Sat, June 15
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Sam’s (Latest) Big Deal


The curiosity and the buzz is understandable.

It’s about the $4.9-million listing price and the clinching $4.6-million offer. The two manicured acres of prime Springbank property. The stunning 9,341-square-foot home. The 19 rooms. The breathtaking kitchen. The sprawling master suite with a palatial ensuite and a 19’x13’ walk-in closet. The spectacular, million-dollar pool (with a mosaic-tile pool bed which took craftsmen four months to complete) and hot tub. A babbling brook complete with a digitally-controlled waterfall in the sprawling backyard.

And (usually behind Sam’s back) catty mumbling and speculating about what the commission must be.

No, it wasn’t routine, even for dynamic, passionate, superbly-skilled and experienced high-achiever Calgary Realtor Sam Corea. “Of course it was big, exciting and special,” he admits with his characteristically enthusiastic smile. “But it was right in my comfort zone. It’s where my specialty lies. I understand the wants and needs and the psychology of the buyers and the sellers.

“I live the market every day and I love the relationship aspects of my job.”

The art and science of real estate – in any price range – relies on various important factors including location, realistic pricing, effective marketing and the all-important industry gauge of number of days on the market.

“You never know, particularly with high-end listings, it may take a while. Sometimes sellers get listing fatigue,” he explains, “and part of the buyer psychology is ‘how long has it been on the market?’ Buyers tend to be leery about a listing that is shopworn.”

For an expert Realtor like Corea, “The higher the price point, the more it involves gut feel and not science. In-depth market knowledge is always a must, and a high price range like this can get tricky.”

As he concedes, with a quarter-century of professional and personal Calgary real estate experience, only a very few aspects about the recent successful Springbank sale were conventional.

“All things considered, this property wasn’t on the market long. Only 354 days. The actual showing with the eventual buyer took more than six hours, over two days. From top to bottom and in between, absolutely everything was discussed and noted.

“It may be surprising that the offer negotiation lasted three days and only five minutes were about price. The rest of the time was about fine contract details, terminology, wording (even punctuation), the terms, closing day logistics and timing.”

It was a cash deal with no conditions. Both the seller and the buyer are local, in their mid to late 50s, empty nesters and neither is in oil and gas. As part of the offer negotiation process, they both needed to agree and schedule the July closing day around their respective travel plans.

Corea echoes the popular adage that “it takes money – and a tremendous investment in marketing a listing – to make money,” especially in the highly-competitive and bumpy Calgary real estate market. He acknowledges a key of his successful professional strategy is a $300,000-$400,000 annual marketing budget.

“When it comes to high-end listings, you must work hard, do the targeted and effective marketing, and have patience. At the end of the day, you either take a big win or a big loss,” he adds with a warm smile and a shrug.