Attitude is Everything

flower-1Several months ago I was called by a gentleman to go out and look at a property he was planning on selling. Being older and certainly not connected by cell phone or internet, I found him to be of the few living today who gets by in about the same way people did 20+ years ago. I walked through the property and made some suggestions as well as took notes on the plusses and minuses of the home. I found myself becoming far more narrative about the whole process of selling since he’d not experienced it in over 40 years. We set a date far enough in the future for me to list it so he’d have time to get the home prepared without beating himself up. The day arrived and with file in hand I drove to the home and walked him through all the required listing documents. Questions, questions and more questions of which I gladly answered as best I could.

During the second meeting I found him to be a bit more poignant in his questions as well as remarks. I began to sense he was testing me with questions that could have likely boomeranged back on me should the answer not be to his liking. The home got measured up, photos taken, and copies provided. Upon my leave he said, “Now don’t give me any B.S. about what I should and shouldn’t be expecting from your services because I was in sales for over 50 years.”

As chance would have it the home sold in about one week and when the seller signed the purchase contract he said, “I was expecting nothing less from you Mr. Chodur because I noticed from the first time we met that you know what you’re doing.” I blushed a little and replied, “Thank you, but we did get lucky in finding a buyer so quickly.” Over the course of the inspections, the appraisal process, title work, and finally being within a day or two of closing, I found everything falling into place as expected except one wild card thrown at me—the seller found himself in the hospital. All things happen for reasons yet to be revealed so we simply must adjust and make the best of un-expected situations.

About four visits to the hospital to get this or that for him as well as getting his signatures on closing documents enabled me to get the full picture of what type of man he was. Sitting at his bedside I heard stories of his childhood of poverty, stories of his marriage and divorce, stories of his work, and stories of his play. One thing I walked away from that whole sale process knowing fully well, was that this man had experienced nearly every facet of life most only read about. He said, “I’ve had it all and nearly seen it all in my traveling sales job, and lived through some of the lowest of lows and highest of highs, but I can say what means the most to me now is being able to have good people around me who really do care.” He went on to say, “Money means nothing to me because I know it doesn’t create happiness. It should only be used at times as a means—not an end.” I agreed and said, “I’ll be back in an hour or so with your check.”

When I arrived back in his room, I handed him his check along with his copy of the closing statement. He said, “Now I suppose I’ll never see hide nor hair of you again since you got your money.” After a few words I smiled and said, “I’m sure we’ll cross paths again. About two weeks later he showed up at my office to deliver extra keys to the house. He’ll be remembered because with him, a genuine attitude is everything.