Real Estate by Debbie Reynolds: Cutting the Ties with the Family Home

Cutting the Ties with the Family Home

Sellers and Helping Them Cope with the Stress of Moving

People get very attached to their homes. Though their heads tell them it is time to go and move on, their hearts are on the verge of breaking at the thought. Sometimes the reason is financial, other times it may be health issues or time to prepare for the next stage of life.

Old home place

How does an agent talk with a heartbroken seller? How does an agent work with the seller to get them to take action and move forward with a positive outlook instead of being in the depths of dispair? Agents have seen these situations many times and one thing we don't want to do is to be pushy and matter of fact that it is just something that needs to be done and it is no big deal. 

Here are a few suggests that may help a seller cope with this difficult situation and prepare for what is ahead.

  1. If there is a close friend or family member, get them involved. They will likely be supportive of the move and may offer to help with the going through of personal items and the separation from their things and the many memories that were made in the home.

  2. Be sympathetic and empathetic. Realize they are hurting and be gentle.

  3. It may all be so overwhelming they may be in a state of paralysis. Offer to help lighten the load by providing qualified people and vendors to help prepare the home for sale and to negotiate the move. Many times it is just a matter that they don't know where to start.

  4. When the tears come, give the seller time to mourn. It is part of the process and is very natural to feel some grief. Do not make them feel ashamed of how they feel.

  5. Offer kind words or stories of others that have been through it before them. Leave them with rays of hope that life isn't over and this is another season of life waiting for them. Try to focus on the future and the good things laying ahead.

  6. Share your thoughts about the buyer profile and who you think will be the next homeowner. Getting them to think about someone else being happy in the home can help the sellers to see the home will make someone beside them happy, too.

  7. If there are special plants in the yard or special features in the home like a mirror or light fixture, suggest they take it with them to their new home. These things can be replaced in the old home with something more up to date that will likely please the buyer more. Taking special pieces helps them know they can stay connected to the past.

  8. Let the seller know they are not alone and you will be right there with them, helping to guide and make the move as easy as possible. You are a team, you care and will not abandon the seller.

  9. Smile, hold a hand if needed and be a good listener. You may hear the same stories over and over so be patient. It is part of the separation process.

  10. Stay close in touch. Don't assume the seller is on track and moving forward. Be positive and reaffirm that the good memories made in the home will go with the seller and nobody can take those away.

Cutting the Ties with the Family Home

 

 Centruy 21 Platinum Properties2130 Wilma Rudolph Blvd.

Clarksville, TN 37040

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Comment balloon 46 commentsDebbie Reynolds • May 28 2017 09:41PM

Comments

Thank you very much, Debbie, for sharing this advice.

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) over 1 year ago

Debbie Reynolds Not easy under most circumstances but empathy is key ingredient.

My sister-in-law were just discussing this process even though it has been a few years since we sold her mother's house and my mother's house. 

Thanks for post, Debbie.

Posted by Mary Yonkers, Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor (Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate) over 1 year ago

Debbie good advice in handling what is many times a tough situation.

By the way the house looks like something out of Hansel & Gretel :)

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 1 year ago

I especially see this with every home owner that has lived in the home for a long time

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) over 1 year ago

Debbie

Cutting ties to the family home is a very emotional experience  . . . . Your post does a great job on explaining the process.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 1 year ago

Yours is a very moving post. Agents will do well to heed your advice.

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) over 1 year ago

I love the post. Thank you for the tips. Have a good day.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 1 year ago

Oh, this is SUCH sage advice, Debbie and I totally agree with all of your points. I have to say, keeping in touch and not assuming that things are moving forward is a very important point that I've learned as well. 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) over 1 year ago

Good morning Debbie, many years ago, I was involved in a transaction as a buyer's agent, we went to the house the day before closing for our walk-through and the seller was still living there comfortable, nothing was packed. Naturally, we panicked, called the listing agent, our closing was delayed by five days as this older seller did not want to leave. Just broke my heart.
This is a great post!

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) over 1 year ago

Real Estate...it stays while we go

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 1 year ago

Debbie good post with good suggestions. It is hard for older people to let go and move forward and a little empathy goes a long way.

Posted by Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) over 1 year ago

Good morning Debbie. This is thoughtful and real. Your kindness really matters.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) over 1 year ago

I remember going to upper state New York house hunting because of a possible job relocation. The older lady cried out said her husband died left little $ for her. The realtor quietly calm the owner down.  In this area we will just ask the seller not to be present.

Posted by Sam Shueh, mba, cdpe, reopro, pe ( (408) 425-1601) over 1 year ago

Good info, Debbie. I've sold two homes, including my mother's home, in the past few years that fall into this catagory, and it is so important to be extra sensitive. 

Posted by Mike Cooper, Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 1 year ago

Years ago the 1930's bungalow I grew up in came on the market as a repo. I still regret not buying it at the price listed and renting it. I had no nostalgia for others living there, and every home I have sold since doesn't cause any regret when sold.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) over 1 year ago

I don't know how many sellers have sobbed on my shoulders but a hug goes a long ways, I've discovered. And letting them experience the pain without regret. For some the tears start when the lockbox goes on the house. For others, it's when the sign pops up in the yard. And for some, it happens at the most inopportune time when they least expect it. You just go with the flow and be kind.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) over 1 year ago

Thanks for sharing!   To  help seniors (or anyone) them understand the process of pricing a home I wrote a blog awhile back called "The Magic Number".   When I work with seniors selling their home I definitely empathize, thinking of my parents who sold and moved from their family home after 50 years.  It was emotionally and physically hard on them and I don't think that i realized how difficult at the time.   

Posted by Mary Benton, TechTown Realty in Lubbock (TechTown Realty, Licensed in Texas) over 1 year ago

This is a lovely post, Debbie. Your clients are luckly to have someone who cares so much. Many agents would not be so sympathetic.

Posted by Jane Peters, Los Angeles real estate concierge services (Home Jane Realty) over 1 year ago

Yes, selling a home can be a very difficult thing for some sellers. Those are good tips for helping them move forward.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) over 1 year ago

Very good points, especially with older sellers or an older person that has just lost their spouse. 

Posted by Mick Michaud, Your Texas Lifestyle is Here! (Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107) over 1 year ago

Debbie Reynolds "Let the seller know they are not alone and you will be right there with them, helping to guide and make the move as easy as possible. You are a team, you care and will not abandon the seller."

Right on target - and - re-blog!

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) over 1 year ago

What an awesome post, sorry I missed it glad Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers  re blogged it, Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) over 1 year ago

Thank you Roy Kelley and hope this post helps other agents approach this subject.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 1 year ago

It is not always easy to deal with, Mary Yonkers.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 1 year ago

We also have to go slowly and not be pushy, George Souto.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 1 year ago

If you have been in real estate for any length of time, it will surface, William Feela.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 1 year ago

Emotions are a huge part of it and we need to be sensitive, Lou Ludwig.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 1 year ago

Thanks for your comment, Marte Cliff. I do hope many will read it.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 1 year ago

Glad you like it, Gita. That means a lot to me.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 1 year ago

Thank you Debe Maxwell, CRS. I am dealing with two situations like this and each one has its challenges.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 1 year ago

Thanks Richie. I appreciate you so much.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 1 year ago

Hi Beth Atalay, I had elderly sellers that asked to stay 3 days after closing and the buyers agreed. The morning they were to be out, the buyers was at the door and they were all in bed. The couple's adult children were living there too. The buyers were fit to be tied and the elderly couple acted like it was no big deal. It was like they were all in a trance. Lesson learned.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 1 year ago

Hi Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543, kindness will pay off in these situations.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 1 year ago

Thank you  Sheila Anderson, Gentleness, guidance, and sound advice will get them through.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 1 year ago

Hi Mike Cooper, dealing with my parents home's helped me get prepared to work with others.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 1 year ago

Hi Sam Shueh, the tears come so it is good to have tissues closse by.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 1 year ago

Hi Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, i knew you would be a hugger. The neice of the seller asked me if she could hug me.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 1 year ago

It would have been a good investment. Hindsight, Joe Pryor.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 1 year ago

Hi Mary Benton, I am sure you do a wonderful job with this type of client.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 1 year ago

Thanks Jane Peters. Kindness goes far in these situations.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 1 year ago

Hi Kat Palmiotti, thanks for your input. I hope many agents see this.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 1 year ago

Hi Mick Michaud, We have to have many skills in this business.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 1 year ago

Hi Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, thank you so much for sharing.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 1 year ago

Hi Endre Barath, Jr. I aways appreciate your comments.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 1 year ago

Always hard to say goodbye when there are so many memories!  Thanks, Deb!

Posted by Michael Dagner, Your Denver Homes Realty Expert (Brokers Guild Classic) over 1 year ago

Unfortunately it's true that people are attached to their homes. However, people have to find positive sides in this issue. One of them is that new house may be much more better than the previous one. For instance site my-custom-essays.com think that there are more benefits in this issue than drawbacks. I also share this view.

Posted by Mark Truby, Manager (ActiveCompany) 11 months ago

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