Here at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Snyder and Company, we’re more than just realtors. Each month we like to take a moment to shine a light on one of our magnificent agents. This month’s agent spotlight is Kirk Keebler!
Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised here in Ann Arbor.
What do you enjoy the most about living in the Greater Ann Arbor area?
I really appreciate having 2 major universities within 7 miles of each other, and the influences and culture that they bring to the area. In addition, our city and county parks, the scenery of the Huron river, the trees, & nature that we have in this part of Michigan.
Tell us a bit about yourself and family.
My family was born and raised here in Ann Arbor as well. My Brother is an EMU grad, and a Attorney. My Mother works for the Ann Arbor Public schools as an IT specialist. I’m an Eastern Michigan University alumnus, and after trying my hand at a couple of different majors, I settled in with Construction Management. I earned 3 varsity letters on Eastern’s Track & Field team. Before my real estate career, I turned a hobby into a very nice career and spent over 12 years as an Executive Chef/General Manager, and opened 4 different restaurants in the Midwest & Northeast parts of the U.S. before I decided to hang up the chef’s knives and go into real estate.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
In my spare time, I still enjoy to cook, and have a food blog covering the Ann Arbor restaurant & food culture. I’m a high school track & field coach for Dexter H.S. and I’ve volunteered some of my time with Food Gatherers, working in their community kitchen & warehouse.
How long have you been a real estate agent?
I’ve been licensed in real estate since 2009.
What do you like best about working in real estate?
The relationships that I get to build with some of my clients, becoming what I like to call “their family realtor”. I have several clients that I’ve helped them through 2 and for a couple of them, 3 real estate transactions. The satisfaction of earning their trust, and confidence in helping them through some of the biggest decisions that they will ever make. It’s cool to see them buy their first home, and work with them as their family grows, and helping them move on to the next chapter of their lives.
Describe your favorite memory of working with a client.
An agent left our company, and I took over one of his deals. It was toward the end of the transaction, and it wasn’t expected to be overly difficult to finish up. Famous last words.. I had only known the family for a week, and everything fell apart. The builder wasn’t done on time, they had to live in an extended stay hotel for a month with their daughter and 2 dogs, and right at the end, after getting a “clear to close” their loan fell apart because of their lenders incompetence. It took 2 full days of waiting around the title company to finally get things straightened out. Movers were waiting with all of their stuff in a truck, no home to go to, it got really messy. In the end, the builder they hired and the family were so mad at each other that they had to be in separate rooms, and we shuffled papers back and forth. I’m skipping over a few details, but it was by far the worst closing I ever had, and I judge all other deals in comparison by how bad this one was. But we pulled it out, and they ended up really enjoying the home. I ended up making quite an impression on the family, helping them deal with and sort through everything. After their 2nd child, and it was time for them to move, they appreciated all I had done for them, and I became their “family realtor” and sold their house, and helped them move on to the next home. Now, I can look back on it as a favorite.. but at the time, I thought someone was going to kill someone.
What is the one tip you have for someone looking to buy or sell a home?
The market changes, and depending on which side of a transaction you’re on, it could be a good time to buy, or sell, so advice would change. But beginning this past January 2016, regulations in lending procedures have changed, and it has become more complicated than it was before. If you’re looking to purchase a home, I would encourage you to use a local lender to get your mortgage. By local, I mean try and use someone local to the area that you wish to move to. There are many advantages with using someone who is located in the town or area that you’re moving to, from the appraisal end, to how the underwriting is handled, to the time that your loan is funded and you can close. Especially if they have an office that you can actually go in, to discuss the details. Our society is getting away from customer service. More and more business is being driven by apps, the internet, and less with people. When you are getting ready to buy a home, it’s extremely valuable to have a personal relationship with the people who are helping you to secure a $400,000 loan to buy your home, who knows you and your family. Not just your file number to be passed along down an assembly line of people. That may be fine for building a car, but I wouldn’t recommend it for your loan.
Interested in working with Kirk? You can see his contact information and current listings here.