Up front, I need to tell you that my experience as a seller with Sammy is extraordinary. This man made me more money on my listing than I could have asked for. I will start at the beginning. I’m at the upper limit of millennial (possibly on the cusp of Generation X) and I will say right here that I don’t care who you are or where you are in life, selling your home is the biggest deal ever. Buying a home is a big old deal too, but that’s my story for another day. I’ll unashamedly admit that I am more privileged than some, because I bought a condo before the local market went too crazy, renovated said home, and sold when the market was especially advantageous. If you’re not in it, you may think at this point that I had an easy time. I did not. Life happened.
Yada yada yada, I had taken a large pay cut to gain a career in my chosen field. I decided to go to grad school. The mortgage on my sweet DC condo, plus the condo fee, plus some assessments, became untenable with my newly reduced budget. I moved out, and took on tenants (ugh). The “opportunity” at this agency did not pan out as advertised. My student loans (both undergrad and graduate) were crushing me. My finances were very stressful. What’s a homeowner to do? I had to sell. Not doing otherwise would have been stubborn foolishness.
When I first decided to sell my NW DC condo, I went with a realtor I had found and my house sat on the market for three weeks, with no interest. Nightmare. It was so promising at first! The unit was vacant; I had (I thought) successfully evicted my tenants, it was empty, and given DC’s “booming” real estate market, I was on easy street to sell. I found that this was not actually the case. My realtor, a very suburban gentleman who lived only technically within the beltway, suffered from too much confidence in the market and not enough in the power of making a home actually attractive to buyers, did almost nothing except list the home on MLS. He grudgingly agreed to hold one open house. Not even a nibble, and meanwhile, the condo is 1) costing me money, and 2) not earning a dime in rent to offset this on my meager budget. The listing was unappealing, and by the time I considered asking to upgrade it in a more attractive light, my tenant was gone and the home was sitting empty and not in a position to photograph.
These were dark days, reader, dark indeed. I was earning barely above the poverty line (for DC, at any rate), while juggling grad school and debt, all the while living at home with my family. (Try moving home in your 30’s, even temporarily)! After 3 weeks of pure frustration from absolutely no action on behalf of my realtor, I was voicing my concerns to a friend and she implored me to use her realtor, Sammy Dweck. I hesitated, because how different could a new realtor be? I hate to admit when I am wrong, but my pride was not worth my bank account. I finally called Sammy, and within the day we were talking like longtime confidantes about the ins and outs of what had occurred with my listing. Ethically, he was only able to provide me with information about home sales in DC, but it was so compelling, I immediately contacted my current realtor and we agreed to mutually part. I knew that this was the right choice, because I received real, practical, and achievable advice from Sammy.
The tenants that I convinced to move out? Well, there is a thing called TOPA and I had to jump through a bunch of hoops to make sure I was in good shape to sell my place. Sammy was a godsend: knowledgeable and patient enough to guide me, successfully, through the entire process of TOPA. My unit was completely vacant, and Sammy recommended an amazing home stager to decorate it to appeal to buyers (seriously, this guy could easily have his own show on HGTV), and this stager was prompt, professional, and honestly, extremely delightful to work with (shout out to Justin Moore!). Sammy’s photographers were, seriously, magazine quality. They even made the mediocre (imo) common areas of my condo building look super cool and retro. Sammy motivated me to fix a few things in my unit and, honestly, I already kind of knew I had to do these things anyway. I just needed that extra push. These fixes, plus the stager, gave me EIGHT OFFERS the first week I worked with Sammy. We listed on Thursday, held an open house over the weekend and at 4:00pm he presented me with the insane EIGHT OFFERS. (He confided that he had to get his office mates to assist because there were so many offers with escalators he needed to confirm what the highest offer was)!
My condo was listed at a conservative price, (slightly lower than what my original listing was priced at, but in retrospect more in line with the comps and market), which I honestly would have been very happy with, but the result of competitive pricing plus amazing presentation got me a final selling price of $35,000 over my asking price. People. That is THIRTY-FIVE THOUASAND AMERICAN DOLLARS. That alone is a life-changing amount of money. My buyer was also very motivated, but all the same, Sammy made gentle recommendations with regards to how to handle the transaction for the remainder of the time before closing. And everything went off without a hitch. Everyone was happy. I met the buyer at closing and she was a sweetheart; so happy with her purchase. And you know what? Even though I’m sure she would have been glad no matter what, Sammy’s recommendations (such as hiring a professional cleaning, plus some flexibility with the closing) made her that much happier. I was happy to do these things.
My recommendation for anyone interested in selling a home, or purchasing one, would be to talk to Sammy first. The man is insanely knowledgeable and competent. Hand to god, he is happy to talk to you regardless of whether or not you hire him. I feel he is truly passionate about people making good choices when it comes to their real estate transaction and if he’s not the best choice for you at this time, he’s still happy to make recommendations. My first call to him was basically him telling me my options, not selling himself. He is the epitome of professionalism, and he knows exactly how to get the job done!
It’s easy to just pick the first realtor that comes up in your search. I too felt that it wasn’t a difficult choice, but trust me, this is likely a huge financial transaction for you, and it pays to do your due diligence! While all that I can really speak about is my incredibly positive experience with Sammy regarding selling my place, I fully believe that if I had hired him from the beginning, it would have saved me time, money, and heartache. I have worked with him since to purchase my current home, which is another (very positive) story, but this Testimonial is about a time when I needed, very badly, to sell my largest asset and I was very, very stressed. Sammy’s competence, proactive attitude, and gently firm guidance were so very valuable to me. Mind you, when I say, “gently firm,” I mean about as kind as it can get. I never, at any time, felt pressured. This is very important, because I’m a bit sensitive to that. Sammy is polite, professional, and yet, gives you a feeling of camaraderie so that you feel secure and comfortable throughout your transaction. Or “ordeal,” as I like to call it! I have since recommended Sammy to friends, and would never hesitate to do so again, because I feel that Sammy’s service is beyond the scope of most realtors in this area. Sammy is a rarity: competent, communicative, and true. While I cannot guarantee he can get everyone eight offers over listing, he had an impeccable track record for putting his contacts, skills, and experience to work for you. I will always be grateful to him for being a rock when I needed it most, but one with a sense of humor and humanity that tempers one of modern life’s greatest challenges. Thank you.