "due
diligence" period when the house was inspected and issues were
discovered. Whenever I had concerns, whenever I was stressed out and
needed assurances that all was well, Stacie unflaggingly took/returned
my calls, answered my emails, and represented my interests with the
utmost integrity, listening to my concerns, commenting on my analysis,
offering advice, and ultimately going along with my direction on how
to proceed in the negotiations. In the end the sale closed
successfully. My only regret is that neither Stacie nor Kay is willing
to relocate to Canada, so I'm once again in a position of having to
find a realtor if ever I need those services.

Tom Field

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