When I was newly divorced, I bought my 1st house. I have never been so proud of anything in my life. I remember sitting outside on MY deck drinking a glass of wine and looking at MY house. I remember thinking that life could never get better – I was on my own and making it! My children were happy, I had a great group of girlfriends, and my business was starting to generate an income. Life was perfect.
When – not even 2 years later – we grew out of that house, I started looking for a new home. I had not realized when I bought the 1st one, that the girls would eventually walk on their own and take up space. I put an offer on one house which I did purchase; however over the course of the transaction, I lost trust in my agent. I kept explaining to her that I could not afford to go up on the price. They kept encouraging me to “just go up another $5,000.00.” I couldn’t go up. I did not have the money. She did not understand. I could not get across to them that when I said I didn’t have the money, I did not have the money.
Rather than being excited about buying the house, I became resentful and very wary of my agent. Did she have my best interest at heart? Why didn’t she believe me when I told her that I couldn’t afford to go higher? The seller eventually came down on his price, and I was able to purchase the house, but the entire transaction was terribly stressful and very scary. I swore that, if I ever got into real estate, my primary focus would be to work with single and divorcing women (and men) who needed honest advice, real numbers, and need real help. I did not need to know where the kitchen was – I needed to know how I was going to PAY for it.
My Network of Help: Over the years of decorating and staging homes, moving people, and selling real estate, I have amassed a quite reliable list of handymen, builders, painters, tile guys – you name it. I work with primarily three lenders, two inspectors, and one closing attorney, unless my clients prefer to assemble their closing team. Over the years, I have met and had transactions with dozens of inspectors, lenders, appraisers, and closing attorneys. The group of individuals I choose to work with today are those individuals who have always put my Client’s best interest first. Their egos and financial gain came second and third. It is this Team of Experts that I trust implicitly.
The Way I Work: I work hard. I have to. I have two kids to raise.
A good real estate agent works every day. We learn how to manage everything without letting anyone feel unimportant. We get good at returning our phone calls. So we do things right the first time – we don’t have enough time to go back and redo and redo and redo. We are detail oriented because that is the most time efficient way to be. We can get more things done in a day, and we know that things are correct.
Let’s go – the market is waiting, and my car is ready! I have crayons for the kids and Junior Mints for us! Let’s hit the road and find that new house – this is going to be fun.