As a realtor, I see a lot of houses. I know the good, the bad and the ugly of Toronto neighbourhoods, and I know the impact a neighbourhood has on a homeowner’s life. I know how to spot a good house from a bad one, what to worry about about in a home inspection and what to look for in scary basements. I know how much houses are worth and I can easily spot a good investment.
Yet in the the hundreds of homes I’ve sold and the thousands of homes I’ve seen, I forgot what it actually feels like to be a Buyer.
Last night, I became a Buyer.
I knew it was my house the minute I walked in the door. It wasn’t the incredible design or the crazy attention to detail the architect put into building that house (it’s his own house). It wasn’t the granite counters or the hardwood floors or the open concept living space. It wasn’t the three bedrooms, the four spa-like baths, the 3-car parking, the gourmet kitchen or the ample storage. Surprisingly, it wasn’t any of the things that agents typically put in an MLS listings or on feature sheets.
I knew it was my house because I could picture the life Brendan and I would build there. I could see the parties we would host, the new home office space we would create. I could see us eating a dinner of cheese, baguette and wine in front of the fireplace. I could see the dogs chasing squirrels in the backyard. I could imagine us exploring our new neighbourhood – with more trees, parks and trails than I’ve lived near in 20 years.
I was scared and excited. I am scared and excited.
Last night, I became a better agent.
I didn’t fully appreciate how scary the BREL Buyer Financial Spreadsheets were until those big numbers were ones I’d be responsible for paying. I didn’t realize that my advice of ‘don’t get emotionally attached and fall in love’ is kinda BS and almost impossible when you find The One.
I feel privileged that my clients trust me to stand by their side as they make one of the most important decisions of their lives. As an agent, my job has always been to be the unemotional one, the truth-teller and the negotiator. But having just been in my Buyer’s shoes, I have new perspective and a new understanding.
(wondering where we bought our new house? It’s in Upper Bloor West Village – you can see it here!)