Senior Real Estate Specialist Steinbach

You’ve heard of first time buyers- Let me tell you about a Last Time Seller

She had bought and sold several properties in her lifetime. This time, it was different.

Perhaps the biggest move was coming from overseas to Manitoba, Canada.

She recalls the move up to Thompson and back. That sale was a nightmare of an experience. Her husband and she had moved together a few times. Then there was the time she moved alone from the country into town where she had felt very pressured by her agent. She would choose an agent carefully this time.

This time.

This was the last time.

The realtor arrived on time at the assisted living facility that was now her home. This particular morning however, as a result of pain and stiffness, it was taking a while for the health care aid to get her dressed.

As a child, she had been taught to be gracious hostess. She had entertained many people in her own home. Proper etiquette was something she expected of herself.

This day, she wasn’t able to greet the realtor at the door. She wouldn’t even be able to offer her a cup of tea.

As she made her way from the bedroom to the living room she looked up from the wheelchair to meet her Realtor for the first time. She felt like she already knew her through her writings. They had enjoyed several telephone conversations over the past few weeks.

“You are a beautiful woman.” she said as her hands went up to sweep the fly away hair from her face. Her ponytail was loose and she had not been able to groom her hair in a while.

She was self-conscious about her disheveled appearance. The woman she saw in the mirror that morning was quite different from the impeccably groomed style she had once presented.

Gone were the days of elaborate gowns and fancy hats. She had a large collection of dramatic hats. Those hats displayed her pride in her English heritage. This day her gown was a robe.

This aging lady was clearly a woman of class and elegance. The robe and wheelchair did not disguise her beauty.

In her distinct English accent, she asked the agent a lot of questions. They viewed properties on the laptop together and she became well informed of the market value of her home that she had just moved out of. It was not as high as she had hoped.

She made the choice to list her property.



She was not at home to witness the for sale sign go up on her property.

Some of her belongings were being packed and moved into the garage.  There were family heirlooms and antiques that would not be following her into her next home. She had an appreciation for beautiful things. What would become of all these things, she wondered.

The month that followed was challenging. Since the death of her husband she had been a very independent woman. She didn’t like to ask for help. Now this unrelenting pain had her at the mercy of others. She said goodbye to the small room in the villa and was transported back to the hospital.

She worried about how her daughters would handle all the arrangements of the move. These beautiful women had busy lives and she was feeling like a burden to them. That was the worst part.

Then came the offer. If she signed those papers she would be faced with the brutal realization that she was never going to go back home. She would never again play in the gardens that she had planted. She would never sit on that deck to watch the sunset over the view of the park.

The buyer had allowed for a day’s wait before she needed to respond to the offer. She needed that time. She needed to be alone with her thoughts.

She gathered up some strength overnight. Perhaps the Realtor’s silent prayer had seen her through the anguish of emotions that came from letting go. She signed the contract. The house was sold.

With a worried look on her face she clasped her daughter’s hand and asked, “How are you going to manage getting everything moved so quickly?”

“Don’t worry about it Mom, I’ll take care of it,” her baby said as she leaned toward her on the hospital bed. They were comforting, re-assuring words. At least, that’s how they were delivered.

She bit her tongue and tried to keep her lips from trembling. As a third person in the room, the Realtor observed a million words that were translated between Mother and Daughter that were never spoken.

As she awaits being transferred to a nursing home, she spends her time thinking about the life she has lived, the memories she has made and the inevitable truth that like 100% of others, one day this life will end.

Perhaps she will make new friends in the nursing home and have much laughter over the next season of her life. Perhaps the pain will subside and she will go for walks this summer. For now, let her grieve a little. She is saying good-bye to more than just a house.






Senior Real Estate Specialist

Tina Plett,
Sutton Group-Kilkenny

What Seniors Know About Selling That Could Save You Major Stress

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I work with many interesting people, but one senior couple I found particularly fascinating.

I hesitate to call them seniors because their years were so many they were beyond senior. We’re talking nearly a century of life experience here – each. Ready to sell their home and live with their children (wow, I love that!) they listed with me. I have to tell you I really admire this couple – their gentle way with each other, the smiley eyes they still make at each other, and their proactive, common sense approach to managing health, family and finances.

But when a low-ball offer came in, they really got interesting.

The offer was much lower than asking price, and the couple had reduced their price already (however unnecessary I thought it was – ultimately they are the boss after all). The husband’s response to the offer was simple. “I can accept that offer.”

These people have worked hard their whole life, and are now selling the last thing they have. This will be all the money they’ll have to live on for the rest of their lives.  You’d think they would fight for every penny. I certainly knew negotiations would yield more, and encouraged them to counter. Even his wife gently questioned his decision. Still, his response was simple. “You know what? I want to sell my house. That’s my goal.” No games, no greed, just matter-of-fact goal accomplishment. So that’s what happened, and everyone walked away pleased.

Had this been a couple in their thirties or forties, it would have been quite different. There would have been much offense taken at such a low offer. Indignation and outrage would close that and all future negotiations with any person who would offer such. Months of complaining would ensue, and bitterness take root.

Over an offer.

Real estate can get pretty emotional and dramatic sometimes. This couple demonstrated well how unnecessary all that drama is. Greed, fighting and game playing just to eek out a few extra dollars are not worth all the stress and hassle. Not really.

This couple understood something few do – fighting over money doesn’t pay. If it comes down to a choice between money and peace, it’s wise, beneficial to everyone, and amazingly simple to choose peace.


Succession Planning – guest blog

Many people wonder what succession planning is. Succession planning is simply the process of transferring your business to your children. However, there are many different ways of doing it.

As parents we all want what’s best for our children and we want them to be treated fairly. This is probably one of the hardest things to do when it comes to succession planning. The children that are not involved in the business usually feel left out and that when the business is transferred they will not receive anything which usually leads to family quarrels or the business being sold to a third party. The key to any plan is communication between parents and all their children. Lack of communication will certainly lead to fighting within the family. There is an efficient tool that can be used to financially take care of the siblings that are not involved in the business upon succession and it’s called life insurance. Most people will stop reading at this point because life insurance for most is a negative thing when in fact it is one of the keys to a great and efficient succession plan. The reason life insurance is such a great tool is because it is the cheapest way to pay out the other siblings that are not involved in the business and it comes at the exact time that it is needed. In every succession plan I’ve done the insurance was always cheaper than getting a loan and because the cost is so low it does not affect the cash flow or equity in the company to allow it to continue to grow until the succession plan needs to be settled. I would be happy to explain in detail and show examples of how the entire process works as there are many other aspects to a succession plan such as proper valuation of a company, taxes, capital gains, as well as the legal and accounting process to complete the plan.

Joel Bourgouin
Financial Advisor
Bourgouin &image Associates
2A – 423 Main St.
Steinbach, MB R5G 1Z6
P:(204) 346-0843
F: (204) 320-9167

Hear ye, here ye! My public announcement!


100+ chocolate sleighs assembled by volunteers

100+ Chocolate sleighs were assembled by volunteers in Steinbach on Friday Dec. 6 and will be given away as gifts at the Christmas Eve Event in Steinbach. When Linda Wiebe, a coordinator at Fernwood Place heard about this idea, she was quick to offer the multi purpose room at Fernwood as a place to invite the public to do this craft. The 55+ residents enjoyed being able to work together with women, teens and children and were astounded how quickly these festive sleighs took shape. I am so grateful to all the women who brought their glue guns and participated! When the guests arrive on Christmas Eve they will find a one of these delightful gifts at their place setting. It will brighten the room and hopefully the guests will understand that they are special and that they were worth all this effort. Somehow I am filled with hope believing that the time and efforts of so many people will make those who are alone aware that there is still compassion in this world for the lonely!

What do you mean my power of attorney won’t be enough???

My buyer was so excited to finally find the location and the size of yard, within their budget, that she had been needing, after more than a year of searching! I cannot tell you the hoops she had to jump through to finally put in the offer, have the offer accepted and then to remove all of the conditions necessary to close the deal! I got to see the reaction of joy that makes my career fulfilling! All the paperwork was delivered to the lawyers office.

Then it happened. We received notification that the seller’s lawyer could not close the deal. The other agent let me know that although he had seen the power of attorney papers, the seller was not in a legal  position as a power of attorney to sell the house on behalf of his mother who was ill with dementia. To make matters worse, the mother,  who was the owner of the house, was hospitalized due to the stress of the move to come. She was still grieving the loss of her husband and saying good bye to their place of residence was just too much!

What was my buyer to do? She had given notice in her rental. She had let the school know that her son was transferring schools because he was already enrolled in another school! This woman was organized and had given notification of address change in most places.

The complications in this deal were immense and I cannot tell you details. To summarize the outcome I will say this: In the end, the deal went through and the buyer got to move into the house! Yes, it had a LOT to do with the fact that they had a relationally motivated agent like me working on their behalf!

Here’s what I want you to know!

There are two kinds of power of attorney.

1.  Power of attorney for property: This document authorizes the named person to act on your behalf with respect to your property.

2.  Power of attorney for personal care: This designates someone to act on your behalf in matters of personal health care.

Here is what the seller’s son (power of attorney) wanted me to tell others:

Tell people not to wait till they are incompetent to sell. Tell elderly and sick people to sell when they can still choose what to pack. This family had to pack up an entire household the same way you would if the parent had died. They felt as though they were forced to grieve before their time. A part of them felt as though they were violating their mother!  Also, tell people to have an ALL INCLUSIVE power of attorney drawn up BY A LAWYER so that the power of attorney can do the job that the parent had intended them to.

Tina Plett says, “THERE ARE OPTIONS!”  If you have a parent that does not want to move, before you pressure them to sell, I may be able to offer them some creative options! Perhaps we can get a government grant for improvements up to $3,500 so that the house can be modified to universal design standards which will make it safe to age in place. Or, perhaps we can have an investor purchase the home at market value and allow your parent to live in the home as a tenant. The advantage to this is that they can free up some finances for living costs, avoid the house going to probate in the future, and you will have less complications dealing with an estate. Before you or your parent make decisions, consider a free consultation with me a few years in advance to discuss some options. I may be able to help you address subjects that are not easily discussed. I am trained as a senior real estate specialist and am skilled at communicating with mature people. Lawyers and financial planners should be involved in educating seniors in making wise decisions for the inheritance they are leaving behind. Perhaps, if they could take the time to talk to me, I may be able to caution them and direct them to safe places for consultations.

This experience I just shared with you has had a profound impact on how I do business with seniors! Since then, I met a woman whose son wants her to sell. She is not well and believes that the stress of moving would kill her! I believe she may be right. I assisted her by helping her son understand her condition. No pay check for Tina, but I know that I had her best interests at heart. This last week, I got called to a home of seniors who said they had no choice but to list their house and sell because their daughter insisted! That is elder abuse! That is not a pay check I want to take home and be responsible for! I made them aware that the house could not legally sell without their signatures. No listing for me. On the other hand, I still get calls from a grateful senior widowed woman, thanking me for how I served her when I sold her home. She was overwhelmed about what to do with her deceased husband’s tools. I connected her with an auctioneer who not only paid her for an agreed amount, but also came and loaded all the items she didn’t know what to do with and removed them from the premises! My payment for that was having a very satisfied client and a cheque after the house sold! Mature people deserve to be treated with respect and need a relationally motivated agent working on their Behalf. Having a transactionally motivated listing agent will get their home sold, but they may be hurt in the process.

Please share this message with anyone that you may be concerned about who may be selling in the next five years. Thank you!

Tina Plett,

Sutton Group-Kilkenny