Meet our team of awesome know-it-alls
In our ongoing mission to make buying a home less stressful, Flyhomes is happy to introduce a new, dedicated division of our Research Team called “Ask Me Anything” or AMA.
The team finds answers to unique, nitty-gritty, down-and-dirty questions about specific properties—questions that go beyond what’s readily available through normal channels.
Most traditional real estate agents don’t have the time or resources to dig deep on seemingly random or small questions. Because online information isn’t usually specific enough, it can be a challenge for buyers to do research on their own—not to mention the fact that brokers and buyers alike already have plenty on their plates.
Led by Abhimanyu Bhaker, the Ask Me Anything team’s primary purpose is to find answers to targeted questions a buyer has about a home that interests them. The answers the team comes up with aren’t necessarily deal makers or deal breakers, but they enhance and inform the decision-making process.
Bhaker, who joined Flyhomes in April 2018 as a Client Advisor, often found himself being asked questions about properties that he couldn’t easily or quickly answer. He saw an opportunity to provide an additional layer of service to clients, and his brainchild, Ask Me Anything, was born.
“Every home is unique. Every situation is unique. We want the buyer to feel comfortable about a particular property, which can sometimes mean finding answers to very specific questions. ‘Can we protect the view from this home?’ ‘What’s the warehouse across the street being used for?’ ‘How much would it cost to repair the sewer?’ Most information about homes on the market is standard and generic, but we’ve found that providing answers to personally important questions can greatly increase a buyer’s confidence and reduce stress when making one of the biggest decisions of his or her life,” notes Bhaker.
The Research Team
While AMA is new, the Research Team has been part of Flyhomes since shortly after the company was founded in 2015.
Initially, the team was created to provide pricing analysis that helps clients understand the value of a home. Growing over time, the team now supports any other team at Flyhomes that needs information to help clients.
For example, the team creates a pre-offer packet that details all the important information for a buyer to understand about the home. They also review disclosures from the home’s seller—which can be upwards of 150 pages—looking for red flags and creating a summary.
When you’re buying a home, even small things can seem like big deals. At Flyhomes, the Research Team takes on the responsibility of avoiding surprises by vetting all the details, so the buyer need only review the highlights.
Real questions, honest answers
Sometimes drawbacks are straightforward: not enough bathrooms, no garage, master bedroom is too small, not enough closet space. But others can be very specific to the property of interest and to a client’s needs.
A musician asked if it was a problem to place a grand piano weighing 1,000 pounds into a home built before 1978. The AMA team answered the question (“Yes, that’s a lot of concentrated weight, so it could definitely pose a problem!”) and came up with three possible solutions, including suggestions for strategic placement of the piano and how to reinforce the subfloor to support the added load.
Another buyer recently wondered if the tall trees in a backyard that block light could be removed—a frequent question. AMA found out that homeowners in that neighborhood can remove two trees per year with no permit and detailed the rules for getting a permit beyond two trees, as well as the cost of the permit.
A third client was concerned that the resale of a one-bedroom condo might be more difficult in the Seattle market than that of a two-bedroom condo. The client was worried about both desirability and the risk of higher “special assessments” (additional fees charged by HOAs to cover building repairs that exceed the budget).
AMA was able to provide reassurance that more one-bedroom units sold in the previous year than two-bedroom units, and community-implemented special assessments in Seattle are based upon total square footage, not floor plan, therefore the risk isn’t increased with a one-bedroom.
How does it work?
A Flyhomes Client Advisor gets a question from a buyer and passes it on to Ask Me Anything, and indicates the degree of urgency. If time is of the essence, the team can answer in as little as an hour, but most questions are usually answered the same day or next day.
Depending on the nature of the question, the team often turns first to the wide range of Flyhomes’ in-house specialists, which includes property inspectors, loan officers, title and escrow teams, and more.
They also consult builders or construction companies who have worked on properties Flyhomes team members are familiar with, or go outside the company to resources such as the appropriate county or municipality. Our network of connections and experts are all potential sources of information, so AMA’s knowledge pool spreads far beyond the in-house team.
In the future, Bhaker plans to offer the service directly to information-hungry individuals via Flyhomes.com.
Adds Bhaker, “No question about a property is too small or specific if the answer gives a buyer the information needed to decide for certain that it’s the home for them. Our goal is to provide comprehensive answers as quickly as possible, which allows buyers to either move forward or move on.”
Got questions? Let’s talk!