On a personal level, 2018 was a transitional year.
After spending most of Fourth Quarter 2017 not working, and figuring out in First Quarter 2018 whether or not to launch a real estate brokerage or join the best brand in the business (good choice, the latter), I started the year in March. It was a weird year to be sure.
In my 19 years selling real estate, this was one of two years when I sold more listing sides than buying sides.
To that end, the first impression, online, has never been more significant. When Eric Scott and I had tacos at La’au’s February 1st we looked at each other with a common, shocked expression: if there was one real estate company that moved into our space that we would be really upset we had not 1.) joined and 2.) knew that they already had our value proposition “baked in the cake”, it was Sotheby’s.
The number one reason: the elegance of the marketing. That begins and ends with the photos.
Since we have come on board, we have had the chance to use some awesome photographers. Here is my personal greatest hits of 2018.
9180 Lizard Rock Trail in Cordera came on in the midst of the Fall Doldrums. It still garnered almost 30 showings. Tyler had great light on this day and used it to full advantage in this image. The Saddletree quality standards for a house in the mid-$400’s are everywhere: big picture window, high-quality hardwood floors obviously on the entire main level, a pretty hearth.
I have perfectionist tendencies, I have performance tendencies, and I really have people-pleasing tendencies. When I worked with my former business partner who is also one of my friends-of-a-lifetime, I did not take the listing for granted. I wanted it to rock. I usually am disappointed with exterior images. Not this one. The 1898 architecture improved by dormers, where the original, beautiful siding is resplendent, the lead-glass windows are high-lit, the light is just-so… this one at 903 Cedar came out just-right. And the house sold in less than a week with huge traffic.
It’s kind of crazy to me how awesome this image came out. This was a competitive listing and after building good rapport with the sellers, I also promised them best-in-class imaging and drone work. The images inside were stellar, but the some of the drone work with Dmitri was where the work really paid off. The reflection here? C’mon. Especially with that divided light filtering in through the cottonwood. 16440 Old Denver Road had several show-stopping images, and while it listed around the normally chill Fourth of July holiday, 10 showings, 3 offers and 6-days on market tells you the power of sweetheart images.
Tyler likes to shoot straight-on symmetrical images and with anything modern or restored (and in this case, both) it has a pretty wonderful impact. This home sold in 2 days. A restored 5 bedroom, 3 bath house with a detached one-car garage and it fetched $500,000 in Patty Jewett. 2110 N Royer. Showcasing the old and the new, the floors are 1940’s pine (late for pine floors) original to the house, the floor in the dining are more modern (2016) oak. The appliances are Bosch with a Kitchen Design implemented kitchen, complete with Cambria Quartz counters. The seller added a great light in the dining room and if you look carefully you can see the grand Andersen slider walking out to the backyard.
“Get everything out of the house, no wait, not that!” was the working order here. This home at 1503 Lookout Springs in Trailridge South busted the highest-price ever on the street by $40,000. It USED to be a view lot, but ended up having trees grow up big and grand all around it making it instead a privacy lot. It still had superb natural light and those hardwood floors. But the additions of the custom rock fireplace, the remote-controlled window blinds, a custom wood mantle, and stellar furniture all come together in this image. Three days on market, sayonara.
My first listing with LIV Sotheby’s, and before we had Tyler as our principal photographer, this still came out pretty brilliant. 6 McKinley Place was a 2 bedroom, 2 bath, and guessing that there would be big demand the first weekend in May, I instructed the sellers to leave town for a vacation for three-days, and hopefully they could “pick their offer” when they got back. A rare over-promise-threat from yours truly. Fortunately, it paid off:12 showings, 3-days on market, Two Offers, full-price, and full-price was $20K more than another agent thought they could get. This looks like a half million dollar house, not one that was a barely-appraised at $310,000.
It’s always nice to come back and work with a past-client, and this particular client insisted that I didn’t need to do all my pre-listing, fancy stuff. I still did. I showed up with the package, showed some flyers, walked him through the process, and he was sold. That helped because there were some staging needs and understanding the quality-standard, he did absolutely everything, consistently inviting me over to make sure he had done enough. He did. I also kicked him out of town for the weekend, and he also had multiple offers. Not bad for a $280,000 house.. that happened to fetch almost $320/square foot at 2419 N Franklin. “Do you have comps to grid this price?” asked the skeptical appraiser? I did (one), and it closed just fine.
Five different calls from agents AFTER it went under contract “is there any chance that deal is gonna fall out? I have someone that really wants it that did not get to see it” Four different PAST CLIENTS AND LISTING APPOINTMENT CLIENTS brought up this particular property as “we would move in a heartbeat for this.” The images at 7320 Woodmen Mesa are stellar. This is a Top Ten Kitchen in Colorado Springs for me because at $710,000 ($10K over asking price after 10 showings in a day and a half) that much quality is rarely seen at that price. This is twice the price in Denver, especially considering the proximity to I-25 (5 minutes), 1 acre lot (visible in the exterior image) and the privacy of the location (evident in the master view). More amazing: Tyler had garbage light to work with this day. The fast-developing August 6 hailstorm was t-minus 90 minutes away as he was taking the images and the light kept changing on him constantly. Ever the pro, he produced a wildly original product.
The view from 16440 Old Denver’s Living Room. C’mon. That’s HDR-layering at it’s best. Foreground, middle ground, background.
Presently the cover slide on the Facebook Business Page for obvious reasons. The floors, the Decora cabinets, you can get a taste of the leathered counters non-gloss texture, the dormer and the perfectly positioned garden window over the sink.
Another kitchen one, but again, the HDR-layering in full-force. The foreground is splendid and the leathered counter surface is more plainly evident. The sellers’ just-plain-sweet dining room set as the middle ground. Green tranquility out the windows.
Tyler and his symmetry in a surprisingly well-purposed application. The teasing off-the-shoulder attributes of this image are really fun. It has the coy tease of “this is the entry and this is how it starts. Just wait. Just… you… wait…”
My wife was ready to move.
This is where the seller gets enormous props, as does the stager, Bekah Friesen. The candles and baskets are just-so. The opportunity to go over-country is so often a problem with houses on acreage. But the stager and the sellers understood that the house needed to speak. That’s real river rock on the fireplace. Those are real aspen logs inside. The sellers spent months on scaffolding painting by hand the ceiling and the beams. Dark grey is a bold choice, but oh my gosh, with that southern light year-round, it can be pulled off.
A fitting last image for the Best of 2018 Images, the coup d’etat image of images on 16440 Old Denver was this image. I mean, “what? This is (was) available for sale?” The sellers choice of the upcycled window frame hanging vertically on the porch was too-perfect. But the restoration of the tongue and groove under the porch, the amount of water they dumped on the lawn to get it that green (it was dry going into the listing), the attention to the woodpile tidiness and the simple elegance of the farmhouse lighting all come together in a summer idyll of an image.
Tyler Grundvig, I salute you, and look forward to another great 2018!