Don’t think the only hot market in North Texas exists south of LBJ. Agents everywhere are going to unconventional extremes to find their clients’ homes. June Graham recently moved into what she calls the “home of her dreams” in Castle Hills, where the market is also extremely competitive.
In fact, June’s agent, Sunny Chaparala of DFW Realties, had to scour Castle Hills for a home she found off market, off MLS. But June claims Sunny, who is a computer programmer, actually wrote a computer program to find their home, because it was like finding a needle in a haystack.
“In this market, oh my God you need a sharp Realtor. Sunny wrote a computer program to find houses that matched what we were looking for,” says June. “We’ve been here a month and we love it. Love the community. Love letting the kids go off to the parks. Our friends are here, and we’re close to everything”.
June and her husband finally decided to sell their Carrollton ranch home and make the move north to Castle Hills. Their $230,000 home was in an older, quiet neighborhood near I 35 and George W. Bush.
“We thought we’d get $230K and be happy,” says June.
But Sunny got them more. June had met Sunny over a year ago, but Sunny kept up with her. Finally, when they were ready to pull that sell trigger, she was right there.
“We were looking on line in Castle Hills, but it was so competitive!” says June. “Houses would come on and they were just GONE.”
If they found one Thursday, by Saturday it already a contract.
We needed to get our house together to sell, says June, which was a huge project, but Sunny pretty much managed it for them. She paid for a home stager to give June a consultation, and she paid for a professional photographer to photograph the home, things June had not experienced before with an agent. They put their home on the market Saturday, by Sunday they had it under contract: three multiple offers.
“Sunny said, I think you could get more,” says June. She was touched by the second couple, who wrote her family a letter saying how brutal the market was, how much they loved the house. Then a third couple put their money where they mouth was — $15,000, and the deal was on.
But after contract, as they often do, the buyers started in on their their repair wish list: pool resurfaced, foundation fixed. June was ready to cave but Sunny held fast. She got a foundation engineer to inspect and found no problem, she said no way to pool resurfacing. Sunny split the foundation inspection cost of $350 with her sellers.
“We sold seamlessly and she handled all of that,” says June.
Next, they needed a home to buy. That’s where Sunny used her computer program skills to scour the MLS — even old listings — using her clients’ criteria. She also sent out letters to homeowners to see if they were interested in selling.
“We had found a home,” says June, ” but it wasn’t our dream house.”We were about to settle for a home we were not that crazy about.”
Sunny found 4 homes off market through her computer query. They approached one homeowner who said yes, they were interested in selling, but were actually too busy to put their home on the market.
“It wasn’t staged, it wasn’t ready to be a showhouse,” says June, ” but we loved it. And they probably saved $15,000 in staging and other prep fees. We just loved the house.”
The homeowners wanted to stain some doors and cabinets, but June said no, don’t worry, we’ll do it, take it as is.
They paid $350,000 to live in castle Hills where they love the schools, safety and sense of community.
“This has worked out so well for us,” says June. “Hopefully, we will be in this house forever, and I won’t need Sunny again, but I will certainly recommend her.”