Why I Love My Job – Terry Bell Aby, REALTOR®
I have always loved household furnishings. From dishes to sofas and everything in between, I have very serious ideas about style and function. When I was looking for dishes, the set had to have a pleasing coffee cup – definitely not a mug but also, not a tea cup. I looked for three years to replace the light fixture for my kitchen, 10 years for the bedroom pendant light, and since I moved here 15 years ago I have yet to find the right exterior sconces. To be sure, I do love the thrill of the hunt.
There are so many brave and loving people helping others in this world that I admire like nurses and firefighters and teachers. I hope that in my way, I am truly helping people achieve their dreams. I never have felt I was “selling” anyone a home, but rather helping them navigate the complicated and emotional path to ownership. In some cases I am more of a counsellor and stress management advisor than a sales agent. Clients frequently try to think for both sides of the equation and do not consider that their risk tolerance is not the same as the other party’s. Helping people think about what they can and cannot control is one of my functions. One of my sellers once said “it’s an old house, of course there will be wood rot.” A perfectly reasonable assumption. The wood rot however, will never pass the termite inspection and the buyer’s financing will likely not be approved without a clear report. Fixing the wood rot was a no brainer in the big scheme of things and was not going to be negotiable. Most importantly, I believe in staging! As a consequence, I will jump in to help with the physical labor working alongside clients to make sure we have the best photos. My grey/blue pillow from my own home has appeared in numerous photo shoots and anything I can offer to maximize the online clicks is worth it to get top dollar for them.
Every client is surprised when problems with the sale arise. I am always on the lookout because I know they are coming and it’s only a matter of what new issues will arise and when. In one instance after a hurricane, my buyers were getting close to closing but the neighbor’s tree had fallen on the property they were to purchase. Tree experts were booked up with life threatening emergencies, but this precariously leaning tree threatened their new home. The neighbor was renting the property and reaching the owner was not easy but, through persistence and insistence we got it done in time to close on our scheduled date.
Working with first-time home buyers on a tight budget gives me the opportunity to play auntie and take care of them. Working with middle-aged clients with similar life experiences often creates new friendships. Many of my clients are from among my church friends and working together deepens that friendship as we weather the inevitable storms. I so enjoy out of town clients and showing them the ropes of Charleston. It captured my heart on a long weekend 15 years ago and I hope the same for my buyers. Folks looking for a second home often appreciate the thorough, and prompt follow up to their questions from afar as they negotiate long-distance. I love the interaction and learning about their personalities and why they love what they love about a home.
How could I not love this job?