Our clients owned a bungalow on the East Side of Providence. They wanted to transition from a single family to a two-family home with an owners’ townhouse in the same area. This would afford them the opportunity not only to live in a larger space, but to also have an income-generating apartment to one day house a family member.
They knew that they had to sell their home before they could think about buying a new home. So our professional stager worked closely with them to get the property in its best condition to help ensure the execution of our plan: to professionally photograph on Monday, to tour the property with agents on Wednesday, to officially list on Thursday, to host a group buyer showing on Friday and then use Sunday’s open house as leverage to induce an above-asking offer with a flexible closing date. The plan worked flawlessly and before the end of that first weekend, we were under contract with a 90-day closing period.
Then we went to work finding them the perfect two-family. It was no easy task in a market where inventory was historically low. After exhausting the on-market listings, we began to search for properties that were not on the market. We used our positive relationships with local brokers to find properties not yet on the market but that would be coming on soon. We took them to see properties, but none were right. We then searched the MLS for Withdrawn and Expired listings from the past 12 months. Again, none were right. Then we embarked on a 200-property letter campaign to owners of two-family homes in our clients’ target area. Of the four responses we received, still none of the properties we toured were right.
After 60-days of intense searching, the right property came through a chance introduction through a friend of a friend over dinner. The property was perfect. The sellers quoted our clients a price--and a deal was consummated. Taylor & Associates added value to the transaction by facilitating the sale--not by representing either party, but by overseeing the transaction to help them stay out of hot water. No real estate transaction is the same and the number of potential nuances to navigate are endless. Both parties understood that they would significantly increase the chance that they would get to a successful closing by having a professional manage the deal. With a closing on their own home Pending, a delay for the buyers would be costly. And a deal falling apart for the wrong reasons would be downright disastrous.
For its work, Taylor & Associates agreed to facilitate the transaction for half of the normal commission. Buyers and sellers agreed to split the commission: half coming out of the sellers’ proceeds and half coming from the buyers. So the buyers didn’t have to pay anything out of pocket, we negotiated with the seller to increase the purchase price by their portion so that it could be financed. In the end, both parties got exactly what they wanted and the closing was as smooth and friendly as they come.
In the fall of 2014, Taylor & Associates received a referral from a friend of one of our agents. The couple, who own and occupy a loft in Providence, had a nest egg that they were advised to invest. Not comfortable with the volatile nature of stocks, they felt real estate might be a better fit. They liked that real estate was more tangible--something they could see and touch and therefor perhaps better control its value within the marketplace.
But not being natives to the area, they didn’t have a clue about how to start their search or even what they might be able to buy. So, we met with them for an initial consultation. Their nest egg was $30,000, which would not be enough to achieve their investment goals: 1) a property that needed limited improvements, 2) a location in a top-tier rental market, and 3) an area with limited market volatility. Given that investment properties today require anywhere from 20% to 30% down, even at the most conservative level--they would need to look at $150,000 properties. But in this pricerange, they would only to be able to achieve, at best, one of their investment goals.
Given that their goals appeared to be unreasonable, most agents would have ended the conversation there. But at Taylor & Associates, we consider ourselves consultants. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years, real estate can be a creative business. So we talked a little more about where they currently live, their housing goals for the future and then we spoke with one of our lender partners.
Although not ready to sell and/or move out of their loft at this time, they were able to find a loan program that would allow them to purchase a potential home for the future while putting down just 3.5%. They could now purchase in the $350,000 price range, which means entry into the East Side and other top local neighborhoods, and still have money left over for improvements. While we haven’t yet found the perfect property for these buyers, they are very pleased by the solutions presented.
There’s nothing more gratifying than receiving a referral from a competing agent’s client. After we had successfully closed one of our listings, we got a call from a young couple whose friends had been so impressed by the way Taylor & Associates handled the transaction that they made the referral to us rather than to their own agent.
Having recently relocated from Ohio, the buyers were living in Newport in temporary housing being provided by his employer. While he had a local commute, his wife worked in Boston more than an hour and a half north. Their idea was something in the middle--a pedestrian friendly, youngish community that offered 1200 - 1800 sq ft homes in the $350,000 to $400,000 range.
We started our relationship one evening at Raveis’ Newport Office. The goal was to get to know each other better and become more familiar with their needs and interests. Also, vital to the first meeting: education. Taylor & Associates takes the time to explain the details of the process--from the search to the negotiation to the inspection to the closing. Knowledge is power when buying a home, and our goal is to help buyers make the best decisions possible.
While we toured homes in communities in and around North Kingstown, East Greenwich, Cranston and Barrington, they fell in love with the East Side of Providence and all the Capital City has to offer. One day I received a call from them about a property that was not “officially” on the market. The property was a For Sale by Owner (FSBO) Colonial in the Summit Neighborhood. I knew it was a serious contender after looking at the photos online. We agreed to meet at the Open House the following day.
The buyers showed up with their mother. Nelson, our President, showed up with his youngest son in his soccer uniform. The sellers were there with their four kids, and soon all the kids were playing together. The house was alive with three generations of good feeling. We made connection after connection. Trust and comfort are key to any real estate relationship. Considering that the sellers had been in the home 20 years, our clients quickly took on the role of the sellers two decades prior. The property--it was gorgeous and the buyers were smitten.
With their offer, the buyers included a letter about their desire to someday raise a family in the home and their promise to continue the legacy of stewardship. The letter brought tears to the sellers’ eyes. But just as quickly as we submitted our offer, so did someone else. After just a few days on the market, there were two offers on the table. And the other one was cash--a real concern for our buyers as cash removes the potential of an appraisal issue and the sellers had already voiced this as a concern.
But by this point, based on all the personal interactions and strong communication, the sellers preferred to work with us. So we worked closely with the buyers and the sellers to get everyone what they wanted. Though sentimental, the sellers were not stupid: first and foremost we’d need to match the cash offer. Then there was still the appraisal concern. Taylor & Company strategized with the buyers, and while they were not willing to remove their financing contingency outright, they were willing to guarantee the appraisal within $30,000. In other words, if the appraisal came in anywhere from $1 to $30k low, the buyers would still agree to purchase the property and make up the difference in cash.
It worked. We beat out a strong cash offer. And the rest is history. Smooth as butter. A few negotiated inspection items. The property appraised at the number we needed. While Proseco was being passed around at the walk through the night before the closing (all of the sellers’ kids had cups of juice), the buyers announced that they were pregnant. There couldn’t have been a more fitting end to a perfect real estate transaction.