A Tale of Two Cats

© Steve Musgrave

In the Trenches: A Tale of Two Cats

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Summer
2022

We scheduled a showing with some prospective buyers. The listing agent had made it clear we shouldn’t let out the seller’s cat or let in any neighborhood cats. So, we were on high alert as the seller’s tan and light brown feline followed us throughout the showing—upstairs, downstairs, and to the main level. When the buyers went into the backyard, we guarded the sliding glass door to prevent any escape.

Later, as we were leaving the home and securing the lockbox, we saw that darn cat outside looking at us. How did it get out? We quickly hustled the cat inside and called the listing agent to let her know what had happened. We were surprised to learn from her that there was a lookalike stray cat that would hang around outside. Could we have mixed up the two cats?

Back into the house we went. Sure enough, we found two nearly identical cats. We had to get the stray outside, but could we be sure we had the right cat? Upon closer inspection, it wasn’t a difficult decision, but we left the home with a bit of anxiety about whether we’d chosen wisely. Fortunately, we had!

—Catherine Watts, ABR, and William Watts, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, Turnersville, N.J.


A Craigslist Miracle

When I started cold calling FSBOs as a prospecting strategy, I found a lead on Craigslist. The homeowner didn’t want to list his three-bedroom, two-bath property with a real estate agent because he didn’t want to pay a commission.

Regardless of his aversion to listing with a real estate professional, the owner chatted with me for more than three hours about life and his market. I shared my advice that he should showcase his luxury home with professional photography—not the sideways photos he had posted on Craigslist. Over the course of the conversation, I asked for the listing six times. Finally, he said yes!

It was a $950,000 listing. I held 20 showings and fielded more than 12 offers, but my client wasn’t satisfied and decided not to sell. Still, he was pleased with my work ethic and recommended me to sell a neighboring house, which was vacant. His former neighbor had left him in charge of finding an agent to sell the property. After seeing the home, I shared my pricing strategy, which impressed my client and got me a meeting with the sellers. I landed the listing and sold it for just over $1 million in three months. Who would have thought Craigslist would open the door to my first big deal?

—Bibi Hakim, ISA, eXp Realty, Siesta Key, Fla.

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