How One Sharp North Dallas Agent Found Her Buyers a Home Off MLS: She Wrote a Computer Program

DFW_REALTIES_SoldDon’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.”

 

 

 

11 Comment

  • Its a great deal for June and nice move by Sunny.

  • I think I missed the part about where the agent wrote a computer program. Hate to sound like a Debbie Downer but the headline makes it sound like she put together some sort of special algorithm to help locate a property for her buyers. But in reality it seems she did what we’re all doing for our clients, i.e. “scour the MLS — even old listings — using her clients’ criteria.” But that doesn’t require any special skills. Just tenacity.

  • Actually, I did not go into the MLS and scour it for old listings.

    Our company is a Vendor of MLS, and we get raw data that all these companies that provide IDX to websites do. We have the capability of providing IDX with the raw data we can get.

    I am a Certified Java Programmer(SCJP and SCWCD) and Oracle Certified Application Developer(working with databases). I am able to write queries on databases etc., with my experience on databases.

    In my experience, scouring databases for old, canceled or expired listings does not help at all. But that is just my opinion.

    Sunny Chaparala
    DFW REALTIES
    http://www.dfwrealties.com

    • Brilliant idea to make the data work for you! Good job!

    • Question:

      Sunny, are you creating your database queries to search publicly available information or is the information proprietary to the MLS?

      Correct me if I am wrong but I would think if your company is a vendor to the MLS, the information that you are using is paid for by the MLS and thus they own it. If that is so, do they have an issue with this? Does your affiliation with DFW Realties enable you to “data mine” this information?

      What am I missing here?

      • Hi OldmanK,

        Good question. MLS does own all information and vendors pay a fee to access information and use it in terms specified by the MLS. Everything is done by our office, abiding by the rules set forth by the MLS. We are not going to do anything that is against or violates the agreement that is signed. Not worth it. So, be rest assured that in our office, we do not do anything that would even remotely violate not just rules, but even ethics. We are BBB A+ Rated, and all our clients would vouch at how business is done with us. Often times, I have parted ways with clients that I worked for months on, that wanted to do things that were not ethical in my opinion, though completely legal.
        And yes, I do not do anything that my affiliation with DFW REALTIES would not approve of. Again, not worth the risk. I am a stickler for rules. I would not put all this in writing if I am breaking any rules, or even violating any ethics. I am not dumb :)
        Having said that, I do not wish to divulge my methods. I think may be the story should have been…how one Realtor went above and beyond to find a home for her buyers :) Bottomline, I found a home that is not on the MLS for my buyer. I know how much I spent advertising, sending out mailers, postcards, and everything…couple of thousands of $$$$’s, along with several days of extra work. It was a bunch of things done all together.
        I am not a big-name Realtor. I struggle everyday like most of you Realtors do. We all Realtors deal with so many bad agents that most of us believe that anywhere from 60%-90% of agents that are currently in the business, should be out. I worked very hard for June. When June said that she was going to buy her friend’s home, I released her from the Buyer-Rep agreement so that she does not have to pay me commission(since seller refused). Yet, I helped her negotiate on that house. That did not work out. And then, I spent a bunch, found a home, and helped both seller and buyer, opened myself to liability by dealing with both buyer and seller, as well as working 2 sides, but did not get paid for both sides…I did not care. All I wanted was to find a home for the Grahams who put so much trust in me. And I am well rewarded by the honor of being chosen by the Grahams to help them in such an important endeavor. Thank you, June! (Actually, there was an ulterior motive. June’s son Dillon loves me and I couldn’t mess up…he is the first kid to like me :) )
        May be I got lucky? :) Very possible as we all Realtors know!

  • Something is still missing here. IDX allows brokers and other third parties to access proprietary NTREIS information, i.e. “MLS information,” as well as, NTREIS tax information (which is publicly available to anyone but allows Realtors to download entire neighborhoods into CSV files for mailings). If you’re saying you used IDX information then you used MLS information, which any licensed Realtor has access to.

    Hate to pull threads on this but what am I missing?

  • Hi Jeff, hate to go on and on about this….are you asking how to do database programming? I am confused. Because you are correct, and you probably do have access. Not all people who have access can do the same things, I think. If so, why would Realtors who need to have MLS Search on their website need to go to a 3rd party and pay them to set it up on their websites?

    I did not say I used IDX info. I said we have capability of providing IDX to other websites.

    I spent tens of thousands of dollars and many years studying programming and getting top-most certifications on both Object Oriented Programming as well as Data Base Programming(even Web Programming) from the leaders-Java & Oracle. I really do not want to divulge things that I have spent several years learning and working. I hope everyone understands. If anyone feels that I have done something wrong, they can file a complaint on me, and I would pass it on to my lawyer. I have not broken any rules.

    Kind of sad, that what I have done is ignored, which is find a home for June, and being put on the defensive of what I have done. Would discourage Realtors that follow the rules and yet work hard, to make their clients happy. :(

    Thank you very much Casey and Joanna :)

    Geez, Candy….I think a law suit is around the corner! Need to tell Luke to get ready for it, just in case, and will need to give all the agreements I have in place. One more expense we have as Realtors! It is getting more and more expensive to be a Realtor ;-)