Steve

Sold his home to move to Italy!

> Hiawatha Neighborhood, South Minneapolis

Both my children having successfully launched, I found myself in a house much too big for me and my cat, Izzy.  I’d considered selling the house about a year earlier, when some friends of a neighbor made me an offer.  It was a good offer but not enough to motivate me to sell.  

Over the following year, I looked at apartments to move into.  I’m anticipating a move to Italy in 2018, so I didn’t want to buy anything.  I was also looking for a walkable area—so I focused on Uptown.  I saw a lot of apartments that weren’t quite right—then I found the perfect apartment for me (and Izzy). 

I signed a lease that started in mid-March.  The only problem was that I’d signed it in mid-February—so I had to sell my house quickly or I faced paying rent plus my mortgage.  I figured I’d need to pay mortgage in March (along with a half-month’s rent) but did not want the double payments to drift into April or beyond.

I had one real estate agent over to the house and told him my situation.  Then I didn’t hear from him for over a week…  Time was wasting away.  Then I ran into Cheryllyne Vaz and her husband, Andy Harwood, on Nextdoor.com.

They came and looked at my house on a Sunday.  They impressed me with the strategic approach they were taking with regard to selling my house.  I work in marketing and advertising and their approach was similar to how I work with my clients on developing their brands.  It turns out Cheryllyne and Andy have a marketing and advertising background as well.  Needless to say, I hired them to sell my house.

They coordinated (and paid for) a home stager to work with me on getting the house ready to show, and a photographer to make stunning photos once it was ready to go on the market.  They also alerted their colleagues that my house was coming on the market.

And it all paid off big-time for me.  The house went on the market at 4:00PM on a Monday.  By 4:20PM I had 5 showing for that evening!  By the time I came back home Monday night, I had 11 showings for the next day and 8 for the day after that. 

And before the last showing on Wednesday, I had multiple offers on my house.  By that evening, the house had sold for considerably more than asking price (and $80,000 over what I’d been offered a year before) and a closing set for the end of March.

I officially closed March 31 and Cheryllyne and Andy were there every step of the way.  There are a ton of details, forms, etc., to deal with to sell a house and they walked me through—or handled—all of them. 

Besides being professional and efficient at what they do, Cheryllyne and Andy are fun, interesting people.  Cheryllyne and I share a favorite (former) Formula 1 driver—Ayrton Senna.  And Andy plays in a Rolling Stones tribute band!  Both have lots of stories to tell.

That’s all just a long way to say I highly recommend the Vaz + Harwood Team.  I can’t imagine the sale going any quicker, smoother or yielding as high a prices as it did with them. 

Bravi ragazzi!!—that’s Italian for Way to go, guys!!

Linda

Buying a Dream Property

> Loring Park, Minneapolis

Dreams can float around for a long time. My dream of moving to the downtown Minneapolis area started over a decade ago. Then one day, two years ago, I was walking around the Loring Park area and saw this ideal location for living. I took down the address and filed it in my memory.

Similar to life, the dream for this transition went through derailments and reorganization. With my children grown and living in various world locations I started rethinking the downtown condo dream. Due to other life events my plan was to buy in 2018. With the expert help and enthusiasm from the Vaz+Harwood Team, plus immediately seeing my dream property when opening the online listing guide, I purchased my condo in less than 2 weeks!

During the time between making an offer to the closing 3 weeks later, I enjoyed showing my adult children the condo during their annual summer visit. Cheryllyne and Andrew generously offered their time for additional viewings of my soon to be home. My family saw how this new residence fit my philosophies for harmony, simplicity, and a spiritual connection to the city I love. There was a beautiful sense of purpose and meaning during each step of my purchase. It simply felt that I found a place to call home as I start my third stage of life.

Buying my downtown Minneapolis condo, with the help of the Vaz+Harwood Team, was a superb experience. Their dedication, enthusiasm, and integrity created great trust in the condo purchasing process. From the first meeting until closing I felt such a complete and positive attention. I highly recommend Cheryllyne Vaz and Andrew Harwood as your selling or buying team. Thank you for helping me find and negotiate my dream for a downtown Minneapolis condo.

Richard and Shirley

Relocating and downsizing

> Edina

This 2-person husband-wife team contacted us at once when they learned we were looking for a condo in or around Edina MN in response to a query on FB. 
 
Their enthusiasm and focus led us to go with them rather than competitors. From the first, every single detail and then some were addressed in a way that may sound trite but “exceeded our expectations,” and our expectations were high. 
 
From updating us frequently, widening and contracting the searches as we mutually decided, keeping our spirits up when they flagged, and at the last, jumping on what became our new home and face-timing the interior at once so we could make a bid, and above all suggesting how to bid, which ensured that we won over competitors – they were terrific. 
 
As a team they were perfectly complementary, one enthused and high emotion, the other calm quiet strength and unruffled expertise in light of frequent concerns from our side. 
 
I cannot recommend them more highly and five stars does not seem enough to raise them above other excellent but not way-beyond-the-norm agents. We are indebted to them to the max.

Matt and Alison

First-time (mid-century modern!) home buyers

> White Bear Lake

What do an Art Director and ESL Teacher have in common? Well, quite a bit in our case – including a love for mid-century architecture. Between the two of us we feel very fortunate, but most homes with the character we crave are simply out of reach – or so we thought.

Enter the Vaz + Harwood Team.

Our search began in February, and after working briefly with a relator who just didn’t care, we asked around for referrals. Cheryllyn and Andy’s name rose quickly to the top as relators who came from a similar career background and understood the unique asks of the creative community. As soon as we started working with them, we could tell they were different.

They operate as a true team, meaning they can be available at very short notice, which proved especially important in the red hot market we found ourselves buying in. Many homes we were interested in sold in less than a day’s time and well above asking price. Needless to say, we were becoming dispirited with the idea of ever having the means to own our dream.

Andy and Cheryllyn persisted, helping us to refocus not only on the area we wanted to live in, but also our desire for a mid-century gem. They encouraged us to not give up and reassured us that our house was out there and for the price we wanted. Sure enough, while talking to Andy on the phone one fateful morning, the listing appeared right in front of us. Andy could sense the excitement and got right to work, furiously booking us the first available appointment.

Ali and I knew the moment we walked into the living room that this was the one. Andy and Cheryllyne helped us craft a clean, masterfully-built contract to put us in a great spot to win the house against six competing offers.

So here we sit, typing this from the living room of our dream house that we never thought we could own.

Thanks again, Vaz + Harwood!

Bryan

First time home buyer

>Richfield

“Right. Good luck with that.”

That was my reply when Cheryllyne Vaz told me she’d have me in my own home within a month. I wasn’t being rude or cynical. I just firmly believed that it was going to be at least two years before it would happen.

My personal story could take up a few pages, but you’re not here for that. To sum it up, I was homeless in 2012. With a lot of work, help and hope, I was stable and working (even enjoying life) by 2015. In late 2016, I decided I wanted a home in which to be happy.

Some people I know told me what I thought they would: “You need excellent credit and 20% down.” So that was my plan. I had started paying my bills on time over the last year, getting my credit up to “acceptable,” and started saving $400 a month.

Cheryllyne called me a few months later.

We knew each other from being in the advertising business, and would connect every couple of years. This time, she called to tell me she had become a realtor with a focus on “helping people get a home when they never thought they could.

I told her my two-year plan. She yelled at me. I challenged her to prove me wrong.

And she did. Literally two weeks later.

October of 2016 is a bit of a blur. Kathy, the mortgage broker, pre-approved me over the phone. From there, everything happened so smoothly. I kept asking, “So, when is all of this going to implode and end this living dream?”

What’s awesome is that I’m still thinking that, 6 weeks after moving in.

Let me repeat — everything happened so smoothly. I would get some emails for things I had to sign. Everything was always set up for me. I was told how much I would need: about $1,500 to start (which I saved over those three months), then 3% down, which I could borrow from my 401(k).

We looked at some houses. After the first two, Cheryllyne and Andy had an idea of what I wanted. I think it was during our second trip that I found the one I wanted. We looked at more just to be safe, but we all knew “the blue one” was meant for me.

They handled all the rest. I showed up at some building on Halloween, signed a few things, and was given the keys about 15 minutes later.

I made my first mortgage payment a few weeks later. It’s $300 more than I was paying in rent. But I’m no longer saving $400, so I’ve got a house, plus $100 to spend on candy and toys.

Thank you, Cheryllyne and Andy. You kept telling me it was your honor. And you acted like it every day.

I have to go now. I got a Home Depot credit card, and some Martha Stewart closet organizers are on sale.

Nora & Geoffrey (& Grayden)

Sold their home to move out of state

> Howe Neighborhood, South Minneapolis 

My husband and I chose the Vaz+Harwood team with Keller Williams and have been so very pleased with Andy and Cheryllyne. We chose to work with them after seeking recommendations for realtors on this website, and I’m so glad we did! They have been nothing but warm, supportive, informative, and skilled during our entire selling process. We especially enjoy how they complement one another and collaborate as a unit to take care of their clients. Not only do they make delicious Indian food, but their hard work and dedication helped to get our house sold in four days! We highly, highly recommend them!

Anna

Successfully sold her foreclosed home

> Howe Neighborhood, South Minneapolis 

Thank you so much for all of your hard work. I am blown away by everything you did for me. THANK YOU for helping me from losing my home. You came in in the nick of time before the redemption period expired, and sold my home successfully. I still can’t believe it!!!! And you tracked down all the paperwork. I love you for yelling at the bank’s attorneys and going to bat for me. Love you! Love you! Love you! Because of all your hard work I received 5 offers in 3 days!! Thanks to you I am closing today! You are the best!!! From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!!

Maggie

Sold her home to relocate

> Minneapolis

By the time I decided to sell my home instead of rent it out, I had 3 months until my planned move out date.

It wasn’t my proudest moment in my history of planning, but somehow I came across the least judgmental and optimistic real estate team probably out there.

We started working out a plan right away. Andy began sending me comps right away, while Cheryllyne would talk through design trend and curb appeal. I began the process of cleaning like thousands of dollars depended on it, and through it all, they would call to check in on me. I was able to buy my home through inheritances left to me from my parents, and Cheryllyne and Andy were above all of their professionalism, able to empathize with how big of a move I was making. They were always insistent that this was my endeavor, and that they were there to help me actualize the things I wanted from it.

The process was smooth despite the time crunch, and with the help of Cheryllyne’s referrals, my house was pressure washed, plumbed, and fixed up for a good price.

I sold my house in time.

Through initial offers, back outs (twice), and the a final contract, Andy and Cheryllyne were supportive. I was ready to move on to a new place, with the knowledge that the house I used to call Home had been handled by such a network of caring people.

Harwood + Vaz give more soul than your average agent. They’re so helpful, knowledgable, and sweet that I truly felt like I had sold my house with the help of family.

Tom, Nancy, Amy and family

VA home buyers

> S. Minneapolis

Our daughter, Amy, and her two kids came back to Minnesota almost four years ago to live with us. Tom and I were no longer in our family home and had no extra space. We found a house to rent that was in the Dowling Elementary busing area.
We loved the neighbors and the neighborhood, but we were tired of shelling out $1800./month and having nothing to show for it. On a lark one Sunday, Amy and I stopped at an open house. We met Cheryllyne! She was a delight! She was carrying on a conversation with a minimum of five people at one time! She made us feel important. She didn’t drop the ball with any of the conversations including ours. We weren’t really sure we were up to the task of buying another home, but we dove in. We met Cheryllyne and her husband, Andy, the following Saturday. It was a lock!

We looked at several homes in the area. Discouragement set in as each house we looked at was snatched up by someone else. Cheryllyne and Andy continued to be optimistic. We wanted a no down payment VA loan so that we would have money to make the house our home. They never gave up. They never told us we needed to consider another type of loan. They found us a loan officer, Richard Smyth, at Truestone Financial Credit Union, that was willing to go the extra mile. (Miles and miles of extra paperwork involved in a VA loan.) He never suggested another route. He just dove in and got it done!

We have been in the house about 3 1/2 months now. We started in the kitchen with new cabinets and rescuing the hidden hardwood floor! We added a new vanity, sink and medicine cabinet in the bathroom. We have leveled the porch, added new bead board, insulated it and added a tile insert in front of the door. We’ve cleaned up the yard including the rain garden.

Thanks again Vaz-Harwood team!