Selling a House the KMS Partners Way

Many of the KMS Partners stories you read here come from us. This time, we turn our page over to a KMS client. Every home, every seller, every buyer and every perspective is different, of course. But we think his experience is instructive. We hope you do too! I’d never sold a house before. But I’ve known Karen Scott for years -- everyone in Westport knows Karen -- and with KMS Partners’ reputation, it was a no-brainer to call her when it came time to put my mother’s house on the market.

I’m not sure what I expected. Perhaps Karen would come over, decide on a listing price, do whatever realtors do, and within a few days (okay, weeks), I’d receive a check. I really hadn’t thought things through well.

Karen did come over. She walked through the house. She took some notes. Then she asked some questions.

She wanted to figure out if my sisters and I wanted to sell to a builder (who would tear down the 1950s-era home), or to a family that would probably renovate. She walked me through pros and cons of various types of listings. She talked about “comparables” -- homes in neighborhoods like ours, what they’ve been listed and sold for, their advantages and disadvantages compared to this house.

We emailed and phoned for a while. We agreed on a strategy.

Then she went to work. She called builders. She met them at the property. She followed up with emails to me.

Each time, the word was the same: A few nibbles. But no bites.

Karen explained that although the area was very desirable and the house had a lot going for it, builders were putting up very few homes in the price range we wanted. The new construction market had slowed. Besides, the house was on a hill. Builders balked at that.

But Karen kept working. She called her contacts. She reminded them of the advantages. She pursued a number of different strategies.

Meanwhile, we had to clean out my mother’s house. At Karen’s suggestion, I called a woman who specializes in doing just that. She was fantastic. She helped my sister and I clear out what we wanted, sell what was salable, and donate other items to worthy organizations. One of the tasks my sisters and I had been dreading was made as easy as it could be.

After a few weeks, Karen suggested we shift our strategy. We decided to list on MLS. That would attract more attention. It also meant lowering the asking price a bit.

I also had not thought about how I’d feel once the “For Sale” sign went up in front of the house I’d grown up in. That’s when the finality of selling set in. But Karen and I talked frequently, so I knew the home was in good hands.

Fairly quickly, we had interest. In fact, we had interest from two buyers. Karen spoke with both. One, she determined, was more interested than the other. He made an offer. She suggested a counter-offer. There was a bit of back-and-forth. In a matter of days, we agreed on a price.

Once again, I hadn’t really thought through what was involved. I figured I’d sign some papers, shake some hands -- and then the check would come.

Once again, Karen came through. She and my real estate attorney formed a strong team. They communicated often about all the little things that needed to be done. Karen walked me through all the details I hadn’t thought of, like making sure the snow plow guy knew the house was being sold.

When the buyer asked if he could store some boxes in the garage a few days before the closing date, Karen knew the right questions to ask. And she was there when he brought the boxes over.

The closing happened quickly. Indeed, I did sign some papers. I handed over the keys that -- after decades of one owner -- would now belong to someone else.

Suddenly, it was over. I called my sisters to tell them our childhood home belonged to someone else.

And then I called Karen, to say thank you.

Just like countless other buyers (and sellers) have done, over the years.

If you’ve got a seller (or buyer) story to tell, contact KMS Partners 203.454.5411