As a profession, Realtors® are lucky – they get to be part of their clients’ stories every day. Some are joyful, some are frustrating, and some are complicated, but anyone who has ever purchased or sold a home has a unique story to tell about their experience. After 44 years in business, the associates at WK Real Estate collectively have thousands of stories to tell. The pandemic has made these even richer.
As COVID continues to change many things in real estate, some for the better, WK Real Estate has adapted to each and every challenge in 2020. “One of our strengths is our ability to pivot quickly and train our agents on new, relevant technology,” says Broker Owner Dan Kingdom. “When our work environment shifted abruptly to completely remote processes, we had staff training agents one-on-one, as well as groups to make sure they were not only familiar, but experts at the new work tools.”
Leveraging the nimbleness of a small, locally and independently owned company, the associates at WK Real Estate have helped make their clients’ home dreams a reality even in this challenging new business environment.
When in doubt… back it up!
A Denver-based WK associate assisted a young couple who currently own a home in a hot market in Texas. They hesitated to list that home, as they knew it would sell quickly and buying in the highly competitive Boulder market can be challenging to win in multiple-offer situations. After many weeks of viewing Colorado homes, they found “the one”! Unfortunately, six other buyers thought this home was also “the one”! Even after the WK agent helped the homebuyers put together their most competitive offer, they still came in a disappointing second.
Not wanting her clients to become discouraged, the agent counseled them to submit their offer in a “backup position” while she continued to watch the market for suitable new listings. The winning buyer had 10 days to resolve their inspection contingency while the agent and her clients waited on pins and needles. On day nine, there was still no inspection resolution. Everyone held their breath.
They were ecstatic on day 10 to hear that the first buyer cancelled their contract, moving theirs into the winning spot! They will close on their gorgeous dream home this month. This is a true story of excellent contingency planning and tactics by a WK agent. She kept the clients positive, then identified and seized the back-up opportunity with minimal risk to her clients. In the end it paid off to back up!
WK to the rescue for quarantined senior seller
Another WK associate recently worked with a senior widow selling her home to move into a senior living community in Boulder. This lovely woman is very organized and capable, however she moved into her new environment just days before Colorado’s full stay-at-home order. Once the order was enacted at the senior community, she was unable to leave the facility for any tasks related to the sale.
That left WK’s agent in charge of selling, re-homing and donating remaining furniture and belongings; disposing of hazardous waste items and other things the buyer didn’t want; coordinating sewer repair and inspections; as well as executing covert paperwork exchanges at the senior community’s air lock. Neither the client or agent could have anticipated how disruptive the pandemic would be for this type of move. However both rose to the challenge and the agent performed an incredible list of “off-menu” brokerage duties not in a typical listing contract.
Secrets of selling and buying during COVID
At the beginning of the pandemic, a Boulder-based WK associate was referred new clients who needed to sell and then purchase a replacement home in the North Metro area as soon as possible. The agent thoroughly communicated and implemented all required and recommended safety protocols in marketing their current home. The clients left town during the showing period and received multiple offers during their absence. By the time they returned to Colorado they had a contract to sell their home! Little did they know finding a replacement home would be a different story, and the clock was ticking…
The market in the client’s desired neighborhood was, for lack of a better word, insanely competitive! Most listings only allowed 15-minute showings. The couple couldn’t attend all showings together so the agent used video to help them “see” many listings. They wrote solid competitive offers on four properties, each of which would have checked almost all of their “wants and needs” boxes. Above asking price, escalation clauses, post-closing occupancy allowances – you name it, they offered it! After the fourth offer, the agent had to call the clients during their anniversary dinner with the heartbreaking news that they had lost another one.
The WK associate kept them positive – the right house would come. They saw a promising listing as soon as it hit the market and it was perfect, finally the first house that checked every box. The offer was carefully crafted, and the first one submitted to the listing agent on a Friday. The sellers received multiple offers over the course of the weekend and they received word on Monday… their offer wasn’t the highest, but it was the best and they got the house!
They closed last month, three months after they started the process, with post-closing occupancy arrangements on both sides. The agent fought incredibly hard for them, and her patience and extraordinary client care paid off with the perfect home to end their story.
Technology, training and tenacity
Through each of these stories, WK Real Estate’s strong technology, training, tenacity and thirst to learn new techniques aided in a successful outcome. That flexibility and personal touch makes WK Real Estate stand out.
“I would have agents call and say, ‘Hey, I have a client meeting this afternoon, can you jump on a zoom call with me to make sure the lighting and materials are coming through okay?’ says Sarah Kelly, WK’s new executive vice president. “We’d spend an hour going through every step and detail to make sure their call would be seamless.” It’s that level of detail that WK agents bring to every conversation and transaction.
The pandemic has changed the practice of real estate, probably forever, but the stories and the dreams behind those stories are timeless. Let WK Real Estate be part of your home story, in our beautiful little corner of Colorado… and beyond.
By Julie Kailus, for At Home Colorado. Photography courtesy of WK Real Estate.