We were looking to sell our house. My realtor came over, checked out my house, ran some comparables, did the math and gave me a figure of what he thought my house could sell for.  My heart sunk.  His number was $50,000 less than my friend’s home sold for just 2 years ago.  And my home was comparable to hers.

I questioned “Are you sure?  But my house is nice and cute and clean and just a little bit different….”  He was certain that he had quoted me the market value.

With that depressing news, I stayed in the fetal position for the rest of the day.  I called my sister, my friend, and my husband and wallowed (and ate junk food.)

They all picked me up and through our conversations we said, Wait a minute.  There are intangibles here that people will buy.  Large deck, pretty yard, gazebo, brick wall, color choices, etc.  None of this translates to square footage.  You can’t compare my home straight across based on square footage.  I was convinced I could get more out of my house.

My realtor came over the next day and we had a heart to heart.  I told him I wanted at least $10,000 more than what he thought. I pointed out why my house was worth more.  He gave me some tough love and pointed out what was wrong with my home and then I went back and told him all the things that a male might not have noticed (upgraded light fixtures, Pottery barn hooks, draperies, house numbers, outdoor lighting, painted cupboards, etc.)

Then he talked about comparables, market value, appraised price, etc….  In the end, I insisted on listing the house for $10,000 more than he quoted me.  He reluctantly agreed.

Well, last week my house was on the market listed at my price.  We showed the house 6 times and we got 3 offers, one of which was more for the house than I even listed it for.  We accepted an offer, signed papers, and the house was off the market in less than a week.

This experience reminded me of the need to be my own ADVOCATE in the world.  No one is looking out for me more than me.  And no one is looking out for my children more than me.

So we need to be our children’s advocates as well. Sometimes we want to trust doctors, teachers, counselors or coaches more than ourselves.  Although I do believe we should listen to these experts, we ultimately need to trust our gut.  Often we know more than them when it comes to our child.

Now I am not talking about intervening on every occasion or bailing our kids out of character building experiences or fighting their battles for them.  Nor am I talking about being in denial about our children’s behavior and abilities.

But I am talking about your doctor telling you everything is fine and you still don’t feel right about your child’s health.  It’s okay to demand the test.  Or the teacher saying your child is ADHD, but the symptoms don’t add up in your mind.  It’s okay to get a second opinion.  Or a counselor saying your child should be in Algebra but you know she isn’t ready yet.  It’s okay to take the lower math class.

Listen to experts, hear their opinions, but in the end trust your mothering gut. Be your own advocate and be your child’s advocate.

3 thoughts on “Advocate”

  1. Bittersweet. Still love that brick wall…Tiff you could probably add $10000 to anyone’s house if you staged it! Congrats! Hope you find something amazing and if not, you’ll make it amazing!

    And yes, we are our kids best advocates!

  2. I am so proud that you stood up for yourself as well as your home… this gives me hope that I might be able to sell my house…if you stage it of course.

  3. Thank you! I love this post… it is a good reminder to me. With one kid just starting out in the public school system I am trying to learn the ropes, as far as what I can do as a parent and I’m realizing that I need to be involved and have an active relationship with his teacher/school so I can be an advocate when I need to be. I am so thankful to be a mom, and I love reading your blog! Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

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