Once again, our colleague Debbie Reynolds, the "real" Debbie Reynolds, real estate agent in Clarksville,Tennesee, is challenging us to think about what we consider a Big Deal or Not a Big Deal. Check out her post, and then share your story with us.
For me, my Not A Big Deal/Big Deal, is one of the most memorable sales I've had, and began early in 2010.
One day as I was in our local Trader Joe's (where I always run into someone I know) a neighbor who receives my monthly newsletters was shopping; we stopped to chat briefly and she said, "I've been meaning to call you......"
We set a time to meet and I learned what was weighing on her mind. She and her husband are getting up in years, and were concerned about where one of their sons would live when the time came for his parents to leave their family home. Their son is in his forties, is employed, but has challenges in life that would never allow him to advance to a point where he could have secure housing - our area is simply too expensive.
When I learned what their top dollar was I had that sinking feeling that perhaps I wouldn't be able to find a place where the son would feel comfortable since it had to be near his job and near family and friends. Rarely do condos hit the market at a price anywhere close to what they could afford.
Lo and behold, that summer a studio condo came on the market for $175,000, above their means. I presented their best offer for $150,000, but it was turned down. We brainstormed how to raise additional money--perhaps siblings could each chip in a bit? No, everyone was feeling the financial strain and couldn't take on anything additional. That wasn't an option.
We waited; nothing else came on the market. It seems like John (not his name) would be out of luck. But our condo market was slow, and the condo sat.
One day, early in January 2011, the list price dropped to $170,000; the parents were able to increase their offer to $155,000. I presented it, reminding the agent and seller that we were the earlier offer, that it was perfect for this buyer, that it likely was his only opportunity, that they would have their money in a matter of weeks if they accepted the offer and that they would have the good feeling of knowing they made a huge difference in the life of both parents and son.
It worked! Offer accepted! Transaction closed! Son excited! Parents' worry was lightened. John had secure housing for the future.
Except for a vacation cabin on leased land, this remains the smallest transaction, price-wise, that I've handled. Emotionally, it is one of the biggest, and brings a smile to my face to this day. There's no better feeling than knowing that you helped great people in a challenging situation.
Big Deal or No Big Deal -- you decide.