The Coots Team Combines Name Brand Recognition and Personal Service

By Kim Hill

When Kathy Coots formed Coots and Company twelve years ago, she discovered a career she had a passion for, which resulted in a hugely successful real estate team that continues to grow. Kathy’s husband Darien left his job about four years ago to join her full-time, and a buyer’s agent was recently hired. “We are now a team of five full-time agents and two administrative assistants,” says Kathy. “Last year we did 130 transactions. This year we are on track to do about 150.”

Three buyers’ agents – Kevin and Amy Bingaman, another husband and wife team, and Laura Fulford – do the field work, showing properties to clients, while Kathy and Darien are sellers’ agents, handling all the listings. After listing a home, Kathy hires professional photographers to put the information together. “About 93% of people start their home search online, and you absolutely want to make sure you put your best foot forward,” she says.

Kathy explains they are currently seeing a very short supply of inventory in all price points, but especially homes priced $250,000 and below. This is really a great thing for sellers as they are usually able to get close to and sometimes above listing price as long as they are realistic with their pricing. The sellers’ market, however, can prove difficult for buyers. “I listed one home last week that had twenty-two offers. We see multiple offers, including cash offers. It just makes me sad for those first-time buyers who can’t get into a house because they are competing with people who have cash. It’s hard.” She does say, though, that many people think you have to have a 20% down payment, and that isn’t the case. With decent credit, you can get an FHA loan (one of the more popular loans) with 3.5% down, or a conventional loan for 5% down. There are grants to help with down payments and VA loans at 100%. If you are moving to a more rural area, you may qualify for a USDA loan which is also 100%.

A lot of people ask, “What do I need to do to get my house ready?” Kathy says the biggest thing is making sure your house is clean and de-cluttered. “People will overlook granite countertops if they are so cluttered you can’t see them,” she says. A certified staging professional, Kathy uses the furniture sellers already have in their home, making sure the placement is correct for the best showing. Curb appeal is a huge thing. “Make sure your mailbox is painted – that’s the first impression!” she says. “I have seen houses where just adding shutters would change the curb appeal completely.” Paint color is another big consideration, and she can make suggestions that make a huge difference. For inside painting, she says not to worry about things like kids’ bedrooms – those are easy fixes. But if you have a two-story foyer or family room or a large kitchen, those are things people don’t want to have to tackle. Through her years in the business Kathy has developed a pool of vendors she can recommend to help people throughout the process, whether it’s a lender, a home inspector, a painter, or an electrician. “Anyone I recommend is going to be good and have good customer service,” she says, “because that’s an extension of me.”

What sets her company apart from others? “Service, most definitely!” she says. “Anybody can put that sign in the yard and put it on FLMS or MLS, but then what is the follow-up after that? We don’t turn our phones off at night. We make sure we are protecting your interest throughout the transaction.” Kathy also cites her team’s experience. She explains that when you are selling your home, listing and getting a buyer is just one piece. “You need to have someone who has the experience of negotiating,” she adds. ”Ninety percent of my listings do close and sell. Our team has a lot of experience negotiating on behalf of our clients.”

Coots and Company operates as an LLC under the Keller-Williams umbrella, a recognized name brand that Kathy is proud to be associated with. Keller-Williams syndicates out to about 400 different websites. “I tell people once you have been listed for 7-10 days, Google your address and you will get pages and pages. You’ll find your house everywhere.” She says Keller-Williams has an incredible culture featuring top-notch technology and great agent training. “Those are the things that we love about Keller-Williams and why we are with them,” she says. “Those benefits trickle down to our clients.” Kathy has definitely succeeded in combining the advantages of a big name company with the attention to service associated with a small family company, qualities that make her team one of the most sought-after in the area.

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