This past week has been extraordinary in many ways. And if there was any doubt, the world now knows what Boston is capable of and the compassion, support and resiliency of its people was clearly on display.
This past Sunday I took a client to an open house. This client, a young woman, has been looking for a first home for over 2 years as her price range is limited and finding the right property has been a challenge. The home turned out to be a little diamond and the listing agent had priced it just below market to drive activity and hopefully encourage multiple offers. I was the first Realtor to arrive and after seeing the home told my client it would not last the day at it's current price. We would need to put in an offer quickly to be first in line.
I came prepared and began to fill out the offer on the hood of my car. Within minutes there were more than 100 would be buyers swarming the home. Luckily my client lived within 5 minutes so we left to complete our paperwork barely able to get off the street for the number of cars and people blocking our way. I returned with the offer - it was the first submitted.
Knowing our offer had to have something to differentiate my client other than price (we came in just over asking). I advised her to write a simple letter to the seller as to why she wanted this home. It was indeed a simple letter letting the seller know my client, though young, was a veteran, had just taken a job with the VA, and was looking to settle down and start a family and it has been very difficult to find a home in her price range.
I received a phone call at 5 pm the same day telling me there were numerous offers and please provide a best and final by the same time the following day. My client decided to increase her offer now some $6,000 over asking. In sending this in I asked the agent to please make certain the seller read my clients letter. The next day I received a text saying we had won the home! I was surprised as I was certain another offer or more had exceeded our price considerably. When I spoke to the agent, he said there were other offers at higher price points. He had always read and heard about people writing personal letters, but this was the first time he had seen a seller make a decision based not on price but rather what the home would actually mean to someone.
Perhaps it was the timing and events of this historical week. Everywhere one looked, people were reaching out to help and support one another and law enforcement. And so this seller decided to reach out and help this young woman start her life. Making a decision based on need and not money.
Now my client and I will remember this time for more than just the horror of the bombings. It will be yet another example of what people can do for one another when they take the time to listen and just be a part of humanity.
A simple story, yes. But try telling this to my client.