Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Fabulous 50th

I first met Mary Joan Levin through NAWBO, a women's business group, in about 1989. I clearly remember the day she came up to me and said, "I hope you won't be angry with me…we bought a house." How could I be angry? I knew here husband was a broker, and was delighted for them. But I did tell her if that if they needed help with the sale of their present home to just give me a call.

A couple of months later the call came. They had tried selling the house as unrepresented sellers (aka "FSBO" – for sale by owner) with no luck. Mary asked would I talk with Sidney about listing the house? That was one of the longest listing appointments ever as we covered lots of questions, what ifs, striking and adding clauses to the agreement, and spending a lo
t of time on the big topic of the commission rate.

We finally came to an agreement, and professional travel planners Sidney a
nd Mary Joan took off for Finland or some such place for the weekend. My favorite Levin kid, Brian (Lauren and Eric, you know I love you both!) stayed home in case we had any action.

Well, it turned out that it took longer to list the house than to sell it. We had a contract above list price on Sunday, but I asked Brian not to tell his parents – I wanted to see the look on Sidney's face when I told him what I had done. That Monday I presented the offer to the Levins and stood back like a little kid waiting for applause. (I was still new in the business and was feeling pretty proud of my accomplishment.) Instead, it was more like "let's see if it makes it to settlement." There was no applause, but the contract did hold and we had a smooth settlement.

I know now that Sidney, Mary Joan, Lauren, Eric, and Brian really are my biggest fans. How? Over the years, many of their friends and relatives have bought and sold with me.

Sidney, Eric, Brian, Mary Joan, Lauren and family

No, let me revise that. Sidney and Mary Joan are not clients…they are true friends. They are people we care about, who we share good times and not so good times with. We've been through sickness and health together, and have been there for each other’s support. We've shared laughter and tears, parties and dinners, birthdays and anniversaries.

Sidney and Mary Joan, we are so lucky and honored to be celebrating 50 years of marriage with you and your beautiful family. Mazel tov!!

Lee and Margaret Rome


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