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Relocations Made Easy: A Case Study

We have a blast working with all of our clients and every single transaction is unique in its own way. There are some transactions though, that stand out and are incredibly special to us and our recent closing on Mermaid Lane was just that. 

It was back in November that we first got the call from what would eventually become not only a great client, but a good friend. Alex was a single mother living in NYC who was going to be in town for a conference and was hoping to check out some properties and start wrapping her head around the different neighborhoods of San Diego, with the goal to buy a home and move to San Diego in the summer of 2020.
You see, she had grown up on Malta, a tiny island in the Mediterranean Sea and had always dreamed of living close to the water and having a view of the ocean. For the last few years she had been living in a townhome in Brooklyn, but couldn't shake her dreams of the beach.
So we connected over calls and worked on coordinating showings for a few properties across town while she was here, focusing on the coastal communities. It was a great initial visit and from the various tours, we were able to determine that coastal North County was the right fit for her and her daughter.
A few months later in February, she was going to be in town again for another conference, and wanted to do another round of tours and she was getting more serious. She also was going to bring the other decision maker with her this time, her 11 year old daughter :).
We looked at what was on the market and shared the best options we could find for her price point. The only thing was, none of them were that great... Knowing that everything that our client wanted was within reach if they were willing to stretch themselves just a little higher, John went back to the drawing board to see what he could find, and there was one property in particular that stood out. I can remember John saying to me, "I found her house". So we set up another round of showings - five home showings back-to-back down the coast of Carlsbad and Encinitas, saving the best for last and scheduling the "dream home" as the last one we'd see that day.

The showings were going great and while each of the properties that we were seeing had a lot of positives, they also had some downsides. It was ok though, as this visit was more for "research" purposes, and the buyer was really hoping to move in the summer. After all, she needed to sell her Brooklyn condo first in order to be able to buy her home in San Diego.
So it was at the second to last showing, that we said we had one more to see, and we think you're going to love it. "Just wait until you see the master bedroom and bathroom" is what John kept saying, excited to reveal the home to Alex and show her what it offered.
Feeling optimistic but also being conscious to not get our hopes up, we all headed off to Mermaid Lane...
From the moment we stepped through the door, I'm pretty sure our client's jaw was on the floor (literally). The place was STUNNING! It was exactly the home that our client had described to us when she was talking about her dreams to move to California. As we toured the home and got to the master bedroom, we thought our client was going to cry tears of joy. She stepped out onto the balcony and the views literally took her breath away. We're pretty sure she didn't do anything except stare out into the ocean for a solid 15 minutes standing on that balcony. Needless to say, even though we were months ahead of the ideal moving schedule, and the home in Brooklyn hadn't been listed or prepped for sale, we knew that we had found the one.
Wahoooo!!! We found our client's dream home!! Great, right!? Well... back to that "problem" we still had to tackle... selling the home they lived in Brooklyn. And with a very aggressive market like San Diego, it can be very difficult to get a contingent offer accepted - let alone a contingent offer on a property that had not been listed yet and is located across the country!
Feeling determined to make our client's dreams come true, we did what we do best - we got to work! Despite being in one of the hottest markets in the country and this home being truly exceptional, we were able to get our buyer's offer accepted and had negotiated timelines that would give us time to prep her home in Brooklyn for list, launch the listing, and hopefully find a buyer ASAP!
With an accepted offer here in San Diego, we had made it through the first hurdle, which was awesome! But it was time to get to work in NYC - we needed to get the Brooklyn home sold ASAP! We knew that the seller here in San Diego was not going to wait around for us if we were dragging our feet so we had to act quickly. We were able to interview and vette out agents in NYC and found an agent that specialized in our client's particular building. We made the connection and let the agent know what was on the line with needing to sell the home. Right away, with the partnership of the local NYC agent, we prepped the listing for sale, repainted, coordinated repairmen, and got the unit staged! We were moving fast and things were looking good!

If you're following along on this timeline, you probably realize what's coming next. We found the home on Mermaid in February, worked our hardest through early March to prep the NYC listing for sale, and then it happened - 😷 COVID19 hit NYC, and particularly Brooklyn, HARD. 
The day that our client's Brooklyn condo listed, NYC shut down. Perrrrfect timing, right? Agents were not allowed to do business, and everyone was wondering what the heck was going on. A pandemic is obviously not the best time to list a home. We were stuck, unsure of how this was going to affect everything and we certainly didn't want our client to lose out on her dream home in San Diego.
A few weeks later, it was becoming more clear what we could and could not do as agents. Things were becoming more flexible, but NYC being one of the worst hit, was still very restrictive. Despite everything, we stayed persistent along with the agent we partnered with in NYC, and within just a few short weeks, we got an offer!
This buyer's offer was also contingent, meaning they needed to sell their home in order to purchase our client's. So now we had a chain reaction of sales that were all contingent - definitely not the ideal space to be in, let alone during a global pandemic. But we kept at it and were committed to getting it done for our client! This was the DREAM HOME after all!
Despite all the moving pieces, a worldwide pandemic, our client living across the country and needing to trust us with every aspect of the transaction, and multiple contingent sales, we were able to move things along in both NYC and San Diego. And while it was a 4 month escrow, the seller of Mermaid stuck with us and we were able to get it done!!
Last week was the first time that our clients had been back to San Diego since they initially saw the home on Mermaid, and they were so excited to finally get the keys to their new home! 
Knowing that the trip was extra daunting for her daughter who was leaving all of her NYC friends behind, we wanted to make it special for her as well. We snatched up all of the "must have" beach equipment for a mom and daughter and created a little welcome present along with some champagne and sparkling cider. They were beyond ecstatic when they not only opened the door to their new home, but also saw a basket of goodies to be enjoyed in their new home by the ocean and the beach.
We are so excited to welcome our clients and friends to San Diego, and wish them many happy years in their dream home!
If you're looking to relocate or move to San Diego, we help clients like Alex and her daughter facilitate the process of moving to a new city all the time. On the same day we closed on Alex's new home on Mermaid, we also closed on a home for some clients from Texas who had never seen the home they closed on. They purchased it sight-unseen, trusting us to not only be their real estate agents through the process, but their literal eyes, ears, and senses, as we looked at properties on their behalf, guided them through the transaction, and even spent time at the home to get a feel for smells, sounds, and the energy of the property. We are here to make difficult moves seem easy. If you have the goal of selling or buying a home - regardless of the location, please reach out to see how we might be able to help! 
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