(Written in March.) I sat in my car outside a pretty downtown house that had just been listed for sale. The ploughs have pushed a lot of snow to the curb lately and I had to mount one of those abrupt slump-faced piles in order to leave room for traffic to get past. It felt a bit like I was in a very small jet, banking steeply over some northern outpost. Or the surly star of a new Jeep commercial.
But really it was just another day at the office. Buyer clients of mine had offered on the house, and I had just presented their offer to the owner and their realtor. Parked just ahead of me was a colleague, hammering away at his Blackberry, by the look of it, and behind me another agent from my downtown office. All three of us had just said our bit, and done our best to persuade the sellers that our offer was the best offer.
After a short wait I found out that I’d lost that argument, and so I drove off to call my clients and to pick up my son from a birthday party at the bowling alley. Later in the day I sought out some feedback from showings at other properties I have listed, and then, after supper, I sent off a few emails. This morning, as I write this, I’m printing off listing papers for a house on Pine St.
All of the above is my long-winded way of saying, It’s busy out there. All this snow and ice might suggest that our winter has some real staying power this year, but my escalating phone bills, and the real estate signs that are sprouting in the dozens on city front “lawns” every day, say to me that the spring real estate market has arrived.
Which is a blatant-enough pitch for your business, of course, and you should feel free to call me to list your house, or to help you find one (actually, to hell with “feel free”, here’s hoping you feel driven, compelled to get in touch).
But this article is also me admitting to some surprise at the speed with which the market has come alive this year. We had family in town for Christmas, and my partner’s brother asked when I expected to get busy again. This was on December 27th and I told him I thought it would be about a week into the new year. But the calls started that same day and I’d written three offers before year’s end (none of them came together, incidentally, but that’s part of the business). And now we’re into February and at this point I don’t expect a proper day off until schools shut up shop for the summer in July.
I’m okay with that. I knew what I was signing up for. And the life of a middle-aged real estate agent is a pretty fine one. I spend a lot of time in my car, listening to my music. Or meeting new and interesting people. Which sounds awfully trite, but it’s true. It’s satisfying work and it’s frustrating work. Sometimes all within a single hour. It’s even exhilarating some days, though usually that’s the day before the day marked by some mad encounter leaves me scratching my head, or wanting badly to scream.
It’s unpredictable work, that’s the end-point for this latest piece, and that’s a large part of its appeal to me. Much as I’d rather not be sitting roadside at 45 degrees and wondering how the hell to bring my coffee to my lips without pouring it all over the door, I’d also take that predicament over a punch-in punch-out desk job any day.