Michael is one of The Haro Group’s buyer specialists. He guides prospective home buyers through the entire process—from first meeting, to home search, to inspections and beyond. Michael has been part of our team since February 2014, and in his first year he helped 37 families close on houses. (The average real estate agent closes 9 transactions in a year!)
Michael and his wife, Whitney, have a 13-month-old daughter named Selah
We asked Michael a few questions to get his perspective on they home buying process and his passion for helping people.
Where are you originally from?
“I was born in Greenville, grew up in Spartanburg. I went to Clemson, then worked for about 3 years or so in medical equipment sales, and I transitioned out of that job to go overseas as a missionary for about 3 or 4 years.
“I was mostly in Quito, Ecuador, but I actually spent a decent amount of time in 9 different countries [in South America].
“My wife and I are both from Spartanburg, we both went to Clemson, but met each other in Honduras where she was teaching at the time.”
How did you come to work for The Haro Group?
“Well, I bought a house through The Haro Group. And the funny thing is when I came to pick up the cheesecake that they give out to all clients around Thanksgiving, I found out they were looking to hire a buyers agent. I had no idea they were looking at hiring … I didn’t think I was interested at first, but one conversation led to another … and here I am.
“And looking back, I just came to pick up a cheesecake and now I work for the Haro Group, which has worked out well. So you better be careful when you go to pick up a gift like a cheesecake, because you never know where it’s going to lead you!”
What is the buying process like?
“We try to use [the first consultation] as an educational time, as a time to introduce ourselves, to kind of let the clients know how we do things. (Because not every real estate team has a buyer’s specialist, a listing specialist, and a closing coordinator.) During that consultation we set up their personalized home search, and really get a good game plan. What is it that they’re looking for? What kind of features are most important?
“Some people think they would rather [physically] see 25-50 homes, but from experience I think at the end of the day most people, even those that love options, get overwhelmed with too many—not to mention most people don’t have time for that. We have a very systematic way of setting up the search, trimming down maybe the top 30 to 60 properties that fit their criteria in the Greenville area. And then based off that search, they can determine the ones they’re most excited to see. And usually at that point we will cut to a very select few, usually 4 to 8 properties. And then I’ll encourage my client to drive around these to make sure all of these are still going to be a great fit.
“Given that, my average buyer will look at 4 to 5 homes. I’ve had several clients in the last 6 months to a year who get one, two or maybe three properties in and say, ‘Yep, this is it. Let’s put an offer on it.’
“Obviously one of the biggest parts of my position is the negotiation part. … [Then] once the inspection on the home takes place, I’ll actually go through the inspection with my client, see what concerns or questions they may have and negotiate for the items my client wants repaired.
“A lot of the back-end work during the closing period is handled by Lavonne, our closing coordinator … but at the end of the day, the responsibility lies on my shoulders.”
What do you love most about your job?
“I love helping people. That was the reason in moving overseas, and it’s a huge passion in real estate now too. [Real estate] is very much helping people out, taking care of a need someone has … to make sure they get great service to find the right house, and get the best price.
“One thing that we are really passionate about [at The Haro Group] is establishing relationships and holding on to those relationships. And not in a pseudo way, but actually a legitimate ‘Hey, we care about what’s going on with your family,’ and to see your family grow. … You really get to know these people, and sometimes you end up becoming long-term friends.”
Interested in working with Michael or one of our other agents? Contact us!