This may be a long read, but well worth your time if you are undecided about hiring a Realtor or what kind of Realtor.
We highly recommend Kevin Poirier of Cove Realty.
When my wife and I decided to move closer to Milwaukee, where we both worked, it was not an easy decision. We only moved to Kenosha as part of our military travels and expected to stay three to five years. That was in 2001. Instead, we grew roots and it became a second hometown.
The idea of moving after 18 years – this time without the help of the military – was daunting. It was much easier in the Air Force, where there were people to take care of you, pack you up, and help find a new place to live. We also had a rather negative experience with buying our first home because that Realtor seemed to only want to make a buck, and never gave us good advice. She even misrepresented the sale, and told us the person had lived there for three years, when, in actuality, another person bought it as a foreclosure and paid much less.
As we started to think more seriously about moving, my wife and I went to an open house. We were discouraged to see how that home looked, compared to the web site photos, along with not getting any solid information on the neighborhood. Maybe there would be no houses in our price range?
This was going to be the biggest financial decision of our lives, and I did not want to make those same mistakes. Adding to the mix, we have many friends in the community who are also Realtors, some with more years of experience than Kevin Poirier.
We knew Kevin from our time working together at the Kenosha News, but it was going to take more than friendship to buy a home. I wanted to give Kevin a fair shake because he has always been a kind, compassionate person who works hard and genuinely is a nice guy.
Our original plan was to move around April 2020, but then we moved that to October 2019. We met with Kevin at a local Kenosha restaurant just to get an idea of what he could do. We didn’t make any firm commitments. I left that meeting feeling like he would probably be a good choice. One decision we made shortly after that was another change to our timeline, possibly moving in the summer of 2019.
Kevin knew these dates were up in the air, but he was patient, answered numerous questions, all without getting a commitment from us that we would hire him. Would it make sense to hire someone with more experience? Could we find a more savvy negotiator? Maybe there was someone who was better at finding homes nobody knew about?
Initially, I thought we’d hire someone to represent us on the buying end – perhaps someone in the area where we were looking – and have another Realtor on the selling end – someone in the Kenosha area. Kevin wanted our business and gave us a great deal on the commission. Still, I had lingering doubts – not because of Kevin, but just because of technology. With all these apps and websites out there, does one really even need a Realtor to find a house?
We decided to hire Kevin because we believed we could trust him and felt he had our best interests at heart.
Like any Realtor, he set us up for daily email listings, but it was more than that. He knew we weren’t committed to a move date and still checked in to see what we liked and didn’t like on the email list. He encouraged us to let him know the ones that popped out for us.
When we decided on a more firm timeline, things moved quickly. Kevin was available by phone, text, email and Facebook to always rapidly answer our questions. I don’t say that lightly. If he wasn’t, I probably wouldn’t be writing this testimonial. With each response, we both felt more comfortable in our decision to hire Kevin.
How easy would it have been for Kevin to nudge us into buying a house we weren’t comfortable with? He could have made a quick buck off of us and quickly moved along. That didn’t happen. As it turned out, we found a home on our first week of seriously looking, and we got outbid. Kevin recommended we bid higher. I didn’t listen, but he wasn’t pushy. He said, “Hey, try it and see. We might get lucky. If we don’t, there’s no pressure. You will find a home.”
We went out the following Saturday. Again, the first house was OK, but too small and it just didn’t feel right. Kevin added a home to the mix I didn’t ask to see. I didn’t even know it was available. Apparently, it went on the market 17 days earlier, but for some reason, didn’t sell. It was at the bottom of a list somewhere. Kevin saw it, and suggested we take a look.
We fell in love with the property on the outside – it was the relaxing feel we were looking for, but close to amenities. The inside was really nice. We even saw Air Force photos on the wall.
“It’s a sign!” I said.
I did, however, say that at four or five other houses. We jumped in, listened to Kevin’s advice, and put in a bid. We told him, “Please tell the family we are Air Force. That will make a difference.” He listened to us. He did. We got the house. They supposedly had three other offers, which isn’t surprising.
At this point, Kevin could have let the whole thing go. He got the sale, he got the commission. We did the legwork getting a great rate on a mortgage from a Big Box store. Kevin was a bit uncomfortable after not hearing good things about the company, and urged us to look locally. Nobody in town was close to the rate we were quoted, but Kevin said, “Just try,” and he recommended two places. We called Diamond Mortgage. Their rate was higher, but Shadia Museittif asked to see the offer we had and said she would make sure it was legit. She did more than that. She called back and said, “We will match the rate.” And she did.
We went with the local company on Kevin’s assurance that they would be there every step, to answer the phone, even if something went wrong.
And that is exactly what they did.
When it came time for the home inspection, I had heard the horror stories of inspectors making sweetheart deals with Realtors. On our first house, I even saw the inspector give that agent some of our money, and when he came back to re-inspect, he charged us again. Kevin gave us his recommendation and how much the guy charged, and then he found two others in the local area, but said we were free to find our own. We took a chance with the guy he recommended, even though he was a few dollars more. Kevin drove more than an hour out of his way to meet us at the home for the inspection. Our last agent did not do that. Kevin also asked the inspector questions that I did not think about. When the radon test came back a little high, Kevin found a few places to find out how much it would be to mitigate.
Our move became more challenging with my work travel, but Kevin came to the house multiple times to get paperwork signed and kept everything on track.
Unbeknownst to me, buyers are allowed to walk through the home one more time before closing. I wasn’t given that option the first time. Once again, Kevin went out of his way to do the walk-through with me.
When we made the decision to go with Kevin, we decided he would be the best person to sell our home in Kenosha. We are currently getting ready to put it on the market. He has been thorough in going over strategies and price points. He has walked through the home more than once and given us suggestions.
I think most homeowners would be scared at this point, because it’s a leap of faith, buying before selling, but Kevin has been there every step and we have the highest confidence this will go as smoothly as the home we bought.
We would not have found this home without Kevin, and would have spent a lot more money on little things we did not anticipate. Kevin took care of all those little things. He has taken this job seriously. His attention to detail and customer service has been superb. He is simply the best, and will only get better with more experience. Many thanks to Kevin and the entire Cove team!
-Gary and Ruth Kunich