But I Thought You Just Showed Pretty Houses to Nice People

By on 6 September, 2011 in Real Estate, Sandra Nickel with 0 Comments

The above sentiment neatly describes how many naïve folks regard the life of a REALTOR — one of “working the hours you choose” and having a wonderful time doing it.

Today I’d like to share you with bits and pieces of a real week in the life of a working real estate agent. Then you decide — glitz and glamour or agony-to-ecstasy. The names have been changed to protect the privacy of those described.

My clients had a wonderful house. The home had a wonderful resale history, always bringing top dollar in a relatively short period of time. It is one those houses I would have bought for myself had I not already had a home I loved and no time to move. In fact, I loved it so much that I was probably not totally objective in recommending our initial market price.

As a result of my over-enthusiasm and the ongoing decline in demand for more expensive homes, the house took over a year to sell. At 11-plus months we finally found a buyer — someone who fell head over heels in love with the place from day one. It’s just that kind of house.

We worked our way slowly through the process, holding our collective breath (sellers and I) because we knew the appraisal could be a problem. But no. So … whew. I was on a real high when the file went to the closing attorney. Thank goodness for Charles Edmondson! When faced with a problem, he has the determination of a bulldog matched, fortunately, with the negotiating skill and finesse of an only child of doting parents. And we HAD a problem — a lien that could have killed the deal.

It was not until a couple of days ago that I learned this sale — so important to the sellers and, frankly given the state of the economy, to me as well — was going to close after all. And it did, just the other day.

Meanwhile, “back at the ranch,” I’d been working with a financial distressed property owner since mid-June to negotiate with her lender an opportunity to sell the house for a short payoff (less than owed). She and I had invested literally a couple of working weeks gathering data and paperwork for the mortgage company.

Two days ago it looked as if we were home free. And then came a dreaded phone call:  One last bit of information surfaced and we were right back at square one — no approval. And this poor seller is staring at foreclosure in less than month.

It’s been a week of agony and ecstasy, all right. A roller coaster of emotion coupled with  appointments in the very early morning and “after hours,” as well. A typical week in the life of a REALTOR. So if you’ve been thinking about “trying real estate because it’s a ticket to easy money and copious free time,” think again!

Sandra Nickel has been listing and selling residential real estate for over 29 years, most with an intense focus on Montgomery’s Midtown neighborhoods. Sandra serves on the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless, the Cloverdale Business Coalition, Historic Southview, the Volunteer and Information Center, Landmarks Foundation and her own neighborhood Garden District Preservation Association.

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