David Simkins Understands the Power of Tech-Driven Real Estate
Cara Gamble Helps Sellers Navigate Seasonal Market Changes
Not many agents can say they’ve seen the real estate market in every imaginable condition. Cara Gamble has been in the industry since she was 19 years old, and she has sold during the highest peaks and the slowest lulls. That may scare some agents off, but learning to adapt has been one of the things Cara likes most about her profession. She now works as a Realtor for The Agency and has never looked back.
Cara started out as a full-time loan consultant for a mortgage company and later pivoted to being a full-time Realtor. A Southern California native, Cara has also worked her way up the state. She spent time as a Realtor in the Laguna Beach area but now works primarily in the East Bay area of San Francisco after moving there with her family nine years ago.
In terms of the people she works with, Cara has seen it all too. “I’m all over the place. I do townhomes and condos. I’ve done 3 million+ luxury homes. Older clients and families and single people and first-time home buyers. All of them.” No matter who her clients are, she just wants to help them with whatever their real estate needs are – regardless of the state of the market.
Seasonality Takes a Toll
Having worked in real estate for several years, Cara knows she can rely on the unpredictability of the real estate market. Along with broader changes year over year, the real estate market also goes through seasonal fluctuations. “We’re kind of heading out of the best time to sell. The closer you get to the holidays, the less people want to buy. So, the buyers will have less competition here in the next couple of months, and the sellers that are selling around the fall or wintertime are the sellers that kind of really have to go somewhere.”
With fewer buyers on the hunt and homeowners needing to get their homes sold, sellers have to make sure their home is able to catch buyers’ attention. For anybody looking to sell soon, Cara has some words of cautious optimism: “It is still a good time to sell right now. I don’t know how long that’s going to last though. Typically, it doesn’t… I would say by late September, October, it should start to slow down… I’m seeing a lot more price reductions right now than I have all year.”
Whether you are the agent on the listing or the homeowner, you need to take action to ensure the house stands out above the rest and will still be able to get off the market during this end-of-the-year lull.
Make Way for Updates
One way Cara helps her clients sell their homes in a tougher market is by suggesting pre-sale updates. While not every homeowner is eager to jump at this opportunity, it can have an enormous payoff. Recently, Cara worked with the Curbio San Franciso team to prep one of her listings before it went on the market.
They started with a consultation that went through the home room by room to evaluate what work needed to be done. After talking it out and determining what projects would have the greatest ROI, the parties decided on the final scope of work. Ultimately, the team focused on some exterior touch-ups like power washing the walkways and deck to boost the home’s curb appeal, as well as small cosmetic updates to the interior.
After choosing from a few different carpet options, the result was transformative. “It looked really good. And they felt good, and the installation was quick.”
These basic cosmetic updates alone helped the home get multiple offers and sell for an impressive $425,000 over the asking price. It is amazing what some basic preparation can do. The projects were done quickly as well. “I would say we got the home prepped in a few weeks – two to three weeks.”
Overall, Cara thought the process was smooth, communication was easy, and everyone was professional. She added, “I really like how Curbio had designated people for each point of the project that I can contact.”
A Win-Win Situation
Because she has been in the business for a bit, Cara knows that even if they want to make pre-sale updates, not every homeowner can afford them. Concierge services like Curbio that allow homeowners to wait to pay at closing can make these projects more affordable for sellers. “I know it’s a good option for people that don’t want to spend their cash upfront or they don’t have the cash upfront. So in this particular situation, I told the sellers about it, and they were interested.”
It isn’t just the sellers who can benefit. Cara may be able to give her own business a little boost. Along with making her sellers happy (can you say referrals?), Curbio may also help Cara win more listings. In one survey, 72% of homeowners said they chose agents who came to listing presentations prepared with options, and 77% said they would choose an agent with a pay-at-closing solution.1 In a real estate industry that continues to get more and more competitive for agents, every little edge helps.
As a seasoned pro in the real estate industry, Cara knows how to pull out the stops to help her clients and grow her business, even when the market gets a little bit tough. For agents newer to the industry, you may want to take some notes or risk getting left behind.
- Curbio (2022). Preparing to Sell: 2022 Home Improvement Report