So, I promised this PSA a couple days ago, but I honestly didn’t know what I could do to truly make a difference. I initially was thinking I could help people sell their homes without taking a commission, and while that saves someone a lot of money, it doesn’t help them right now. Let me back track a little bit, and tell a story first. We all know how much I love sharing glances of my #realtorlife, so let me start at the beginning..
Yesterday evening, a little after 3:45 in the afternoon, I received an email. This email was a request for more information about a home just a couple neighborhoods over. I get a lot of emails like this, so I have systems in place that automatically send an email and a text message. I was near my phone, between kids and dinner, so I was able to follow this up with a personal text message. My text message was insanely simple and straight forward, and essentially asked them if they would like to set up a showing. They let me know they were wanting to see the home, but also were bombarded with dealing with the flooding. We exchanged a few messages, and they left me with the hope that I would hear from them in the coming days.
Well, today, 10 AM hit, and I had a text message from them asking if they could see the house today at 4 PM. I made arrangements for the showing, and went about my day. Side note: I swear I have lived in the kitchen the past five days. You would think spending most of your time inside would decrease appetite, but that was definitely not the case for our kiddos. Any who, 3 PM came around, I showered, put on make up for the first time in 5 days, and attempted to blow dry my hair. 3:45 PM rolled around, and I kissed the little ones, and dashed out of the house.
I arrived a few minutes early. I unlocked the home, rushed around to make sure all of the lights were on, and the back doors were unlocked. I flipped the last switched, and ran down the stairs to open the door for the potential buyers, as they knocked. They greeted me with apologies. Apologies which were not needed. The one that slapped me with reality, was the wife apologizing for her clothing. I assume she wasn’t dressed in what she normally wears, but I hadn’t even had a moment to take notice. I didn’t really realize what she meant by the apology until later.
I have been stuck at this paragraph for the last 2 hours. I am choked up. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know how to continue the story. Instead, I have scrolled through my Facebook getting lost and caught up in emotions. Well I didn’t know what to say then, and now I am still at a loss, but I will keep my fingers to the keys this time..
The family that I met today, lost everything in the flood. Their two story home is now 9 feet under water. I have thought so many times over.. How can I make things better? How can I comfort them? The truth is, I really can’t. Nothing but time or a time machine can fix what has been done. These events cannot be undone.
After showing them the house, we stood there. She expressed being overwhelmed. She cried. I hugged her. I kissed her cheek. I kissed a stranger’s cheek. Wow. Jordan. I tried so hard to use words to help her see the positive. There really is nothing one can say to make it better. I did try. Even thoughI knew it probably felt empty to her ears.
I want to have something to offer to her.
I can’t grasp how she feels. I can only try my best to sympathize.
I thought for sure I was going to lose my home. My property line is Theiss Gully. It connects with Cypress Creek. I did not lose my home, but she did. Cypress Creek flooded her neighborhood and so many others. I cannot wrap my head around how many people were affected. I am not even sure this is a number we have.
The rains have stopped. The sun is out. I am hoping that there is hope. I want there to be smiles and happiness. I want to erase the sorrow. But I can’t. I feel helpless.
I could keep telling the story of my evening, but I will jump to a phone conversation I had with my husband before he went to sleep a little bit ago. (It is actually after midnight. 1:24 AM to be exact. My mind will not turn off. I must write.)
Side note: My husband was off working “out of town” when news of the magnitude of the impending hurricane was broadcasted. He told me his boss let him know he could come home. He told me he wasn’t going to come home. He was eight hours away, on the other side of Texas. But then he called me back to let me know, he was on his way home. He came home, stayed with our family through the storm, and left today.
Tonight, while on the phone, we brainstormed on how to help others who were and are “victims” of the storm. Hurricane Harvey took so much from so many people. It took things from people that it did not take from me. Minus two leaks and two patches, I still have a roof over my head. I have electricity. I have bread. I have water. I have a home for my beautiful family.
I want to give a gift to everyone that was affected by the hurricane. While it would be the coolest thing ever, if I could snap my fingers and gift a home to everyone who lost theirs, that is not even close to possible, but do you know what is possible? I can contribute all of my commission, as a buyer’s agent, to my buyer. My commission can cover closing costs or a down payment.
I don’t think they know it yet, but that is what I am going to do for this family. I can’t wait to make a difference for them, and for anyone else that needs it!
My BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) is to give back over $100,000 in buyer’s commissions to home owners who lost their home in the floods of Hurricane Harvey! #projectgivingback
Jordan Marie Schilleci, REALTOR®
Beth Ferester & Company
832-493-6685 call/text anytime