Karen Smith approached Hal Cone of RealStar Realtors with a property she couldn’t wait to unload. The house had been on the market for a long time “on and off but more on than off,” says Karen. “I was sitting on the house for over five years trying to get out of it,” Karen admits.
She’d been through three realtors already with the last one getting sick and being admitted to the hospital prior to finding a buyer for her.
It was a property she had vacated as a single mom with kids, so she was paying two mortgages. An ex-husband was also involved. Mostly, she just wanted to jettison the financial and emotional burden the house represented.
“I have to give Hal kudos,” Karen says. “He did a really good job staging and fixing up the house – got things taken care of that needed to be redone.” Karen says Hal jumped in at a time when she was under a lot a stress, so she was glad she didn’t have to worry about meeting people, arranging contractors or checking work.
That house that had been on the market for five years, sold in a matter of months once Hal assumed the reins. He brought a deep sense of responsibility for getting this house sold in a reasonable amount of time.
What that meant for Karen is Hal took care of everything. The house had been vacant for a while so this included making an assessment of what needed to be addressed to create a more enticing property for a buyer. The kitchen floor had recently been redone but the cabinets needed attention. Hal arranged to have these repainted after collecting pricing information he shared with Karen for approval.
It also involved replacing the tiles in the tub as well as the sink countertop in the full-sized bathroom upstairs. Again, Hal sourced contractors, collected costs, then managed and supervised the work on Karen’s behalf.
“Other than that, it was more or less a couple of rooms repainted – everything else was in pretty good shape,” Karen says. When they started showing the house in the fall, Hal arranged for flowers to be planted to increase the curb appeal.
The house was a three-bedroom 1 ½ bath on Huntington Boulevard in the City of Roanoke sitting on almost an acre with fruit vines and trees including grapes, apples, blackberries and a pear tree. It had a garage too and an old coal room.
“We sold on December the 22nd, so it was a great Christmas present for me,” Karen explains.
“Hal made it very smooth because, unfortunately, I had an ex that was involved, but he made it very nice so I didn’t have to get involved with him. Hal took care of things so that we didn’t have to worry about communications,” Karen admits.
While the house was listed during the early fall, the crews came in to start doing work in November. That made a big difference in the appeal of the house to buyers. They closed the following month.
“It was such a relief to get out from under that house,” Karen admits.
“Hal did everything for me,” she explains. “He kept me very informed about what he was doing including handling inspectors and showing the house, but I didn’t have to do anything in terms of being available for appointments,” she states. This also included providing pricing for suggested improvements prior to taking on the responsibility of seeing all projects to completion.
“One couple came right in and saw it and loved it so they wanted it very quickly,” explains Karen. They offered close to the asking price, but Karen admits she made concessions because she was so anxious to get the house sold and out of her life.
Karen says Hal was a welcome change from what she had experienced with other real estate agents. “Hal works really hard and he gives all he’s got to help you buy and sell a house,” Karen states. “To me, he goes way over and beyond. He really gives 100%. He does what he says he’s going to do,” she explains.