Here's what my clients are saying...
“He's a real pro”
We interviewed two other agents before going with John to sell our house. We knew the basic things to look for in an agent: communication, clarity, responsiveness, experience and knowledge of the area. John scores high on all of those.
What we did not expect is the level of ownership of the process John demonstrated. Not only he connected us with great contractors so that we could do last minute fix ups and improvements to the house, he actually stepped in and helped to coordinate their work. When pre-inspection showed an issue in a crawlspace which worried a few prospective buyers, John took the initiative to get it repaired which turned out to be inexpensive fix but boosted buyers' confidence a lot.
We knew the market was "hot" and we would sell the house anyway but we wanted to make sure we get the best value from it. John arranged a designer to help us decide whether we could stage ourselves to save money (which we did). Her advice was invaluable and we got many compliments from prospective buyers and it ended up costing us very little.
John explained to us the tricky points about escalation clauses and made sure our buyers had a backup plan in case the appraisal came in below their offer.
In the end we got the best money we could and sold to the most interested buyers who really appreciate the house. We believe that John helped to leverage the value even in this hot market when other agents suggested we do very little.
We highly recommend John for buying or selling a home. He is a real pro.— Alex & Rachel K. (Buyers)
“We wouldn't have a house without John"
Where do we even begin? Simply stated, we wouldn't have a house without John! We met John at a Thanksgiving party a few years back — at that time, we were nowhere close to buying a house. We continued to see John at the same Thanksgiving party year after year, until last year we told him we might be calling him soon. Finally the day came to meet with John to start learning about this crazy real estate market in Seattle.
During our first meeting, we spent almost two hours with John— right then we were blown away by how knowledgeable he was and how much we were able to learn from him. The saga began and we have no words to express how incredibly patient John was over the [long] few months it took us to find THE house (our first house!!!).
Throughout the search process, we would ask all kinds of questions, bother John at all times of day (and night) and he was ALWAYS quickly available and able to address all of our concerns/questions. John has truly become like family and we have already been recommending him to all of our friends.
— L. Steward & J. Steward (Buyers)
"He was the only one I called"
I bought my first home with John several years ago and then when it was time to sell, he was the only one I called. John went above and beyond while I tried to rent it for a short time - he arranged for work to be completed and even showed the unit to prospective renters and in the end when we decided to sell, he quickly changed gears and got it sold! We got top dollar and there were no hiccups with closing. I wish I lived closer so we could do another deal with John, hopefully our paths will cross again in the future — Danielle (Buyer)
"If all service industry professionals worked for you like John Blacksmith does, life would be so much easier!"
— M. Allen (Seller)
"Glad we listened to other reviewers"
We moved from out of state and called John based on reviews we read online. I'm glad that we listened to other reviewers and called him. He helped us through the entire process of purchasing our home and couldn't have been happier! He is very knowledgeable but also friendly and approachable. In this very aggressive market it pays to have someone guide you in negotiation. He was extremely flexible given my husbands odd schedule of needing evenings after work and never made us feel as if he was "put out". We will use him again! —The Shaffers (Buyers)
“Absolutely no regrets”
Beginning with our very first meeting all the way to the day of closing, working with John was an excellent overall experience. Being a first-time home buyer, I had a ton of questions throughout the process. John, however, fielded every question with ease and professionalism. His knowledge and expertise of the real estate process & industry, especially the North Seattle real estate market, was an invaluable asset. In addition to his professionalism, knowledge, and expertise, John was very flexible and easy to work with on a daily basis. Due to work obligations I could not view potential homes until after 6 p.m. John, however, made this work for his schedule and spent several nights looking at homes until 10 p.m. John sought to always go above & beyond the call of duty and I have absolutely no regrets choosing John to represent me in my first purchase. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking to buy the home of their dreams - with John, you can't go wrong!
— T. Pilgrim (Buyer)
“Responsive to any requests”
As a first-time buyer looking for a home in the Seattle area's current (crazy) market, I am extremely happy that I listened to other Yelp reviewers and contacted John.
Some key points from my experiences with John:
- John took the time to really understand the needs of my wife and I and what we were looking for in a home.
- I was consistently amazed at his level of knowledge around the real estate market and just how thorough it was. This was unbelievably relieving as a firs-time buyer!
- John was always there for us, responsive to any requests, and worked around our schedule for viewings. My wife and I were purchasing an entry-level condo, but outstanding service and attentiveness from him was something I would have expected if I was buying a multi-million dollar house.
- John surrounds himself with people that are as great as he is. The mortgage broker he recommended to me saved a lot over the ones I had contacted prior to meeting him. The home inspector he knew was great. John even had our place re-keyed after we closed and the locksmith he sent was amazing.
- John continued to be there for us after the sale closed. We're approaching two months out, and John still checks in to make sure everything is going well.
In the end, I always felt that John's goal was to find us the perfect home and never about just making a sale. John would have taken as much time as needed to make sure we get what we need out of a home.
If you are looking for a real estate agent, definitely give John a call. Knowledgeable, hardworking, friendly, caring, etc. Basically everything you could ask for. –Gary and Sayoko (Buyers)
“Unsurpassed in his dedication and hard work”
I had the absolute pleasure of buying a home last September through Lake Real Estate. Over the past several years I have worked with six different real estate agents in the process of buying and selling two other homes and I have never experienced service as complete as I received from John Blacksmith.
I moved from Tucson and was referred to John by a good friend who had recently purchased a house. I called him a week before a three day trip to Seattle. I had not planned on finding a house in that short time, but with John's help I found a great house in a perfect location within two days. He directed me to a lending broker who miraculously secured a preapproval despite the time pressure and I was able to make an offer on the house just hours before my departure back to Tucson.
John continued to impress me with his attention to detail, his responsiveness and his dedication. In Tucson, I called John several times a day and I always felt like my home purchase was his top priority. From connecting me with honest, reliable and solid people in lending, insurance, inspections, home renovation and improvement; to guiding me in negotiations and even acting as a second and usually more sound opinion on the details of my home sale in Tucson, John remained unsurpassed in his dedication and hard work.
Having happily lived in my home for three months, I often call John with questions about oil tanks, floor refinishers, painters, childcare, even restaurants. He consistently is the best resource I have found.
John makes it clear he is not satisfied or done until you are happy. He does everything imaginable to secure your ease and protect your interest. He is absolutely remarkable. I so highly regard him that I carry his business cards in my wallet to give to anyone I meet who wants to buy or sell a house.
— C. Hebner, M.D. (Buyer)
“He fought for us vigorously & effectively”
My wife and I interviewed several real estate agents and John gave us the best feeling by far. His great attitude, deep well of patience, attentiveness, respect for our position as first timer buyers, and many helpful tips continued from the first day we met him until we closed on our new home and beyond.
One of the best parts about our experience with John was that he properly represented our interests. He took his time, never pushed us in any particular direction, and was very casual and easygoing while we were viewing properties. Once we were ready to make an offer, he fought for us vigorously and effectively. He helped us analyze the inspection, prepared an offer that was very attractive to the sellers but gave away little, and provided the tools we needed to judge whether to accept the sellers counter-offer. We got the home we wanted for a fair price, and as amazing as it sounds, we enjoyed the process too.
When we buy our next home or sell this one, John is at the top of our list.
— A. Pfeiffer and M. Lin (Buyers)
"I don't know anyone more knowledgeable, more dedicated, and more honest than John"
My first experience (and my first property) with John was outstanding and that is why I went straight back to John when it came time for my second home. There are a lot of real estate agents out there but I don't know of anyone more knowledgeable, more dedicated, and more honest than John. He did not disappoint on my second home and he not only helped me find a great property but we also managed to sell my previous property for the full asking price and, better yet, we were able to close on both deals the same day! It could not have been drawn up any better. I have no doubt that my experiences have been successful because of John's attention to detail and hard work.
— M. Sutlin (Seller/Buyer)
I would recommend John to anyone I know who was thinking of buying a home. We truly enjoyed working with him. His knowledge, commitment and hard work helped us find a home we love. In a tough housing market, I felt confident that we were working with the best. It was very clear that John is not only respected by his clients, but also by others in the real estate industry. It was because of this, in our multiple offer situation, we were able to get the house. Due to the competition among offers, we needed to close in 10 days, and John was able to refer us to a great mortgage lender. As a team, they made this quick closing a pleasant experience for us.
— C. Bradbury and K. Adams (Buyers)
"John's support did not end with the closing"
We bought our first home with John's help. Even though you know that he must have explained everything that you could ever think to ask him at least a million times over the course of his working life, he always answered all our questions thoroughly and thoughtfully. He was always easy to get in touch with. We never felt rushed and I felt that he always made an effort to understand our priorities. I especially appreciated his knowledge about construction and remodeling possibilities. Whenever we were looking at houses that would need immediate attention/remodeling, or that we would want to change in some way immediately after purchase, he could easily help us understand the possibilities and ballpark costs of that work. That allowed us to accurately compare the real costs of each property to what we could get "ready to go" at the same end price. We ended up buying the first house we made an offer on, which John guided us through smoothly, and the thing I have appreciated most is that John's support did not end with the closing. Since this is our first home we don't have a vetted list of service people–it's a whole new world! Finding professionals through the internet can be a long and exhaustive process of review reading and research, sometimes done before you even know exactly what it is that you need. We have called on him for information and recommendations for everything we've needed done with our home so far–interior painting, handyman work, locksmith etc. I feel very comfortable trusting his judgment. Everyone he has recommended to us has been prompt, professional, cost effective and great to work with (which basically guarantees that every time anything in our home breaks or needs attention he's going to get a "who do we call?" text or email from us – sorry John :) Overall, John was great, and his knowledge, patience and professional contacts have been invaluable. –Tom & Jenny (Buyers)
"He helped plan every stage of the process ... with just 2 days notice before going on the market."
We saw that John was the selling agent for our neighbor’s home, whom had used John to buy and sell their home. We had planned to talk to 3 or 4 agents before choosing one, but after talking with John, my girlfriend and I both agreed there was no need to consult with another realtor. We were both very impressed not only with his knowledge of the real estate market, but what a genuine guy he was in general. He did not give off that used car salesman vibe, like agents we had come across when buying our home years prior. This was our first time selling a home, and had a tons of questions throughout the entire process, which John answered promptly, with informative truthful answers. He helped plan every stage of the process, from sewer inspections to having a water heater installed with just 2 days notice before going on the market. He had an interior design consultant come by to give us advice, he had amazing staging done, and uses an incredible photographer. Every contractor that came to our house commented on what a great guy John is. Our next door neighbors were selling their house at the same time, and John was able to make it work to go on the market a week earlier than planned, to avoid having our open houses the same weekend. We are moving out of state, and John not only asked around to his colleagues for a good agent in the Boise area, he personally called him to make sure he knew his stuff. We used the realtor that John suggested, and he was great. And of course, John negotiated an offer beyond our expectations, and the closing was on time and flawless. — Colligan (Seller)
"We value his friendship as much as his real estate experience"
Professional, insightful, knowledgeable, informative, and patient are some of John’s characteristics which we found incredibly helpful while searching for our new home. Perhaps most important was the last quality, patience. We were uncertain exactly what we wanted in a home and we lacked familiarity with Seattle residences and neighborhoods. As a result, it took 16 months to purchase our Magnolia home. Throughout this time, John never wavered from his pleasant demeanor and never rushed us, letting us set the pace.
John’s experience with Seattle was invaluable.
The competitive real estate market meant making rushed decisions, almost on the spot or, in a few situations of relative leisure, within a couple of days. John’s insight was priceless. He steered us away from hasty decisions, identified features in the home or neighborhood which met our criteria (or warned us when he saw us considering homes which deviated substantially from our stated desires), and located units within our price range. When we found a home, John arranged the inspection, negotiated a favorable price, and recommended excellent contractors to help us with remodeling.
Finding a new home is more than purchasing a building. It’s locating the place where one will call home for many years, and John understands this immensely personal and emotional decision. He took great care to help us find the right home at the right price. Along the way, we developed a strong relationship with John, and we value his friendship as much as his real estate expertise. The commission could never come close to compensating John for everything he did for us, so it’s clear that John finds helping people to be both professionally and personally rewarding.
— M. and K. DuCharme (Buyers)
"The new owners of my home made a point of telling me 'you have a great agent!'"
John Blacksmith was my agent for the selling of my home recently. As is often the case in short sales, every time we turned around a new issue arose that threatened to negate our sale. Some were very serious and required a lot of time, sensitive communication and negotiation with various different parties. John never lost his “cool” he helped keep everyone calm and he was a model of patience during this time period.
It was not a quick sale due to these issues but every single issue was solved calmly and systematically resulting in a sale. It was obvious that if John had not had years of experience in this business and a deep knowledge of real estate and all the ins and outs of the business, things may not have turned out as satisfactorily as they did.
I recently stopped by to visit the new owners of my home and they made a point of telling me “you have a great agent”! I was surprised as he was my agent not theirs – but I thought it was a telling comment.
I also appreciated that John always made a point of thoroughly explaining each sequence and stage of the short sale process to me until I understood. I appreciated his candor, his honesty, his follow through and his ability to strategically plan and work through problems.
I cannot recommend John Blacksmith more highly if you are buying or selling a home.
— Sue (Seller)
Until recently, I am not sure I realized how much work selling a house in a down market would be. It is not really the selling, but getting a house ready to sell that can be a lot of work. I think that the general public has an incorrect presumption that real estate agents don’t earn their fees, but my experience with John is exactly the opposite. John came in to our house, evaluated it and told us exactly what we needed to do to get the house ready to sell in the worst market any of us have seen. He helped us manage that cost through his extensive network of contractors and by only recommending things that would significantly improve the likelihood of selling our house at the optimum price.
But that was only the start, what I really appreciated about John and what I think sets him apart from less experienced agents is he took it upon himself to get bids on everything that needed to be done, and once he got our approval, he managed all the contractors; scheduling them, letting in the house, etc… to get the house on the market in less than two weeks. Other than approving the bids, we didn’t have to lift a finger. During the sales process he was amazingly proactive with agents and clients that viewed the house and kept us in the loop every step of the way. We knew days in advance when offers were coming in and what to expect; we were never surprised.
I highly recommend using John if you are considering selling your home.
— S. Smith (Seller/Buyer)
If you like what you're seeing, I invite you to read some more testimonials here.