Finding Their Way Home Again

By MNR News posted 27 days ago

The real estate game had dramatically changed since the Reeds bought their first home in 2008. They needed a Realtor® who could help them buy and sell on a tight timeline and make it all look easy.

The day Tunisunia and Shalom Reed moved into their new home in the Phillips neighborhood in South Minneapolis, the Minnesota National Guard patrolled nearby streets with armored vehicles and soldiers armed with military rifles. The riots sparked by the murder of George Floyd in late May 2020 had only recently ended, and there were blocks of burned-out buildings on Lake Street.

“Our daughters looked around and said, ‘Where did y'all move us to?Tunisunia Reed recalled. She was having second thoughts about bringing her teenaged and younger children to the neighborhoods where she’d spent her own adolescence in the 1990s. But the home was spacious, and not far from True Believers Fellowship, where Shalom works as minister.

So, we moved in and assumed that it's gonna get better. And it just didn't,” Reed said.The neighborhood was a lot worse than when I grew up there. There was a lot of drugs, prostitution, and violence. It’s deep rooted and still there.

By 2023, the Reeds decided to return to Brooklyn Park, the community where they’d lived for 12 years before relocating to Minneapolis. A lot had changed in the real estate industry in just a few short years. New technology reshaped everything from home viewings to closings. They needed a Realtor® adept at representing both buyers and sellers; someone with the skill to negotiate and meet tight timelines. That’s when two close friends recommended Tim Devane of Rize Realty in Minneapolis. In a recent interview, Reed talked about the great value Devane brought to their real estate transactions.

MNR: Why did you decide to work with Tim?
Tunisunia Reed: We were impressed right out the gate by Tim’s amazing personality. I thought, this person can probably sell a house to anybody. He's naturally comfortable in his own skin, and makes you feel comfortable, too. He was really patient with all our questions and tried his best to meet our criteria for what we wanted in a home. He was very straightforward, too, and being from the South originally, I really appreciate that. He made it so easy. That’s why we went with him.  

MNR: What kind of information did Tim provide that would have been difficult for you and your husband to get on your own?

Tunisunia Reed: What stood out most was his ability to connect us with experts, like the loan officer who explained the contract and helped us read through it. Overall, Tim made the process a lot easier. Shalom said ‘he’s a man who gets things done. We were in a time crunch for prepping the house and did all the upgrades ourselves. Shalom knew how much money we needed to make on the sale and had a plan for selling and getting into our new space. Anytime a glitch came up or we needed help with a solution, Tim was there for us. He’d say, ‘What do you think about doing it this way?’ and give us helpful options. 

The house we found in Brooklyn Park was the first of only two that we visited. Shalom really liked it and wanted to move forward. Tim’s expertise really came into play negotiating with the seller’s Realtor®. Although I think Shalom and I could have done it ourselves, we wouldn’t have done it as well without Tim’s help. 

MNR: So, what do you love about your new home?

Tunisunia Reed: As soon as Shalom pulled up to the house for the first time, he said, ‘Oh my goodness! We have a long driveway. We have neighbors, but they're not on top of us. We’re sitting on a wonderful lot that is so big we have room to put our stamp on it. We can create space for our family's needs and customize it. We looked at it as an investment, not just for our family, but other families that we serve through the ministry. 

It’s a single-family home with four bedrooms and two full baths, plus a quarter bath. Not as big as our five-bedroom home in Minneapolis, which had three bathrooms, but it has a huge yard. Because there’s a long flight of stairs leading to the main level—high as a tree—we named it The Tree House. We see it as our forever home. In a couple years we’d like to expand it and stretch out, using part of it for the ministry. We also have a big family and need a lot of room for dinners and entertaining 

We love the neighborhood, too. Our girls can finally walk to a beautiful, freshly renovated park that's almost behind our backyard. It has a basketball court where the girls play, and a running track. The dog has space to roam, too. There’s shopping and a grocery store nearby, and it’s conveniently located near Highway 81 and 694. 

MNR: What advice would you give to other sellers or buyers who are looking for a Realtor®?

Tunisunia Reed: When you’re looking for a Realtor® who’s going to assist in selling and purchasing at the same time, you need someone thats either been in the game for a while or has a sincere passion to learn. They need the motivation to push for the sale and hit all the timelines. They should be good at negotiating and not afraid to ask for things on your behalf. They’ve got to be bold if they’re representing you as both a buyer and a seller. 

Otherwise, my advice is find out what Tim's schedule is and make sure that you get on it. Tim was probably one of the best Realtors® we've ever worked with. He was so energetic and on top of things.  

 To read this story in the May/June 2024 digital issue of The Minnesota Realtor® magazine, click here