Serving Austin Texas & Surrounding Areas


Ugly Ducking Transformed Into Beautiful Swan: One Clients’ Commitment to a Vision Resulted in A Record-Setting Sale.


Tina and Shane reached out to us way back in 2012. Looking to buy their first home together, from day one, their’s was an uncommon request. They were in search of an “ugly house in a nice neighborhood.” In their eyes … the uglier the better.

It wasn’t long before we found it too. Nestled over at 8001 Baywood Drive. The property checked all of the boxes: great location, unique lot, and a home that appeared to have been seriously neglected for a number of years.

Instantly, they were sold on the vision of what the property would become. And when they contacted us, a few months back, to come talk about listing the house, the work they’d done was a sight to behold. With Shane’s construction background and Tina’s eye for design & details, the once ‘ugly duckling’ had transformed into a beautiful swan.

It was time to reap the rewards of their hard work.

The question then became: could we sell the now “best house” in the neighborhood AND generate a value that was commensurate with their time and effort invested?


Adding to the complexity of the situation … Tina and Shane had already found their next home — a one story garden home with greenbelt views. It was too good of a deal to pass up. With the help of Three Pillars Realty, they’d secured that property at a price that was $20,000 below its recently appraised value!

That is virtually unheard of in today’s market climate. 

How they managed to pull that off is a story better told on a different day. But suffice it to say, carrying two mortgages naturally made these waters a bit trickier to navigate.

Beyond that, Tina owns and operates her own business, out of the house. This would make showing the home more challenging and rather inconvenient. Continually uprooting the entire operation at a near moment’s notice was simply not a long-term option.

A quick sale was preferred. Then again, we’ve found that “quick sale” and “maximized profit” don’t always go hand-in-hand. This is especially true when you are listing the property during the holiday season, which brings us to the perceived challenge of “market timing.”

Conventional wisdom states that if you haven’t listed and/or sold your home prior to Thanksgiving, you’re often better off waiting until the following spring. For a home seller, there is nothing more debilitating than having their home linger aimlessly over the holidays, experiencing what we call “decay” of buyer interest and profit.

Sadly though, “listing decay” is epidemic in the real estate industry. It’s the homeowner that suffers too. It’s unfair. It’s unjust. And it’s, in part, why we’ve built our entire approach around showing our clients about how to avoid fundamental mistakes and protect their profit margin.


And to that point, Tina and Shane had a decision to make.

Option #1 — Pause the listing conversation until early spring. Wait for green grass, warm sun, and a gaggle of bushy-tailed homebuyers. Of course, that would mean carrying the two mortgages for an additional 5–6 months.

Option #2 — Move out of Baywood and into their new home. This would undoubtedly solve the problem of day-to-day distractions in Tina’s business. However, it would require an additional investment into staging furniture. Plus, to a savvy homebuyer, a vacant home, in November, can sometimes telegraph “motivated seller.”

Option #3 — Work with our Certified Team of Value-Driven Approach Experts (agents, designers, contractors, photographers etc.) to bring the home to life and extract maximum profit … A strategy that has proven to produce superior results regardless of the time of year.


Tina and Shane opted for Option #3. Not wanting to unnecessarily sabotage their worthy investment, it made sense to patiently run the final leg of the race. Too often, shortsightedness causes homeowners to slip backward into the pit of Real Estate Greed. This means lost profit. Tina and Shane made a smart move to sidestep that trap.

The result? A New Record for price per square foot sold in the Balcones West neighborhood. And frankly, it wasn’t even close. The sale at Baywood eclipsed the previous “best” by more than 7%. To put that into perspective, we are talking nearly $50,000 in additional gross profit.

Within a week’s time on the market, we had 18 groups through the house, all but ensuring a successful outcome. But that wasn’t all. As is sometimes the case, with our scientifically staged listings, the home itself was not enough for the buyer. Nope, he ended up purchasing an 21 pieces of furniture and home décor, to the tune of an additional $12,500.


A good friend and fellow real estate broker always says, “it’s much easier to polish a Ferrari than it is to rebuild a Pinto.” And without a doubt, 8001 Baywood was the type of listing that any real estate brokerage would be thrilled to represent, as their own.

That said, no matter how premium the machinery, there are aspects of every home that can be fine-tuned, in an effort to maximize the seller’s profit. In fact, there are as many as 14 indicators (depending on the home) that we focus on when diagnosing proper strategy and determining optimal list price.

In this case, the magic number was three. We identified just three things.

Three simple yet important investments. A strategic infusion of no more than about $5,000 that, for the right buyer, could increase the perceived value of the property by tens of thousands. And that’s what happened here.

By following the precise steps and listing protocol of The Value-Driven Approach, our clients know that their home sale will perform “to standard.” Consequently, results like the ones we’ve just detailed have become commonplace for our most committed clients.

Truth is, you cannot control a lot of things – mortgages, market timing, neighborhood inventory and competition. But what you CAN control (often the final 1%) can make all the difference.

At the end of the day, the choice is binary. You can choose to maximize your profit. Or you can choose to sacrifice it. Congrats to Tina & Shane, for making the wise decision. And thank you to our Execution Team, who work tirelessly on behalf of our incredible clients and their families.

When the time comes for you to cash in on your hard work, make sure you partner with a Broker who has a documented approach to help you make wise decisions. Don’t leave thousands of dollars on the table. 


 Request a Complete Property Diagnosis So We Can Help You Determine the Best Prescription To Increase Your ROI.

Are You . . .
Looking to Sell?

At Three Pillars Realty, we offer options depending upon what you value most in the transaction.  


Option #1: Maximize Speed
Option #2: Maximize ROI

Helping Sellers On The Move
"Ryan listed my property on the MLS on a Wednesday morning. By noon the next day, my dilemma was deciding which over-asking price offer I was going to accept. That was a fun problem. I know I’ll never have to stress about real estate in Austin, Texas because Ryan France is on the mound!"
Lauren Neil-Jeffrey
"Ryan was the perfect Realtor for us. His advice on staging our vacant house was the most important reason it sold quickly. The sale of our home was a pretty complicated process. Ryan’s patience, honesty and straight-forward attitude were key in seeing this complex processes through."
Ankur Jain
"Once my house sold (above asking), I got a call from Ryan asking if I had a favorite charity for which he could make a donation to commemorate the sale. I was slightly taken aback ... then I realized that I shouldn’t be surprised at all. Not only is Ryan a good Realtor, he’s an even better human being."
Dale Blandin
"Ryan displayed complete professionalism and was always prepared. His skill at marketing was superb! The house was under contract within a week of listing! He knew where to focus efforts for the best results and he is very detail-oriented. I highly recommend him."
Luke Childress
"Ryan and his team were very helpful in making my condo stand out and sell quickly. He was proactive & effective in his communications. I always knew what to expect and where we were in the process. Ryan is the consummate
professional. You will be in good hands."
Laura Tomlinson
"Ryan had our house under contract in less than 48 hours, with 6 offers. Many of the Realtors commented on how the house was “staged and priced perfectly” thanks to Ryan’s advice. Ryan was extremely easy to communicate with and made the process of selling of our house as easy as possible."
Shelly Weathers
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