Picture your stereotypical real estate agent—suit, saccharine smile, staged images befitting of a stock photo agency. Kim Colaprete of Team Diva Real Estate ain’t that. For one, she’s happy to show some personality. Videos on her website feature her waving a feathered fan, sipping wine, and baking cookies alongside a drag queen (aka her listing manager). And she’s not afraid to give you her opinion either. “We make it look easy on purpose,” she says of selling homes and winning bidding wars in Seattle’s red-hot housing market. “That’s our job, to make it look easy, but it’s not.”
With Team Diva, which she runs with wife Chavi Hohm, she’s also made it a point to challenge “the myth that business and politics don’t mix by being openly and vocally political on all fronts, from supporting and endorsing candidates to challenging the Realtors association to speak out against racism and homophobia in our city, country, and industry.” Here she dishes on hot real estate goss, describes the type of client she refuses to work with, discusses whether you should move to the suburbs, and reminisces on that time the rainbows all aligned.
Who: Kim Colaprete, managing broker with Team Diva Real Estate of Coldwell Banker Bain
Years in the business: 22
Elevator pitch: “I run one of the best, top-producing teams. We have the most education for buyers, we do the most digital marketing of anyone out there. We have a robust website and social media game. We pretty much have it all.”
When she knew Seattle's housing market was hot
I sold something in 2016, what seemed like a pretty modest house in Bitter Lake, and we had 25 offers. I was just like, I don’t know why people keep bringing me offers. It was weird because the house wasn’t exceptional, you know? It’s different with something stunning and unique with a view. It was the first indication to me that our market was shifting from a normal market to an, Okay, now we’ve hit the mark in Seattle where we have more people here than inventory and that’s never going to change again.
When real estate trends into the unexpected
I’ve certainly had situations where I’ve walked into homes and had things that happened that I wasn’t expecting to happen. We had a team member who had their condo that they were listing, and it got broken into. Someone was squatting in there. That person had left kind of a mess, and we had to go through and do a major cleanup.
When other brokers have shady tactics
There’s been some kind of weird experiences with my buyers where we put in an offer and the other agent told us there were multiple offers, but I knew that it wasn’t a multiple offer. There was legit no proof this agent would show me. They said the other [potential buyer’s] escalator is the same as yours, but they kept changing the price that they wanted us to come to. What happens in a market like this is agents tell their clients they’re going to get multiple offers and going to sell over list price and that doesn’t happen and they back themselves into a corner. That’s the kind of behavior that I think gives listing agents a bad name and makes buyers really wary of Realtors, and that pisses me off.
Like really shady real estate tactics…
There was an incident that happened last year where an agent posted a social media video created by her company, professionally produced, where—legit, on the video—she said they lied to the other agent about another offer so she could get $25,000 more. The company had to take down the video, and she was shredded by people. That is a severe violation of ethics, and that’s the kind of bad behavior that I think doesn’t get talked about enough. Like, that’s illegal, you’re not very bright, and you obviously don’t know the rules.
When she fired a potential seller
A couple of years ago, we did a walk-through with this one person. I said, “We’re not going to list your house with your workout stuff in the living room.” As we did the walk-through, we were saying what things needed to be fixed, and every step of the way he pushed and pushed to not do it. He finally agreed to do it. Then, in the end, we were standing in his living room having a conversation with him, and he’s like, “Nope, I changed my mind.” I said, “I’m done.” I’m not going to be able to market your house if you have your bench press in the middle of the living room and half-painted kitchen cabinets. If you trust the process and commit to doing the suggestions we make, 99.9 percent of the time, your house sells in a week with multiple offers. People who don’t trust the process, they’re just not our people.
When she backed her buyer pulling out of a deal
The deal was a few years ago, and the seller got into a screaming match with the Realtor while we were at the house doing a walk-through. Legit screaming match. The seller burst into tears, the agent stomped out, and my buyer was like, “I’m not going to buy this house.” My buyer was super uncomfortable, and he left the transaction. We had to beg and beg for the earnest money back, but the seller was fine because she decided she wanted to fire her agent anyway. That is one of the weirdest things that’s ever happened.
What she thinks is Seattle’s hottest neighborhood
It feels like every neighborhood in Seattle is hot because you can’t afford to buy anything anyway. There is nothing to buy anywhere. People contact us all the time, “I have $700,000 to spend and I want to buy in Greenwood,” and I’m like, You want a condo? You want a shack? You want a garage? Seriously, you can’t buy anything that’s a fixer-upper that’s bigger than a shoebox for less than $700,000.
Where the Seattle housing market will go next
It’s not in Seattle, but Renton is an underrated location. I just think downtown Renton is one of the cutest fricking places on the planet. People give Renton a bad rap, but there are a lot of cute houses, and it’s easy to get to the Eastside and to downtown Seattle. You might be able to buy something cute in a walkable location for $650k, $700k, that’s not in the city.
When the real estate rainbows stars align
I’m a queer real estate agent, and I was selling a house for a queer couple. The offer that won was a queer couple, and their agents were lesbians. And the agents they were working with in Tacoma to sell their house was another queer couple. We did full transactions where everyone participating in the transaction was from the LGBTQ community. I thought that was really fabulous—it felt like a magical rainbow thing that happened.
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