From the Yellow Pages to Probate and Estate Transactions: Real Estate Agent Marcy Degrave-Dykstra has Found Her Niche
A road with with many paths
Michigan native and Hudsonville resident Marcy DeGrave-Dykstra’s career path certainly hasn’t been a straight line, but in the end, it has been one peppered with vast learning experiences that have led her ‘home” to 616 Realty. She is a real estate agent who has a paralegal degree and years of customer service which she uses to excel at serving her clients and excelling at all real estate transactions, especially probate and estate property sales and acquisitions.
In the early days of her career path, armed with the yellow pages and a script, she cold called for another real estate agent. She still good-heartedly remembers the last line she was scripted to say, ‘‘Is that no for now, or no forever?’’ Marcy was tasked with making hundreds of calls and remembers being lucky if one person was interested in buying or selling real estate.
It stands to reason that she began to pursue her other interests, like law. Marcy got her degree from Davenport as a paralegal. A self-proclaimed nerd for contracts, research, probate, family, trust, criminal law, and seeing how it broke down behind all the legal jargon, it seemed like the perfect career. While she did indeed love the law, she “struggled being trapped between four walls and sitting for hours upon hours.”
As an active, “busy” person, she took a hard left turn and went into fine dining for 15 plus years. The role helped her learn a lot and hone her soft skills for “reading the table. The restaurant business is all about customer service and nurturing and negotiation.”
Working for 911
But she was still not at her destination. Marcy’s career journey went another direction. She, and 400 other applicants, applied for Allegan County’s emergency 911 department. After earning the role, she perfected her skills of negotiation, customer service, and de-escalation. Unfortunately, or in hindsight, fortunately she got laid off during the 2008/09 recessions, forcing her to face another crossroad. She didn’t know if she should return to her paralegal work, the restaurant business, or go in some other direction.
The path to the 616 Realty family
Marcy had worked on homes on the side, doing some DIY with her husband at the time painting houses, refinishing and reupholstering furniture, and even painting murals. Because she had always loved DIY and homes, her husband encouraged her to go into real estate. Apparently, the powers that be agreed, it was the right direction. “I kind of hmmm-hawed about it, but then, I broke my ankle. I was in a cast all summer and couldn’t do much.” That gave her the perfect excuse to go “back to school” where she earned her real estate license.
Marcy started out working for a real estate investor. “I had a friend…, and we found discount properties, would put together a flip plan or repair plan, and he would then sell them on land contracts or keep them for rentals.” But it wasn’t quite what she was looking for in real estate.
That’s where 616 Realty came in. “Scot and I went to high school together. We didn’t know each other well, but he reached out. It (616 Realty) was such a family-oriented business with a great culture. I just knew I would be treated like family going there and that is exactly how they treat me. Scot has such a great education plan. He is consistent with meetings. He makes sure all the agents are involved and educated. He is just growing at such a professional, high level. I love watching what he is doing for the agents; they are always top of mind for him. It’s amazing. I get solicited all the time by other brokerages, but I would never leave.”
The probate and estate niche
And now, the path/journey has gone full circle of sorts. With her paralegal experience and passion for law and Marcy’s desire to guide people, the path has meandered nicely into the niche of probate and estate transactions. “I had been praying for some direction in my business, and it happened! I gained a referral base of the heirs because of my paralegal degree and my interest in helping people find resolve after a tragedy. I have naturally attracted more than 20 probate and estate type sales in the past two years. It is important to me to build trust and do the hard work so they come back to me. I put a ton of care into these relationships.”
Along with her work experiences, she has some other characteristics that bode well in real estate. “I am very organized. (My spices are alphabetized.)” She also took a career aptitude test that said she should have been a teacher which has been helpful. “I give my clients little bits to chew on in chronological order. I want them to have a clear understanding of the process, of appraisal gaps, of what we are going to have to do to win an offer, and why some of their requests might not work.” Likewise, she is also always available. “I answer my phone all the time. I am babysitting every single transaction, every day. I want my clients to feel like they are the only client I have.”
Marcy has a heart for not only helping people with real estate, but she also has a desire to help people in crisis and is a big advocate for volunteering. “I volunteer for the Red Cross. I went down to Hurricane Florence and Irma.” When Marcy isn’t helping clients, people in crisis, and/or volunteering, she enjoys spending time with her family.
Advice for sellers
“I think sellers right now need to have their next plan in place. Their home is going to sell quickly, and they need to stay focused. They can sometimes have a hard time letting go. Also, as far as sellers’ agents, they know the house is going to sell. There isn’t enough inventory. But, I am not going to be your “yes, man”; if we over-price, that is a detriment. If you underprice it’s also a detriment; you create a feeding frenzy. You could have 60 showings and have over 200 people in this feeding frenzy transaction. It is about pricing and not being a yes man and being straight with them about staging their homes without huge remodeling costs.”
Advice for first time buyers
“There is a lot of emotion; stay calm. Ask all the questions you have, and have a plan and move forward. I underpromise, but overdeliver! I tell them, this could be a long process. You may have to make five or six offers. Some people think they need to overpay because they might miss out, but it is important for me to guide them to make sure it is a good decision. With buyers I am always talking about their credit and save, save, save.”
Additional advice from Marcy
“People underestimate a remodeling project. There are always unforeseen problems. Add an extra 10% because when you get into a big project mold, plumbing, electrical behind those walls there are often problems. There are a lot of headaches to DIY. Sometimes hiring a professional will save you a lot more time and headaches.”
While 616 Realty real estate agent Marcy Degrave-Dykstra’s niche is probate and estate transactions, she can help you with any of your real estate needs. If you want someone who can confidently wade through the fine print, who gives you her all, and who isn’t happy until you are happy, Marcy is the agent for you. For any and all of your real estate needs, 616 Realty has an expert who can help you get the answers you seek.