The Story of our First Golden Sold.

August 27, 2018

I don’t know about you, but these days of summer were a blur for Ben and I. As we found ourselves in the midst of August, this was the month that we had plans, every single weekend – hosting Ben’s family, my family, visiting family in Michigan and traveling to make our own memories. I’m proud to say, we did it. And, crammed every last inch of our day with finishing this sweet home for one special family.

And that brings us to the last two weeks.  Thankfully, I know exactly where we left off. It was two Sunday’s ago.  This was the day before I experienced a mini stroke over the new countertops.  {That were clearly not resembling the natural veining I had envisioned in marble….} Thanks, Cabinets To Go.

{Design Tip: Lesson learned to anyone looking to build or refinish their kitchen.  Lay eyes on your slab. I’ve always used this rule in my own home; but with a tight timeline, I relied on a sample.  Often times, these samples are outdated, picked from the “best” piece of the slab or just have changed variation over time. And, this one turned out to look dentist office, sterile white.}  Thank God, it wasn’t a deal breaker, but it also didn’t quite articulate the vision I had in mind.

So, back to that day… The highlight of our project. This was the same day we were approached with a potential cash offer before listing.  It was the ‘yin and yang’ of our new rollercoaster of a journey since the day we signed our name on the dotted line of financing a second home. Big gulp. Bigger prayer. And, everything was just beginning to fall into place.

Ben’s family doesn’t know it; but this occurred two weeks ago when his family was in town. They were on their way back home and I made the call to mow the new yard because we were a hair away from receiving a nastygram from the HOA.  {In all honesty, it’s moments like this, that truly make you second guess why you’re doing, what you’re doing.} We had navigated ways to delegate nearly everything, except this. It was just never on my radar, until it looked like a jungle. So, as I sweat it out, push mowing this field from 2-4PM, my Sunday work was complete. Then, like clockwork, Ben checked in for the late shift as soon as I walked through the door. We both felt like we were in the last leg of the 3200 meter relay sprint; and there was no turning back. Neither one of us wanted to let the other down. It always seemed when we were exhausted or began to get frustrated, something amazing, out of the ordinary would happen.  Only God.

He had arrived at the house that Sunday night at 5PM and worked on finishing the trim, installing the appliances and tearing out the last of the countertops before our new beautiful slabs were to arrive next Monday morning.

And then, it happened.

That night, two little ladies saw Ben working and approached him at the driveway. Hope, was looking for the perfect place to retire her mom from her ten acres of land and this house had all the right bones. They loved the stone, the curb appeal, the three bedroom, 2.5 bath and the fact this wasn’t your cookie cutter home. I think they also loved the fact that my husband entertained their laundry list of questions on a Sunday evening when he clearly had a deadline to meet. So, he gathered their name, number and info – passed it onto myself and Stacey, our agent, and the negotiations began.

Important Note: Ben was really smart that night. He didn’t let them into the home.  This was key. We were told by our agent, that if anyone approached us, don’t let them in. First and foremost, we didn’t have the time to be giving home tours; and lastly, we would never get a second chance to make a first impression.  And, I wanted this place to be in pristine condition before that future owner stepped into their new home.

The next day, our agent followed up, and they requested to see it as soon as possible. Before listing. Our plan was to stage and list that Friday; but Hope insisted on seeing it with her mom before we spent the extra money to stage. The soonest we could let them in that door was Thursday. Countertops and backsplash was lined up for Monday, plumbing fixtures Tuesday, last minute finishes and soft staging Wednesday and Thursday, it was go time. You’d better believe it, in true Miss fashion, I rolled out the red carpet.  I left those gals a vase of flowers, a batch of fresh cinnamon rolls along with my note that has a 100% rate of return. It’s simple.

Welcome to the house we made a home. Please feel free to make it your own.  Welcome Home, Ben & Melissa

It’s simple. It’s sweet. And most importantly, it works. Within 48 hours, we had a cash offer. And, after a round of negotiations, we had a deal. Our agent worked her magic to make sure these buyers knew we were listing if we didn’t have a contract. It was as simple as that. We couldn’t believe it.  Seven weeks and three days after purchasing this home, we had a signed contract. No one said it could be done in less than eight weeks; but Ben and I believed we could.  We were committed. Everyone said 90 days would be a good goal… But in my heart of hearts, I knew that together, our abilities would take us further than our minds would ever allow us to go. We just have to work past shattering that invisible wall.  Every. Single. Time. And, do it consistently. That’s my formula to success. Every extra minute in the evenings and weekends we could make a dent in the project, we did. God had his hands all over this journey; we could feel it.

But, there’s one thing I have to say because if she’s reading this, she deserves every accolade. It’s our agent, Stacey Willis. It was her decision to place the sign out front that said, “Coming Soon.”  This drew so much attention, speculation and gawkers to the property. No joke. Between Ben and I both, we had a half dozen people approach us on the home; and, that ultimately led to a one agent transaction, negotiating it all. She kept the ball rolling; placing their interests and ours on equal playing fields, at all times. Most of you know I’ve been in sales for over a decade. She mastered the art of the deal.  She played counselor to the woman that would be downsizing her life from a ten acre estate to a 2400 square foot home and talked Ben off the ledge when this sweet woman wanted additional electrical outlets to plug in her automatic recliner and an extra recessed light directly over the farmhouse sink. She was amazing. Every step of the way. From meeting the appraiser to the inspector, she made sure this deal didn’t fall through the cracks. And this, was just another example of God putting the right people, in the right place, at the right time.

So, the moral to the story, never, ever, give up.  I posted this simple message today because our pastor mentioned this at church this morning. If He calls you to it; He’ll qualify you for it. This is so beautiful.  So ask yourself, are you ready?

Were you ready when you have your first baby? I was scared to death. I didn’t even know if I wanted children. Now, I couldn’t imagine my life without them.

How about that first day on the job or at school? My career has been my life for the past 12 years. And, I honestly have a hard time picturing my life without it.  But that first day, was the start of every beautiful moment I’ve shared at Novo.

What about that time you had to confront a friend, that what she did was hurtful and wrong? I had to do this, this year. It was hard. It hurt. Our friendship still hasn’t been the same. But I know God will restore that, when the time is right.

We never, ever, really feel ready.  I can say this, because I’ve been there. With Him, we’re always enough. Trust me. I’ve been there. I’ve fallen. I’ve failed.  And yes, I’ve said things I wish could take back. The difference – I fail forward. I take what I’ve learned and commit to doing better the next time. That’s giving grace to yourself. And, that’s real love. It’s what God gives us everyday, that we don’t deserve. And, it’s what you deserve in a partner. Ben and I both said, without hesitation, this process was scary; but we would do this again. Because the outcome and the lessons learned were worth it. It made our ability to depend on one another stronger; and I truly believe it made us appreciate our strengths even more than we had before.  It was such a beautiful, organic, top of the mountain deep in the valley ride – that I encourage anyone to step out and start the journey of their dreams.

So, what’s that for you? What’s your next step? What’s that one thing you keep thinking about but are so fearful that you have what it takes to actually do it.  Let me tell you.  You have it. Say it. You have what it takes – you have more than it takes. Because the desires of your heart are placed there for a reason.  And God wouldn’t place those there, without a purpose.  That purpose is you. So go, take the risk, hop on the ride, because, it’s never too late.

Stay Addicted Friends,

Melissa XXxx’s


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