From Town To Shore

Real estate trends, local news & much more….

October 14, 2014
by Toni Mickeiwicz

Another teardown, but this one is personal.

sherwood 002I was recently told that my mother’s house in Westport had a demolition sign on it. Even though we sold it three years ago, it will always be “my mother’s house.” Well, that is until it’s torn down.

It wasn’t my favorite house. I actually always thought that it should be torn down. It was a combination of stages in my mother’s life. It started as a little tiny beach house with no heat and it sat on wine barrels. It gradually grew to have an architecturally designed front section with two floors that looked a little like a church.

When I went off to college it grew a backside with two floors, four bedrooms and three additional bathrooms. It never really matched the front, or anything else for that matter, but it added square footage and allowed my mother to rent it out regularly as we all moved out and she had to spend most of her time caring for my grandmother in Norwalk. The house worked for her and it gave her children what she wanted all along—a place to call home, an education in a town with a reputation for excellence, and a “castle” by the water. cropped version-1

I’ll never forget asking my mother if we had room for a pool. Many of my friends had pools and I thought it was something we should try and have as well. She said, “Why would you want a pool when we have the beach?”  I was much older when I finally got how blessed we were to live where we did.

When I moved back to Westport—a grown up having been married, raised children, divorced, and re-inventing myself—my mother let me live at the house, as a paid renter of course, but the house was there for me. It was my transitional home for six years. It wasn’t perfect, but it was my home, a place to provide my youngest with an education in a town known for excellence. It was our “castle” by the water.

Now it will be torn down.  And while I know it’s the right thing to do to get the “highest and best use of the land” for the new owner, it still made me more emotional than I ever imagined.

This was my home, where I grew up and where I sought refuge. It provided me, my siblings, many cousins and lots of renters over the years, a lot of fun memories along with the challenges that an imperfect house can provide.  It will only be in my memory now and that is a little sad for me.

I know that I am not alone. Many of my friends that I grew up with have experienced the same thing. Their childhood homes no longer there when they come back for a visit.  Much of the landscape of my childhood is gone. Allen’s Clam House, where I use to work in the kitchen, has been gone for a long time. Ten Pond Edge Rd, where I lived with my “other” family when my mom rented out the house for the Summer, has been torn down as well.

I could go on, but what I really want to say is that after tearing up a little and feeling woeful for a time, I realize that it is ok. I am who I am from my experiences and life lessons in this town and in this home, and I will always have that.

Thanks Mom for what you did for us and allowing us to grow up in a castle by the water.

January 22, 2014
by Toni Mickeiwicz

What about my pets?

animal photoAre you ready for the Spring Real Estate Market? Are your pets ready? Some of us may still be anticipating the Super Bowl , but remember that the Spring  Real Estate Market kicks off on the Monday right after the Super Bowl.    If you are thinking of listing your house for sale you should start to get it ready now and don’t forget about your animals! Getting your house ready for sale includes cleaning, de-cluttering, fixing and staging. I have talked about many of these things before and I recommend that you do them all.  When you think you have done all that you can do, bring your Realtor in and ask for her opinion.  I guarantee she will have some additional insights about how your house is going to be viewed by the buyers, both in-person and online. It is important to make the first impression, usually on-line, your best impression, in order to get buyers to come and see the property.

Once you have attracted buyers to want to come and see your home in person, it is very important that you make access to your property/house as easy as possible.  Factors such as a key box, flexible and generous hours for showings, and leaving the house show-ready, enhance ease of access for potential buyers.  If you have pets, another important aspect of showing the property is to have a plan for their wellbeing during the showing.

Having a plan for your pets is very important. Because we love our pets as much as we do, we may minimize the importance of having a plan to have the animal out of sight or off-premises during showings.  As a pet lover/owner you may feel that everyone who comes to your house is going to love your pets as much as you do. After all, your pet is sweet and friendly, and free to roam around the house. They may bark but they don’t bite and they love everyone! This may be very true but the pet doesn’t come with the house does he/she? Or maybe you would consider it in the negotiation…….just kidding! The purpose of letting strangers into your house is to show them the product that you are selling, your house. Buyers need to be able to come and do what they are there to do — look at your house with the intent of possibly making it their own.  The reason to repair, clean and de-clutter is to make the property more attractive and to remove distractions from the product itself.  No family pictures, no clothing on the floor, no unfinished projects, no excess furniture, and no barking, purring, chirping or otherwise distracting pets. 

I realize that this is going to sound harsh to many of you pet owners and there are a lot of you (me too). But this is important and your agent may not want to address this with you as firmly as they should because it is personal.  It is like saying, “do something with your kids” and your pets are family. I am not trying to be insensitive to these members of your household.  However, I want you to see that it is in your best interest, and theirs, to have a plan for keeping them from being a distraction from the process of selling your home.  Removing them all together from the house is preferable. But if this is not possible then crating them is the next best thing.  If you don’t have a crate, get one.  Putting them in one room and limiting access to that room is not ideal. It doesn’t allow the buyer to see the room and the dogs/cats may even do damage to the room if they are not use to being put away.  Having strangers come into their home can be just as traumatic for them.

Let’s say that you have figured out how to manage your pets for this purpose. What about the effects your pet has had on the house already?  Many of us can become desensitized to pet odors or pet hair and spilled pet food on the floor. They are our family members and this is how we live.  But people coming into your home are going to be distracted by pet odors, stains, damage, and dirt.  This is all a part of the cleaning, de-cluttering stage of getting ready but even after you have vacuumed the last rug, cleaned out the last litter box, washed the last floor, have your realtor or a friend come over and ask for their honest feedback about the presence of animal odors etc. as this can be a huge deterrent for anyone considering purchasing your home.

The faster you get your house sold the faster you can get your family and your pets settled into their new home and back to normal. The best way to do this is to make sure your house gets shown to all interested parties in the best possible condition with the fewest distractions.  Don’t take it personally. Your goal is to sell your house so do what it takes now and be done with it. Everyone will be happier in the end, including your pets.

Something to think about…..

July 8, 2013 by Toni Mickeiwicz | 0 comments

door_5481543Are you ready to buy a house? Great, then that means you have spoken to a bank or a mortgage broker, you have a pre-approval letter stating what you can afford, you have a down payment ready to go, and you are prepared to make an offer if the right house comes along, right?

This is a great start, and if you have gotten this far, you know there are several more milestones to pass before you are settled in your new home. First you have to find a place, make an offer, sign the binder, get through inspections, and more.
Most often, the biggest hurdle is the mortgage approval process. Buyers may feel that the pre-approval letter is the hardest part and the rest is just paperwork, while sellers believe that the pre-approval letter is enough to accept a good offer. The disconnect comes when what is agreed to on the binder is not in line with the banks time frame for mortgage approval.

To be more specific, in Fairfield County making an offer is a two-step process. The first step is the binder agreement and the second is the contracts. It is on the binder that you first stipulate your mortgage contingency, which requires a time frame. Sellers’ agents want this to be as short as possible and buyers’ agents want to give their clients plenty of time to avoid having to ask for an extension. The problem is banks move at their own pace.
If the binder states a mortgage commitment will be obtained within thirty days from signed accepted offer, the clock starts ticking at the time the binder is signed. Unfortunately, many banks won’t order an appraisal or start to work on that file until they receive signed contracts. This can take up to two weeks from the signing of the binder. That cuts into the thirty day time frame by quite a bit and can be very problematic for the buyer.

A proactive solution is to try and have your binder state that the mortgage contingency is thirty to forty-five days (check with the bank) from the signed contracts and go to contracts as soon as possible. This will be tricky because the seller won’t want to have their home off the market for too long without certainty that it is going to close since they may miss out on other potential buyers. But the key to the whole negotiation is to have things move as quickly as possible. Get inspections done immediately and get your deposit ready to be put in escrow. That will free things up so you can get a copy of the signed contract to your bank as soon as possible.
The bottom line: Communication is the key to your negotiations. Make sure everyone is speaking the same language and stay informed of potential hurdles so you can ensure you get the home you want.

Are you on the right path to finding a home?

May 30, 2013 by Toni Mickeiwicz | 0 comments

“When you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there” ~Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland

When I heard this quote in a talk about the power of intention, I immediately thought about my Sunday open houses and all the people who come through with an unstated intention. I have to think their intention is to buy a house, otherwise they wouldn’t be spending their free time viewing homes for sale. Understandably, people at these open houses are reluctant to state that intention. For some it’s because they are just starting to think about moving and are truly unclear about their wants and needs. Others just prefer to do their own research on the numerous websites that provide an abundance of helpful information and they are not ready to commit to a Realtor. This works well if you are just getting started but if you are going to use the Internet to find properties, make sure that you are on a site with accurate information. Many times information is old and not updated in a timely way.

When is the right time to sign up with a Realtor?
Think of a Realtor as a guide. This is your life and your journey but there are a lot of side roads that you can take if you don’t know where you are heading.  The earlier you start with a Realtor the better prepared you will be all along the way.  We are in a very different market now. Negotiations are fast and furious; there are many multiple offers on properties that are priced well, inventory is low and many buyers are ready to make a move. When the market is volatile like it is now having an agent working for you is a real advantage.
The key in real estate is timing. A full-time Realtor with whom you have a buyer’s agreement will be actively working to make sure you don’t miss out when the right house comes on the market. A good agent knows the market and spends much of his/her time previewing houses with you in mind. When they see the right house that matches your needs, they make you aware of it first. You won’t have to wait until Sunday to see if it’s right.

If you don’t have a buyer’s agent, find one.
Don’t run around every weekend looking at open houses in hopes that you will be able to find the house that you want on your own. Think of all the options that don’t have an open house? What about the house that is listed, but not on the multiple listing service yet because the homeowner is cleaning, painting or de-cluttering? Often agents get an early notification that a house is coming to the market by the agent who is listing it to encourage them to think of clients they may know who would like it.  If you have an agent who hears about a great house that would be perfect for you wouldn’t you want to be able to see it right away?
If your intention is to buy a house, then don’t take the long and winding road to get there. State your intention as your goal and use the best path to get there, with a Realtor as your guide. Make a point of going to open houses, but not to find the right house, to find the right agent for you. Interview them, talk with them, read about them and then sign up with them and let them work full-time for you!

Check out this link for some helpful hints from the Connecticut Association of Realtors:

January 6, 2013
by Toni Mickeiwicz

Happy New Year!

The holidays are over; the New Year has begun. Now is the time to look ahead and start on those New Years resolutions. For some of us that means getting back to our weight loss meetings, joining a gym, quit smoking, and the list goes on. What is on your list this year?
Consider this:  the elections are over, the fiscal cliff is thwarted and mortgage rates are still at an all time low. This could be the perfect time to finally make a move. Whether you want to buy your first home, move from a condo to a single-family house, relocate from the city to the suburbs, I predict 2013 is going to be a super year for buying and selling real estate.
Why wait, let’s get started now! As your buying agent I want to hear about your dream home: what it will look like, style, size, location, etc. As your selling agent I want to hear what made you fall in love with the house you are in when you bought it so I can develop a marketing strategy to bring the right buyer who will fall in love with it all over again. But, whether you are buying or selling, there are some things that you should be doing now to get ready for this next big move.
Sellers: Focus on Price and Product
As your Realtor I will help you review current market conditions to determine an appropriate price range for your house. I will also help you understand that when you decide to sell, you need to view this as a business transaction and separate your personal attachment to your home. This may be hard, so I suggest in the quiet month of January you start by adjusting the way you think about your home. This house is now a product to be sold, so put your eyes on it as a potential buyer.  What do you see?
• Clutter? Why not start packing? You want to move and there are probably many things that you don’t use but haven’t had the time or motivation to toss, donate or store them. Now your motivation is to present the “product” you are selling in the best possible light. Buyers don’t want to see your things in their potential new home. They want to envision where their couch can be placed and see themselves in the space.
• Distressed or worn out features? Look for things need to be fixed. You know, the loose knob on the laundry room door, the dirt from the dog on the corner in the kitchen, the doorbell that doesn’t ring. These are all easy fixes that could make a big difference in first impressions.
Buyers: It’s Time to Get Your “House” In Order, Too!
In this market the biggest obstacle for buyers is securing a mortgage. Do you have the “means” to buy a house? Interest rates may be very low but do you qualify? Getting pre-approved for a mortgage (at a rate you want) involves three things: credit, income and deposit. This is what a mortgage broker will ask for, so be prepared.
• Credit: If you haven’t checked your credit score within the past six months, do it now. Things change rapidly and recent events may affect your score. For instance, you bought a new car, you opened up a new credit card over the holidays, and you were late with one charge card payment. These will change your credit scores for each of the three credit agencies. Go to to get your free credit reports from all three reporting bureaus. It is important to do this sooner rather then later so if there are any glitches with your scores you have time to do something about them.
• Income: Your mortgage broker will also ask about your work history and income. How long have you been at your job? Are you self-employed? If so do you have two years of verifiable income to support a loan? Come with documentation to get the conversation started. That means bank statements, tax returns, and more.
• Down payment: Do you have any savings? Are you going to be getting a “gift” of money to help you with that down payment?  If so there is a lot more involved than transferring money. You have to document where that money came from and there may be limits on how much you can receive as a gift. These are things that a mortgage broker can help you understand and navigate. It is important to start these conversations with a mortgage broker now, not when you are writing an offer and are asking for a pre-approval letter.
Buyers and Sellers: Get out every Sunday and Visit Some Open Houses!
• Sellers, start to look at your competition. Check out the houses in your neighborhood and town to see what potential buyers are seeing and how they stack up to your house. Did they de-clutter? Do you see the difference! Also, have you hired an agent? What a great way to interview a few!
• Buyers, you can interview agents as well at open houses. And, why not start to educate yourself about available homes in the town that you are considering moving to? The Internet is a great starting tool, but nothing beats walking into a house and getting the feel for the space and flow. Pictures can speak a thousand words, but reality is better then the novel.

Ok, let’s get started! Get out there and meet your 2013 Real Estate goals!

Pumpkins and Turkeys and Lights, Oh My!

October 17, 2012 by Toni Mickeiwicz | 1 Comment

If you are a seller with your house currently on the market the big question is …..Do I keep my house on the market through the holidays? The answer is……………..Absolutely! Why wouldn’t you? Sure, there is less time, added expenses, more social gatherings, responsibilities, guests, cooking, eating……oh and let’s not forget the snow in the North East! Yikes! These are just a few reasons sellers want to take a break from actively showing their property. Some think if they haven’t sold their house by the holidays then they should hold off until spring.  After all, the spring market is understood to be the busiest time for Real Estate. Maybe you could even re-list at a higher price! Well, if you are not in a hurry to sell, that is certainly a possibility. Of course, there are no guarantees as to what the market will be like in the spring.  So, if you have to relocate, or you are interested in making an offer on a house, then waiting does not make a lot of sense.

You have already decided to sell your house. Why stop now?  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, New Year’s, happen at the same time every year. If you are serious about selling, then you have to fully commit to the process. That means getting the full exposure your house deserves to be competitive. While a market slowdown is expected for a few months, there are still plenty of people who need to move and buy a home during this period. What that means for you:

  • Less competition. Many sellers will take their house off the market for the season, while others are waiting for spring to list (when there will be a lot of competition!)
  • More serious buyers. Anyone coming to look at your house in the winter is a serious buyer who wants or needs to find a new home.
  • Much needed bonuses. Many buyers wait for their year-end bonus to make that big move and confidently move forward on the home of their dreams.
  • Relocations. Many big companies relocate their employees during the first part of the year making it necessary for them to move and not wait until spring.


The bottom line: If you are motivated to sell your house and move on with your life, take advantage of these festive times to continue to present your house in the best possible way. Whether it is pumpkins and Mums in October, apple pies in the oven for November or lights in December, the addition of holiday cheer can be used to your advantage. So enjoy the holidays AND sell your house!

September 21, 2012
by Toni Mickeiwicz

Do you need to sell your home before you can buy?

Toni's Real Estate InsightsConsider a Hubbard Clause.

Now is a great time to buy Real Estate, mortgage rates are still very low and there is a lot of inventory ripe for Fall picking!

Most people have something to sell before they can buy, and during the hay days of 2004-2007, that would have been a real problem.  Very often great houses would have multiple offers and the offer with the fewest contingencies would have an advantage. In today’s market, while there are still multiple bids on some houses, the reality is that many sellers are willing to consider offers that they would not have considered previously, such as an offer with a Hubbard Clause, which I think can be a win-win for both parties.

A Hubbard Clause is simply an extension of your mortgage contingency. It states that to purchase the house you are making an offer on you have to sell your house first. That said, there are time frames and parameters set up within the Hubbard Clause to give both parties the opportunity to get the job done without penalty. In other words, you aren’t going to add a Hubbard Clause if your house isn’t on the market. This is not a long term agreement. Sellers will want to know that your house is actively on the market, getting showings and even offers. Many sellers understand that you are in the same position as they are and want to work with you if it means getting their house sold.

Here’s an example of how it may work: your house is on the market, you find the house you want to buy, you make an offer with the Hubbard Clause and it is accepted. You still do inspections right away and you still sign contracts putting down the usual ten percent at contract signing and you have an agreement to try and get your house sold within a specified period of time. This could be 30 – 90 days, depending on what you negotiate with the seller. It is not an open door policy, but it gives you the right of first refusal if the seller finds someone else who wants to buy with no contingencies. It also gives the seller peace of mind that he has a buyer who really wants to buy his house.

If there is a buyer who makes a non-contingent offer then the seller comes back to you first and gives you the opportunity to drop the Hubbard Clause and get to closing. The time frame that you are given to drop the Hubbard Clause is also negotiated in the beginning. It can be 24 -72 hours, but usually not longer because the seller will need to respond to the second buyer in a timely fashion. If you are not able to close your house at that time and need to walk away from the deal, you will say so in writing and get your deposit back.

Clearly, this is not a solution for everyone with something to sell. But it should give you the incentive to start looking and even make an offer knowing that this is one option for getting the house that you want.

Let me know if you want to put it to work for you!

August 22, 2012
by Toni Mickeiwicz

Agency Relationships

Agency relationships?  I don’t want a relationship…I just want to date for a while!

Understood, that is reasonable, people should have the opportunity to get to know each other before committing to one person.  If we are dating then we should start by hanging out and having fun, no commitment, and no pressure. In fact, except for your family, it is generally understood that we will get to know each other over time and during that time decide to what degree we want to commit to each other.

So when a Realtor that you meet for the first time puts a three page, in triplicate, document in front of you and says “sign here so we can go out”, you might feel a little put off or guarded about this pressure to “commit”. But know that she is just doing her job. She wants to work for you and ultimately find you the house of your dreams but the State of Connecticut has stated that in order to do that she has to first explain “agency representation” and have you acknowledge that she is working for you.

Agency representation was created in the late nineties because the State recognized real estate transactions as having the potential to be one sided with everyone working on behalf of the seller. In most cases, the seller has agreed to pay a commission to the listing agency who then offers a portion of that commission to the agency who brings a buyer. This is still how it works today but the laws of agency relationships were established in order for the buyer’s agent to have fiduciary responsibilities to the buyer—a “relationship of trust and confidence, as between trustee and beneficiary, attorney and client, principle and agent.”

Of course the expectation is that Realtors would operate that way anyway.  But as with many professions there are licensing requirements,  ethics training and standards of operation that give everyone the same understanding of the expectations of practice in that field.  Laws of Agency are a very important concept that all Realtors need to explain to their clients before they head out to look at houses.

The flip side of that coin is that as a Realtor I would like some confidence in the relationship too.  If you are selling your house, the commitment to your Realtor comes in the form of the listing agreement. You agree to pay a commission if the house sells and the Realtor agrees to work hard for you to get that done, usually within a specified period of time (six-nine months depending on market conditions).  As a buyer you are being asked the same thing, to commit to the Realtor who is working for you for a period of time.

Let’s say you are just meeting for the first time. She has taken the time and effort to arrange to show you houses one day, set up appointments, cleaned her car, filled it with gas, put a packet of information together about the area and the houses that you are viewing. You may never buy a house. You may buy a house in two years. You may decide to rent. She knows all of this. It is part of the business. But, if you do like the house that she is showing you and you do decide to make an offer to buy it, isn’t it reasonable to expect that this Realtor should get paid for working for you?

Here’s how I start my working relationships: During the courting period, I understand that we are just getting to know each other, so the first time we go out you can just sign to have me represent you for the properties that I am showing you that day. If you don’t see anything you like, but you like working with me and want to go out again, then the next time you can sign with me for the town that you are looking in. If your search area expands, then we will update your agreement accordingly.  The period of time will always be six months and get renewed as long as we are working well together.

I don’t know many people who want to start a relationship with the marriage contract. Most people want the opportunity to court the person first.  This is a fair expectation and because Real Estate is my business, my business expectation is that ultimately I will get compensated for time, effort, insights, knowledge and expertise in my field. These two expectations don’t have to be in conflict. The Laws of Agency offer a framework for mutual understanding and respect, which is a foundation for all good relationships!  We can negotiate our relationship along the way within the Laws of Agency.

Attached is the William Raveis handout that explains the different types of agency relationships. I’d love to know what you think.

AGDISC – CT Mandatory Disclosure of Real Estate Agency Relationships

July 31, 2012
by Toni Mickeiwicz

Everything seems to slow down during the summer, even the Real Estate Market

Summer is in full swing, the Olympics have begun, kids are having fun at camp and vacations have been planned and started. Relax and enjoy because like many things it won’t feel like it was long enough. Another thing that seems to slow down right about now is the Real Estate market. Yes, there are closings and people are moving in and out of their homes before school starts but those deals came together a long time ago.  Overall things are quieter in the world of Real Estate. There are still houses being bought and sold but for the most part there isn’t a lot of new inventory or as many active buyers ready to make a decision.

If you are thinking about selling your home, now is the perfect time to start planning. Once school starts and the weather here in Fairfield County is still very pleasant, the focus will get back to buying and selling. So start to think about how you want your house to be presented to the public. Does your house need painting, cleaning, fixing, landscaping, de-cluttering? If so, why not start to address those issues now?

 Aside from asking your Realtor for a price opinion, ask her for some feedback about your house. What would she recommend you address to present your house in the best possible light? Remember, once you make the decision to sell your home it is no longer your home, it is a house that needs to be marketed to the public. It is a product that you are trying to sell. You may know that it needs painting but you may not be able to be objective enough to know that your beautiful blue glass collection that is on display in your hallway is not a selling point, but rather a distraction and a space minimizer. Don’t take the feedback personally. Understand that your Realtor is working for you to sell your property and if she asks you to pack up your blue glass collection it is for the purpose of presenting your house in a way that the public can see your house best, not encumbered with your personal belongings. Mr. or Mrs. Buyer needs to be able to picture his mother’s antique clock in his front hall not yours.

Enjoy your Summer but if you are thinking about selling your house in the Fall then take some time now to get ready. There may be more to do then you think and you will feel good about giving yourself the time to do them right.

July 12, 2012
by Toni Mickeiwicz

Every deal has a moment

Like all good sales people Realtors will tell you that they are going to do their very best to provide you a service that their competition will possibly not do as well. If you really think about it, we are all providing the same service. So what makes one of us stand out more than the others?  One promise to this end is to provide a “seamless transaction”.  What exactly is a seamless transaction anyway?

I believe the concept comes from the second definition in the Encarta dictionary, “perfectly smooth- free from awkward transitions and creating perfectly smooth continuity” That does sound good doesn’t it? That is something all of us want when investing in or selling off our biggest asset. We want the transaction to go smoothly. Who wouldn’t? But it is not something a Realtor can promise. In fact I think it is a disservice to you to make that kind of promise. I think that it would serve you, the consumer, a lot better if we were honest with you and told you that there is going to be at least one moment. The moment will be of panic, angst, doubt, or discomfort. We never know what the moment is going to be about or when it will come but there will be at least one.

It could be in the beginning when you get multiple offers and panic that you think you priced the house too low, or as a buyer, it could come after the inspection and you are reviewing the thirty page report for the first time and feel like the things that need to be done are insurmountable. Maybe it is when the mortgage contingency is up and you don’t have your mortgage and you need an extension.  There are hundreds of times and places that the “moment” could occur. The good news is that it will pass, because most things in most transactions are workable or according to Encarta “able to be accomplished or carried out”.

This is really what your Realtor is saying. She is saying that she has the ability to work things out, to be there for you when the moment arrives and help you get through it. Just don’t let her say that it will be “seamless”. After all, residential real estate has a personal component and most of the time that is why there are “moments”. People are complex and everyone is unique, causing each of us to bring something different to the table when we are interacting with others. It could be a past experience, it could be our personalities, our upbringing, it could be any number of  things, even our horoscope if you ask some! The point is that our individuality is what makes every transaction different and unpredictable and what makes some moments bigger for some than others. It can be an emotional journey that takes you by surprise but it doesn’t have to take over the deal.

What your Realtor should tell you in the beginning is that she cannot promise something that she has no control over. She can promise to be there for you every step of the way and to help you work through each moment!