b'From Childhood Friend to Trusted RealtorWorking with Jill SockwellBY ELLEN DONKER D I N G H ON MIF EAlthough its only been a few months since Alison Seanor moved to her A lisonSeanorandJillSock- new home, she already feels settled.asking,and Sockwell that evening and said, Buy me a house. well have been best friendsWere ready. Knowing that the market was tough ever since they met in kin- withlowinventory,bidswayabove dergarten in a little town inrising interest rates, Sockwell set her expectations. westernPennsylvania.Se- Zeroing in on Summit, Seanor wanted a move-in anor called Sockwell Squir- ready three-bedroom home with a fireplace, a back relbecauseshelovedtoyard, and a garage. Ideally, it would exude charm have fun and Sockwell called Seanor Brains be- and be a walkable distance to downtown Summit cause she was the brains behind their capers. Afterand school. high school, they went to their respective collegesWith few homes to choose from, Seanor lucked but when it was time to start their careers, theyout just a few weeks later when Sockwell sent her found their first apartment together in Manhattan.a listing for a 90-year-old Tudor and said, Okay, Eventually both women married (and divorced)dustoffyourpreapproval,Ithinkthisisyour but they still maintained their friendship. Sockwellhouse. Since Sockwell was going out of town, she settled in Maplewood and suggested that Seanormade a video tour of the home. Seanor says, So move here, too. By this time, Sockwell had shiftedshe walked through the house. Because she knows gears from advertising to real estate so it was only natural that she help her bestme, she knows what I was looking for, and the pros and the cons and what I friend find a home. Mixing business with friendship can be dicey, especiallywould like, and as soon as she did that, I thought:this is the house that I want. given the amount of money it takes to buy a house, but Seanor says, [Jill] justA visit the following Saturdaywith just 30 minutes to walk through the was on it.and made me incredibly comfortable that she was competent. Shehome before the next couple came throughconfirmed it. Seanor submitted was very savvy. She was very smart. And she knew her stuff. Seanor landed ina bid and by Monday she made a best and final offer. Knowing that Sockwell Maplewood. was the expert on how much to offer, she says, I just trusted and went with her For a variety of reasons, Seanor decided to sell the house after a year and alead. And it all happened very quickly. And then from there, she ushered me half. Sockwell stepped in once again and sold the home in a weekend. By then,through it seamlessly. There was no stress Seanor had a 3-month-old son, Nick, and a demanding job in New York as aninvolved. She continues, She put me in executive search consultant for the hedge fund industry. She needed a very easythe right position to be able to [get the commute to accommodate her lifestyle and Hoboken fit the bill. Intending tohouse]. And I will always thank her for live there for a short time, one year turned into ten.that.By the summer of 2021, Seanor sensed it was time to get back to having someSeanor and Nick moved into the house open space. She says, Id been thinking about moving back to the suburbs, buton August 29. Reflecting on her housing the commute for me as a single momit was daunting. COVID, as terrible as itjourney, Seanor says, Somehow Ive lived is for so many reasons, actually opened the door for me to be able to move backin the city and an apartment longer than because I now have more of a flexible work schedule.Ive lived in houses. But it always felt tem-So it happened one weekend when she and Nick were in town that Sockwellporary and transient. And here Ive only mentioned there was an open house for Seanors former home and wouldnt itbeen in this house for a couple of months be fun to take Nick to see where he lived his first few months of life. Seanorand it feels like home. She continues, I says, As soon as we walked in, nostalgia [was] washing over me, and Nick says,feellikethecaretakerofit.Myfamily, Mommy, buy it back! Nick and I, we will be carrying this on forJill Sockwell helped Alison Seanor, her best friend since kindergarten, find a That event convinced Seanor that the time was right for moving. She visitedhopefully many, many years.home in Summit. finding home /29'