Why I Love Selling Homes
BY Lisa Friedman
Looking back over my real estate career and reflecting back on some of my sales brings back fond memories of the families I have helped.
Two years ago, I met with a couple and their three year old little boy who were looking for a transitional vacation home while continuing to live in their high rise condo in Manhattan. They were planning on moving to Vermont full time in about five years. They wanted to buy their forever home which would start out as a vacation home. They are a very nice couple and I very much enjoyed the conversations we shared while viewing homes.
We met on two different weekends when they visited and looked at many properties. There was one property that really caught their attention due to it’s location on five rural acres with extensive gardens and long range views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. The property had been on the market for eight years. It was overpriced, extremely outdated and had a lot of wallpaper. The seller had been through several Realtors over the years, ultimately reducing her price a few hundred thousand dollars in small increments.
At the time that I showed the property, it was listed with another agent. We made an offer that I felt was very fair taking the condition of the property into account while noting it’s nice amenities such as location, view and gardens. There was a miniature horse farm as a neighbor which was also very appealing. We wound up ending negotiations at $50,000 apart. The buyers then discounted the house in their mind and we looked at several other properties on their next visit. Nothing struck their interest and they decided to hold off on looking at any more homes.
Six months after our offer, the listing expired. In Vermont, the listing agent has ten days to notify the seller of any interested parties who had viewed the house during the listing period who might potentially come back and purchase it. If the listing agent submits the names of interested parties to the seller within those ten post-expiration days, then the commissions of the listing and buyer’s agents are protected. I noticed that the property had not been relisted within ten days. I sent a notecard in the mail to the seller asking if she would still be interested in selling. If she was, then I would contact the buyers who had decided to put off their search and see if they would still be interested in buying that property. If she was still interested in selling, but they weren’t interested in buying, then I would have offered to list the property.
The seller was an elderly woman and did not remember receiving the first notecard. Being one to not give up without an answer, I sent a second notecard a month later. She was still interested in selling, the 3% difference by having less one agent involved made a big impact, and we were able to conclude a sale – ten months after the initial offer.
The buyers loved the property so much after remodeling the home that they decided to make Vermont their full time home three years ahead of schedule. After nine years of trying to sell, the seller finally bought a single level townhome nearby in a neighborhood that she loves and everyone is happy.
I took the seller to lunch one day and we shared a wonderful discussion about her life which I found to be very interesting. The buyers and I have become friends. It was an all around good experience. This is the joy of being a Realtor – helping to make people’s dreams come true.