By Luke Baynes
Liz Merryman knows a thing or two about moving.
The Manhattan native and current Williston resident’s initial move was to Boston, to attend college first at Tufts University, then at Boston University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education.
Marriage to a U.S. Air Force pilot took her to the East Anglia region of England, followed by three years in Louisiana, then back to England, then on to Kansas, the Florida panhandle, New Mexico and back to Louisiana.
So it should come as no surprise that following so many moves and so many homes, the onetime schoolteacher would find a successful career in real estate after returning to work when her two children entered school.
“I knew that if I was with other people’s children all day long, and then came home to my kids, it wouldn’t be very fair to them, so I decided to try this,” said Merryman, currently a realtor at Century 21 Jack Associates in South Burlington.
Merryman began her real estate career in Alamogordo, N.M. When her now ex-husband retired from the Air Force, they moved to Alexandria, La., where she spent more than a decade with Key Realty LLC.
Williston beckoned for Merryman in December 2011, due to the proximity of her two sisters in Huntington and Starksboro. Yet despite the considerable climate disparities and commensurate differences in housing types, Merryman said the real estate business is essentially the same in New Mexico, Louisiana or Vermont.
“People are people. It’s the same everywhere,” she said. “That’s one of the things I learned living in the Air Force and moving around so much is that people have the same wants, the same needs, the same values wherever you go. And if you can connect with someone and help them, they’re going to be happy.”
Merryman was in Louisiana in the aftermath of both Hurricane Katrina and the subprime mortgage crisis. Both incidents taught her that despite tragic or dire circumstances, life and work goes on.
“Even though there was this horrible credit crisis and housing crisis, people’s lives went on, and they still bought and they still sold, and I still had a way to help people,” Merryman said.
Merryman, 55, is a certified seniors real estate specialist, although she works with everyone from the widow looking to downsize to the newlyweds seeking a starter home. She characterized the current Vermont real estate landscape as neither a buyer’s nor a seller’s market.
“It’s balanced. It’s healthy,” Merryman said. “From last year, they’ve gone from nine months of inventory down to six months of inventory, which is excellent.”
When asked what she likes most about her chosen profession, Merryman responded immediately and definitively.
“The people,” she replied. “And getting the deal to come together and work for my client. That’s the best part about it.”