LGBTQ+ allies help make the holiday better

by Bruce Hartley
Life Columnist

December is the beginning of my most favorite time of the year. Along with our normal holiday events this year is the purchase of a home, and it has been a fun and interesting journey for my fiancé and me. Nothing like adding a home move to the start of a busy month.

Bill and I decided it was time to start looking for a new home and we started our process by writing a list of things we want in a new home. We both wanted a large chef’s kitchen for entertaining. He wanted a garage, and I wanted a coverage porch. It was fun looking at each other’s lists and deciding what was “non-negotiable.”

Next, we needed to find a Realtor who is also an LGBTQ+ ally. Being an ally is important to us. We wanted to make sure that we would be comfortable with a Realtor who would also respect us as a same-sex couple.

After looking online for Realtor suggestions; we took messaged a potential Realtor. Along with being LGBTQ+ friendly; we wanted a strong communicator who would be responsive to our questions. One thing we hate is a professional who does not reply to calls, texts or emails.

We were lucky, and we are so thankful for the Realtor we found. She was quick to reply to our text with questions about a home we found online. I explained to her that Bill and I are engaged, and we are looking for a home. She immediately replied with the word “congratulations!” This greeting immediately put our minds at ease. It’s amazing how one word can be so uplifting.

She offered to meet us the following weekend to show us some homes meeting our “wish list.” I continued to be nervous as we drove to our first home appointment. I told Bill, “I sure hope she is not bothered by us.”

To our delight, we were greeted with a big smile and the words, “Okay, who is Bruce and who is Bill?” We laughed and introduced ourselves and knew we were in the hands of an ally.

As we walked through the home; we shared our personal story and wedding plans. Our Realtor made it clear she was comfortable with us.

At the end of the home tour; we thanked her and tried to shake her hand. She refused and said, “Sorry, I’m a hugger,” which made us all laugh and sealed the deal.

From that point forward, our Realtor was always a wonderful communicator. She worked on a list of homes for us to consider. During our next meeting; she gave us printouts of our schedule and demonstrated professionalism with her warm personality of acceptance of us.

As we looked at homes; we would joke about what each other liked and she joined in the fun.

Our Rwalked us through getting prequalified for a mortgage. Again, we were concerned about finding an LGBTQ+ ally. She said she couldn’t endorse a specific mortgage officer. After talking further, she shared a few ideas of people who fit our needs.

After obtaining a prequalified mortgage; we worked with our Realtor to make an official offer on a home. She used our feedback on the offer, and she started negotiations. I was amazed at her negotiating skills, and she finalized a perfect contract. She oversaw the home inspections and is kept us updated on every step.

I dedicate this column to the wonderful LGBTQ+ allies who work in the real estate business. Thank you for helping us find our home. I challenge readers to remember to be thankful for our professional allies as we enter the holiday season.

Cheers to you all and see you in 2019.

Copyright The Gayly – December 20, 2018 @ 7:25 a.m. CST.