An open letter of Gratitude regarding Trust

Many years ago before I became a licensed real estate agent, my husband and I bought our first home. Over the years, I have thought about the agent who sold us that home. I would like to share the letter of gratitude that I am putting in the mail to her.

Dear Jan,

I don’t know if you will remember my husband and myself. You helped us purchase our first home more than 23 years ago. While I cannot remember how we met, I do remember you taking the time to help us get our credit in line so we could purchase a home. You took us to various homes to view. We finally found a house listed in the paper and asked you to meet us there. It was a VA repo and needed work. We were young and excited to make this house our own. The house was part of a program where they would lend you additional money to repair the house. We closed on the house April 15, 1992. I was pregnant and due in August. We had 2 months to complete the repairs and move into our new home. We worked so hard. I have lots of great memories from that time. We completed the repairs and moved into the house. My husband decided to re-up in the military. We were sure we would be staying in Omaha another 3 years. Unfortunately, by December of that same year, we received transfer papers to Oklahoma City. We were devastated. We didn’t know what to do. We wanted to call you and yet we didn’t. I am not sure why we didn’t call you back. I remember saying we needed someone aggressive to get the house sold quickly. I guess in our immaturity we didn’t equate kindness and trust with aggressiveness; and in all honesty, I think we were too young to know what we really wanted or needed. We were scared.

We interviewed 3 realtors, choosing one that had a nice portfolio with letters from past clients. She listed our house with a 6 month listing agreement. We received an offer but we would have to bring money to the table to sell the house. We didn’t have any additional money to spare. My husband was an airman in the service. We just spent several months rehabbing the property and didn’t think it was fair to have to pay to get out of the house. The realtor was not kind. She tried to strong arm us into selling. We resisted and lost respect for her. I didn’t know how real estate worked, and was under the impression that if we decided to take the house off the market we would owe the commission. There was no way I was going to give that realtor my money. So we allowed showings to happen begrudgingly and told her that we would only sell for list price. In the meantime, my husband had to report for duty in Oklahoma City. I was left in Omaha attempting to sell the house with an infant.

We finally ended up renting the property. We managed the house long distance—not knowing what else to do. We were blessed to have two sets of good tenants. Four years later, I was expecting my second child when the tenants called to inform us that they were moving. I told my husband I was tired of being an out of state landlord. He asked me what I wanted to do. I said I wanted to call Jan, the lady who sold us the house. I felt like you would help us and tell us exactly what we needed to do. And more importantly I trusted you. We called you and asked if you would help us. I also knew I needed to put carpet in the dining room. My husband is color blind and I wasn’t able to travel since I was a little more than a month away from delivering our second child. I didn’t know if you would go with him to the carpet store to help him chose the carpet, but I asked. You said, yes.   After getting the carpet installed on a Wednesday, you put the sign in the front yard and had an offer on the house that Friday. We accepted the offer and closed on the house as the tenants were moving out.

As I look back I realize I never questioned the amount of commission you charged me or the price you told me. I accepted it as fact. Why? Because I trusted you. I believed you had my best interest at heart and still to this day believe that—more than 18 years ago. I think this was the biggest difference between you and the other realtor.  Although I am sure I said Thank you at the time, I don’t think your realize the impact you have had on my life. I have been a realtor for over 10 years now and I always think about trust when I think about how I am treating my clients. I think about what is best for them and how can I look out for them best. I always ask myself, if what I am doing is building trust and if not then what can I do differently to build that trust. The entire reason I chose to do business with you all those years ago is because I trusted you. Thank you for showing me all those years ago that the most important part of business is trust and caring.


Sandi Walker