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Lockdown 6.0 - Raw And Peace From The Desk Of Sarah James

By Lisa Fletcher | 5 October 2021

6th August 2021, here we go again… lockdown 6.0 and the feeling inside my stomach is a ball of confusion, anxiety & frustration. How are we 12 months in and still going into lockdowns? I think we all know that this is not going to be a “snap lockdown” … don’t we?    

I set up my 7-year-old son’s iPad, log into his morning zoom rollcall and dust off his home-schooling books. He looks at me from the kitchen bench and his eyes fill with tears.” Mum, we’re not doing this again are we?” he says. “Yes, we are” I reply as I also hold back my own tears - this poor kid has spent more than half his schooling life at home.    

Trying to even wrap my head around what my work life looks like right now is really challenging. The news is negative, everyone seems angry and as the days roll into weeks, we are again curfewed and contained to our homes.    

The hardest part for me is to understand why Real Estate is not essential? Housing and shelter? However, you can show up to your favourite Chinese restaurant, line up, choose your favourite dumplings and stir-fry combo and sit and wait or stand outside with maybe 5-8 others… But you cannot inspect a house to buy or rent. Strange.    

19th August 2021 - by now, we are not going anywhere… Victoria’s numbers are on the rise and its déjà vu. I get a call from a client Liz, who sold her house for her in July after a snap lock down. The plan was: Liz and her daughter’s family were going to purchase a lifestyle property all together, a larger home with some more space - a dream they have been working toward for a while. As we chat, I can hear in Liz’s voice she is stressed. She tells me 2 weeks ago, just before the lockdown, her and her daughter found their dream home! “It’s perfect”, she tells me. “We love it”! I’m so happy for her! They purchased and put their deposit down.    

“So why are you stressing”? I ask… She was stressing as her daughter could only get her finance approved subject to selling her house… and we were in lockdown! How on earth were we going to get her house sold in the middle of a lockdown? I thought to myself. “We need a settlement date of December 3rd and if we don’t, I’ll lose my deposit” she said. As Liz is speaking to me at a million miles an hour, I tell her to calm down, take a breath and take control of the situation. Like any good agent, I tell her “We have it under control, not to worry, we will get her place sold no worries” … I hung up the phone and thought to myself “Gosh Sarah, why do you make these promises to your clients”! And just like that, my mindset shifted from being stuck in my ‘stinking thinking mood’ and ‘poor me for being stuck in lock down’.    

Within one week, after a few zoom calls, an iPhone walk-through and some photos that had been taken on her phone, we had launched the property to market! It hit the market Wednesday 25th August and the enquiry was strong. We worked towards a live zoom open home on Saturday 28th August conducted by the vendors themselves.    

My teammate Syarif and I sat on the zoom with 22 other participants as Yasmin toured her home via iPhone. The zoom lasted around 30 minutes. Buyers were polite and courteous, and she did the most amazing job of the presentation and walk through. Six hours later, offers started coming in. The market is moving at a rate like I have never seen - I can’t believe that people are buying homes sight unseen... but what choice do they have?    

Monday 30th August - we have five offers presented to our vendors and one very happy purchaser by Monday afternoon. The property sold for $20,000 over the asking price with the same settlement date as needed by our vendors.    

Our industry has evolved so much over the past 10 years, but what we have done in the last few months is extraordinary. From online auctions to video walk-through’s and zoom opens - each real estate agent who has pushed through these lockdowns and played by the rules should be so proud of what they have accomplished. For me, at the end of the day it’s this… getting a text message from my client Liz: “Sarah, Excuse me for saying this, but I want to give you the biggest f’ing hug EVER for making our dreams come true!  A big thank you to all at Peake, I won’t hesitate to recommend you to anyone”.   

Sometimes our worlds are changed. If you can’t move with change, you will be left behind and even though we have all had our good and bad days through 236 days of lockdown thus far…. This made mine a whole lot easier.  

 – Sarah Peake Real Estate.    

 

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