“Selling A Unique House — The Joe Wathen Approach”

My brother and I inherited a house from our deceased parents that we had considerable difficulty selling, despite its complete renovation. The house, which is a contemporary, was custom built by our parents 25 years ago to accommodate their needs as they grew older. The house is a rare gem among the myriad of traditional houses in Howard County. Despite brainstorming and fairly aggressive marketing efforts, my brother and I soon discovered that the house would appeal to only a unique niche of buyers, who would truly appreciate its architectural design. Our quest was how to find this group.
The house lingered on the market for over five months with another realtor, until we decided to retain Joe Wathen as our new realtor. He quickly assessed the situation, and concluded that many attributes of the house that had been previously overlooked should be emphasized. Accordingly, new “Glamour Shot”-type pictures were taken of the house by a professional photographer, who took full advantage of the natural sunlight that streamed throughout the rooms. In addition, the marketing brochure for the house was extensively rewritten through our collaborative efforts with Joe. Further, at Joe’s suggestion, we had the house staged, and the results were impressive. We thought the staging process helped to accentuate the many positive features of the house, soften its sharp edges, and garner the interest of prospective buyers on the Internet and at open houses.
We had weekly, and sometimes daily conversations with Joe during the listing period. He promptly responded to our questions and concerns, offered suggestions to the extent needed, and was always willing to listen to and entertain new sale strategies we discussed with him, including lowering the price of the house, which we reluctantly agreed to do. At times, we disagreed with Joe and had spirited discussions with him. However, we managed to overcome our animosities because we realized that our primary objective was to get the house sold.
In summary, I would recommend Joe as a realtor to any prospective buyer or seller. He is extremely conscientious, resourceful, detail-oriented, and even-tempered. He is also an avid listener, and is easily accessible.