The team here at Showcase Properties of Central Florida are passionate advocates for both our clients and our area. The reason behind this is simple– we love where we live, and we believe in inspiring our customers to do the same. Our Agent Stories series focuses on our talented REALTORs® and their unique stories, while sharing the magic that inspires them to do what they do with passion, dedication, and integrity. You can find new additions to this series at the Agent Series category on the side-bar, or by following us on social media for the latest updates!
In this edition of our Agent Stories series, we focus on Showcase team member Clayton Wagner a Broker Associate and REALTOR® with Showcase Properties of Central Florida. With a history written right here in Ocala’s iconic northwestern horse country, Clayton Wagner’s familiarity with the local equine industry started at home. Growing up on a horse farm and then going on to show steers at the local 4-H Youth Fairs as a child, his interest and understanding of the local agricultural community started early. His passion for helping others fall in love with Ocala, as well as his calm demeanor and professional character, consistently allows customers to feel confident in their choice of buying or selling. These traits are also what made him a perfect fit for Showcase Properties of Central Florida, and the perfect example of what the company strives for.
We sit down with Clayton to learn about his own real estate journey from a customer’s point of view when he bought and sold in Marion County.
The thing about Real Estate professionals is that they’re really good at rolling with fast changes and unexpected surprises. They kind of have to be, or they wouldn’t be able to stay relatively sane in an extremely dynamic, fluid, and evolving field.
Take, for instance, Showcase Agent Clayton Wagner and his wife Jordan.
Both are Ocala natives; Clayton’s family moved here from Missouri before he was even a year old, and he’s lived here almost all his life. He left briefly for a few years to play college baseball at Embry riddle Aeronautical University, where he also earned his Bachelors in Business Management. Then the hometown boy came home, met Jordan – a hometown girl – dated a few years and got married on Leap Day. Ocala is stitched into both their DNA strands.
“The market started changing, so we just thought, ‘Let’s drive around and see what’s out there,” Clayton recalls.
These are the famous last words of husbands everywhere.
“Then at about 2:30 in the morning, my wife smacked me and woke me up,” Clayton says. “We need to sell the house!’ she said. I’m like, ‘Okay, I’m going back to sleep.”
But the idea – and Jordan – kept poking at him, so he ended up agreeing and called Triple Crown the next day to ask about the house. Unbelievably, the house had just become available; the people who had made an offer had just backed out.
“So we went back and looked at it again,” Clayton says. Some work on the build had already been done, and “We liked about 80% of it.” The remaining 20% they decided they could work with.
“Depending on the builder, you could be picking out everything from swatches to grout color to doorknobs,” he explains. “I think it helped, being in the industry and knowing what to look for and expect in that regard.”
“I do this sort of thing with clients all the time, so I knew the process. I know what it entails. But I really underestimated the moving process. She was already starting to pack, and I was telling her ‘Relax, we have plenty of time. I was wrong.”
— Clayton Wagner, Broker Associate with Showcase Properties
After some more discussion and weighing of their options, they ultimately put their current home on the market the very next day, made an offer on the new one. Jordan, with the prescience of an Oracle, began strategizing and planning the move with singular focus, anticipating mayhem. Clayton was somewhat baffled. As an agent, he was experienced and knowledgeable about how things were likely to play out; he was familiar with the market and the community. He felt fairly benign about things.
“I do this sort of thing with clients all the time, so I knew the process. I know what it entails. But,” he admits sheepishly, “I really underestimated the moving process. She was already starting to pack, and I was telling her ‘Relax, we have plenty of time.”
He pauses ruefully. “I was wrong.”
Their home sold within thirty days, during which they held about 30 showings while it was on the market. So that meant getting two dogs and his stepson out of the house for a few hours each time.
“Picture a lot of sitting in the car with two canines going absolutely bananas,” he describes, “and trying to figure out new ways of entertaining a seven-year-old. It’s a toss-up which one was the bigger challenge.”
They closed on both houses the exact same day, and then it was time to move, and he found himself profoundly grateful for his wife’s grim foresight, because it was definitely not as simple and uncluttered an undertaking as he’d anticipated. For one thing, they had to be out of the old place and into the new one in a paralyzingly short span of time, so they called friends and family in for help. Previously, he’d thought they would be able to move everything within a day, but it ended up being an entire weekend of almost non-stop transfer back and forth.
“We threw a ton of stuff away, but that still took me an entire day. Then I was just throwing stuff in as fast as I could. I think we ended up moving until 3 am, and I got about 2 hours of sleep that night. We actually drove our lawnmower over at 2 am to the new house. It was nuts.”
It took two 40-foot trucks and many, many trips before everything was moved, and then they had to deal with the next step of unpacking and setting up the new place. That was made even more challenging because life was still going on: Clayton had his job and Jordan owns the largest Spa/Salon in Ocala. Taking time off wasn’t an option, so it took them a while to get completely settled. That 80% of completed build specifications ended up being a bonus for them.
“I think I can empathize more with it in terms of the stress of moving, and I think it’ll make me even better at what I do. There’s a shared frame of reference that I can really understand and maybe do things to help facilitate things so they can be easier.”
— Clayton Wagner, Broker Associate with Showcase Properties
After the move, customizing and fixing things up was almost fun by comparison. Clayton says it gives him a much deeper insight into his job and what clients undertake after they sign on the dotted line. In a 2020 survey for North American Van Lines, a majority of respondents said moving house was the most stressful thing they’d ever gone through in their lives – and that includes getting married and/or getting divorced. The most hair-raising part of the actual moving? Packing and unpacking.
“I think I can empathize more with it in terms of the stress of moving,” he says. “And I think it’ll make me even better at what I do. There’s a shared frame of reference that I can really understand and maybe do things to help facilitate things so they can be easier.”
Now that it’s done and behind them, he vows he’ll be better prepared next time and listen to his wife. “I’ll never do that again,” he laughs. “I’ll gladly pay someone next time to move us.”