Sunday, May 14, 2006

Nutty House

Buying a house, whether it be a first, second or umpteenth home, is stressful and can bring out both the best and the worst in people. I have a degree in psychology, and I worked in the mental health field through college and for a few years after graduating. I figured that with all of my experience (and as my altruism waned), I at least wanted to get paid for my mediation skills, so I went into the restaurant and hotel business where there is no shortage of opinions on both sides of the bar.

During my divorce 8-9 years ago, my dear friend Dave was there for me non-stop during my days and nights of angst. I felt so grateful for his constant support and guilty at the same time, because when he went through his divorce 5 years earlier, I was nowhere to be found. I stayed away, like I was afraid I would catch the divorce flu.

I remember telling him one evening how guilty I felt that I wasn't there for him as he was there for me, and he said to me, "Don't worry, man, you just be there for the next guy".

When I got my real estate license, I decided that the way I would pay Dave back was by cheerfully handling the occasional home sale that comes along where there was a divorce involved. Luckily, I've learned not to take things that people say during "divorce psychosis" personally, because, holy mackerel, can things get nasty! I've been used as a figurative punching bag and expected to be a messenger of evil wishes on numerous occasions, which I have resisted.

While these sales are only a small fraction of my business, the work required for a home listing in a divorce situation is often arduous; it's difficult keeping the opposing parties focused on the goal of selling the property, where often there are so many memories and emotional attachments. That being said, I do get satisfaction out of serving the families and paying back my debt to dear old Dave. md

Check out this great NYT piece:

My Broker, My Therapist - New York Times

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