One or two are alright.
But when you have seen what I’ve seen, you might see them in a new light next time.
The year was 2015, my first year in the business. My first two clients were both internet leads and have turned out to be some of my absolute best clients.
Mr. and Mrs. M. had decided to work with me while I was still working full time at Suncor. Being brand-new to the business is one thing. Going through the courses and learning the Real Estate Act and what the dos and don’ts are is important.
But, servicing a client for the first time is a whole other responsibility in itself.
Mr. M. worked up north back then and Mrs. M was expecting their first child when they decided to find their next home. They were upgrading from a 1 bedroom, 500 sqft apartment to a single-family home to raise their family.
I can tell you, I was very excited to earn my very first commission as an agent. But little did I know where our search would take us.
Like any other buyer, we were looking for value, something with space and above all else something on the outskirts of the city. We started our search in Cochrane and Bragg Creek.
The search started normal, we were looking for single-family homes that fit their budget and space requirements. We had seen a few homes here and there over the weekend (I had to take some personal time off work to show some homes as well). When it's your first client, like any other client, service was the utmost of importance to me.
As we continued the search, we started to venture into Bragg Creek. And for those of you that might not have been, there are a lot of lodges and small mom and pop shops.
But one thing I forgot to isolate out when we started was foreclosed homes. These are properties that for whatever reason have gone to judicial or bank-owned sales.
Booking my showings as I normally do, I organized a viewing of a property in Bragg Creek that was on nearly an acre of land that fits their budget. Great deal right!
This was the last property of the day we had organized to see. It was getting a bit dark out and as you enter the gates, you can already feel something eerie with this home. As we entered the first thing you see is the lodge home. Entering that, the first thing we noticed is that there was no power. It also had no work done to the property and was completely original. It had some very old picture frames of the family and some of the generations before as well.
Now, I’ve seen my share of horror movies centered around a cabin in the woods. You could have easily mistaken this home for one of these cabins. It was perfect for a horror movie, especially without any power throughout the property.
But my clients were optimistic about its potential.
As we continued through the home to the back-yard acre (which attracted my clients) we had seen towards the left a fully built garage, filled with scraps all over. I can remember Mr. M. was optimistic that there was some great value in the scraps to help pay for some of the costs (which btw are not guaranteed to be a part of the sale by the sellers). But as we ventured further into the land, with the sun now down, towards the right of the lot, we were met with something unexpected.
Now I know what you are thinking, common Aly, one or two gnomes are not too bad. I’d agree with you. But over the other half-acre, we did not only see one or two, we must’ve seen over 100 gnomes, placed throughout the land in different scenes like the Shire. All in different scenes.
I’ve seen enough Child’s Play movies to have a scene like this make the hairs on my arms stand on edge. That was the very first thought that popped into my mind. All I wanted to do was get out of there and was hoping my career in real estate wouldn’t always be like this!
But Mr. M saw the value in them and turned to me (as I’m trying to shoo them out of the property) and Mrs. M and asked, “What do you think the market value for these are?”
Needless to say, I told him I would get back to him about that so we can leave as soon as possible.
What I learned that evening, always carry a flashlight and make sure my wife knows where all my showings are all the time!
That’s The Stories for this week. I hope you found it entertaining. Mr. and Mrs. M. purchased a home in Cochrane in 2015 where they had their two wonderful children. They are all up in Sundre now enjoying a bit more space in a rural county. I’ve had the great fortune of being the agent they have referred to their friends and family here in Calgary and the surrounding areas.
If you have a friend or family member that is looking for more information about real estate or has questions about their home, please feel free to share my email with them and we can connect. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s not just a house, it’s home. Let’s chat about how I can help.