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by Cynthia Cummins

Cynthia is owner and founder of Kindred SF Homes and a top San Francisco Realtor. Check out RealEstateTherapy.org for refreshing reflections on the meaning of home and for more best real estate advice (since 2013).

Reading time: 1 minute & 50 seconds

Every milestone – birth, graduation, job, pregnancy, marriage, divorce, illness, bankruptcy, inheritance – is just that. A milestone rather than a destination until the very end.

I’m an up-close witness (in my role as Realtor) to many people’s journeys. My clients share their dreams about home with me. But – more importantly – they share their reality with me.  Some dreams don’t manifest, and the ones that do take shape don’t exactly match the fantasy version. Regardless of how closely the reality hews to the dream, it is inevitably ephemeral.

Time flurries by like a blizzard. One minute you’re purchasing your first home with a toddler in tow. Next thing you know you’re heading for assisted living and that toddler is now retired, in his 50s and watching his grandchildren for the weekend.

I’m lucky to be a guide and shepherd, and I’d like to think I bring a little extra something to the job. My skillful and sensitive approach to helping people buy or sell homes has been shaped by more than 3 decades of practice blended with a never-ending quest to make meaning out of everything. No matter how professional I am, it’s always personal for my clients.

In Q4 of 2021, I found myself in the enviable position of listing and selling two significant inner Richmond homes. One fetched a record price. The other a near-record price. Both sellers are folks I’ve known for decades, so it wasn’t a sudden fluke. Both transactions took a lot of work, creativity and patience.

The casual observer might say, “Wow, how fortunate for her. She sold two big houses in a month. How easy was that?” Or they might say, “Those sellers sure had it easy. Look at how much money they made on their homes!”

But it’s like anything else. You can’t know the whole story by seeing only its ending. Every transaction takes its emotional toll.

That’s why I’m heartened by words like these from my clients P & A: “As hard as it was to sell our beloved home, we really appreciate your care, empathy, friendship, and professionalism throughout the process. Thank you for your tenderness during the entire journey.”

As another year ends, I reflect on my good fortune and privilege. I am grateful for all that I have: my home, my health, my loving friends and family, work that’s rewarding in every way, and so much more. I wish you and yours much warmth and tenderness this holiday season!

Photo Credit: DaOleh Morhun

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