Tales of a Seasoned Broker

The Passover Seder is designed for inclusivity. We proudly declare at the beginning of the meal (in Aramaic) “All that are present should join and eat!” Furthermore, the mere size of the Paschal lamb mandates that we share the meal with more than our immediate families as how else could we finish all that meat? Many of us would prefer a smaller table with just the nuclear family, and during the covid years the Jewish community was shown the beauty of such a Seder. But more often than not, you will find the larger, more unruly version, where multiple families spanning many generations, guests you are so excited to have and guests that you aren’t exactly sure who invited them, all joining together at the proceedings.

This is where the magic happens! This is where diverging opinions, personalities and styles converge in hours of storytelling and questioning which over time form the backbone of community and ultimately lay the foundation for the future of Jewish continuity.

The iconic group of “4 sons” introduces by name the diverse group that makes up this community and the Haggadah is not shy in describing their characteristics. The wise, the wicked, the simple and the one who does not know how to ask. As a Realtor, who is on some level involved in communal building, I meet these people every day. They do not appear to me as children asking their parents questions regarding theology and moral philosophy. They appear as the 4 buyers, each one viewing the process of purchasing a home through the lens of their own upbringing and individual personalities.

jewish family in seder celebrating passover

The Know it All:

These are the buyers who have most likely purchased a home before and are looking to upgrade. They have been following the market by talking every weekend with their friends at various gatherings, family meals and get zillow alerts every time a home comes on the market. It is usually hard to establish accurate home values with this group as they are very caught up with what they have “heard” and are always comparing prices to what their friends have paid. However, with clear explanations and real-time information this group is able to understand such nuances as location, lot size etc. and its impact on home prices. They are ready to move once they feel comfortable!

The First time home buyer :

Patience is essential with this group. It could take many weeks and months of driving around with the purpose of both educating and eliciting from the buyer what is essential to their specific needs. It is key with this group to have them speak with a mortgage broker early on so that when they finally click with a house, I can guide them across the finish line with as few complications as possible.

The Investor:

These are people who know what they want and are familiar with the process. I show them a property and the answer is “yes” or “no.” They can be tough but this group means business, taking much of the emotions that normally come with home purchasing out of the equation.

The In-laws:

This group is the “Rasha” of home buyers. The pure amount of politics and emotions that go into navigating this group can cause anyone years of therapy. The house the daughter in-law wants they don’t want to pay for. The house they do like the kids don’t think is in the right area. You meet this group all together, but once the showing is over the side phone calls begin. First it’s the father in law complaining about prices, then it’s the “child” complaining their parents just don’t understand. Eventually this could end up with even more family members getting involved to try and make peace between all the different factions. This deal will usually go all the way to closing where the whole thing might promptly fall apart over a $200 credit.

At the end of the day, much like our Seder, all of the above buyers (including the in-laws) bring their own qualities to the “table” and help contribute to the building of our flourishing and diverse community. Stay tuned for next week’s article entitled “The Four Sellers.” Next year, if not in Jerusalem, “The Four Brokers!”

Nechama Polak is the Broker of Record and Owner of  V&N Group LLC located at 1401 Palisade Avenue in Teaneck, New Jersey. Send your thoughts and comments to nechamapolak@gmail.com or call 201 826 8809