One Homeowner’s Life-Changing Journey with Curbio
“When one door closes, another one opens.” – Alexander Graham Bell
For Tiffany White, this old saying rang true in a surprising way.
Overwhelmed and Out of Her Element
When her father passed, Tiffany was thrown for a loop. Not only was she grieving, but she also found herself in charge of trying to sell her father’s old house.
As an only child, Tiffany noted that the stress kept piling on, “This was the first home that I ever had to sell, and that was overwhelming in and of itself. In addition to having to sell the home, I had to take care of all of the other transactions that related to the estate. So I was completely overwhelmed. I was doing that, I was working a full-time job at Chase Bank, and I was trying to figure out how I was going to get all of this done.”
To top it all off, the house was outdated and in despair. Like many sellers, Tiffany was overwhelmed at just the idea of pre-sale home improvement projects, so she considered selling the home as-is. But as she remarked, “reality kicked in.” Tiffany knew selling the house in its current state would not get her the value she needed.
“There was a mortgage balance on the home, so it was important to me to be able to list the home at the highest amount.” So she jumped in headfirst to some home improvement projects.
Initially, Tiffany decided to go it alone but luckily found an alternative. “I had spent some money prior to the idea of Curbio coming about. And I said, ‘You know what? I don’t want to have to spend any more of my own money.’ Once I heard about Curbio, I was elated because I said, ‘Wait a minute. Now they can come take a look, give me recommendations, do the work in a decent amount of time, and increase the value.’” In the end, she was anything but alone.
Getting the Ball Rolling
Albeit a little nervous, Tiffany was excited about the work. She knew there would be limitations, but with her agent, Monard “Moe” Lee, and the Curbio Chicago team on her side, the process wasn’t as challenging as she initially feared.
To get the ball rolling, Curbio first assessed the home and what work needed to be done. Tiffany explains, “The whole consultation process was very pivotal for me. Especially because, you know, this was a new process. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But what I liked is they sent someone to the home to do the video. And then I met with someone for my initial consultation. I really liked the fact that he had video of the home and had it broken out based on the room in the home and then provided recommendations as to how to make it stand out even more along with the cost.”
Although the list of updates could potentially be endless, that was not the point. Unlike working with other general contractors, Curbio focuses on projects with profit-driven results to help sellers get the most value from their home sale. Tiffany notes, “We talked about what homeowners want to see. And the experience that Curbio has had in the past helping clients bring their home to a point where buyers are elated and want to buy the home.”
Once the project list was set, the real work began.
With the house in the state that it was, quite a few projects made the list. To start, the kitchen needed a bit of a makeover. Even just a few updates made all the difference. This kitchen refresh was followed by some much-needed flooring updates and a few changes to the outdated bathrooms. As Tiffany summarized, the work “took the home from 1989 to 2020.”
Along the way, Tiffany was happy to monitor the progress and give input. “That app was fantastic because I could put things in the app, but I was also involved from the standpoint of being able to give my feedback so I could come and take a look at the work.” She continues, “If there were things that I didn’t like about what was done, I would tell my project manager and the workers would fix it. And so I felt like I was a part of the entire process, not just kind of at the beginning and then seeing it at the end. I was able to see the work that was being done.”
Though Tiffany liked being involved, it didn’t take up too much of her time. On the contrary, she explains, “I could stay focused on the things that I really needed to do. So I would sum it up by saying Curbio was a lifesaver for me in 2020, made my life so much easier and brought me more money back.”
A Very Profitable Sale
The house didn’t just look great to her, it also looked great to potential buyers. After a few showings, Tiffany noted, “They [potential buyers] told me that we all picked some great items in terms of the upgrading process, and people were ready to sign up even after just one visit of viewing the home.”
When it was all said and done, the house had multiple offers right away, including one over the asking price. Tiffany was able to make over $80,000 in profit that she was able to put toward other expenses regarding the estate. She summarizes her experience with Curbio claiming, “It was the best decision that we could have ever made because Curbio was a great partner. They do great work, and the final product was excellent.”
It Doesn’t End There
Selling the house wasn’t the end for Tiffany. In fact, it was just the beginning. The experience helped open her eyes to an exciting new venture— becoming a real estate broker.
Her mom was a broker and growing up Tiffany had always had a strong interest in the real estate industry. But it wasn’t until going through the sales process herself that Tiffany decided it was time to take this leap. She explains, “Just going through the process with him [her agent] and selling my dad’s home, I know the capacity and I know the offerings and the relationships that brokers have with their clients. And I was thinking to myself, ‘You know, I could do that.’”
Putting her free time to good use during the pandemic, Tiffany started studying for the real estate exam. She passed and quickly joined Moe’s team at @properties. With his guidance and training, Tiffany was able to hit the ground running.
Now she uses her own experience to put herself in her clients’ shoes and help them navigate the home-selling process and any barriers they may face. “I experienced firsthand these fears that a seller has when they’re selling their home. And Moe gave me such a fantastic experience that I use that same experience when I’m working with my clients.”
In today’s market specifically, Tiffany knows that one of these big issues is the need for pre-sale updates and preparation. Not every client is ready and willing to jump into these home improvement projects. To help get them on board, Tiffany uses Curbio. She explains, “Curbio is an expert in the business. And so now it’s something that I will be offering to my clients.”
Tiffany also understands that it isn’t just fixer-uppers who could use a little TLC. Every house could benefit from some basic listing preparation before hitting the market.
“I really see Curbio being a part of the workflow in every conversation with clients. So, as we’re looking at clients that want to sell a home, recommending that they have a conversation with Curbio or having Curbio come out, take a look, and give them recommendations as to how their home can be enhanced. I think there’s always upgrades and enhancements that we can do to our homes before putting them on the market.”
It is a win-win situation for Tiffany and her sellers. “So now I can offer Curbio as an opportunity to upgrade, to enhance their space so that they can get the most value and get the most money for the home that they’re trying to sell while also being able to save time.”