It was a pleasantly ordinary year -- a good one by my measure. Hidden in the ordinary are typically some extraordinary gems; moments and lessons. This one had its share. Lessons aren’t always fun, but the gems we take away are usually worth it.

Roofs. Spring storms of 2016 are still wreaking havoc. If you live in south or east Lincoln and you have not had an assessment of roof condition, please do so. If it is determined that you have storm damage, take your claim and make your repairs. The adage "pay for it now or pay for it later" comes into play in a big way. Pay for it now. Hint: Not all insurance companies are created equally. Do your homework.

Agents. With apologies to Dickens and his two cities, it was a "tale of two agents" this year. You have heard me say it before and I say it again. The agent across the table matters. I had some tough deals this year (some of you are smiling a knowing smile right now, right?), and I had some great agents across the table from me. Some of those closings would not have occurred without those quality agents; the agents who know their stuff, who know what they don’t know, who go the extra mile and much farther. Agents with whom I could converse and problem-solve; agents who served their clients well and allowed me to serve mine well. And, of course, I had a couple of the other type. Let’s just say, not all of those made it to the closing table.

The market. It changed on a dime mid-summer. A property is always, only, worth what a buyer will pay for it. The market, not the agent or client, gets to determine market price. Is selling a wish or a plan? If a plan, and the market changes, then you change your plan. My sellers wisely did, and my sellers sold.

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Title agents and lenders. Thank you. I truly could not have done this without you great ones.

Lessons learned, moments savored, a little bit older and a little bit wiser, and 2018 is in the books. Pearls of wisdom or diamonds in the rough, bring it on, 2019.

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L Magazine editor

Mark Schwaninger is L magazine and Neighborhood Extra editor.

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