Tales of a Seasoned Broker

I don’t know if there are statistics backing up the claim I am about to make but 30 years of selling real estate should offer me some credibility in making the following observation:

If I were to take a random sample of homeowners and ask if they consider the current house they are living in to be their dream home, or do they think they could do better, I would surely get a mixed bag of answers. But my focus in this article is with those that would answer in the affirmative and express that they are indeed living in their “best home.” I would posit that none of these homeowners fell directly into this “home of their dreams” but landed there through some circuitous route. Whether that includes living in more humble accommodations or even going through a difficult buying experience on the way towards purchasing said home, happy homeowners it seems, need to be dissatisfied somewhere else in order to really enjoy where they currently live.  Apparently human nature insists we first experience something less desirable to allow us to appreciate what comes next. 

I had the opportunity to share this hypothesis with “first time” home buyers who found themselves in a sticky situation. The couple believed that they had found their ideal home and we immediately kicked into high gear to make this purchase happen. I employed all the skills I’ve acquired over the years, and in this case, advised them to meet the price point as well as the terms that I thought imperative to get the deal done.  But as is sometimes the case in life, this transaction did not turn out  the way I had hoped.  There was apparently nothing I could have done to close this deal. The sellers had a change of heart and decided they would be keeping the house in the family.

There was no easy way for me to impart the bad news. I sensed that the buyers were filled with anticipation, envisioning in their minds’ eye the potential new life they would begin with their kids in this home.  But as the emails for mishloach manot and matanot la’evyonim filled my inbox I was reminded that we are only a firecracker throw away from Purim, and that during this time of year, more than any other, we become keenly aware that one is not fully in control of how things will play out. The Megillah story read in the coming days imparts the timeless wisdom of staying true to one’s cause despite adversity as situations often unfold in ways we cannot predict. Did Esther imagine that her travails in the king’s palace with Achashverosh would have led her to the fateful moment of being in a position to save the Jewish people? Things that appear initially designed to cause you harm at the end of the day can bring you salvation. 

Not that buying a home is as tricky as entering the King’s royal chamber unannounced with the threat of instant beheading a possibility. However, in the spirit of the month of Adar and my belief in the hypothesis that one’s search for the perfect home is more of a journey than an arrival, I shared the above thoughts with my buyers as encouragement. As disappointing as this process has been, they are now, according to this calculation, one step closer to  finding the home they are meant to live in.