David and Kate Houck have opened Atomic Realty in Los Alamos. Courtesy photo
By BONNIE J. GORDON
Los Alamos Daily Post
David Houck of Atomic Realty has been a Licensed Real Estate Broker since 1982, but he and his business are relatively new to Los Alamos.
Houck, who also sports a law degree, is that rare thing, a male trailing spouse. His wife Kate is a chemical engineer and he followed her to various jobs around the country, making real estate an ideal career choice.
“I like the industry because you can help people out,” he said.
When Kate hung up her Ph.D. and retired, she decided to join David in the real estate business and they both decided to move to Los Alamos. Their son, also a chemical engineer, lives in Los Alamos, but that was only part of the attraction, Houck said.
“We have always liked the area,” he said. “Los Alamos is a small town with access to bigger communities, which is ideal for us. We want to be a part of the community.”
Atomic Realty does almost all its business entirely online.
The industry has changed, but the industry doesn’t like change,” Houck said. “We embrace it!”
“When I started, you had to come down to the office,” he said. “The Internet changed everything. These days, people mostly look at websites such as Realtor.com or Zillow.com to find homes they’re interested in. Then they find a Realtor (hopefully us!) to help them navigate the process.”
Marketing isn’t the only thing that’s online at Atomic Realty.
“We can do everything electronically,” Houck said. “People say you have to have a storefront to be seen as legitimate. I say, look at Amazon!”
The lack of a storefront means Atomic Realty can offer clients a lot of savings, Houck said.
Atomic Realty, which represents buyers and sellers of both residential and commercial property, can hold your hand as much or as little as you want.
Atomic Realty takes a novel approach to helping sellers.
“We have three plans,” Houck said, “So we can meet a lot of different needs.”
The least expensive plan is the $599 / 1% FSBO (for sale by owner) Assistance Plan. This plan is bound to appeal to people who feel confident they can find a buyer, but are daunted by the ins and outs of real estate law.
You pay a $599 listing papers management fee, which is for the time spent managing the listing papers and a 1% commission for creating and managing both the seller’s and buyer’s paperwork, Houck explained. The commission is paid when the house closes.
Need help with marketing? The $599/4% commission Value Plan may be a good choice. With this option, Atomic Realty will take care of marketing the house and open houses, either virtual or in person, plus all the services offered in the first plan. Does the $599 non-refundable fee make you leery?
“We still want to save you money,” Houck said. “With this more traditional plan, we give you everything in the Value Plan and still only charge 4.5% commission with no fee upfront.”
COVID-19 slowed down getting going, but quarantine is no problem, since Houck has years of experience doing business mostly online. Atomic Realty has hit the ground running.
Visit Atomic Realty online at atomic-realty.com to learn more, or call 505.208.0480.