People use running as a metaphor for a lot of situations in life- running the race and taking each step at a time to accomplish a goal. There are sprints and long distances when it comes to races- and life. This spring I ran my first 26.2 through the streets of Fargo. I had run plenty of half marathons over the past 8 years – but this year I made the goal to run a full and I did it.
Setting an attainable goal like running a marathon is similar to setting the goal of buying or selling your home. It doesn’t happen overnight, it takes a thoughtful plan and execution of training, and it can be just as mental as it is physical. Let’s take selling you house first:
Selling: Make a plan. There are the anomalies of those who decide one day to lace up their shoes and run 26.2 miles at once or on a whim stick a “for sale” sign in their yard and cross their fingers the right person will offer a cash offer of full price for their house. But lets be realistic- that is a great way to get frustrated and the lack of preparation will most likely lead to failure. Just like a marathon needs a training plan- so does selling your home. And guess where successful runners get their training plans? From successful, professional endurance athletes that have ran and won marathons. Get your real estate advice from a licensed, professional realtor who is trained in negotiation, contracts, and the pricing and marketing of homes. There is a science to training for a marathon. And there is a science to pricing and executing contracts to navigate through negotiations.
Buying: Make a plan. Get your checklist ready, friends. Shoes, socks, watch, water, course: check. Throw in some fancy neon dry fit clothes and a few Gu packets and you are now legit. Have you ever ran 26.2 miles in a full sweatsuit? No, you wear running clothes and you have special running shoes; you prepare yourself for the miles and the chaffing (the struggle is real). Same goes for purchasing something that entails a 15-30 year mortgage- your future house. Make a checklist for your goal of buying: talk to a loan officer and see what you are approved for in a mortgage, reach out and get advice on the small steps that can lead towards huge financial accomplishments. Work on your debt-to-income ratio and write out the steps and sacrifices you are willing to make to buy a home. Make a list of wants and needs- then compare that list to what is realistically available in your price range, wrap your mind around what is attainable and create opportunities in your daily habits to attain it.
Lets talk about the biggest hurdle to running: the discipline of training your mind. Sure, your knees and feet are going to hurt running 26.2 miles- that is obvious. But what hurts more is fighting each thought to walk or quit. It takes a mental game plan to run through the tough miles, and for each runner that mile marker may be different. For me, it was miles 21-23. I had run 20-21 miles on a few training runs so knew what that felt like, but when I hit mile 22 I felt like I was in no-mans land. What in the world am I doing here and why I am doing this to myself? For some reason, I got to mile 23 and then all I had left was a 5K- easy peasy, I could do it. Your walk through buying or selling can feel like that, no matter how much preparation you have made, you will find yourself emotionally insecure about why you are here and where this is going. Let me tell you, when you are there in running or real estate, it sure is nice to have someone you trust on your side. For me, I had my running friend who I trained and raced with- she was an experienced marathoner and she got me through those hard miles with encouragement and helping me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. A professional realtor does the same in your transaction- they are with you each step of the way, watching out for pothole you could twist your ankle in, and looking ahead for the deal to move forward.
One is the loneliest number- surround yourself with people who are going to cheer you on and support you. It makes running 26.2 miles or buying or selling your house so much more enjoyable to have friends supporting you. It doesn’t have to be their goal or accomplishment, their role is to keep things positive to help you see the larger picture and encourage you each step of the way.
So there you go, whether you are ready to conquer a race or make an investment in real estate, make a goal and rely on the help of someone you can trust. You have the choice if you want to cross the finish line beaming with strength, stamina, and pride or gasping and sick because you were ill-prepared, or worse yet not even finishing. Same goes with a real estate transaction, it is not a sprint- it is a process of steps that will test your endurance and emotions- take my advice and choose who is leading you wisely.
I want to hear your goals – running and real estate and life!
Here are mine:
Running: I want to become a pacer for races. I love the race atmosphere and I love meeting new people. How I can obtain this goal is by running more races and after I have a more diverse resume of full marathons I can apply to be a pacer for races and help others reach their goal times.
Real Estate: Jake and I want to raise our family on water. We always have our eyes open to seeing what is out there as far as renovating a cabin or building on a piece of raw lake shore. For now, we know that to reach that goal we need to continue to build equity in the home we own now by maintaining and improving it. We also are working on financial goals to be able to purchase in the future.
Ready, set, go!