Windermere Professional Partners

Helping a Builder in Tacoma Make the Most of His Investment

Professional Headshot of Sharon Benson Professional Headshot of Kelli Jo Hjalseth July 26, 2021

Flipping a home in Tacoma comes with its own special set of considerations, and this unique rebuild project was no different! REALTOR® Kelli Jo Hjalseth and REALTOR® Sharon Benson helped their builder client buy and sell a property in North Tacoma, and were there to help guide him in making the most of his investment.

Kelli Jo & Sharon’s builder client purchased this North Tacoma property for $367,000 in 2018. The property at that time featured a home that the builder did a “down to the studs” remodel on. The builder also split the property into 3 separate lots, and will be building 2 more homes that will be on the market by the end of 2021.

In this blog post, we’ll be sharing a behind-the-scenes look at how Kelli Jo & Sharon were able to guide their client and help him make the choices along the way that would enable him to yield the best return on his investment. In May 2021 the home was listed for $739,000, and sold for over asking price.

Keep reading for an in-depth look at how REALTOR® Kelli Jo Hjalseth & REALTOR® Sharon Benson used their local expertise and real estate knowledge to serve their clients’ best interests!

Making the Right Choices Based on Local Market Stats

Kelli Jo & Sharon both knew this particular client through Tacoma Rotary Club together, and a few years ago Sharon & Kelli Jo sold this North Tacoma property to their client. Originally, the client was looking for an investment property they might also be able to live in, and they considered buying the home and rehabbing it, or maybe renting it out.

Random fact: This property had a bomb shelter on it that was built during the Cold War era. Here are a couple of photos of Kelli Jo & Sharon exploring the bomb shelter! The shelter has now been removed from the property.


Once the client started the rehab process, it ended up making more sense to sell the home vs. living in it or renting it. The seller had experience building before, but he was by no means a “big builder.” He had many fantastic, big ideas, and in many ways brought a “Seattle mindset” to this North Tacoma neighborhood. However, when you’re remodeling a home, it’s important to carefully consider the neighborhood you’re in and what kind of amenities match the type of house. You want to avoid overbuilding in order to maximize your investment, and Kelli Jo & Sharon were there every step of the way to advise their client on which amenities and design choices would make the best ROI.

This home is in North Tacoma, which actually covers a huge area of Tacoma and includes several smaller neighborhoods. If you search for home prices within a half-mile radius of this property, for example, it includes some very high-end areas where the median home price is going to be quite a bit more expensive than the particular neighborhood that Kelli Jo and Sharon’s client was in. Even just 6 blocks away, the neighborhood is completely different, and homes sold close by may not represent good comparables when you’re trying to figure out how much a particular home might sell for.

Also, this property was unique in that it involved creating 2 additional lots. Splitting lots in North Tacoma is not super common, and there also isn’t much new construction in the area. It’s challenging to determine how much someone might be willing to spend on new construction in a neighborhood where there isn’t much to compare it to. As Kelli Jo & Sharon’s builder client worked on the home, they kept an eye on what the market was doing so they would have a good sense of how to best advise on list price, marketing, etc. when the time came.

Getting Closer to Showtime

Kelli Jo and Sharon’s client wanted to list and sell the home ASAP. They often visited the home to check out the progress. Even though the house was still filled with building materials and tools, you could really see it taking shape! The layout was fabulous, the beautiful walnut counter in the kitchen was a total showstopper, and a perfect blend of timeless style and modern design characterized each fresh space.

From here, the duo helped their client set up a timeline to completion. After they determined when the goal listing date would be, the client worked backward from there to get everything done.

Part of finishing things up included not only the home, but the entire exterior as well. Kelli Jo was especially helpful in providing tips for landscaping; even landscaping styles can go out of style and look old-fashioned. After hearing the plans the seller had, Kelli Jo made suggestions for how to make things look more modern, and the seller was happy to listen and implement. First impressions are incredibly important when selling a home, and you want to make things look as inviting, contemporary, and fresh as possible!

Putting Together a Comprehensive Marketing Strategy

Once the home was complete and the landscaping was looking just right, it was time to put together the marketing materials. This begins with staging the home, which is a crucial component of showing off a home in its best light. Staging can help sellers really envision themselves living in the home, it can show off a home’s potential, it can actually make spaces feel larger, and in the end, staging a home can help a home sell for more money!

Once the home was professionally staged, Kelli Jo & Sharon had their photographer come out to take professional photos of the home. They set up a unique listing page on their website; they shared an in-depth blog post about the home; and they shared the listing’s blog post, photos, and info on their Facebook pages and Instagram accounts as well. 200 postcards announcing the home listing were also sent to residents in the neighborhood. Sharon and Kelli Jo held an open house, and they were both there so they could make sure that everything followed COVID-related safety protocols, demonstrating that they are fierce and tireless advocates for sellers and buyers alike.

Receiving & Reviewing Offers

The home was listed on a Thursday with an offer review date set for the following Tuesday. As expected, multiple offers were received. After guiding the seller through the offer evaluation process, a winning buyer was selected who paid $750,000 for the beautiful home.

This was actually the first transaction for the buyer's agent, so Kelli Jo & Sharon needed to spend some extra time guiding her through the process. Sharon & Kelli Jo were willing to be patient and walk the new agent through some things she didn’t understand. Sharon & Kelli Jo made sure to guide the sale of their client’s property to the finish line, even if it meant having some extra patience!

Would you like to learn more about selling your Tacoma home? REALTOR® Kelli Jo Hjalseth and REALTOR® Sharon Benson are ready to help! You can find all of their contact information here. You can also follow both Kelli Jo and Sharon on Facebook, and follow Kelli Jo on Instagram and follow Sharon on Instagram.