T.V. and Cato's House Hustle: Crisis Averted

T.V. and Cato's House Hustle: Crisis Averted

May 8, 2017
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Name: T.V. Carpio, Cato Herring, their daughter and three cats
Location: Burbank, CA
Size: 2,138 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years

It wasn't until T.V. became pregnant that she and Cato decided to become home owners. At first they assumed they wouldn't need a real estate agent, thinking they'd find plenty of listings online on their own. But it turned out their dream house, a 1920s Spanish Tudor in Burbank, didn't come down to search terms and algorithms: There was a healthy dose of emotion involved.

After a frustrating search, T.V. and Cato called in help to expand their search. Cato found REALTOR® Sebastian Wolski, a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, and he turned out to be the perfect person to help them with what would become an unusual bid.

Sebastian had a house for them in Burbank. It was outside their search area, but when he presented it to them, it was clear he had put a lot of thought into the match. "He was the first agent to actually ask what we were looking for and was always ready to think outside the box," says T.V. "He would find out as much as he could about behind-the-scenes activity with sellers and other buyers."

Translation: Sebastian had a secret weapon — intel. Because he'd done extensive homework — preparing folders for each house the couple saw and collecting school district stats and comparative listings — he knew that the couple selling the Burbank house was turning down generous offers. Why? They still held a huge torch for their home of 40(!) years. They didn't want just any buyers; they wanted the right buyers.

Competition was tight, and T.V. and Cato's offer was their max. It seemed like an impossible solution. But, Sebastian hatched a crazy idea, and in the end it would prove to be even more valuable than cash to these particular sellers. The crazy idea? Speaking from the heart. Sebastian suggested that T.V. and Cato make a video letter, introducing the sellers to their expanding family and why their home would be such an essential part of it.

They got the house.

But Sebastian didn't stop there: He took T.V. and Cato out for a celebratory dinner and had a photo enlarged of the couple on the day they got their keys. After move-in, he sent over members of his team not once but twice to check in and help unpack. (Yes — to unpack.) "That kind of service, which has now turned into a friendship, is priceless!" says T.V.

And the video? A couple months later, T.V. and Cato bumped into the sellers' family at the Burbank Farmers' Market. "They told us the video had brought tears to their eyes," T.V. said. "More tears came when we told them we'd had a home birth."

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Eclectic, nostalgic, whimsical, vintage. Our style is also a constant negotiation.

Inspiration: Music is always inspirational; it's what brought us together. Our newly found bond between mother, father, and child—that love has also been supremely inspirational. Pinterest, Dwell on Design, Apartment Therapy, traveling, old Hollywood films.

Biggest Challenge: Keeping on budget. Which, we didn't.

Biggest Indulgence: We splurged most on our kitchen and the appliances.

Best Advice: Make lists of what you want versus what you need. Be informed. There's a lot of information available online. Make sure the agent you choose can add to whatever you can find out on your own. Don't let them be lazy! You may lose out on your dream home because you didn't act fast enough.

Dream Sources: Flea markets in other countries. Estate sales. 1st Dibs.

This post is sponsored by the National Association of REALTORS® and was created by Apartment Therapy's Creative Studio. Realtors® are members of the National Association of REALTORS®.
Thank you for supporting the brands that make Apartment Therapy possible.

Thanks, T.V and Cato!


Tour more houses and learn how their owners averted crises in buying them in the House Hustle.

BEGIN THE HOUSE HUSTLE

Visit realtor.com/getrealtor® to find a Realtor®, and get insider info on buying and selling at houselogic.com.

This post is sponsored by the National Association of REALTORS® and was created by Apartment Therapy's Creative Studio. Realtors® are members of the National Association of REALTORS®.
Thank you for supporting the brands that make Apartment Therapy possible.

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