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Real Estate Fairy Tale

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

Every once in a while, the stars really align and it seems as though perfect buyers come along to buy a house in a neighborhood that seemed to be destined for them. I know this might sound kooky, but stay with me. Maybe it’s just that I was especially struck by these buyers' level of engagement and excitement to participate in the home buying process when things were absolutely nuts in our market. Granted, they were moving from out of state, but this makes it harder in many respects. They didn’t know the area. They didn’t understand what due diligence was. They were newbies!

These special clients decided to move from NY, where they had raised their family, to the Triangle because their son and his family were moving to be closer to his wife’s family. Already, I thought this move was admirable. So, we toured several houses. They were good investigators. They asked the right questions. They were strategic and organized. And, then they had to act very quickly when a house that caught their attention had a deadline a couple of hours away. They ended up getting this house under contract.

During the home inspection process, one especially concerning item was discovered. Before submitting a formal repair request, I communicated with the agent and had assurances the owner was prepared to address it. We all experienced such relief, and instantly the buyers had so much respect for the owner. They thanked her repeatedly.

Realtor handing keys to a new home owner

We then learned that the owner was in assisted living and it was her daughter who was organizing the sale of the house where her mother had lived for many years. As the closing date approached, the buyers asked if it would be alright to write the owner a letter. The day of settlement, I passed along this letter to the daughter who shared it with her mother. The new owners spoke about why they loved the house. Its light. Its layout. Room for the piano. The back deck which abutted natural area that reminded them of NY. It was lovely.

And it got lovelier. When the new owners arrived after driving down from NY, they learned their moving truck was running behind. Luckily, they had somewhat prepared for this and had brought with them an air mattress. While they waited several days for their belongings to arrive, they began to meet the neighbors. The neighbors shared stories of how the former owner had been such a presence in the neighborhood. A good friend. How she had helped them get oriented when they moved in. How she cared for her house with great pride. They brought the new owners items to borrow until their things arrived. They brought meals. They made themselves available. They invited them to play pickleball.

The new owners were so moved by these acts of kindness and complimentary words about the former owner that they wrote another letter. This time they relayed all of these kindnesses that they had experienced and the amazing sentiments neighbors shared about the former owner. They said they felt even more connected to this house and promised to be good stewards. And, they asked if they might continue communicating with the former owner and visit her for lunch one day soon. Maybe now you see what I mean about the stars aligning. A real estate fairy tale perhaps. But an experience that has brought increased meaning and purpose to what I do for a living and reminded me of the opportunities for connection and continuity when one owner leaves a house and another enters.

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