Tanya & Kumar

Make a Big Move

We started thinking about selling when we were considering having another child. We lived in a 2 bedroom townhouse with our son Alex, and we were outgrowing it. We looked at bigger properties on Zillow, but neither Tanya nor I wanted to sign up for a $7000-8000 mortgage payment.

We realized that as traffic and congestion worsen, it’s hard to navigate the change as a family, and the appeal of the Bay Area starts to dwindle. At one point we were at a little park near our house, waiting in line to put our son a swing set. And both of us having grown up in big east coast houses with their own big yards thought, “Really, is this the way we want to raise our kids?” That was when we decided to talk to a realtor.

“Let’s figure out what the property is worth, what the selling process looks like, what our costs and timing would be, and go from there. We don’t have to list it. Let’s get the information, then decide.”

“Let’s figure out what the property is worth, what the selling process looks like, what our costs and timing would be, and go from there. We don’t have to list it. Let’s get the information, then decide.”

The five-minute response time

I went on Yelp and found Kevin. I thought, “Why not? Let’s throw out a feeler and see what happens.” Five minutes later I get a call: “Hey, this is Kevin.”

We set up a meeting for the next day. Kevin showed up with a booklet already put together that showed our property, what he thought it was worth, comps, and even the contract. Once he showed us everything, he said, “If you guys are ready to go you can sign now.”

At that point I started to backtrack a little bit. He was the first realtor we’d talked to and I’m thinking, “Maybe I want to shop around.” But Tanya was ready to move. In hindsight, I wish I’d never hesitated. The rest of the sales process was so smooth.

Preparing to sell; a memorable event

Kevin’s team was extremely organized. They told us what would give us the biggest return in terms of home improvements. They told us what to look for. They set up meetings and quotes with contractors and brought in vendors they trusted. Tanya moved east two weeks before me, and Kevin arranged for me to stay on in the townhouse while the work was going on.

One day, I came home midday to see how things were going, and found one of the contractors locked in the bathroom with the shower running full blast. That ticked me off. I pounded on the door. When he opened it, his pants were soaking wet and there was wet cardboard all over the bathroom floor. I emailed Kevin right away, so there’d be documentation.

Kevin’s team was extremely organized. They told us what would give us the biggest return in terms of home improvements. They told us what to look for. They set up meetings and quotes with contractors and brought in vendors they trusted. Tanya moved east two weeks before me, and Kevin arranged for me to stay on in the townhouse while the work was going on. One day, I came home midday to see how things were going, and found one of the contractors locked in the bathroom with the shower running full blast. That ticked me off. I pounded on the door. When he opened it, his pants were soaking wet and there was wet cardboard all over the bathroom floor. I emailed Kevin right away, so there’d be documentation.

“Later that day Kevin calls and says, ‘Here’s what I’ve done: I’ve made a reservation at the Hilton. You’re going to spend the weekend there. I’ve hired a cleaning service to clean your townhome. Just go enjoy your weekend and don’t worry about it.’”

Pricing - A Collaboration

When we first started talking about the value of the house, Kevin proposed a number much lower than anything Tanya and I expected—$686,000. I called Kevin a few days before the listing went live and said “We don’t feel comfortable with the price. We think it’s too low.” We discussed it and finally decided on $725,000. It was a collaboration. From there on out I wasn’t ready for how fast the process would go.

“Kevin’s people did an awesome job of marketing the house. The staging people were fantastic. The photography was excellent. They had a 3D walkthrough experience and the house looked amazing. A hundred brokers turned up for the tour. Of those, forty said they wanted to put offers in.”

“Kevin’s people did an awesome job of marketing the house. The staging people were fantastic. The photography was excellent. They had a 3D walkthrough experience and the house looked amazing. A hundred brokers turned up for the tour. Of those, forty said they wanted to put offers in.”

The five day offer deadline

The idea of a deadline made us nervous, but we trusted Kevin’s instincts. We watched the offers come in. When we reached the deadline, Kevin called and said, “Heads up, don’t go to sleep because this is probably going to go through the night as we finalize your offers and counteroffers.” I started thinking—if there was this much demand, maybe we should hold on to the property. But Tanya set me straight—Let’s trust the process and trust Kevin and see what happens.

We had offers ranging from asking price to where we ultimately sold. Kevin started with the lowest offer and took us through the entire list in typical Kevin fashion—calm and level-headed. By the time we got to the top 3 or 4 offers, we’re looking at each other wide-eyed. This was way beyond anything we could have imagined. By this time was 2 or 3 in the morning and we’re countering the top 3 or 4 offers.

The all-night bidding war

Finally we get down to the top two offers, which are hundreds of thousands of dollars above our listing price. We don’t want either of them to walk, so we trust Kevin, give him our thoughts and take his feedback on the counteroffer. Ultimately, the top 2 come in at the same price. We accepted the offer Kevin felt was more stable based on his conversations with the buyer’s broker.

“We came in $203,000 over the initial listing price in a matter of five days. To sell at the top of a hot market and move into a dull market with a big bowl of cash was not the worst move.”

“We came in $203,000 over the initial listing price in a matter of five days. To sell at the top of a hot market and move into a dull market with a big bowl of cash was not the worst move.”

A matter of trust

A lot of realtors can put on a show in the early stages, but when it comes to execution, they don’t follow through. Kevin is the real deal. He’s on time, presents himself well, and comes extremely well-prepared—the whole process is thought through. Very quickly with Kevin we learned to stand back and watch him do his work and trust him, which I do not normally do. I’m normally extremely involved and asking a million questions because I lean toward… you know that phrase, only the paranoid survive?

Tanya’s last word

I remember how calm, cool, and collected Kevin was through the whole process. We were freaking out on the phone at one point and Kevin stayed professional. We thought, “This guy must do this all the time—he’s never fazed.” We’re jumping around and he’s like, “Yeah, no problem.”

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