40 REALTOR® NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015 REALTORMAG.REALTOR.ORG
When Nikki Henshaw divorced her husband of 17 years in October 2014, the 2,800-square-foot Houston home they had shared
with their two sons became too costly and time-consuming for
her to maintain. But Henshaw had trouble wrapping her mind
around selling it and then buying a new home, along with raising
children on her own and settling the details of her messy split.
“I was completely overwhelmed by the changes going on in my
life, so the thought of getting a house market-ready [on my own]
wasn’t something I could make a fair effort to do,” she says.
Henshaw leaned on her real estate agent, Trisha Hope of
Logos Investment Properties in Kemah, Texas, to smooth her
transition from one home to the next. Henshaw was particularly
anxious about the possibility of having to move quickly, which
would add stress for her and her children. She relied on Hope
to negotiate sales contracts with both buyers and sellers that
would build in a comfortable amount of time to move.
Bidding wars were common in Henshaw’s market, which
worked for her as a seller. But when she submitted an offer on
a townhouse that was contingent on the sale of her home, she
was at a disadvantage. “As a contingency buyer in that kind of
market, it can be almost impossible,” says Hope, who convinced
the sellers they were at minimal risk because Henshaw already
had multiple offers on her home.
Meanwhile, Hope worked with the buyers of Henshaw’s
home to draw up a sale contract that
included a two-week leaseback agreement. That gave Henshaw an extra
two weeks after closing to prepare
for the move. “What I expected would
be one of the hardest transactions
during my divorce ended up being the
most refreshing,” Henshaw says. “The
timing of all this seemed impossible
at one point, but we were hopeful and
prepared so that our efforts would
pay off. Trisha was positive and calm,
which helped me manage my own
power of R
Power of R showcases the value of the REALTOR®
organization and the impact of REALTORS® in action.
Rose Garcia-Svejcar and her husband, Jeremy Svejcar, built their
first home years ago in a section of Rio Rancho, N.M., that was
mostly undeveloped at the time. They sought it out for the open,
quiet surroundings. But as new construction started popping up all
around them, the area lost its luster. “The open space we were used
to filled up with more homes and more people, so we needed a little
elbow room,” Garcia-Svejcar says.
Last summer, they decided to put their home on the market and
look for a place in the more remote mountains outside Rio Rancho.
Their target area was more than an hour away, and they soon found
they had no time to dedicate to a long-distance home search while
in the midst of selling.
The couple’s agent, Alayna Setter, a sales associate with Keller
Williams Realty in Albuquerque, N. M., created a plan that freed
them up to house hunt but also kept them involved in the sale of
their home. Setter scheduled open houses for the couple’s home
on days when they were free to take day trips to the mountains to
tour homes on the market. She emphasized that they should spend
their time discovering what they needed in a home so they would be
ready to move quickly once theirs sold.
“Alayna really calmed our nerves and set realistic expectations
as to when and how we should look at homes while we were selling,”
Garcia-Svejcar says. At the same time, Setter coached the couple
to take on certain responsibilities when they weren’t house hunting,
such as how to handle late-night calls from
agents wanting to schedule last-minute
showings. “They came to better respect the
buying and selling process, and that helped
them to juggle things more efficiently and
get prepared to move quickly,” Setter says.
The advice Setter gave them during their
home search helped them pinpoint a home
they were ready to buy as soon as their
house was sold in July. Just a couple weeks
later, they closed on both transactions.
“Alayna pushed us but also had our best
interest at heart,” Garcia-Svejcar says.
“She really set us up for success.”
Behind a Smooth Transition
It takes skill and focus to help clients juggle selling and buying
at the same time.