A closing is an interesting thing. Usually someone is getting paid (besides us)! Someone may be saying goodbye and moving on. A new person is saying hello to a new home. So there are many reasons to think there could be some happy vibes from a closing! But sometimes, closings make me very sad.
Such an occasion arose recently when I helped a great seller client sell their modest home to a new first-time buyer. The sellers came to me after a failed attempt with a different agency, and we hit it off from the start and work very well together.
The house didn't sell right away. It took a while to find the right buyer. When that buyer finally appeared, it happened that it was the daughter of a great local agent that I have worked with before and totally appreciate for his honesty and forthright manner. He's definitely got an edge if you approach him the wrong way; but fortunately we've always gotten on well together.
Because the buyer was his daughter, this agent wanted to do things above and beyond so that the house would be even nicer for her when she closed than it was. Such a dad! So we (the sellers, myself, and the agent) had quite a bit of interaction along the way - and everyone was in such a cooperative mood throughout - I was really happy that this agent found OUR listing to be the one for his daughter's first home. That was pretty special - in fact, it's been one of the best feeling deals that I can remember to date because of this family connection. The sellers bent over backwards to make things easy for this agent/dad to carry out his plans, which involved some substantial work! There were two sheds that had to be dealt with - one got moved, and one got demolished by this agent/dad in one day. You can see that he just wanted it all to work. He had new carpets installed to surprise his little girl - we kept that a secret until the end. And he found a bunch of furniture to add to the house so that she wouldn't have to spend too much on furnishings - he had this all delivered the day before she moved in.
So I went to the closing that morning with a bottle of wine for each of them - agent and daughter, because I was feeling very happy and was looking forward to that moment, to see them together with my clients in a moment of celebration.
Unfortunately, and very sadly, there was no one at the closing that morning besides us, and the attorney for the buyer. We were informed that the agent had been taken ill that Monday, and was in the hospital. I had not had the forethought to confirm with him the night before that he would be at the closing - it was just an assumption in my mind, and that he would be laid up was not a possiblity! So, I sat there with my clients, and we closed the deal, but it was with the heaviest of hearts and with so much sadness, after remembering all he had done, and all of the great intention and effort he put into this little house for the sake of his daughter, for her to be safe, secure, and happy in a home of her own.
Life is cruel sometimes and this certainly is one of those moments when it just isn't fair. I will hope to see my friend again when he's back on his feet and has had some time to recover. I hope I will close several more great deals with him. In the meantime I have been reminded once again to be thankful for all the good things people do every day - I am ever thankful for the people, like this great agent, who show me what it's all about.