My very first sale

I was so green.

I was 100% dedication and 0% experience.

It was the spring of 2005.  A friend of mine knew I had just gotten my license and he was wanting to buy a house.

We looked at several houses.  It was fun using my electronic key to get in a listing.  This was back in the day when realtors dressed more like bankers, so many sellers didn’t know who was the realtor, since both the buyer and I were wearing shorts and sandals.

I had no idea at that time how seeing those houses and being in those neighborhoods would give me the type of experience I have today.  Every house I go in just makes me a better realtor.

My buyers decided to make an offer on a house off of Liberty Road.  It was late in the evening and this was back in the day when we had to get signatures in ink.  I called the listing agent and told her that I was going to write an offer.  She told me that her seller was an elderly lady in a different time zone, so I could get it to her the next day.  I was so excited.  I slept like it was Christmas Eve and I was 8 years old.  I woke up early the next day to get signatures on all the documents.  I went by the husband’s office on Buckhorn Drive, then went to the wife’s work at Julius Marks Elementary.

I was finally done.  I dropped off the offer at the listing agents office and left her a message that it was there.

About an hour later, she calls to tell me that she had already sold the house because she didn’t hear from me.  I was devastated.  I talked to my managing broker about this.  I gave her all the details of the conversation.  She said that it sounded like the listing agent had both sides of the sale, meaning she had the buyer as well as the seller, and my offer would have ruined her plans of getting a bigger check.  I found it hard to believe that an agent would put their needs over their clients because getting multiple offers is always good for the seller.

I went home, slightly doubting what my manager told me was true.  Then I looked on the PVA to see where the tax bill was sent.  It was sent to the seller in Bowling Green.  When I thought about the listing agent’s comment about the time zone, I began to believe that my manager was right.  Bowling Green is in a different time zone, but it is an hour earlier there than it is here.

I waited patiently until that house sold to see who the buyer’s agent was.  Sure enough, it was the listing agent.  To this day, I have no respect for her.

My people kept looking and finally bought a townhouse.

So we get to the closing day.  I am a nervous wreck.  I go to my office to pick up the buyer’s earnest money deposit and am told that they needed a 48 hour notice.  LOL, they rushed to get it to me.  Something else I learned quickly.

We go to the closing.  It was one of those 5:30 on a Friday closings where everybody is in a hurry.  Once it was all done, I was so relieved and proud to have closed my first sale.  As I sat in my car going through the paperwork to make sure I had everything I needed, I realized that the closing attorney did not give me the commission check.  She also did not take my buyer’s check for the down payment.

It’s been over 13 years and several hundred sales since all this happened.  I’ve learned a lot about neighborhoods, negotiating and human nature.  It’s given me the gut feeling that only comes from experience, just like my manager had.  Her name was Susan. She was a huge help to me when I was a newbie.  She always told me I had what it takes and was always available for advice.  I learned a lot from her.  She passed away from an aneurysm several years ago.  I still miss her.

I feel a little vulnerable sharing how green I was back then, but I was just sitting here thinking about how far I have come.  When I work with a new agent who is just as green, I think back on this time in my career.  It gives me the patience to let them learn the same way I did.

2 thoughts on “My very first sale

  1. Hey John,

    A similar thing happened to me. Back in the mid 90’s when I moved to Florida, I owned a house in Lexington. I hired a property manager/real estate agent to manage the rental for me.

    A year later, the tenant found by the agent was vacating. I discovered the tenant had inquired about buying my house but, the agent told him I’d never sell. She neither informed me of his interest, nor broached the subject of a sale with me. Instead, she sold him one of her listings, in the same development just down the street from my property. She only admitted to it after I asked her about it and, she had a signed contract for her listing. Wonder if it’s the same agent?



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