Illustration of cowboy watching horse in pasture

© Steve Musgrave

In the Trenches: A Closing Gift Twist

A seller's painting brings special memories to the listing agent and her husband.

March - April
2020

I was helping my broker—who also happens to be my husband, Patrick—prepare a listing for a photo shoot. As I was fluffing pillows, I became enraptured by a painting of a cowboy.

“Do you like that painting?” the seller asked, noticing that I had stopped to admire it.

“Very much!” I replied. “Could I take a photo of it? I may have to buy a print of this for Patrick.”

The seller told me she used to represent the artist’s pieces at art galleries around town, and this work was her favorite. “Why are you so fascinated with the painting?” she asked me.

I said that we’d recently lost Patrick’s father Wayne to illness—and that the painting looked like an exact image of Wayne. He and Patrick were very close. The seller told me the name of the artist, and I figured I would look into getting a reprint of the painting. I snapped a quick picture and got back to work.

That summer, Patrick got the client’s property under contract with an extended closing date so she could pack and look for a new home with less time pressure. The market was hot at the time, and our client made a handful of offers on potential homes but lost to a higher bidder every time. Three days before the closing on her home, and after six months of searching for a new property, the client found the place she wanted. The negotiation and settlement happened quickly, and her transition went smoothly.

Several days later, Patrick received a special delivery. Packaged carefully in the box was the cowboy painting that I had admired in the client’s former home. It also contained the following heartfelt note: “Well, it has been an interesting journey. Thank you for your expertise, patience, and knowledge. Your wife said this painting reminded her of your dad. I loved hearing the stories of this special man, and I want you to have this painting as a reminder of him.” —Laurie Pacheco, Clearwater Montana Properties, Bigfork, Mont.

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