Expecting the unexpected is a skill you would want your real estate agent to have – one that comes naturally to Sandra Garcia
There appears to be some recurring themes at 616 Realty; if you have a heart for people, a love of real estate, and a desire to provide superior service for your clients, then 616 Realty is home. Real estate agent Sandra Garcia is no different. After working for seven years with people who had brain injuries at Hope Network, Sandra knew she wanted to continue to work in a field where she could help people, “I always knew I wanted to work with people, and I loved real estate. Like a lot of others, I was always looking at houses online. So, once my two children got a little older, I took the plunge and took the test.”
Expecting the unexpected
Around the same time, she and her husband purchased their first home, and she learned a very important real estate lesson. “Shortly after we moved in, our roof was leaking, and our bathroom ceiling fell in. We had to redo our entire roof. It was a good learning experience; you have to be prepared for anything.” While they did everything right, “we did an inspection, and we still had a problem. He assumed it was good to go, so it was crazy when it happened.” It was an eye-opener for Sandra. “I realized, ‘you are a homeowner now.’” She says with a laugh. “I love telling that story. You have to know that (as a home buyer), you have to be prepared for anything, …I like teaching that to first time home buyers.”
Another recurring theme at 616 Realty is that patience is a necessary virtue in real estate, especially in this current market. “It’s crazy. I have this client; she is a great buyer. We wrote 45 offers befores she finally got a home.” Not only is Sandra patient, but she is also a great cheerleader . I am always going to be super patient, point out houses we should go see. I keep an eye on showings. If she was getting discouraged, I tried to take her to new places. You have to be their cheerleader. Anything she saw, she would say ‘let’s make an offer.’ I had to stop her and say what about your boys? Would they be happy here? I am always going to be there to make sure they are happy.”
In this current market, patience is key.
“I was looking at something for my buyer. I looked for anything in the 200k-250k. Literally, there are seven houses in the entire Grand Rapids area. I am sending out reminders to people that have been looking for a while that we are still thinking about them, but we can’t even find anything. It is very difficult… I just have to keep them encouraged. This is the point where I tell them to keep saving for an appraisal gap, for a higher down payment. It is just a waiting game.”
Putting clients first
Putting clients first is a theme that Sandra and everyone at 616 Realty seem to have in common as well. “I am always going to put my clients first. Nothing makes me happier than having happy clients. If they want my advice on anything, from finding a lender, to inspections, the paperwork, what to expect, I am always there for them.” She even goes so far as to point out the problems in a home her clients may not see. “I feel like they (homebuyers) are walking through a house, it is like the honeymoon period. They don’t see the flaws. I try to point out things that might be an issue. I don’t want them to end up in something they don’t want.”
Going the extra mile
Just ask around. At 616 Realty, the team is always going the extra mile, and Sandra Garcia… well, she goes an extra 10. “A couple was worried about the plumbing. The inspector said it was okay. They moved in, and right away they had a huge (and costly) plumbing issue. They had just finished paying their closing costs, so I gave them part of my commission.”
What is the most rewarding aspect of being an agent?
They got it goin’ on
Another recurring theme for 616 Realty, is it is the place to be, and Sandra Garcia would know. “I think I went to 9 or 10 brokerages when I started. Usually an agent picks one of the first two they go visit. When you are an agent, the brokerage wants you because you make them money, but you are supposed to be interviewing them. At 616 Realty, the whole atmosphere was different. Scot made everything about helping me …this is what we offer, Pam will help you. I got one-on-one time for training; it was a very comforting atmosphere. I picked them the day I met with them. I wanted to find somewhere I would be happy and would support me as an agent. He gave me exactly what I was looking for.”
Advice for first time home buyers
“In this market, selecting an agent who is super patient, whether they have to write you one offer or 50 is important. Pick someone who is going to walk you through the process and be your cheerleader.”
Advice for sellers
“Even though it is a seller’s market, get an agent… Choose an agent who wants you to get the most from your sale based on your personal goals. Some agents are treating listings like they are going to get paid regardless. An agent’s experience is important for a seller.”
Sandra Garcia and the whole team at 616 Realty provide superior client service, go the extra mile, and are just warm, caring individuals who are looking out for you first. If that is what you are looking for in a real estate brokerage, then 616 Realty is the place for you. Contact them today.