My Most Important Sale Ever

As I was driving out to do an interview today (check back tomorrow, I think you’ll like it), I saw this home on the left. It had been ages since I’d driven down Parker Road so seeing 620 Parker Rd brought back a flood of memories.

This wasn’t the largest, most expensive, or most beautiful home I’ve ever sold, but to me, it will always be the most important. You won’t find this sale on the MLS because it doesn’t go that far back, but I sure remember because it was my first sale. I sold this home on March 28th, 1999 over 22 years ago. The home looks great now with the new roof, but this is what it looked like back then.

I had just come out of a 14 year career in commercial real estate in 1998 and had started “cold turkey” in residential. I knew absolutely nothing about residential, but because I had my broker’s license from commercial, I figured I could learn this side of the business on my own without joining a real estate firm. In some ways that was a great move and in other ways it stalled my growth, but that’s another story.

Anyway, the owners of this home received one of my postcards and gave me a call. I went to my first listing appointment, toured their home, and listened to what their needs were. Then they asked me how many homes I’d sold in the area. I took a gulp and told them I’d never sold a home.

What seller wants to hear that? They want an agent with experience and not someone just learning the business with their home. All I could do is recount what I’d done in commercial real estate (and I did have a great track record there) and let them know how I planned to market their home.

I guess I convinced them of my determination to sell their home because they decided to roll the dice with me. They only gave me a short three month listing period because I was new but I understood. I jumped at the opportunity and started marketing their home.

Unfortunately, we were in a slow period for home sales at the time and I never got as much as a second showing, much less an offer. About a week out from the listing expiration, I worked up the courage to go talk to them in person and ask if they’d extend my listing.

The sellers had received weekly reports from me so they knew I wasn’t sitting on my hands, but still, I hadn’t gotten the job done for them. And being a new agent, it was only natural for them to think I didn’t know what I was doing. I fully expected them to fire me and select a seasoned agent, but for some reason they didn’t. And for that I will be forever grateful.

We renewed the listing agreement and oddly enough a week later we had an offer and closed on the home about 30 days later. All I needed was that first sale to build my confidence and allow me to convince other sellers I could get their homes sold for them. It’s the most important sale I’ve ever had and the one that means the most to me.