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Where the Heart Is

You unlock the door and walk into the empty house. After turning on the lights and opening a few windows, you head into the kitchen where you lay out some freshly-baked cookies. As the air fills with their aroma, you light a few candles, put on some music and wait for your guests to arrive.

For most, this describes a typical happy moment at home. Unless you are a real estate agent in which case you are there for strictly professional reasons, to show the property or hold an open house.

Our homes are in many ways our most private and intimate spaces. And so for both agent and owner there is something odd and often a little uncomfortable about the ritual of a stranger playing host in someone else’s home. If done repeatedly over the course of days or weeks, every corner of the place becomes familiar. When that happens to an agent – and I have to believe I’m not the only who has experienced this – you may start to feel as if you actually live there.

Is that a good thing?

Not always.

Some homes are so unappealing that they make you want to leave the moment you walk in. Being forced to stay there, even if only for a showing, reinforces the pride you feel about your own home and everything in it.

But then there are other homes that are so exquisite, so inviting, such models of taste and design, that they fill you with envy and make you reflect on the choices you’ve made in your life that prevented you from living like that.

For a successful listing agent with a busy showing schedule, it’s possible to feel both of these emotions in the same day.

And then before you know it it’s time to turn off the lights and move on to the next house, and you see the humor it in all:

Isn’t it amazing and wonderful how differently we all live?