Wyatt Listrom grew up in Raleigh, N.C., but loved the outdoors and always wanted to live in the mountains. Attending college in Boone got him past the foothills and into the mountain ranges of WNC, “A lot of outdoorsy kids go to App.” he says, citing Appalachian State University.
After graduation he decided the elevation was not quite high enough, so he went farther west, leaving the Tar Heel state for a stint in the Gateway to the Rockies - specifically Telluride, Colorado. He worked in the tourist-driven outdoor activity industries of the area, including guiding, fishing and snowmobiling, all of which satisfied his taste for adventure while providing numerous opportunities for risk-taking, the proverbial cherry on top that garnished most of his activities for the thirteen years he called Telluride home.
When not out on the slopes or navigating a trail as an instructor, he could be found playing gigs as a musician. In 2019 Wyatt slowed down his pace a bit - at least in terms of how he made a living - and acquired his Colorado real estate license. Then he swapped mountain towns again, giving up a few thousand feet in elevation to settle back into WNC, relying on the relationship-building skills he had polished over the prior decade to ground him in his next fast-paced adventure - real estate.
1. What do you love most about working in real estate - do you have a favorite part of the process?
Given his background as an instructor and guide, Wyatt likes to help people - real estate allows him to do that.
“I like helping people turn the page to their next chapter, to realize their dreams in getting to where they want to be.”
He finds that the Asheville area and his prior location in Telluride are pretty compatible, both have a bit of a tourist town element to them, and he feels well-suited to exploring the area and many of the cool Asheville homes with his clients. Real estate also provides a lot of variety, something he values, while affording him the ability to design his own schedule - to the degree one may in this constantly shifting profession.
2. Do you work with both buyers and sellers, or do you have a preferred niche that works best for you?
Wyatt happily works with both buyers and sellers, but lately has been working with more buyers seeking both residential homes and property on which to build.
“I really enjoy showing land, and helping buyers understand and see the potential - facilitating their vision.”
3. Technology has created far more resources than ever before for both buyers and sellers who think they can ‘do it on their own’ - what do you say to folks who think they don’t need a real estate agent anymore?
Wyat wishes folks who choose to take matters into their own hands the best of luck. He claims he does not identify as a “pushy broker - hey, more power to you.” However he does caution that often “people get themselves into precarious situations that could have been avoided.”
4. Real estate is considered a fairly competitive industry in the greater AVL area, with numerous agencies and a steady stream of new agents - what differentiates you and TBT agents from the rest of the WNC real estate crowd? What is your favorite thing about working with the TBT team?
“Wes (another TBT agent) referred me to Billy, and I chose this team because of Billy’s incredible experience, and the plethora of knowledge he has in the industry. He understands development from all sides.”
Wyatt also enjoys the atmosphere in the office and general character of the team, explaining “We are professional yet laid back - everyone has a good sense of humor, and works well together and for each other.”
5. Takeaways from what you’ve learned in your industry: What is the most important piece of advice you would give to prospective homebuyers? And to home sellers?
To buyers, Wyatt advises “Get your ducks in a row.” Sounds about right coming from this former outdoor guide. “Be ready when you find that home you want, and if you are getting a loan, be prepped and ready so there is no delay when you make an offer.”
To sellers, Wyatt keeps it pragmatic: “Try not to overprice your home. When the market was going wild - it went to seller’s heads.”
He emphasizes that sellers need to make sure they value their home with what is concurrent in the market:
“You can’t replace that initial buzz when a property hits the market. If it is overpriced and sits on the market for too long, people think there is an issue. “
6. The WNC real estate market is certainly booming - any predictions on where it will go next, or new trends you are seeing?
Wyatt describes the current Asheville market as “decelerating, but still appreciating.”
Though it sounds like an oxymoron, he explains that the appraisals in 2021, when home values often appreciated 20% in only one year, were not sustainable. However, this correction does not indicate that the Asheville market will be a bubble that bursts, due to the consistent draw to the area, with properties continuing to see strong - and sensibly solid - appreciation.
“There is not enough inventory, and demand is through the roof.”
7. Can you share the funniest or most memorable moment - anecdote or experience - you’ve had during the course of a real estate deal (positive or negative)?
Wyatt shares the story of a sale from his days as a realtor in Colorado when a client took his advice to fully vet the parameters of a home and land purchase of 36 acres.
“I recommended the buyer order a survey; the sellers had not provided one, and 36 acres is a lot of lands. The survey revealed that half of the existing houses had been built on land that belonged to the Bureau of Land Management. My client was able to dodge a bullet, canceling the contract, and receive his earnest money back. Otherwise, he would have been stuck with a home that encroached on government land.”
Whoops. This seems to fall under the aforementioned “people get themselves into precarious situations that could have been avoided.” The strong takeaway here is that engaging a real estate professional will not only ease the overall process but can potentially save you serious financial and legal headaches.
8. Do you have a favorite hobby, pursuit or interest that might surprise your clients - or that has worked to your advantage in connecting with clients?
Not surprisingly, Wyatt still spends a lot of time outdoors. He has somewhat tempered his high- risk-adrenaline-rush fueled pursuits, explaining:
“I had to reel it in a bit - I’ve cracked some bones and tendons. I’m trying to tone it down.”
‘Trying’ reflecting a work in progress? Wyatt loves to go to waterfalls, especially jumping off of them, citing the “fun rush of the hot air - then the cool water.” Yet Asheville seems to have teased some mellow out of him: “I like to go mushroom hunting - walking in the woods is a zen spot for me.”
Wyatt continues to play gigs as a musician - drums, guitar, stand-up bass - often with fellow TBT realtor and musician Wes Hight. When he is not attending a local show, he is often playing one, in Asheville and sometimes Telluride - still keeping those elevation options open. He loves the thriving music scene here in Asheville, though, and the eclectic mix of people he meets, noting with a wry smile:
“Musicians are always kind of weird and cool.”
Here's Wyatt enjoying some quality time with a colleague's son.