Satisfied Buyers

The Shocking Thing a Difficult Client Said to Me

Tina Plett business card

 

 

I LOVE my job – It’s got adventure, variety, and the deep satisfaction of helping people find their perfect-for-them home.

Last month put that love to the test though, I’ve gotta say. From every angle, side, and corner, various Boogiemen leapt from the shadows.

Here are a couple of general examples of conversations that may or may not have happened recently.

Client: “Hi, Tina?”
Me: “Hi, how are you?”
Client: “Hurry!!! I NEED to see this house RIGHT NOW!!!!”
Me: “Umm… you know people still live in it and need some notice, right? They might have babies napping or–”
Client: “–I don’t care! I’m parked outside of their house right now! Get over here!”
Me: *bangs head on desk*

 

Me: “Hi. My client would like to make an offer on your listing”
Agent: “We already have someone else interested.”
Me: “Uh… it’s for sale, is it not?”
Agent: “Yes, but they don’t want offers.”
Me: (I wonder if the agent is blocking offers from other buyers so they can double end the deal… His clients wouldn’t appreciate that. Too bad they’ll never know. Man, I can’t wait until they make that illegal (like they are about to in Ontario.) In the meantime…

Me: “Okay, I’ll bring an offer. My buyer will pay every dollar the seller is asking and then some.”
Agent: “Go ahead, but they’re not going to take it.”
Me: *bangs head on desk*

 

But then there was the buyer who said something shocking to me this week.
We’d been working together to find them a house, and it was… difficult. They did not have access to internet and that felt crippling. They’d had a nightmarish, stressful relationship with the builder of their home right from day one. For years, that stress robbed them of the joy of living in their custom built home. Now they just wanted out.

Because of their worn-down, stressful state, they were not only deeply sad and exhausted, but also in a desperate hurry. Not a good combination. They had three weeks to find a new house.

Three weeks!!

That’s like giving yourself ten minutes for a 1-hour grocery shop. It’s insane. Like, reality TV, run through the aisles like a madman, plowing down women and children kind of crazy.

So here we were. Dashing like madmen.

Desperate ones.

Whose hair was on fire.

The hardest part for me was seeing how the anxiety had pulled their faces into hard lines over the years. They weren’t the most expressive people, and I’d never seen them smile. Not once. Years of annoyance can make a person cranky and it made me sad that their home-owning experience had done that.

Plus, knowing they would probably settle, desperate for a new house, I was sad they would likely repeat the disappointing experience of owning a home they didn’t want.

We hunted. Looked at loads of houses. In person.

Loads.

When we finally came across the one that struck them as home, I was excited because I knew something about it they didn’t.

“Ah, I know the guy who built that house. He’s a new, young builder trying hard to please people. He does quality work and treats people well.” I said.

That was all they needed to know – that they’d be treated well for once.

The buying process was difficult – sometimes it seems like agents don’t want to sell their listings, and this was one of those times. After working and working at it though, we did manage to get the house.

*   *  *

One week after the couple moved into their new home, I was walking up their sidewalk to check in. (They appreciated the personal face-to-face approach.) As I neared the front door, I wondered if this stressed out, anxious, desperate couple with their faces pulled in hard lines would have anything good to say about our working together. Had it been pleasant at all? Would they feel they had been treated well or that the whole thing was worth it?

With all these thoughts swirling in my mind, I rang the bell. The door opened, and there stood before me a woman I almost didn’t recognize. Where before a permanent frown had been carved into her face now shone a relaxed, upturned smile. Her eyes that had looked dead and empty now seemed to shine, almost laugh.

I mentally willed my mouth not to gape open in shock. “How’s the new house?” I asked.

That’s when she said what I never thought I’d hear from her.

Her smile expanded into a full out grin. “It feels like home.” She sighed and her eyes went dreamy, “I’m happy.”

I nearly cried on the spot. “Wow – after a week it’s feeling like home already?”

“From the first day it felt like home.” She raised a palm to her chest as though speaking of a loved one, “Tina, the chains have come off and we are free. … I’m happy. So happy. The grandchildren love it here too!”

I almost burst into tears. She was happy?

That moment was worth every difficult, head-banging, hair-pulling moment before it.

THIS. This is why I do what I do. This is why I love working as a real estate agent.

I floated back to my car and through the rest of my week, grateful for the reminder, blessed by the satisfaction of having helped someone and then being able to see that dramatic transformation.

These are the moments that fuel us through the hard days, aren’t they?

 

What one memory or thought keeps you going through your hair-pulling days?

 

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Why I Showed Them a House I Knew They’d Never Buy

 

the-door

 

I recognized the address right away. I had been there before. The foundation was in deplorable condition. 

I knew they would not buy it. 

But, I booked the appointments anyway. We saw five houses on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Once they saw the house with the crumbling foundation they exclaimed they would never invest in a house like this.

“I know,” I said. “I knew about the foundation, and I knew you would never ever buy it.”

They looked confused. “Why did you take the time to show it to us then?”

“Because I respect your need to make your own decision. I will not filter the choices based on my opinion, but on yours.”

They nodded, and seemed to appreciate that.

It had only been our second time shopping. They did not know me well, and this was a perfect way to demonstrate that they can trust me. I knew that if I tried to prevent them from seeing a home they wanted to see, they may question whether I had my own agenda.

Eniko and I don’t choose to show only homes that offer the highest commission.

We don’t limit the buyers shopping to only listings through the brokerage we work for. (Even though we have a lot of inventory to choose from). We respect our buyers’ decision to choose, and furnish them with all the options they request.

Once buyers get to know us though, something changes.

Suddenly we’ll get texts asking, “What do you know about this property? Have you shown it?”

Once we have developed a trust relationship and we get asked these questions, we can avoid unnecessary showings.

It’s at this point in the shopping experience we tell the buyer, “The house is beautifully redone and has a lot of character however, the basement is built on blocks and is horizontally caving in. There is constant water in the basement as a result of the shifting of the east wall of the basement.

We all save time when that happens. But saving time is always secondary to integrity.

By the way, that home with the theoretical basement on blocks that’s caving in? We may not recommend it to one buyer, but we might just call the concrete worker we know who said he was looking for homes where he could raise the house and redo the foundation.

There is a buyer for every house at the right price.

 

ACCREDITED BUYER REPRESENTATIVE

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Babies, Mamas, and Why I Love My Work

pregnant

 

She was single when she bought her first home.

I was so excited to be able to help her with that. Things have sure had changed since I’d been on my own, wanting to buy a house. Back then, it was nearly impossible. It’s thrilling to see that women have the ability to purchase a home for themselves. It’s more freedom than we had even a few decades ago. Amazing.

Then, years later, the phone rang. It was her.

Time had passed, things had changed, and she was ready to sell the house now.

I was honored that she thought of me after all that time.

Life was completely different for her than when we’d first met.

She now lived in that same house, but with her partner. She ran her hands across her swollen belly. They were expecting a child. They loved the property and had even considered staying there and building on to accommodate their growing family, but had decided to move to a larger place instead.

As I mounted the SOLD sign a few weeks later, I felt tremendously blessed.

I was honored to be remembered after five years. I was thankful for the opportunity to serve her again. And I was especially delighted to meet the man who put a ring on her finger.

To watch families grow and change through all of life’s stages is one of the beautiful joys of my work. It’s personal, heartwarming, even heart-wrenching at times, and completely meaningful and satisfying.

What’s the satisfying part of your work?