Thankfully the BIG BASH is behind me. Can I just say, "I'm bushed!"
Every few years I decide to open my home and my garden to clients and friends, AND clients who have become friends, AND friends who have become clients, AND potentially new clients, AND . . . (well, you get the picture). It's both an opportunity to personally thank my network for all their unwavering support, and a reminder that I still exist!
This year, I specifically targeted families with young children as I had decided to rent a GIANT move screen for a private showing of Pixar's, The Incredibles at my first ever - Camp Gardner Starlight Cinema.
Unfortunately, I had picked a weekend jammed packed with other conflicting events here in town, including a tri-school fundraising party, so the "no's" were coming fast and furious with barely a "yes" among the crowd.
"Nobody likes me," I complained to my twin sister over the phone, "I don't think anyone's coming to my party and I'm way too old to feel like I'm not one of the 'popular kids' in school . . ." (Really? Someone call this girl a whaaambulance.)
Jill politely listened to my high-octane neurosis for a few moments and then compassionately (but firmly) said: "Drop the rock, get out of your way, trust the process, and have faith in the outcome . . . it will be fine; it always is." (Jill's ALL about tough love. Maybe she should consider a career in Real Estate?)
Mind you, this isn't just good advice from one sister to another, it's good advice for life - and as it so happens, it's really good advice for Real Estate - in particular.
In what is, truly a unique marketplace; one where sustained disappointments are often part of the drama (believe me, multiple bidding wars aren't the norm in Dallas, Texas) TRUSTING in the process and believing that everything will work out in the end, can be very difficult to master. Or as another friend so eloquently put it, "If it's for you, it won't get by you." (Okay, I LOVE that kind of faith and certainty.)
Whether you are "Zen" enough to truly embrace such a philosophy is another matter altogether (admittedly, I'm often NOT), but I have learned that when I let go of expectations, it takes a tremendous amount of anxiety OUT of the equation and opens up a whole new world of possibilities. (What a relief.)
AND although the market has definitely favored Sellers as of late, it doesn't necessarily follow that Sellers are immune to feelings of anxiety as a result. In fact, I might argue that Sellers actually often exhibit MORE anxiety than do Buyers, especially if they lost a great deal of equity in their homes over the past several years and are now counting on this much-improved marketplace to make them whole once again. (Depending on their level of debt, this may or may not be possible.)
The truth is, that while Buyers tend to feel gratitude for their agent's guidance - no matter the outcome - Sellers can, and often do, feel far more conflicted as they struggle to let go of "the dream", even when the result has positively outperformed their expectations. (Drop the rock.)
"Trust the process - everything will be fine; it always is."
As it turns out, my anxiety-producing shin-dig ended up being far better attended than the RSVP's would have lead me to believe, and WAY more fun than I had possibly imagined (Whew, I'm still recovering). It was a joy to host friends, neighbors, and colleagues in my home for a change and to share what turned out to be a truly magical evening under the stars. In a word, it was simply "Incredible."
Thank you to those of you who came and to my faithful sister Jill, not only for her emotional guidance, but for all the physical help by way of cooking, cleaning, serving . . . (I owe you MORE than one.)
Maybe I'll make this an annual event (that's just crazy talk) but whatever the function, whatever the challenge, I will ABSOLUTELY try to have more faith in the outcome. Isn't it just easier that way?
How can I help you?
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 15 years and has published more than 600 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.