In the course of my life in real estate, I have walked over the thresholds of literally thousands of houses, into the homes of complete strangers. (I should stop here for a minute and point out that literrally thousands of people have let a complete stranger (me!) into their homes as well).  We all deserve a medal for bravery or a slap upside the head for being foolhardy, I guess.

So I get to meet a lot of people.  I meet them when they just got a promotion and are moving up, when they have just retired and are moving closer to grandkids.  I meet them when their parents have entered a nursing home or passed away, and I meet them when a marriage is coming to an end.  I meet them when they are racing to beat the stork to a house that fits their growing family.  

I have a lot a respect for all of these people.  They are faced with change, and even when change is for the good, it's not easy.  They let me see their basements and closets and garages...things that people they have known for years have never seen.  They most likely are a lot more anxious about having me come into their home than they let on, and I remind myself that most of the time, most of them would rather be going to the dentist.

Once I was on my way to meet someone who was an engineer.  And a lawyer.  Big reputation.  I prepared with great diligence.  I printed charts and graphs and I knew every thing about every home I was using as a comp for his house.  I studied days on market, list price to sale price ratios, month over month and year over year trends.  I know most of that going forward, but this time I knew it forward AND backward!.

I walked over the threshold ready for a proper grilling, confident, but a little anxious nonetheless.  And what to my wondering eyes appeared?  A human being, just like me.  John had a lovely dog, and a lovelier wife.  And a nice home that he needed to sell. He not only respected all the data, and charts, and graphs, but he respected me, and the time that I spent preparing to meet with him.  

He gave me the privilege of selling that home, and as I got to know John and Mary, I learned that they had children north and children south, and they intended to share their time and their lives with them by having a small home near each of them.  Mary had been through a couple of successful battles with cancer.  They knew how important it is to live the life you want to live, each and every day.  Because life is precious, and the people you love are precious.  That's a very important lesson, but not the first one that John taught me: engineers and lawyers don't just have brains, they have hearts. They can be very special people that make the world a much better place.

Never judge a book by its cover 

~George Elliot