Native Houstonian and Martha Turner Sotheby's International Realty agent Brandon Newton prides himself on going above and beyond for his clients, doing everything he can to ensure a smooth transaction and the best possible outcome each time.
He thrives on advising his clients on the most important financial and lifestyle decisions of their lives, providing them with the most comprehensive and current market information. He's with them every step of the way to guide and ensure that they are knowledgeable and comfortable throughout the process.
Dealing with challenging situations is one of the investment-minded Newton's many strengths, as well as a unique balance of common sense approach and a creative method toward problem solving.
Always there to support his community, Newton has been a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and Northwest Assistance Ministries, as well as a supporter for the Walk to End Alzheimer's since 2010. In his leisure time, Newton is a musician who has performed since 2001, and also enjoys traveling and nurturing his passion for classic automobiles. He and his wife are the parents of two young daughters and a son.
We chatted with Newton to find out more about his work and what drives him.
CultureMap: What inspires you to do what you do?
Brandon Newton: My family inspires me in every aspect of my life to be the best version of myself that I can be. I want my children growing up and knowing that their father is a good man who works hard, treats everyone with respect and kindness, and truly values giving his clients the absolute best service that anyone can offer. I want them to see how much I value each and every relationship with each and every client, and that I'm invested entirely in earning and retaining their trust to do my absolute best by them. As a father of three, I understand the significance of a secure home and what it means for families.
I pride myself on successfully changing my clients' lives through real estate. For my buyers, the excitement of finding, negotiating, and winning my clients' bids is a craft that I have perfected over my 11-plus-year career. For my clients selling a home, I remove the majority of all stress for them by providing them with world-class marketing and global exposure, frequent communication, and impeccable market knowledge with the experience and creative problem-solving skills needed to take them to the closing table and beyond.
CM: What's one piece of advice you'd give to people looking for their dream home?
BN: Aim to find your luxury within your price point, and understand the importance of the factors that can't change. Every price point has homes that stand out at each level and that will provide my clients with most of their wants and needs. However, the absolute most important factors to consider first are location, layout, and condition.
Location cannot be changed for the most part, and to do so is typically not cost effective, so make sure that the location of your new home is somewhere that you can see yourself for at least three years. The layout of a home may be changed at a high cost, but most buyers should look for a home that has a layout that suits their needs. A home's condition is something that every buyer should have independently verified through a high-quality home inspector to be sure that the structure, roof, and all mechanical components are well maintained.
Buyer beware of quickly done renovations that may make a home appear to be in better condition than it is. It's easy to get caught up in the latest design trends and paint colors, but ultimately finding a home that has been well cared for is much more important. Cosmetic upgrades can be made to each buyer's tastes over time.
CM: And advice to those who are selling?
BN: If you are selling a home, attention to detail is everything. If you are able, it is typically in a seller's best interest to conservatively update a home with neutral, current paint colors; update countertops; and update fixtures and hardware. As you probably already know, updated kitchens and master bathrooms are what will really help to make your home sell faster than your neighbor's.
What I see a lot of people miss in their attempt to make those improvements is in the details. A new paint job is much less effective with dated light switches and outlet covers. Crooked outlet covers, exposed wires, missing grout or caulk, and dirty cabinets and drawers are all things that I see on a regular basis that give a buyer a negative feeling about a home. If a buyer doesn't feel that you keep a clean home, they automatically think that you have not maintained the home well either. A good deep clean from top to bottom is a necessity on every listing. Fresh mulch and flowers, especially in the front of a home, go a very long way in making the first impression a buyer is looking for.
CM: Sum up Houston in three words.
BN: Gritty. Resilient. Diverse.
CM: What do you consider your "special skill"?
BN: Creative problem solving. Sometimes, it is inevitable that challenges will arise during a real estate transaction. I find it very rewarding to do everything I can to find a solution that is in my clients' best interests. I once installed a stove in a listing myself to make sure it met FHA requirements days before closing. I have arranged for contractors to make repairs to a property after inspections to be paid at closing, and we now offer a White Glove service that is a game changer. A seller can have a number of services and renovations made without incurring any out-of-pocket expense until closing.
I am resourceful, and it pays to be full of resources. I enjoy thinking outside the box to keep a sale moving to the closing table as efficiently as possible. Also, being proactive and addressing a potential issue before it arises can help to avoid headaches down the line. If I know that I have sold a property at the top of the market, which I often do (humble brag), I will always go meet with the appraiser to provide them with all supportive data on why my listing should appraise at a higher price than the competing homes in the area.
I'm always looking at creative ways of improving along with technology to address today's evolving needs. I have invested time and money toward becoming leading edge with lots of video, live feeds and live open houses/video walkthroughs, and informational videos and virtual tours for all of my clients' listings. I want people to look at what I do and know that no one can do it better.
CM: What's one thing people might not know about you?
BN: I am a musician, and I have been performing live music for nearly 20 years as a passionate hobby. I have recorded a few albums during that time as well, mostly hard rock. I have also been asked by three couples to marry them, to which I happily obliged. I never thought I would see the day that I was performing wedding ceremonies.
CM: Finish the sentence: "It's a good day when..."
BN: It's a good day when I feel like I have secured a win for my clients. I'm quite a bit competitive and love to utilize my negotiation skills, but I also know that working collaboratively with agents on the opposite side of the transaction provides the best results for my clients.
Closing days are great days as well, because I either get to hand over the keys to my excited buyers, or I am able to help my sellers to successfully move on to the next chapter in their lives. And the best days are the days in which I receive referrals from my past clients. I have built my business over the last 11 years by striving to earn each and every clients' future business and referrals, and so far, it has been an ideal business model.
Learn more about Brandon Newton here, or contact him at 713-890-9108 or Brandon.Newton@sothebyshomes.com.