A few words from my Clients
“ Estate home sales are notorious for leaving money on the table as heirs seek to cash out quickly and potential buyers work to get a steal of a price. In selling my father’s home, I faced this reality and the added challenge of putting my father’s home on the market while living four hours away with a busy job, which limited my opportunity to get to Virginia Beach. I had heard from family and friends who had sold homes over the years many stories of over promises, missed expectations and just bungled attempts to sell their homes, and so I wasn’t looking forward to the task.Jason Lundy, Seller
With this challenge in mind, I contacted Cathy Mayo Kahn, a real estate agent and old friend whom I had not seen in over thirty years, for some guidance. Even though I knew Cathy from high school years, she took nothing for granted and approached our relationship very professionally. Before I signed with her, she had overviewed her experience as an agent in assessing the value of a home, identifying the best way to extract value from it and formulating a thorough, proposed marketing plan (while also being sensitive to the fact that it was my late father’s home).
Cathy started with a careful assessment of the market and comparable houses in the surrounding neighborhoods to provide me with a realistic basis for the house’s likely sales price. I appreciated this quite a bit since I was not that familiar with home sales in the area and wanted to avoid unrealistic expectations of what the house was worth, especially if I was to invest in some upgrades, as Cathy had advised.
A key aspect of Cathy’s proposal was to encourage select updates to the home that would both increase its sale value and reduce its time on the market. As I was to later find out, her plan met both needs extremely well. Of course, I was not in town to manage these upgrades, but Cathy had a plan for this. She used her extensive contacts in the real estate community to identify the right individual to help upgrade and stage the house. In addition, Cathy managed other contractors and service providers on a number of additional improvements and corrections. I didn’t realize that one could count on a real estate agent for such service—and I expect that, in many cases, one cannot. But Cathy regularly advised me that this was her job and expertise. And she brought to these efforts a wide circle of contacts to handle the many assorted needs—home inspectors, termite inspectors, French drain installers, fence builders, to name a few. What’s more, Cathy regularly demonstrated that I was the customer and no service provider was going to get preferential treatment. Were I to take these steps from my home in northern Virginia, it would have easily extended the timeline and put the house’s sale in jeopardy in missing the peak selling season.
As we approached Cathy’s deadline to put the house on the market, Cathy quickly addressed a number of last-minute items that helped to place the house in the best light. And as the house went onto the market, Cathy began to put into place her multi-pronged marketing strategy to garner attention in so many different channels than I knew existed—including a strong social media plan which would best appeal to likely home buyers in the price range.
Unfortunately for Cathy’s sweeping marketing plan, we began receiving good offers right away, which negated the need for much additional marketing. Still, she insisted on launching additional marketing to increase exposure while I considered the various offers. We received the final offer that I was to accept within two weeks of the house’s listing. This compared with an average listing time in the neighborhood of six months. So, while I was elated with how quickly the house sold, I felt a tinge of guilt that Cathy hadn’t been able to completely display her marketing talents. But it was comforting that she had them in reserve if needed.
The house’s final selling price was about 150% over what I initially was offered for the home before making the updates and, factoring in the investment in the updates, was still over 100% of the pre-update offers. And, by the way, this sales price matched within two percent of Cathy’s original appraisal. Also, as mentioned, the time between my engaging Cathy and the home’s final sale was several months less than the average time on market for nearby houses—including the time spent on upgrades.
All in all, I would say Cathy exceeded by a large measure my anticipated experience in selling the house—I made many fewer trips to Virginia Beach and needed to address fewer issues from afar, and the house sold much more quickly and at a much higher price than had I attempted to sell it myself or, I suspect, had used another agent.
In the end, I believe we offered a nicely updated home to the new buyers at a reasonable market price while significantly increasing the value that my family received for the house and in likely lesser time than it would have taken had we attempted to sell it “as is”."
"Cathy was a great agent; she helped us buy our new home. She’s very knowledgable of the area and gives great tips on location and things to look for and anything that might affect resale value . She’s also very aware of the fair market price and really good in negotiations. We gave one offer before settling in our current home and her predictions about the house we gave the offer on was perfect. Also looking back at some of the other houses we checked out and her price predictions, she pretty much predicted the prices of each of them correctly. She’s also always on time and very responsive to emails and phone calls. Also, she went out of her way to assist me throughout the entire home buying process and never made me feel pressured to make a decision – that was incredibly important to me as my family and I was relocating from overseas. I can truly say that Cathy was not just a realtor, but a friend. Others would be wise to contact Cathy. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. "James & Dreamer Reid, Buyers, Culpepper Landing | Chesapeake
"Cathy made the home buying experience for our first investment property as easy as it could be! This is third real estate transaction she has handled for us and we ranked her all 10's in the client survey. Virginia Beach, VA”Robert and Lauran Strait, Seller & Buyer
"Cathy was at the ready at all times. She went above and beyond my expectations in the real estate services i needed. She was dependable and followed through in every aspect. Don't know how i co uld have done it without her expertise! "Carolyn Vidrine, Seller, Gloucester Village | Virginia Beach
“Cathy has a real feel for real estate! She gave me staging advice on how to get my investment property ready to sell and added some final touches to make it appealing to a buyer. She always kept me informed throughout the process. This is the second home she's marketed and sold for me, I highly recommend her.John Teneyck, Seller
Birdneck Lake and The Pointe Townhomes, Virgnia Beach, VA ”
“Cathy contributed not only her business expertise but also enormous personal support. She was committed to the sale of our home and gave us an honest appraisal of the market and its demands. Courthouse Estates, Virginia Beach”John & Teresa Neibarger, Seller
“Cathy is simply amazing! She takes the real estate business seriously and have perfected it to an art form. After interviewing REALTORS from several premier companies, Cathy and her partner stood above them all. They came well prepared and knew the market extremely well. We listed a Woodards Mill home for sale with them and in one week it sold, and with a very solid offer. If we ever return to the area, Cathy will absolutely be our first call."Col. Victor & Sherry Janushkowsky, Seller
“ I was selling my home and moving out of state. Cathy went far beyond the call of duty working with contractors and checking on my house during the many trips I had to make out of town prior to closing. She was particularly helpful in handling the negotiation process with the extremely difficult realtor representing the buyer. Despite some tense times there was never any doubt that she had my best interests in mind. ”Lynn D. Fenster, Seller
“Cathy and her partner answered all our questions. From the first day, my wife and I felt completely comfortable with these ladies. We live in Georgia now, but if I hear of anyone moving to the Virginia Beach area, I would certainly recommend them. Windsor Woods, Virginia Beach”Charles & Petronela Brown, Seller
"Cathy is a fabulous agent she gets a 10 in my book. Thank you in assisting in the sale of our home. Could not have done it with out you!"John & Christy Walker, Seller
“Although Cathy is my sister, she went way above what a realtor would do. Before we even began, she had all the marketing research completed and presented it to me in a very professional manner. She was able to answer any question I had about what I may face in today's current market situation so I was able to anticipate what I was expected to do. I thought my house was beautifully staged but not until she came in and totally transformed it. She has an eye for color and design. Her knowledge and experience with the local market priced my home just right so that it sold in 10 days. My existing roof became a problem during the inspection stage. Cathy went down to the City to speak with the inspector and set up all of my repairs. Due to my workload, I was not able to take off work so Cathy sat at my house while the Contractors were making repairs to ensure they were done correctly. She made a very stressful situation so much easier on me - she has done this for all of her clients. I highly recommend her not only for her extensive knowledge and experience but also for her heart - she really cares for her clients well being and success. Thank you Cathy!”Suzanne Spencer, Seller