Jim and Linda had a long range plan: Prepare their home of thirty years, make repairs, paint, and most importantly sort through everything: attic, utility, closets, storage areas and arrive at the most basic items. They were so thorough they even moved in with Nancy, their daughter's condo, while the work was done. Nearing the finish line, staging, and wanting assistance with review, redo, and double check, they called to say they were soon ready to approach the market, would I come talk with them? I did and they talked and I listened, I asked questions and they answered. They wanted certain features in their next home. Some they knew and some came to the surface as we began the finishing touches on the primary home and started the adventure of finding their next home. The list started with the financial strategy, how to make the best move, to a home with everything on one floor: next having a laundry room with space enough to leave an ironing board set up, a master bedroom with two closets, window in the kitchen, within one mile of groceries( walking),no yard work or just a small green space for flowers, an outside porch or deck, in an area closer to Nancy, and an attached two car garage and the final note, and a surprise, Linda once remarked they had never had a new home where they made all the selections. So, I began looking for new (tricky during the down turn) or superbly remodeled.
Jim and Linda then let me do my work. We met often mainly when I was checking work being done or reviewing together our next steps. After looking at a few condominiums, and then single family, they let me loose. Our plan was when I found a candidate, I would call and they would come.
The staging was well underway because the designer was with them from the beginning, an excellent plan, and we all worked together. I was on the internet and spent hours and days previewing and searching. I found two that were close. They gave us a chance to refine their specifics, the attached garage, emphasis on "attached" was put in the mix, and the second, while in a promising area, something did not feel right
with any of us.
I began taking all the pictures of the house as exterior trim was being finished, new bushes were going in, the new driveway and sidewalk was curing and the utility room,emptied, tools sorted, odds and ends carted off.I wrote all the copy with the list of everything they had done in all the thirty years as far as up fitting, repaired, replaced by year and we discussed and agreed on the asking price. The brochure was finished and off to the printer for proofs. The flowers and a bowl of apples were in place.
Meanwhile, after a couple of days on the road, in and out of houses and attached housing, on the way home, tired and disappointed in my finds, I passed a sign for a new subdivision, seen often as I went up and down the road. This time my voice said, "Turn around and go back." Repeatedly. I did. As I walked through the model home, everything was there. Everything. I called them and asked if I could come over. The next day we went and shortly thereafter, we negotiated the price and began the process of building their new home. And, oh, yes, their house was sold in a couple of days at almost full price. All this during The Great Recession.
Jim and Linda created a situation ready for team work, planning, confidence, openness, respect, appreciation and value for relationships.
Win-win. I am grateful.