Today I Had a Closing....

Industry Observer with Swanepoel T3 Group

“Today I had a closing” is a good thing for a Realtor to say. But today, in addition to a grateful client and a nice paycheck, I got a 2×4 to the head that made me remember what business we’re in.

The house we just closed is stunning  but it was harder to sell than most because of it’s price and uniqueness. We had to wait quite a while for just the right buyer. During a troublesome four month contingency period the buyer’s residence sold, fell apart, then sold again. A variety of inspection issues caused delays and expense to my client and so we eagerly awaited the closing day.

The closing should have made me happy, right?  Yes, it made me happy in that I was relieved that there was nothing left to go wrong. But when I did my “listing agent visit” right before the buyer’s final walkthrough, I started sobbing. Right there in the empty house.

This house was owned by a dear friend to whom I was introduced by a Realtor (a lovely lady who has since passed away) when my friend and I both moved to this little community in 1995. We were both “career gals from the City” and the Realtor wanted us to make friends, put down roots and happily raise our families in the same way she’d raised hers.

The Realtor who wanted her newly transplanted clients to have friends gave us a gift we’ve enjoyed for eighteen years. An act of caring and kindness I’ll never forget.

I have vivid memories of my now college sophomore son playing in the tub as a two year old with my friend’s now college freshman daughter. The years we wrapped our little girls in velvet and tulle to go see the Nutcracker at Christmas. Birthday, graduation and “just because” parties. The house became ours, too, a place for our memories.

But there was also great sadness which brought us to selling the home. My friend’s dear husband passed away four years ago after a terrible illness. With her daughter heading to college it was time to sell the house.

During my walk-through I was reminded so vividly and personally that Realtors get right into the core of people’s lives. We do things in their homes, the place where the most intimate moments of life are lived.  Most clients aren’t friends with whom we are deeply connected, but we must remember that working with people in their homes is an honor never to be taken lightly. I’m humbled today.

Originally published at FoxValleyLiving.

Comments (61)

Ralph Gorgoglione
Metro Life Homes - Palm Springs, CA
California and Hawaii Real Estate (310) 497-9407

Thank you for sharing this heartfelt story and for giving such dignity to the word "home".

Jun 22, 2013 03:53 PM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Leslie, you are so right. Thank you for sharking this touching story.

Jun 22, 2013 05:26 PM
Edward & Celia Maddox
The Celtic Connection Realty - Queen Creek, AZ

Makes you remember that there may be some situations that require a lot of TLC from realtor.

Jun 22, 2013 06:24 PM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

This is a very touching story and message Leslie.  I hear so many folks say that this business isn't personal.  It is.  Thanks for sharing your message.  

Jun 22, 2013 10:11 PM
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

Beautiful story Leslie.  When my father passed at a very young age I learned all about the circle of life.  Celebrate and remember fondly but do not dwell.

Jun 23, 2013 12:11 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Leslie, one of the many satisfactions of doing this job. A great story! The memories will last forever.

Jun 23, 2013 12:22 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

Great story & it's true. I remember talking with my seller who brought me to tears when he talked about how happy his wife was in their home. She is now deceased & of course the story unravels all over the place.

Sometimes we forget how special a home can be.

Sell that puppy in Wayne already!

Jun 23, 2013 12:51 AM
Leslie Ebersole
Swanepoel T3 Group - Saint Charles, IL
I help brokers build businesses they love.

Lyn: I would love to co-broke with you on a massive pile of stone :-). We're working on a zoning change and hope to move forward soon. 

Jared: yep. And sometimes it's really personal, isn't it?

Kathleen: It is an honor to be in someone else's home. Usually, to us, the home is a house that is a product on the market. Sometimes I need to be more sensitive.

Jeff: Yes, homes are private and we're the ones who make the private into public. That's a great way to think of it.

Bill: yes. Just....yes.

Jun 23, 2013 02:40 AM
Lori Cain
Own Tulsa - Tulsa, OK
Midtown Tulsa Real Estate Top Producer

I don't know how we could do our jobs well if we didn't get involved at such a personal level with our clients. Many have become close friends over the years.

Lovely and sad story to share.

Jun 23, 2013 03:35 AM
Brenda Mayette
Miranda Real Estate Group, Inc. - Glenville, NY
Getting results w/ knowledge & know-how!

What a beautiful piece and wonderful tribute! It IS an honor to be in this profession doing what we do what the place that people experience many of lives most significant moments. 

Jun 23, 2013 03:41 AM
Cooper Jacobs
Looking For A Seattle Realtor? COOPERJACOBS.COM - Seattle, WA
Real Estate Brokers - Seattle

Well Done on the closing Leslie. Thank you for the personal BLOG.

We are excited for you and the heartfelt activity in real estate markets clear across the country. All the best to you and your continued success.

Jun 23, 2013 04:17 AM
Ava Anderson
A-Z Atlanta Realty - Snellville, GA
Selling Atlanta from A-Z!

Beautiful story thank you for sharing it with us.

Jun 23, 2013 04:18 AM
Mitch Tempo
Keller Williams Realty Maui - Kihei, HI
Mitch Tempo

I'm actually kind of going through that right now.  One of the homes my client is looking into is a house I've had many memories of as I was growing up.  When the house got remodeled, and put up for sale it brought tears to my eyes to know that the place was getting taking cared of.

Jun 23, 2013 04:32 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I had a similar closing this past week. It's easy to forget how close we get with our clients, how attached we become to each other. And after 22 years there's nothing more satisfying than closing on a property that could only be described as a "jounrey."

Jun 23, 2013 04:54 AM
Joetta Fort
The DiGiorgio Group - Arvada, CO
Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder

Many agents don't bring this kind of heart to work with them.  It's a real shame, if I had friends in Chicago I'd want them to call Leslie Ebersole.

Jun 23, 2013 05:18 AM
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

I think that there are some transactions to which we are very attached for a number of reasons--personal relationships being one of the. Of course, others we are thrilled to complete.

Jun 23, 2013 05:42 AM
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience
Leslie-as well as I'm. What a great reminder of all the personal changes are clients go through when selling and how we need be ever restful.
Jun 23, 2013 06:57 AM
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

I really enjoyed your blog. Sometimes I think we forget that these are not just sellers or buyers but people who allow us to be involved in the most private area of their lives. You did a great job of reminding us of this important fact.


Jun 23, 2013 07:42 AM
Wayne Zuhl
Remax First Realty II - Cranford, NJ
The Last Name You'll Ever Need in Real Estate
Hi Leslie - great reminder that homes are more than just investments and buying and selling a home is more than just a business deal.
Jun 23, 2013 08:10 AM
Maureen Megowan
Remax Estate Properties - - Palos Verdes Estates, CA
Palos Verdes Real Estate Blog

I really love the opportunity to help a friend in this business.

Jun 24, 2013 08:24 AM