616 Realty Agent Caitlyn Wisniewski—Experience, Expertise, and Grit—Just What You Need In An Agent
When looking for a real estate agent, it’s important to work with a person you can relate to, who will have your back, and certainly in this market, someone who has grit. But what if you could have all that and someone who knows houses all the way down to the bones?
Fortunately, you can, with 616 Realty agent Caitlyn Wisniewski. She is a six-year real estate veteran, and most impressively, a three-time home remodeling veteran with several rental remodels under her belt as well. If you have ever remodeled a home, you know that she has accomplished something special. Her vast experience as a remodeler certainly makes her a bit of an expert on what to look for in a home and what to avoid. Who wouldn’t want that when they are about to make one of the most important investments in their lives?
Service and architecture
Wisniewski started her career in the service industry in brewery distribution and restaurants, so she knew that she wanted to work with people. That in combination with her love of architecture led her to the path of real estate both in her personal and professional life. “I love architecture. My husband and I have remodeled the last three homes we have been in. I like the process, choosing the design. We have a knack for older houses. I love showing homes, seeing different architecture.”
Knowing the ins and outs
That love and her own personal real estate adventures have developed her expertise regarding older homes which benefits her clients. “Because we have worked on our own homes, and I understand the ins and outs of houses… My knowledge on older homes saves clients daily. It’s one of the first things I review with them. It helps determine right away if the client is better suited for new construction or helping them pursue an existing home with projects.”
It can be extremely helpful to have an agent who knows homes, and it’s really when they use it to have your back! Caitlyn is focused on creating a win/win rather than trying to make a sale. “A lot of people are waiving inspections to get into a house. It is helpful to have someone who will point out a house’s flaws. We give people an idea of what to expect in terms of problems and repairs.” Let’s face it, when a home is staged, and all you can see are 100-year-old staircases and stained windows, it can be really hard to see the flaws behind the design.
Pointing out the flaws
And no one understands flaws like Caitlyn. “We’ve run into all kinds of issues with renovating. Old dangerous electrical, mold, asbestos, poor insulation, etc, etc. Our knowledge of what construction was like during that decade of when a home was built is always growing. Depending on the age of the house, we typically know what hidden defects might come up. We like to give our clients a worst-case scenario. Nothing is perfect though. We can’t foresee all issues, but it does help prepare someone for what they might be getting into.”
Things we prioritize when walking through a house:
1. foundation and any issues
2. signs of water damage
3. type of plumbing
4. check for signs of asbestos
5. the age and condition of electrical
6. age of mechanicals (furnace, water heater, a/c)
7. types of windows
8. age of roof/quality of shingles
Enjoying the highs
Helping people to find their diamond in the rough or even that shiny new construction is always a high for Cait. “I really enjoy being a part of such a big moment for people. Helping people, that fills my cup. I really enjoy that high with first time home buyers; they are always so excited and appreciative and that is enjoyable. My business is referral based so I do everything in my power to make the experience amazing. It is always a joy to see them at the closing table.”
Those extra special clients
Not only does love of older homes and the joy of closings inspire her but so do her memorable clients. “Every year there are a handful of clients that are like ‘wow, that makes you feel so good.’ This year I had a client that wanted to buy a house. Their husband was on a ventilator due to COVID. They thought he might pass away. The fact that he was able to overcome that and buy a home, something they never thought they would be able to afford or do, that was a really emotional and special moment to be a part of. I also had a client two years ago that had a type of terminal illness, but it was a goal of theirs to own a home together before he passed. Their budget was super, super tough, but we were able to find them a home and get into it before Christmas, so that was special.”
That’s not all
Knowing houses ins and outs isn’t Caitlyn’s only asset when it comes to making her a great agent.
“I am personable and down-to-earth. I enjoy getting to know people. I’m an approachable, kind person, not salesy.”
Grit during “gritty” times
While she is kind and accessible, she isn’t a pushover. “I have the grit and tenacity that no matter what situation I am in, I always make it a win/win, to help my client meet their goal. It is very rare when I feel a client didn’t feel taken care of or have their goals met. I think grit is a lot of it, because a lot of agents give up or aren’t willing to be creative; I am resourceful. We have had two sellers who had to sell right away, and even though the market is good, they were looking at losing money or barely breaking even. I had to be resourceful to make connections, to stage it on our own, to do what I could do to market it and sell it, where I think most agents just would have turned down the listing.”
Getting creative and getting dirty
Not only does Caitlyn show grit, but she is also creative and unafraid of getting her hands dirty (literally). “We have had situations where the client, especially with how intense the market is, has a government backed loan. It is a struggle to get an offer accepted with a FHA or VA, so we must get creative with writing offers. And the appraisers are pickier with those types of loans. We have had several buyers, where the appraiser wanted the home in a certain condition and the home needed some work, but the seller wasn’t willing to do it.” Caitlyn and her husband weren’t afraid to get dirty and did the work themselves. “We got it done… we did the work, so we could get our clients into their home.”
Advice for first time home buyers
“My biggest advice is making sure that you are finding a realtor and lender team that is serving you best. It is such a big financial decision. It is important that the person you are working with really cares about you and the home, not just putting you into whatever home they can in order to make a sale. It’s important to interview and find the right person that will meet your needs.”
Advice for sellers
“Even though it is a sellers’ market, it is still super important to use an agent because for sellers … it can be a difference of thousands of dollars or leaving money on the table. It’s important to make sure you have an agent who is knowledgeable and is current. There are a lot of agents that are seasoned but they may not be current with technology, with marketing… A person’s home is often the biggest asset they have ever owned, so it is really important to find an agent who is going to treat it like their own asset.”
Whether you are looking at an older historic home or a new build, buying or selling, Caitlyn has the experience, expertise, and grit to help you get into the home of your dreams. Contact Caitlyn Wisniewski or 616 Realty with any of your real estate questions or needs.