One of the favorite parts of my job is that I get to stay in touch with my friends. I get to call and visit them… the thing that we usually are too busy to do because work, school, family, children, etc. and we never get around to do. I get to, and when I do, I can say I am working.
The other favorite part of my job is that I get to make new friends. I am usually involved in my clients’ home buying or selling process for anywhere from six to eighteen months. During that time, I get to know them very well. Little by little, I learn of their wishes and dreams, their plans for the future and what holds them back, who are their loved ones, what they treasure and what makes them laugh.
Then here comes the part I hate but has to be. It is not negotiating with difficult people. It is not pointing out the undesirable realities to my clients, being the one to deliver, sometimes, the bad news. It is not the amount of time on the road and working outside in the hot summer days. It is saying goodbye when my clients move away.
Don’t get me wrong. When you are ready to sell your house, I am honored to be your Realtor and gladly take the job. I am so happy to be there for you. But I hate saying goodbye and I understand you very likely are feeling even more so. I don’t mean saying goodbye back to me; I mean saying goodbye to your home for many years, to a place full of memories.
There are many different reasons for selling one’s home, such as downsizing, changing job, getting married, upsizing, being closer to family, retirement, or hardship. Upsizing, retirement or getting promoted to a new position are exciting and happy events. The others are either the opposite or filled with mixed feelings.
I think all my sellers are courageous. After all, a house fulfills the very basic need of a person who then builds his life upon its foundation. Uprooting one’s life is a scary thing. The process can be both physically and emotionally daunting, especially if you have been living in a home for more than ten years.
My job is to make the process of selling their home as smooth as possible for them. I take from their hands the tasks of gathering information for the right decisions. I find resources and people to help. I am the signposts along the way, calm, competent and trustworthy. Sometimes I am just a friend. I do all that so they can take the time and energy to grief, to celebrate, and to say goodbye to their home.
I know… because I have been there and I care. This sounds super cliché but I don’t know how else to put it. I bought my first house in Papago Park, Tempe, from my then fiancé. We moved away to Prescott when we got married, but my husband’s health deteriorated and passed away a year later. I moved back to the home I had never got a chance to settle in and made in my own, little by little. It took me five years to let it go, and when I finally sold it, I fell into depression for months. And I sell houses for a living!
My clients know that I sometimes stop by to see how they are doing or give a party, so they come to visit, except for those who move away. Then comes the part that I hate the most about my job. I hate saying goodbye. If you are one of them, I just have to miss you, and wish you happy when I put the address label on the magnetic calendar I mail to you every year, thanking you for letting me be there for you.