It was a summer evening in July when I got the call around 7 p.m. from the buyer’s agent. The inspection on my listing was complete and had gone very well, but the buyers hadn’t left the home.

The agent must have heard the hesitation in my voice, “You’re still there? Everything OK?,” I said; the inspection had started at 1 p.m.

He said, “Oh yes, everything is fine, in fact, the buyers really hit it off with the owners, and they are currently sitting on the back deck having a glass of wine together!”

Back deck of the listing

“Perfect! Sounds good,” I said. It never happens quite like that, I thought to myself. Eager to hear more details, I texted the seller (me in green bubble):

The thread

This text gave me chills (in a good way) and immediately I thought to myself, OK — that doesn’t happen everyday!

I couldn’t wait to hear more about how a routine buyer inspection ended in a full-blown fireside party with neighbors and cigars!

First thing the next morning, I called my seller, who told me:

“Hey Brian, it went better than we could have expected last night! We left the house during the inspection, like you asked, and decided to go to the neighbor’s house. We couldn’t help ourselves and went back over to the house to meet the buyer in person near the end of the inspection.

“We really hit it off! I ended up showing him all the idiosyncrasies of the home, the ‘in’s and out’s’ of it, as well all our favorite parts! We really got to talking and had a great connection! My wife kept bringing food out as we sat and talked in detail about life, the home and the community!”

He went on to further tell me how the evening played out.

“After we looked around the house together, and toured the grounds, I invited the buyer and his agent to the fire pit area, and we enjoyed a glass of wine together. While we were out back, my wife texted all the neighbors that the new future owners were here at our house and that they all should come over to meet them.

“Not only did the neighbors come over, they each brought massive amounts of food and drinks. We next proceeded to fire up the barbecue, and introductions began with each neighbor.

“After the meal, the buyer’s agent left the house, but the buyer stuck around, as did the neighbors, and the party continued around the fire pit. The festivities went well into the night, ending with the cigar box coming out, accompanied by many more stories about the area and how great it is to live here!”

My jaw dropped.

In my short 14 years of being in this business I had never had an inspection go quite like that — or quite that well! The buyer kept telling the seller how grateful he was for that wonderful evening, and the neighbors immediately accepted and received him into their community.

I was so happy for the buyer and the seller, and the bonds formed that evening created lasting friendships in an otherwise potentially tense situation for both parties.

To this day, four months later, the new owner keeps in touch with the seller.The new owner keeps the seller updated on changes he has made to the home, sending him photos of what he has had done or any updates made. They often text each other as well, usually the new owner asking the seller a question on the property, and the seller gladly answering.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if all our buyer-seller relationships went this way?

As real estate agents, we all do our very best to have every transaction go as smoothly as possible, and be a true win-win for buyer and seller.

We apply systems, templates, updates and constant communication all aimed to create a seamless transaction for our clients, but rarely do a buyer and seller party strike up a lasting friendship through a real estate transaction.

The community in action as the neighbors all joined in welcoming a new member to their neighborhood, the sellers who couldn’t help but host a meet-and-greet in their home and the willing buyer who said yes to an unconventional inspection experience — it all warms my heart.

If you’ve had a heartwarming real estate moment you’d like to share, please reach out to our contributor’s editor via email at 

Brian Hopper is a managing broker with Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty in the Greater Seattle Area. Connect with him on Instagram or Twitter.

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