The Really Good Moments…


happy holiday momentReal estate has been a very rough business lately. Sometimes I have to remind myself that working in residential real estate satisfies a basic human need for shelter. And don’t we live for the moments when we know we’ve contributed to make a family happy and safe? 

One of my favorite memories concerns a family moving to Atlanta from Salt Lake City, Utah. The family had moved to Salt Lake as a job transfer and had expected good things. Unfortunately, they were dismayed to find that their children had difficulty making friends, weren’t invited to functions and weren’t included in play activities because of their religion. The husband eventually took a lower paying job in Atlanta to allow his family to be near other Catholic families.

The family specifically wanted to move into a new construction neighborhood so that everyone else would also be “new” to the area. We looked at homes and chatted with neighboring homeowners until we found the perfect home. 
Closing was set for two days before Christmas. The buyers had planned on driving from Utah straight to the closing with the whole family in the minivan and “Santa Claus” was hidden in the back of the van. They would be camping out in sleeping bags for their first Christmas in their new home.

A week before closing, I received a call from the on-site agent at the new subdivision asking whether the buyers observed Christmas and what their plans were. I assured her that the buyers were eagerly looking forward to celebrating Christmas and shared their story. She said that the builder would like to give the buyers a Christmas tree since it would be so late after closing and the next day would be Christmas Eve. I thought this was extraordinarily considerate of the builder.

We arrived at the house for the walk-through before closing and I anticipated seeing a Christmas tree stored in the garage. The garage door opened – no Christmas tree. But when we entered the house, there was an enormous, brilliantly lit, fully-decorated Christmas tree in the family room complete with tree skirt, icicles and bubble lights! Candles were on the mantle and cookies in the kitchen! And the builder along with the neighbors we had chatted with while house shopping were peeking their heads through the front door and welcoming the buyers to the neighborhood. Tears and hugs were all around. The wife excused herself to call her mother and relate what was happening. 

I honestly don’t remember if we finished the walk-through. The back wall of the house could have been missing and no one would have noticed. However, I do remember thinking, “and I get paid for this?”

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12 Responses to “The Really Good Moments…”

  1. Mary Ann Varner Says:

    Great story Ann. Too often the human element is left out and sometimes it isn’t the agent guilty of that. Sometimes the client just doesn’t realize how much their agent goes out of their way to assist them. This doesn’t keep me from helping them. More often than not, the appreciation is there. Both client and agent hand shake to a happy close!!

  2. Danthika Borst Says:

    I know exactly how you felt. Tomorrow I am going to be at a closing with my youngest client to date!!!! 25 year old Matt. It is his first home. He has never rented and is leaving his parents home and moving into his first home. There is no down payment gift from his parents. He has saved his money, taken care of his credit and is doing it all by himself. He has shown more responsibility and maturity than most of my older clients!!! I have driven more times than I can count to Commerce but I dont really care because working with Matt has reinforced exactly why I got into real estate.

    • ann bone Says:

      I really like Danthika’s story. I want to congratulate this young man’s parents for raising such a responsible young adult. I’d also give young Matt a hug, but being the mom of a 24-year old, I know he’d cringe from embarrassment.

  3. Dennis Doll Says:

    Yes this business is filled with highs and lows. Thanks for reminding me of the highs!

  4. Sandra Rodrick Says:

    What a wonderful story. I’m trying to type but it’s diffiuclt to see the keys through tears of joy and running mascara! With an industry rocked by the economy, stories of doom& gloom are everywhere but then that’s what makes the news more often. It’s time for more stories like these. I bet every agent has one or two in their memory bank and it’s time to withdraw and share with others. I think we’ll find there’s more good happening out there because of someone connected with real estate than the public is aware of. Not every agent will be a multi-millionaire when it comes to earning big bucks, but every agent will have one or more moments that makes them feel that way and that feeling is a vital key to their real estate usccess. Now, please pass the Kleenex!

  5. Arthur Harris Says:

    Great story Ann, it is good to be reminded why we are in real estate! We should put aside the gloom and doom and really focus on why we do what we do. To help folks realize their dreams of home ownership.

  6. Linda Bates Says:

    Ann, what a warm story…just think if we all pass it forward. If we all had a personal stories of random acts kindness to tell, how great and proud would we all feel for what we do to help people and to be associates with one another.
    I’ll always remember that story.
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Bridgette L. Freeman Says:

    What a great story! We are an insatiable society with short term memory and it’s good to be reminded of the wonderful things that can happen with your clients and/or customers. Most agents chose real estate as a career, because they like people and helping people. There are REAL benefits to helping others and it’s the end result of a happy family, an ecstatic first time buyer or the pride and joy someone feels having reached an important goal.

  8. Tricia Young Says:

    That’s the main reason I got into real estate. I want to make people feel good about their home purchases. I’m still waiting for a moment like that!

  9. Angela Moss Says:

    What an awesome story! Thank you so much for sharing that great moment with us Ann. …… and Thank you for all that you do for the Metro agents. You’re such a blessing to us all.

  10. Ann Mitchell Says:

    Thank you Ann for such a heartwarming reminder of one of the primary things I love about this profession—the opportunity to be an instrument and witness to God’s blessings. Even in business, I do think warmth, respect, and professionalism complement each other smashingly.

    • ann bone Says:

      I agree! I listed and sold for many years and I’m happy to say that this is one of many great memories. Some of the best come from what I thought were “hopeless” situations or situations where bringing something negative to a buyer’s or seller’s attention actually created the opportunity for a great outcome.

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