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Enjoying the Process with Sarah Howell, Asheville Real Estate Broker

Sarah Howell is new to Mosaic, but very accustomed to life moving at the speed of light. She is practically unflappable, and we discussed this most-enviable outlook recently, along with some of her favorite things about the job.

Sarah Howell Real Estate Broker Asheville

Share a bit about your background (how you got here; any family, pets, etc.)

I was born in Raleigh — so my relatives in Haywood County would say I’m not a native! — but we moved here when I was eight, and spent my entire school career here until college (when I went to NC State for a couple years, then enrolled at UNC-Wilmington). 

Back then, I had my eye on a move to California, because a close family friend who was sort of my hero was in the entertainment industry. So I came back home for a year to try and save up, first as a bank teller and then a bartender. Funny, after only 6 months as a bartender, I had enough! So off I went, at 23 or 24, and I actually lived there 10 years.

Side note: There seemed to be a lot of Asheville folks in CA then, and I fell in with a group of other Asheville-expats who’d all meet in San Francisco for the holidays when they couldn’t go home. One of them was a guy I knew from high school (though not well) — and I fell in love. He’s now my husband!

Sarah Howell Broker in Asheville

Anyway, while I was there, I had a lot of hospitality jobs while exploring my interests at Santa Monica College. One day, complaining about money and roommates, I had one of my regular customers suggest I get a real estate license and become manager of my apartment building. I did, and wound up doing property management for several years. Eventually, I ended up getting an entertainment job I’d been seeking — marketing syndicated TV, where I helped promote shows like How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family, and New Girl. Once I started traveling for that, I had to give up the property management job, but I gained some great skills I’d be able to use later.

As for moving back home, at that time, both my husband and I were very career-oriented. He was an architect working for a developer, and driving everywhere in that in notorious LA traffic; I was really into my marketing job — and then we got pregnant. That was the catalyst. We knew there had to be serious career changes, and though we considered other places with similar beautiful, natural resources like California’s, we moved back home to Asheville. And of course, having the grandparents’ help for babysitting here sweetened the deal, too! 

Sarah Howell Real Estate Agent Asheville

Whew! After all that, what made you want to be a real estate broker?

It’s funny — I knew I wanted to wind up a realtor. Marketing TV was amazing and I had a great boss (think the opposite of Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada), but it was really intense. My time as a property manager set me thinking  — I didn’t want to be tied to a cubicle, I love people (seriously!), I love interior design, and that flexibility …. With the baby on the way, we knew moving back to NC was right. You need to be invested where you want to stay, so I got my license again. Realty works crazily well for my temperament — there are enough differences day to day to keep you from getting bored!

What are your passion projects/subjects?

Right now, all my free time is taken up with the kids’ school. I’m treasurer of the PTO and my husband and I coach their soccer team. We still love hiking and going for bike rides — now as a family!

In what ways do you enjoy giving back to our community?

With two young kids, my time is limited, but I’d like to do something similar to what I’d done in the past, before the kids started school. Every time I’d close a transaction, I’d donate money to the client’s favorite nonprofit. I would love to find a way to do something similar at Mosaic!

Sarah Howell Asheville Real Estate Agent

What are your realty superpowers?

I really like people, and I’m in the habit of asking a lot of questions when I meet someone, because I have a genuine interest in them. That helps me understand what people really like and/or need. I’m also good at multitasking — and am very much, by nature, a systems/processes person. These skills help sharpen my knack for getting the info I need to help my clients. Being very self-disciplined helps, too! I work well without much supervision — I always say I need a mentor, not a boss!

Do you have certain neighborhoods/communities in which you especially love to work?

Since we live here and grew up here, I’m most comfortable working in Buncombe County. But I know Waynesville well and love that area, too.

What is the most special thing about the AVL area?

The quintessential four seasons! You can really have fun in all the seasons — skiing in winter; swimming or tubing in the summer, and hiking and biking almost year-round. We were spoiled with that in CA, and we have it here, too — we’re probably never gonna move to Raleigh! I love the process of the seasonal changes, and the process of change in general, for that matter. A wise person once said, “Enjoy the process b/c that’s where you live!”

Connect with Sarah Howell at or 828.817.1479

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