Today was the type of day that real estate agents dream of. Of course, it was great to have two double-ender closings, but it’s the story that brings the feeling of success and accomplishment that we all strive for.
It started three months ago when I received a call from Dara, who wanted help selling her fathers home. He was 90 and moving in with her as the house has become too big for just him.
An Amazing Referral
There were many reasons why this was not just an ordinary call. In fact, this call ended up being a most special referral for many reasons. Dara’s son Blake was the manager at a local store, where he helped me select holiday gifts for my clients and friends. I had always appreciated Blake’s amazing assistance and I frequently mentioned to him that he would be a great real estate salesperson; which he seemed interested in. When his mom mentioned that she had to sell her dads house, Blake immediately suggested to give me a call. It was at that time that Blake’s dad Avin chimed in reporting that he drove me to the airport as my Uber driver recently and that I seemed like a nice guy and a good choice too. Then Dara exclaimed, “John Reinhardt, I went to junior high school with him back in Brooklyn!” It was obvious to them that I was the right person to contact, for many reasons. It was one of those moments, where just being a nice guy seemed to pay off.
I’ve Got This One
After hearing the story of the whole family recommending me I felt obligated to handle the sale myself when they requested it. I felt great about the vote of confidence and it was my mission to step in and take full control of the marketing process to ensure a great experience for my friends. It was my goal, as it always is, to go above and beyond to make sure that the process was as easy as possible for the sellers. I was excited to be handling this sale personally and determined to prove the family made a great choice. This was the beginning of a great story waiting to be written.
I began getting the house ready for showing, and this was a challenge since there was a lifetime of memories and collections of art and antiques throughout every corner of every room. I was trusted with a key and was able to orchestrate getting antique dealers, rubbish removal teams, and other services necessary to prepare the home for the market.
The Open House That Almost Wasn’t
There was interest building in the home as the sign was up and people noticed the sudden spurt in activity around the house. We stalled the buyers for a few weeks and we were told by the antique dealer that the entire house would be cleared out by Saturday and ready for showing on Sunday. After hearing this, the seller wanted to have an open house on Sunday. I proceeded to schedule an open house, and you can imagine my surprise when I inspected the home on Saturday to discover that the antique guy never showed up. Now, I have a cluttered house with an open house advertised in papers and online for the next day. I figured that people would come anyway and I would stay at the house and inform potential purchasers that we would have to reschedule. I realize the stress that agents go through on a regular basis. What could have been a mistake, ended up as a great opportunity.
I warned people at the door that the house is not ready to show, but there were a few that insisted that they were contractors and the interior did not matter that much as they planned on gutting the home anyway. The open house generated a lot of attention and after following up with the attendees, we were successful in getting two families to make bids on the home. Initially the offers were too low, but the competing bids both came up to what was close to what the seller was looking for. Final offers came in and the pregnant mom with her creative construction husband won the bid and were ready to move forward so that they could prepare the new home for their new family.
Two Buyers, One House
Now, I was left with a second qualified buyer but only one house to sell them. Real estate 101 kicked in, and I began searching for another home for this nice couple. I remember when I started 40 years ago, we knocked on doors to get listings, so I decided to knock on the doors on the block. The first knocking effort generated a lot of interesting conversations, but no immediate results. When I returned to the sold house for a reshow, I noticed the neighbor coming home. I ran over and knocked on the door to say hello. I asked if they might be interested in selling, as I have a hot buyer who is ready, willing and able to buy that style home. The seller looked familiar, and we struck up a conversation where we connected the dots to discover that we actually met in the neighborhood before and we knew a lot of the same people. After we felt comfortable, Sandy shared with me that his wife had passed away just a few months ago and the house was too big. He would consider selling the home, but he had to speak with his brother in law who also shared ownership in the home. As fate would have it, his brother in law was John, shared a carpool with me and my brother to go to St John’s University every day. John was one of the editors of the yearbook and he remembered me as a good guy when I served as the President of St Johns Student Government. We decided to have a sit down meeting on Sunday to discuss the possibility of marketing the home.
Door Knocking Leads to Listing the House Next Door
After an in-depth discussion, and after a few Guinesses we all agreed that we should capitalize on the buyer’s interest from next door and see if we could secure a fast sale. You see, it was discovered at the sit down that they were in trouble with the bank and facing foreclosure. They were stuck in the midst of things and they actually didn’t have the motivation to sell and they would have walked away from the house without anything. I looked into their impending foreclosure situation and discovered that a fast sale could stop all proceedings. We did just that. The other buyers from next shore came in on Monday and they were excited to make an offer with a fast closing. This was the perfect fit for all. The sellers were so appreciative that they ended up with a few hundred thousand dollars that would have been left on the table. We did it, and that’s what makes our job so worth it!
So, today was a great day because I had two closings, but more importantly because I helped 4 families accomplish what they wanted to so that new chapters may begin for all.
Senior Seller downsizes and liquidates
Pregnant mom and dad find new home for their new expanded family.
Sellers avoid foreclosure and realize deserved equity in home and opportunity to move on.
Buyers lose first home but find the home next door that is the mirror twin of the original home.
When I pulled into my driveway, my neighbor asked me, “How was your day at work today,” I said, “It couldn’t get any better!”