Archives For Contributors

Let’s face it, everyone and their mother searches for real estate online; No big shocker there. Some sellers and buyers may feel broker representation is irrelevant since they can search online and find a great home themselves or, conversely, a buyer will find their home and make an offer and all is well. If it were only this simple. When brokering real estate, it was never the home search that was mission critical for my clients, it was everything that happened after the house was located or the offer came in from prospective buyers. While each broker brings their own unique skill set to the table, all good brokers excel in the following areas:

Contract Negotiator This skill cannot be undervalued. Like Kenny Rogers says, “You gotta know when to hold’em and know when to fold‘em.” A broker that is a savvy negotiator can mean the difference between buyer closing costs being covered, securing a $10k credit towards a roof replacement, or even saving the deal entirely.

Paperwork Ninja – Attention to detail and building in critical paperwork points have saved many a deal. When representing a buyer I always had a built in week extension written into the contract. Always. Last minute things come up, all parties are stressed, and sometimes you need an extra few days to close a deal. An excellent broker thinks about and plans for all outcomes up front.

Buff it Out – Buyers become personally invested when looking for a new home and selling a home? Forget it, we all know how personal that can be. Put even one emotional party into a negotiation situation and the whole deal can blow up. Having a broker negotiate the deal provides a great non emotional buffer to step in and gain mutual acceptance.

After all, at the end of the day a buyer wants to buy and a seller wants to sell, it may be in your best interest to find a savvy broker that can bring both parties together in a mutually beneficial transaction.

profeshpicRobyn Woodman is the head of Househappy Business Development and a regular blog Contributor. For more information about Robyn and her experience as a real estate broker, click here


This summer, and as we head toward Labor Day, real estate inventory is continuing to fly off the shelves across many major markets. Representing buyers in these types of conditions becomes an art form: the initial offering price, how much earnest money to put down, the terms, the re-negotiation during inspection. Each broker has their own way of advising clients on how to make their offer shine in a sea of many. Here are a few of mine:

Tighten up your timelines- The Seller wants to sell. Period. Why not offer to make that happen in a shorter amount of time? If possible, offer to shorten the inspection period down to just a few days. Do you have a cash offer? Lucky you! Shorten the closing date.

Adjust your financing- Depending on your client’s financing situation, there are some effective ways to strengthen your offer. Rather than delve into it here, I read a great article on Active Rain by Craig Blackmon that outlines some interesting ideas on how to strengthen an offer.

Write a cover letter- I have seen this simple, yet effective, technique win the deal many times. Including a short letter from your buyers that details a little about them with the initial offer is key. Even if your offering price is not the highest, the cover letter gives a face to your clients and can overcome the price disparity. Additionally, when negotiating the inspection points, I have found that an honest, fair, and well-worded letter accompanying the requests goes a long way to help both parties reach mutual agreement.

Have your own techniques you would like to share with others? Leave it in the comments!


Robyn Woodman is the head of Househappy Business Development and a regular blog Contributor. For more information about Robyn and her experience as a real estate broker, click here

Searching for a new place to call home can be overwhelming––no secret there. When working with traditional buyers, I use a simple but effective tool to help identify what they really want in a new home: I call it a “Must-have” and “Like-to-have” list. Must-haves should be considered deal breakers, as in “don’t show me houses that do not possess these characteristics,” while Like-to-haves should be considered frosting on the cake. For example, if your buyer has a 100-lb Great Dane, chances are a back yard and a dog park in the neighborhood are must-have status. Having a clear, identifiable list of items up front is mission critical for several reasons:

  • Opens communication: A clear identifiable list keeps all parties on the same page.

  • Maximizes time and minimizes frustration: The list eliminates guesswork and enables me to locate and show the properties that fit my client’s exact needs. A win all around.

  • Reduces tension: Countless arguments have taken place between couples in my car while showing homes. Having this list of items up front keeps this to a minimum. A more peaceful scenario for everyone.

Working with a new client? Helping them nail down a “Must-have” and “Like-to-have” list, will make for a more rewarding experience for everyone.

Robyn Woodman is the head of Househappy Business Development and will be a regular blog Contributor. For more information about Robyn and her experience as a real estate broker, click here

Announcing Contributors––the newest segment of the Househappy blog!

Contributors will feature guest posts from industry experts on topics ranging from current market conditions to finance, mortgages, technology, brokerages, and other real estate perspectives.

Today, we are excited to introduce our first Contributor, Robyn Woodman––real estate broker turned head of Househappy Business Development. We sat down with Robyn for a brief Q&A to get to know her background, her thoughts on the industry, and what she will bring to the Househappy blog.

First things first, tell us a little about yourself.

I was first licensed as a broker in Washington State in 2006 and owned my own brokerage in Seattle. I worked mostly with investors but also did the occasional transaction for friends and family who wanted to buy a home. Before Househappy, I never felt like there was an existing real estate platform that met both my and my clients’ needs when it came to searching for or posting property for sale online. When I saw early versions of Housheappy for the first time, I fell in love with the concept; So much so that I eventually closed my brokerage and moved to Portland to work with Househappy full time.

What do you do at Househappy?

I head up Business Development. Specifically, I interface with real estate brokers in person and online, educating them about the platform and showing them how to leverage Househappy to increase their real estate business. My experience as a broker has been invaluable in understanding what brokers and their clients want and need from this new platform.

What role do you think technology will play in real estate in the next 5 years?

I think that home buyers will continue to rely heavily on mobile platforms to search for their homes and investment properties. I believe that the most successful technology platforms in real estate will be visual, simple in design, and tailor the information to the individual, creating a more relevant experience. Rather than filling space with charts and graphs that overwhelm, connecting buyers to things that are important to them––the neighborhood they live in, the park down the street, and their closest favorite grocery store.

What topics will you focus on as a Househappy Contributor?

My posts will be aimed primarily at brokers. I want to engage our community in discussions pertaining to the real estate industry, tips and advice from my own experiences as a broker, as well as some advice for buyers on how to improve their property search experience.

Lastly, tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you.

Right after graduate school, I sold most of my possessions and traveled for 6 months: Europe, the East Coast of the U.S. and parts of Central America. I finished my trip in Belize and actually ended up moving there for a year––a great experience.