Well, baseball season is officially over. At least for the Mariners. All in all, sportscasters would say that the Mariners had a really lousy season. But I disagree. Baseball is a lot like real estate, and the joy is in the moments of the game and the way you feel after you hit your game winning home-run.
Starting to look for a home is like the first game of the season:
You are so excited! You have the entire season (or an abundant supply of homes) ahead of you. You are busy learning the rules of the game, the players and what the experts think the season has in store. You fill up on hot dogs, cold beverages and get in your seat with all the hope in the world. If you are a rookie, this is one of the most exciting but nerve wracking things you have ever done. Much like a ball player that gets to his first at-bat, the first time home-buyer has done all they know how to prepare, but instantly feel like a deer in the headlights when the moment arrives.
Now you have played a few games:
It’s been a few weeks. The Mariners have won a few games and lost a few more. You have been out looking at every house that meets your criteria. Each home you go see is like facing a pitch. Some are balls, some are strikes, and sometimes you get walked. With every home (or pitch) you face, you become a little more familiar with what to expect, and what kind of pitches you like and what kind of homes you DON’T like. The rookie is now becoming a true player in the game. You have enough experience under your belt to know what to expect and you are ready to knock that ball out of the park when you get your perfect pitch.
Sometimes you lose. Miserably:
Each game is familiar, yet different. Even for the best teams, sometimes you suffer a miserable loss. For the first time buyer, this is often when you find the home you LOVE, put in an offer, and get beat out by one of the 18 other offers you were up against. Sadly, there will always be a better baseball team, and there will always be a stronger offer. Part of the beauty of baseball, and purchasing a home, is that it almost guarantees that you will strike out, but you still get up the next day, put on your uniform and get back out on the field. Losing a house you loved can feel like the end of the world, but it is just a part of the game and happens to even the best players.
Your teammates can get traded:
I loved Fernando Rodney. He was my favorite pitcher and one heck of a closer for us for almost two years. But he just stopped doing his job. He lost us more games than I care to admit. So the Mariners traded him. He got fired. I tell this small, yet heartbreaking tale to remind you that you have the power to fire your teammates. If your real estate agent, your lender, or anyone else in this crazy home buying process is allowing the other team to win, you can fire them. This is YOUR ball club, and your home and you get to move players around until you have your perfect team.
And then you have your perfect game:
It might be a hot August evening. You suit up and get out on the field like you have done what feels like 100 times. And then, there it is. The perfect house. The perfect pitch. You are ready. When that pitch (or home) comes your way, you smack the leather off of that baseball and watch, for just a second, it fly into the stands. It’s a home-run. YOUR home-run. You know you still need to run the bases, but you take a long second to soak up that moment.
I have never hit a major-league home run. But I have helped so many great people buy a home of their own. And each time my clients win that house and get the keys, I feel like I just hit the game winning home-run.