As the Creative Social Media person on Team Pelletier Properties, I did not go into this part-time job with the intention of also becoming a Realtor. But our team President, Nick Pelletier, has a way of bringing his inner-circle into his business world, and so here I am, with a couple years of Buyers Agent experience behind me, not realizing at the time just how handy that experience would be while attempting to purchase a home during the craziest real estate market in ages.
My boyfriend Nick (not THAT Nick) and I moved in together to our Fitchburg apartment in March of 2020. Exactly one day later, pandemic hit, and Massachusetts went into quarantine and basically closed down. It took us 2 months to get our bed delivered, many plans were changed or altered , and - oh yeah - BOTH of my parents got Covid. It was as if the universe was laughing at us. "You two wanna live together? How about 24/7 during a global pandemic?! Try that on for size!" For some reason, we decided to laugh back at the universe, and after an extremely challenging year, we ended 2020 by getting married on New Years Eve in a private ceremony at The Groton Inn; attended by over 450 people - LIVE on Facebook.
At the beginning of 2021, we started down the road of house-hunting. I will be 50 years old in 3 weeks, and my husband is 58, and both of us went into this as first-time home buyers. We also had the unique situation of me being a Realtor with Pelletier Properties at Keller Williams Realty; which meant that I could be OUR Realtor.
And now, as of August 26th, which was closing day, we are the proud home owners of an absolutely lovely ranch - with a POOL!!! - in Westminster, MA. It was not an easy road getting here, but it certainly was filled with tough lessons, some of them humorous. Here are just some of the things I learned / discovered while acting as Realtor for my husband and myself; in quite possibly the weirdest market ever.
1. Going to showings of houses is a very different experience when the buyer is your husband. Normally, with my buyers, I will walk them through a house and they will give their opinions about things as we go along. When the buyer is your husband, and yourself, it's fun to let loose and be WAY more candid with MY opinion than I would be with other clients. "What the hell is up with this backyard? It's like a swamp! "
"So, Im guessing we don't want to put in an offer?"
"An offer? They should be paying US to live here!"
2. As a Realtor, I have hosted a LOT of Open Houses. Although its part of the job, it has not always been my favorite thing to do. Now, however, after being on the other side and attending multiple Open Houses as a buyer, I can 100% say that hosting them is way better than attending them, especially during a pandemic. Lines down the block like you're going to see a rock concert. Being rushed through the house with only minutes to make major life decisions, and then being spit out the other end like an assembly line. "I think that bedroom had a closet, but we were sprinting so fast through it, I can't recall. " "That basement smelled moldy - or maybe I just need to wash my mask." "We can take a better look during the inspection - oh wait. There is no inspection. Never mind."
3. If you think Open Houses are challenging, private showings have their own issues. During the pandemic / craziest market of all time, most showings were in 15 minute increments. So if you are even one minute late, or the people who are in there before you are one minute late, its a nightmare. Add to this the homes with complicated driveways, parking issues, and lockboxes that wont open, and it's a race against time to make your way through the home and property. After months of this, we started to get the hang of things, and would pull up to a home and say: "Eh. Its not even worth going inside. I'm not interested." You learn pretty quickly what you like, and what you absolutely do not like.
3. Having your buyer e-signing multiple documents at various times is much easier when they are your husband and often times sitting right next to you.
4. I lost count at how many homes we saw, but I wrote up thirteen offers for us, on thirteen different homes. Each and every home where our offer was not accepted felt heartbreaking to us. There were a handful of homes that we fell in love with, and it was devastating to get that email or that call saying: "Im sorry, but my sellers decided to go in another direction." We started joking about that phrasing, using it in other situations. "I know I said I would be making us a homemade dinner tonight, honey - but I'm sorry to inform you that I've decided to go in a different direction."
5. As a Buyers Agent, I do not enjoy having to call my clients and tell them that their latest offer was not accepted. It's not fun. What's even less fun, though, is having to tell your husband over and over again that the latest house he fell in love with and exclaimed: "THIS is the one, baby! I can feel it!", is not going to be our forever home.
6. The BEST feeling ever is when the listing agent calls me , on our 13th offer, and tells me that her sellers are signing the offer contract right now and that our offer was accepted, and then I get to tell my husband when he gets home. THAT was an amazing feeling of euphoria and accomplishment all rolled into one.
7. When you have an argument with your husband, you still have to take him to see that one house he really wants to see. Our running joke whenever there was any tension was some version of him saying to me: "Well, my Agent isn't meeting my needs today", or me saying to him: "this client is extremely demanding and difficult to work with." We had some good laughs about that.
8. Ive seen enough Lysol cans, disinfectant, masks, and booty shoes to last a lifetime, and possibly longer. You know its bad when you start judging the Covid-related items at each showing. "Oh, look! This house has citrus scented sanitizer wipes, AND they have gloves! We should definitely put in an offer of AT LEAST 40k over asking price!"
9. In the end, all the heartbreaks during home-buying are completely worth it. Somehow, some way, you actually DO end up with the house that you were meant to live in. We are so thrilled with our home purchase, and it is the EXACT perfect house for us and for our life. So hang in there, buyers. It will happen for you, and it will be worth it.
10. Having a great home-buying or home-selling experience is so much about those you work with during the transaction, and I am so lucky to be on this team of awesome people who will do whatever they can and beyond to help. So, as always, with any of your real-estate needs, let us know how we can help!
BONUS FUN: Check out the acrobatics here by President of Pelletier Properties Nick Pelletier. This brings a whole new meaning to the term "flipping a house!"