Most Agents are Good, But Only a Few are Truly Exceptional


Like many people, initially I thought of selling our house by myself. The idea of selling a house invokes a sense of adventure or even some fun. After hearing various stories, some good, some scary, I quickly dismissed the idea. I found out it just takes too much: sale experience, professional knowledge, negotiation skills, marketing strategies, legal documentations, endless shows, dramas, etc. That is only if all goes well. Can I handle all these? Not really. So I decided to hunt for a real state agent. Where to start? Reading all online reviews? Well, in general, I don’t trust reviews, and I doubt rating. Ironically, I started our search for a realtor via Zillow reviews—where I distrust most. But, that was precisely how we found Sara Driscoll, and her husband Daryl Petsch, both realtors of Pacific Sotheby’s International Reality. Sara Driscoll’s reviews, among zillion others, stood out distinctly as the most convincing: most of her evaluations were substantiated with specific examples. Her reviews looked very good online. To find out truth, my wife and I decided to meet this Sara Driscoll, a total stranger.

The day we met Sara and Daryl, there was nothing unusual at first. Like other realtors, Sara made a seamless professional presentation, showcasing all her experiences and ideas of house sale, supported by well-crafted data to illustrate all her achievements. We were very impressed, but still undecided. After presentation, in a casual conversation, Sara said something, twice, that really got us. Unlike those who tend to make huge promises, Sara simply said, without any posture, “I will work very hard for you.” There is this kind of rare earnestness and sincerity in her voice that truly moved us. The entire course of house selling, as it turns out, attests that she has been working really hard from beginning to closing. (A side note: our house is a small condo; we are genuinely touched by all her tireless work to manage each step of the selling process.)

However, when we got down to the specifics, as Sara outlined her most effective range strategies, we felt somewhat skeptical. Seeing our uncertainty, she patiently clarified her tactics. Still hesitant, we only half-hearted agreed to her strategy. Two days later, her report came back; it entirely blew our minds away. Our house got multiple offers, over the market value and above the asking price of the house. We were simply astounded.

Overjoyed with an offer that exceeded our expectation, we thought this was the finish line. Well, it was just the start. Sara kindly reminded us, in house sale, it never ends till the end. Actually, some of the challenges lie ahead. After reaching a deal, the house, literally, was put on trial. Termite report, house inspection, house appraisal, all kinds of hazardous reports, the list goes on. Each of these reports can be used potentially as a way to re-bargain. Sara tactfully handled each item and offered the most feasible solutions to reach the best deal, that is, to defend the value of the house. Selling a house, we realize, entails a complex process. It requires professional knowledge, years of experience, spirit of dedication, and careful attention to minute details of each step in the intricate process toward closing. Sara was exemplary in every aspect. She handled all with grace and confidence. Moreover, Sara carefully monitored the progress of all parties, making sure everything was on track and on time. To first time buyers like us, she always patiently provided informative and therapeutic sessions to ease our anxiety. Gradually, Sara was no longer just an agent who represented us, but a trusted friend who cared about us.

A week before closing, something else alarmingly happened. Once again, Sara proved to be a capable manager. Among all involved parties, Sara alone found out that the buyer lacked one essential document. To make things worse, the buyer was not only abroad but also inaccessible. Instantly, Sara advised the seller’s agent and designed a rescue plan, coordinating all concerned parties and overseeing the entire process. She diligently worked with the lender, the title office, the escrow office, etc. If not for her savvy handling of the unpredictable, the sale might be cancelled. In a situation like these, we panicked, apprehensive about all legal implications that follow. To prepare for the worst, Sara contacted all previous agents who showed up and resurrected a few buyers as a backup plan. Just imagine, what a mess it could be if we had to handle all these?

For us, selling the house is nothing short of a transformation from disbelief to conviction. In short, we find in Sara not only a dedicated realtor, but also a seasoned manager who has the ability, skill, experience, knowledge, expertise to coordinate with all parties to work for your best interests. Most agents are good, but only a few are truly exceptional—Sara is one of them.

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