Typically I use my last article of the year to make my predictions for the year ahead. But this year I felt compelled to do something a little different. As I was preparing to close out my books for 2023, I realized the number of transactions I had brokered was down from prior years, no thanks to soaring interest rates that derailed an already compromised market. Then I began to recall the details of those transactions and found solace in knowing that several were somehow some of the most meaningful of my eighteen-year career in Real Estate. Therefore, in my last article of 2023, I will reflect on the year that is coming to a close, and two of the transactions that remind me why I do what I do.
The Serendipitous Transaction
When I arrived that first day, Mr. and Mrs. Homeseller were emotional and visibly overwhelmed with the prospect of packing up 35 years of memories. They were grieving the recent deaths of both of her parents, whose home she had inherited, yet also required significant purging before they moved in. We agreed to an off-market listing that would afford them flexibility with preparations and dates…six months they predicted. That day, Mrs. Homeseller pointed out to me the cat door that was there when they bought the home; at the time, she considered it a ‘sign’ and hoped the next owner would appreciate it.
Around the same time, newlyweds Mr. and Mrs. Homebuyer began their search, yet they preferred not to close for six months due to an existing lease. I suggested they see my off-market listing because the timing would align. Aside from checking off all their boxes, Mrs. loved the cat door; she considered it a ‘sign’ and they ultimately bought the house.
Throughout the transaction, I witnessed a bond develop between the parties. They even exchanged phone numbers so they “didn’t need to bother me” when they wanted to discuss ‘house’ things. During one of our many social visits at the house, Mrs. Homebuyer confided that she may not be able to have children due to a newly-diagnosed medical disorder. We all prayed together that day. The day before closing, the buyers requested we all meet at the property. They wanted us all to know they were expecting. We all cried together that day and Mr. and Mrs. Homeseller exclaimed, “We are going to be grandparents!” The new owners recently delivered a healthy baby boy. And the cat door is still intact.
The Golden Bachelor Transaction
I sold “Big T” his house about twelve years ago when he was newly-divorced and starting a new life in an area that was unfamiliar to him. “T” and I stayed in touch over the years, and he would often attend holiday celebrations with me and my family. When “T” was recently diagnosed with dementia, the decision was made for him to move to Florida and be near biological family. The expectation was that the Florida sun would restore “T” to his former debonair self.
Until then, someone had to sort, purge, donate and pack the floor-to-ceiling collections of books, vinyl records, military memorabilia and Swiffer Wet Sets. From personal experience in dealing with someone with dementia, I knew that someone needed to be me.
For the next five months, I sorted; I purged; I donated and I packed. I listened to the same stories about “T”’s time in the Navy and at IBM over and over again. For the next five months, I watched this once formidable 6 foot 6 inch retired Naval Cryptologist and IBM Executive regress to a frightened child who made no apologies for his frequent temper tantrums. Despite the tough days, I was grateful for every day I had with T. I am a stronger, more patient person because of him and was honored to facilitate his move to paradise where he spent the final days of his fulfilled life.
So as I reflect back on 2023, I realize that I welcomed one new life and said good bye to another. Yet, as a Real Estate Agent, I was somehow instrumental in bringing happiness to their worlds….and that is why I do what I do. As I say good bye to another year, I wish peace, joy, good health and happiness to all in 2024!
Judy Boyle, Realtor®
Proudly serving the Boroughs and beyond with honesty and integrity since 2005.