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!