Two Cranbrook homeowners share their stories and tips about selling their homes
Hire a seasoned real estate agent: “You can’t put a price on experience”
You’ve decided to sell your house, and your to-do list is overwhelming and stressful. The preparations can be expensive and time-consuming and can be uncertain as a return-on-investment. Then there’s the difficult task of setting the asking price, which can keep you arguing at the dinner table or keep you up at night.
Where should you begin? Painting the bathroom, renovating the kitchen, re-staining the deck or cleaning the house for showings? Nope! Start by choosing the right real estate agent.
Here are two couples’ stories of selling homes in the Cranbrook real estate market, as told through the women, Rachel and Kim.
“Selecting a Realtor® is very personal. For most people, selling or buying a house is the largest financial decision they will have to make,” said Rachel Loganberg. “Finding a real estate agent you trust is one of the most important pieces in the transaction.”
Rachel and her husband, Cam, sold a home in Cranbrook in April through Sandy Smith and her daughter, Justine MacDonald, who work as a team at Sandy Smith Personal Real Estate Corporation.
“Keeping the house tidy with kids around was the toughest part,” said Rachel. “Everything to do with our real estate agent was easy.”
Kim McCauley and Mike Maloney would agree.
“We sold two homes—both in Cranbrook—with Sandy Smith in 2019 and both sold quickly, one very quickly and the other one was also quick after going through the offer process four times,” said Kim. “She also sold a home for us in 2017 and that was a seamless process as well.”
Preparing to sell a house
After deciding to sell, a homeowner has to prepare the house for the sale, both in terms of any repairs or renovations needed as well as staging for showings. Details matter at this stage of the game! The objective and professional opinion of a real estate agent is crucial in this stage, as the homeowner may be too emotionally attached to the home to be objective.
“We asked for both Justine and Sandy's opinion [about preparing for the sale],” said Rachel. “They were honest with us, and we agreed with everything they suggested.”
Taking professional photos and videos for advertising and prepping the house for showings are the next steps.
“Sandy and Justine take amazing pictures (more than most) and focus on what the potential buyer wants to see,” said Kim. “They also do an amazing walk-through video that sells the home before even entering.”
Rachel had a similar experience. “The photos and video Justine took of our house were amazing,” she said. “It made us proud of the reno work we had done on that house.”
Setting a price for a house
Deciding on the listing price of your home is one of the steps where a real estate agent’s advice is needed most because of their depth of experience and their lack of emotional attachment to the house. As home seller Rachel aptly put it, “We don't flip houses for a living.”
“When Sandy and Justine came to our house to discuss our listing price, they showed us comparables and were very matter-of-fact as to what they felt our house should be listed for,” said Rachel. “We were pleasantly surprised at their proposed listing price. In the end it was our choice, and we felt comfortable with the price.”
And that listing price must have been bang-on as the Loganbergs had an accepted offer in four days.
Kim said that Sandy and Justine took the stress out by being honest and upfront about their sale price and all questions were answered completely.
“Sandy knows her stuff and is very knowledgeable about the current market conditions and deciding on a price to sell the house for exactly what the market will allow,” Kim said.
Real estate transactions can come with a few bumps along the way.
“Over the past few years, the City of Cranbrook requires home sellers to provide all the building permit documentation that is stored with the City,” said Rachel. “Our house ended up having missing information. We thought it was going to be a nightmare for us to finalize our sale.”
Fortunately for the Loganbergs, Sandy Smith told them of a similar conundrum and calmed their worries.
“She got right to work on figuring out how all parties could be satisfied with the 'new' information,” Rachel explained. “It was a roller coaster of a few hours, but Sandy figured it out and smoothed everything over.
“We couldn't imagine going through this again without Sandy and Justine in our corner. You can't put a price on experience.”
When hiring a real estate agent to sell your home, the bottom line is simple: find a well-qualified one you feel comfortable with.
“Realtors are professionals who work for you,” said Rachel. “They should be confident, considerate, honest, patient, knowledgeable and standing in your corner when you are signing on the dotted line. Sandy and Justine are the full package.”
Kim echoed those sentiments: “We will use Sandy again and again, and we will tell anyone we know who's looking for a Realtor® why they need to use Sandy. She can handle any sale/purchase thrown her way, including the not-so-easy ones. Sandy is by far the best out there hands down, and that is why she is at the top of her class in the real estate world.”
Realtor® Sandy Smith is an associate broker for Royal LePage East Kootenay Realty. She and her daughter, Justine, work seamlessly as a team in Sandy Smith Personal Real Estate Corporation.