Forgive me. I know it's not particularly "green," but can I just state for the record, that I am NOT a big fan of "drip irrigation?" (Yes, I am aware that it conserves water and that it is highly efficient.) Still, I prefer soil damp enough to welcome "volunteers" to my well-loved, but often chaotic garden. (How else would Foxglove magically reseed each spring?) Besides what barefoot kid ever ran through a drip system on a warm summer day? (In hot, hot, HOT Sacramento, we not only played in the sprinklers, we joyfully splashed in the gutters too - much to our mother's dismay!)
Moreover, I need to know that when I move a wilting hydrangea from a sunny location to a shadier spot, the sprinkler system is broad enough to accommodate my every gardening whim. (Some people move furniture - I move plants. Heave, Ho! ) Unfortunately with drip, I only realize there is a problem when thirsty shrubs begin to die off and by then they are often so stressed, there is no coming back.
Every Realtor I know has a client or two that kind of "drips" slowly along as they judiciously tend to their garden. (In fact, we typically have several simultaneously in the pipeline.) They check in every once in awhile when something really interesting catches their eye or when a neighbor's home comes up for sale on their block. These low-key buyers are not truly committed to the marketplace just yet, but if the right property should come along at the right time, they are liable to make a move. Then just as suddenly, you may not hear from them for months. Que sera, sera - there's no rush so it's easy to accommodate their more laid-back style. (The difficulty here lies in unexpectedly discovering a home that strikes their fancy, but then not being prepared enough to actually compete with real strength.)
More motivated clients require full saturation. Like the golden poppies liberally sprinkled along my garden paths, they are looking to germinate as quickly as possible, are working within a specific timeline and have set goals firmly in place. The more attention and information I send them, the better. They not only attend the Sunday Opens with regularity, but frequently head out on Monday and Thursdays as well for Broker's Tour. They meet me for private viewings whenever I call and align themselves with an experienced mortgage broker as quickly as possible. (NOT an online lender.)
If they need to sell their current home before purchasing the next one, it is already on the market or ready to come on with scarcely a moment's notice (they are purging as you read this). In some cases, they may even sell first and rent a temporary residence until the right home presents itself. When it does, they are more than ready to compete; they are primed for quick and decisive action! Heave, ho!
Whether slowly assessing the market, or coming at it full speed, whatever your style, it is my job to meet your goals in the time frame that works best for you. Not ready yet? That's ok too. I can help you prepare today, should you wish to make a sudden impromptu change down the road. Whether dripping along or moving at lighting speed, it's never too soon to construct a road map as you consider a move.
Some of you will require months, if not years of planning before you commit to moving UP (or down) while others will engage for just a few short weeks before plowing full steam ahead. Some clients come and go . . . and come back again and all of it works with good communication. (Great gardens grow over time. . .)
Remember that the more feedback you give me with respect to how you wish to proceed, the type of communication and frequency you require (or desire) and the immediacy of your intentions, the better I am at meeting your needs and helping your garden grow. Whether it's clarifying your goals, refining your search or reassessing your dreams, I am here to help you plan a viable strategy that makes sense for you now - and later. Heave Ho!
Let's plant the seed!
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 14 years and has published more than 500 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.