It’s no secret that I’ve been in the process of moving. First, it was dreaming of finding a bigger and better house in a better school district and neighborhood. Then came the moment to pull the trigger and make the move to call a realtor or broker to start the process.
Let me first start by saying that I’ve always known that my old house was my “starter house.” You know, the house that you start out in, but you don’t spend your entire life there. When I bought the house and moved in, I was 30. I was so proud to have bought something like that with my own hard-earned money.
Over the years, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my house. I always wanted a laundry room, but my old house had a laundry closet. That’s just one of the compromises I made with my first house. I hated that the sellers of my house took the cheap route on many things, such as doing a patchy job on painting the walls, carpet in bedrooms that didn’t match the carpets in their respective closets, and most likely not disclosing certain details of the house.
But I’ve loved the size of the house because it was just the right size for my dog and I when I bought it. I brought my son home to that home, and I said goodbye to my dog in that home. I always tell people that I’ve done a lot of living in that little house over the last 5 ½ years. And it’s true.
What made me decide to move? Honestly, the neighborhood saw a quick downgrade, especially during the pandemic. The neighbors are great, but the neighborhood doesn’t have the same safe feeling that it once did. In fact, I discovered last summer that someone tried to break into my home from the backyard through my bedroom window. I realized this meant that the person would’ve had to go into the yard behind my house to get into my yard. Basically, I felt like my privacy was invaded, and it made me worry for the safety of myself and my son. I couldn’t keep us living like that.
So, I made the decision to do whatever needed to be done to get my house ready to be put on the market when the pandemic was over or close to being over. I had a new swamp cooler installed on the roof, code upgrades performed on my water heater and furnace, and made repairs to the roof and ceiling. I also did my best to properly maintain the rest of the house.
Finding A Good Realtor
Then in the spring, I was speaking with two team members in the office, and I mentioned that I was going to need to look for a realtor very soon. One of my team members spoke up right away with a recommendation. You might be asking yourself why I didn’t call the realtor I used when I bought my first house. I’ll put it this way – she didn’t seem hungry for my business. She also treated me in a way that my money was less green than the next person’s. She just didn’t work very hard for me until the very end. In fact, when I hired her, I didn’t hear from her for two weeks. Then I called her and asked if we were going to look at houses anytime soon. Her response? “Oh, I’ve been waiting for you.” Hmmm. Like I said, she didn’t seem hungry for my business.
I called the person my team member recommended, and I’m so glad that I did! The first time I spoke with her, I dumped a lot of information on her about my old house, what I was looking for in my dream house, and even what my expectations were of her as my realtor. I made a point to tell her, “I know I’m not your only client, and I don’t expect to be. I know that’s unrealistic and unreasonable. But don’t put me on the back burner or treat me like my money is any less green than the next person’s.” I think that took her aback, but she took it to heart and let me know right away that she couldn’t be my realtor due to a recent promotion at work. But she had someone else in mind in her office.
I reiterated to my broker everything I shared with the realtor about my expectations, and I quickly found that they had already met about what I was looking for in a house and what my old house had to offer. We scheduled a meeting for a Saturday and discussed a plan of action on how we’d market my old house and the areas I was wanting to look for my next home.
Being Prepared Goes A Long Way
Something I don’t tell many people but is quickly discovered by anyone who interacts with me is that I greatly appreciate when others come prepared. The moment I sat down for my meeting with the realtor and broker, I saw that they were both prepared and willing to listen to every word that came out of my rambling mouth. I left their office feeling like they were the right choice for the next chapter in my real estate journey.
More To Come!
Stay with me on the journey in this series about moving, including the ups and downs I faced. It’s been a long one and a short one at the same time. You might find some of it helpful or interesting, and some you might find it as me talking non-stop about something that just about everyone does in their adult life. I’m hoping for the former.