Those of you who know me personally, know that I am a planner. As I get older, I’m trying to be less of a planner and leave more to serendipity. Easier said than done, as most of my systems are already in place: tried and true. No one likes a life too planned out. Besides, just when you think you have it all under control, life is sure to throw a curve ball. So, no new resolutions without looking back and honoring what happened, assessing what worked, and learning from what didn’t.
This year I specifically steered my business towards sellers given how strong the seller’s market has been for most of the year. More on that to come. I helped a wonderful Queen Anne family leave their beloved block and move across the pond to the Eastside. I helped two other families move to the Other Coast. One family I had worked with for the fourth time. I was honored to be referred to a wonderful couple, who had a home on Highland with the most breathtaking and captivating view. I helped them sell and relocate out of the City to start a wonderful new chapter that I am so envious of. I had a listing catch on fire between mutual agreement, and the appraiser arriving! I helped a past client secure an investment property on the Hill. I found a co-listing agent in Gig Harbor to list the waterfront home of one of my dearest friends, who moved out of state to be closer to their family. There was only person I helped who was neither a repeat client, nor a referral. He ended up being the most delightful gentleman whom I met in passing, ironically enough in the same parking lot of a condo I sold two years ago. He had kept my flyer for when he was ready to sell. I was referred by a past client to a couple who had just fired their agent after they had been given very bad advice, and no service to speak of. They’d missed the market and let an excellent offer slip through their hands. They reached out to me after the market stalled in the fall, just as I was about to go on vacation. I called in trusted re-enforcements, got their home restaged, re-photographed, and sold in a week! I had friends of my daughter, and a Team Member of BirdFruit, who I sponsor, relocate to Gig Harbor. I found a trusted colleague to assist them in finding their first home. Those of you who follow me on FB or Instagram, know the team has several Diane Terry cheers! I met with some past clients to learn they’d married, had a son, and felt they needed a little more breathing room. When asked where they wanted to move to, I learned they really loved where they were. As I asked more questions, I found out that their neighbor was getting ready to put their home on the market. It was everything they dreamed of, however they could not afford to get in a nasty bidding war. I was able to secure the house for them before it hit the market. Finally, I helped the most wonderful family on QA move up into a larger house on a coveted street. I also had the honor of selling their longtime home, where they brought home their three babies. I was honored to be a part of each of these stories.
2018 was mostly listings for me, except for two Buyers. I expect 2019 to reflect more of a balanced, sane market. It will be far from a Buyer’s market, as we still lack the inventory to call it that. When asked if I am worried, I can honestly say, “not at all”. Will we all have to work a bit harder? Yes! I recently heard someone say that Seattle’s market has been akin to driving the interstate, as though we were on the Autobahn. We are just going to have to go the speed limit! I am OK not having to tell 11 parties they didn’t get the house and advising a Buyer they must do all but stop short of giving their first born, to be a successful bidder on a home. We could use a little breathing room. Buying a home is a huge decision requiring a lot of due diligence. I, for one, will be happy to allow Buyers that space. Our local economy is still as diversified and healthy as they come. Keep scrolling to read the Economic Update from Windermere’s Economist, Matthew Gardener.
I got trained this year by Rajeev Nagaich, an elder law attorney in his Aging Options Program. I feel that as the population in general gets older, my past client’s needs will need to be met. This fall I offered an Aging Options Seminar, and it was very well attended. I hope to do it again in the spring. Even the grumpiest husband who was not happy to be sitting in a conference room at the Silver Cloud on a Saturday, took the time to call me and thank me for putting on a very informative, provocative seminar. We are all going to age and die. Some of us are going to do it while being less of a burden on others. It is all a matter of choice. To prepare or not!
Aside from business, life has been grand! We feel very blessed to have our daughter living in Seattle. It allows us to see her often for dinners, and it allows Mr. Fox (aka my husband) plenty of opportunities to ski, hike, and bike with her. My mother is still vibrant and healthy. She even pried herself away from bridge tournaments and took off for ten days to travel to Japan on her own. I took a lot more time off this year, which was one of my goals. By a lot more time off, it was probably only two weeks, but for me that is a lot! I enjoyed time in Napa with Mr. Fox. We went to The French Laundry; which was on my bucket list. It lived up to all the hype. I sponsored the Lake Union Rotary Happy Hour again this year in August. We were able to raise an unprecedented $63,000 plus for YouthCare. It is such a worthwhile organization that supports homeless youth, which has become a huge issue in our city. Here’s an organization with programs that have been proven to work. More importantly, it is getting Youth off the streets, educated, and trained for employment. What could possibly be more important? I would rather be able to reach them while young and prevent them from going down the wrong path than to have my tax dollars go to adult homelessness, which is so chronic and overwhelming.
I am most grateful for my friends, colleagues and clients both past and present. Without you, I could not live my dream, of working for myself. It is such a gift to not work for “the man”. I get to pick and choose who I work for, which is a gift. For anyone who has slogged away at a job that sucked at their soul, you know what I mean.
Finally, on a very personal note, I hit Level Six or Sixty in 2019. I thought I would hate that, but quite the contrary. I think I will live Level Six as a Badge of Honor! Each year I work on three things that I can strengthen in my character. I think I did that well this year. I lost yet another dear friend this year, Debby Shey Harding. She was like another mother to me. Debby showed me what a generous, giving spirit lives like. She was an amazing mother and business woman. She had the ability to make everyone feel like they were SO special. I was terrified but honored to be able to speak at her packed memorial this spring. A big lesson she taught me, if you have something nice to say to someone, don’t put it off! You might not have a tomorrow with that person, so do it today! She was so kind, generous, and positive. I strive to be more like her every day!
Here’s to hoping 2018 was all that you had hoped for! If it wasn’t, I hope you were able to make the most of it and conquer your adversity. Plan for success in 2019 but leave some room for some serendipity! You never know what is about to come your way! The Neighbors Will Be Talking…