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Dated: October 24 2016
I went to a closing the other day in which I represented the buyer. It was a fairly simple one, and afterwards I reflected on the terminology “closing.” It’s the final step in executing a real estate transaction. The date of such is set during the negotiation phase and is usually several weeks or months after the offer is accepted.
During the closing the buyer delivers a check for the balance, usually in the form of a cashier’s check or wire transfer, due to the seller for the purchase of the property. In exchange, the seller signs the deed over to the buyer. The deed is registered with the recorder’s office and closing costs are resolved per the previously agreed upon negotiations. There are nuances of course, and it is not uncommon for surprises to pop up at the last minute – but that is not the point of this blog. It’s about what a “closing” represents.
The house being sold was built in the mid 1970s and meant to be a New Jersey shore vacation home. The sellers had enjoyed decades of summers as evidenced by the myriad of photographs on the walls. There were countless untold stories in the yellowing images – memories of a family. If I closed my eyes, I could imagine the conversations around the dining room table and the smell of seafood on the outdoor grill during the lavender and orange sunsets of July and August.
The new buyers had worked hard to position themselves to afford a second house – they had worked years for this moment. We looked at a number of properties until they found one they could envision as their new vacation home. Their excitement was palpable and infectious. I thoroughly enjoyed assisting them down this life path.
At the final walk-through before settlement, the owners of the house had packed up their belongings. The rooms were empty, barren of the photographs that had adorned the walls. It reminded me of an artist’s blank canvas awaiting a new palette of colors – the next composition to be painted and open for study and interpretation. The sellers were ready for the chapter to close; the buyers exuberant to open the next.
The settlement took place in northern New Jersey – more than two hours away from the vacation home, and ironically, near the town where my late grandparents started their lives and purchased their first home more than a half century ago. I entered the closing feeling wistful and sentimental. I reflected on how the term “closing” could just as easily be re-termed as “beginning,” because for my clients, and for the sellers, the exchange of the deed represented new beginnings for each. The transaction was mutually positive and mutually beneficial, and the summer house again became a summer home.
Afterwards, I presented my clients with a gift to recognize their new journey and a bottle of champagne. As I got in my car to drive home, I pondered a quote from Aristotle, “A beginning is that which does not itself follow anything by causal necessity, but after which something naturally is or comes to be. An end, on the contrary, is that which itself naturally follows some other thing, either by necessity, or as a rule, but has nothing following it.”
My job is about creating “beginnings”, and I love it!
From your “Running Realtor” Andrew Gonzales…
As a lifelong resident of Ocean County, New Jersey, Andrew Gonzales brings exceptional insight into local market trends, and full knowledge of ordinances, insurance requirements, and FEMA standards. A....
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