Steinbach REALTORS serving seniors
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 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
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.
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.
Bourgouin & Associates
2A – 423 Main St.
Steinbach, MB R5G 1Z6
F: (204) 320-9167
When we sell our house, we want to celebrate. We expect to. And so we should! It’s an exciting time! But what happens when our house sells and, instead of excitement, we have fear or anger or sadness?
It happens more than you think.
Selling a home is not always Plan A. Desperation or necessity often motivate a sale. Divorce, death, financial crisis, illness, there are so many reasons – and most of them rate high on the Stress Scale. (Unfortunately this makes sellers vulnerable to the unscrupulous, be they vendors or agents.) This is life-change time, and often not in a happy way. It’s difficult to close a chapter and begin a new one when crisis is turning the page.
It can be downright terrifying!
If you’re a home seller wondering why you’re not excited your house just sold, don’t worry. You’re normal.
It’s okay to feel stress and to grieve the past – the loss of what was.
If you’re a Real Estate agent wondering why your client is acting weird – maybe even lashing out – relax. It’s probably not you (unless you’re one of those unscrupulous ones…) Grief unfolds in a hundred unpredictable ways. Don’t take it personal. Acknowledge their situation or feelings, express concern and listen with compassion.
How did someone encourage you most when you were highly stressed or grieving?
I’d love to hear them in the comments!
My heart goes out to people are alone at Christmas. I followed my heart to meet a need. I just wanted to keep people company. The response was overwhelming. 92 people in Steinbach attended the Don’t Spend Christmas Eve Alone event.
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!
The crowning jewel of service
<a href=”http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=46636&picture=flower”>Flower</a> by Bartosz Kossakowski
One of my favorite deals almost drove me crazy. A vendor, an aging widow with dementia who had recently lost her husband, was kicking out REALTORS one after the other. My client and I were no exception. But, wanting to help the widow too, I was able to speak with her and we were able to reschedule.
My client adored the house at first sight, and quickly made an offer. The vendor then informed us that the water was ‘bad’ – a potential deal breaker for lenders. We thought the deal was lost. But I really wanted to help both the widow and my client to get what they wanted, so we immediately had the water tested. The water, it turned out, was fine. The vendor was able to sell her house, and my client was able to buy the house she wanted.
Our clients deeply appreciate our going the extra three miles. They can tell when they are a priority, and are cared about. That’s what they remember.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
– Maya Angelou
Personal attention is basically the culmination of everything mentioned in this series. We start and end with this crowning jewel in mind: valuing all people. Collegues,competitors, vendors, sellers, the gas attendant. My clients -whether a $50K home owner, or $500K vendor – receive the same personal attention from me.
A client’s experience with us needs to sparkle with the jewel of personal attention. They will feel valued and respected, and they will tell their friends about it, and that is exactly what we hope for.
“Loyal customers, they don’t just come back,
they don’t simply recommend you,
they insist that their friends do business with you.”
–Chip Bell, Founder Chip Bell Group
Your turn: What has grabbed you the most about this series?
http://tinaplett.com/about-me/blog/ to see part one, two, and three of this series.
Yes, I am from STEINBACH! I know the people, the churches, the shops, the streets, the schools, and the Steinbach Real Estate market!
Tina Plett, Sutton Group-Kilkenny Real Estate