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Selling a Lifestyle, Helping to Move People On? Are you sure about that?

May 28, 2010

Selling a Lifestyle, Helping to Move People On? Are you sure about that?

Old man drawingWe all say different things about what it means to us when we sell a home. We say we are selling a lifestyle, putting homeowners into the home of their dreams, helping them to build a future. When we list a home often we will say we are helping to move people on to a different chapter in their lives. But are we helping?

I have posted about a home my buyers are purchasing. We are closing on Tuesday, later than anticipated only because of a hiccup with an attorney. The seller is leaving everything, this chapter of his life has been a difficult one and the move he is making may even be more painful to him. At the tail end of his life things should not be like this for him, at least he is moving in with family. He is planning to take the train to move to Washington state with his brother.

The question was raised by my client as to when the seller was actually leaving. I made a few calls, the answer was… “after the closing”. For some reason the answer didn’t sit right with my buyers father. I just got off the phone with him, he was giving me an update as to the plans for Monday and Tuesday. Rather than rant or rave, I have decided just to put the plan down as he gave it to me, you can draw you own conclusions.

  • Monday afternoon my buyer will be moving his few items in the home to blend in with the sellers entire contents of the house, including his cats. My client will actually be staying in the home Monday night.
  • The seller needs to wait until after Thursday to leave, you see, his social security check won’t come until then, and as he does not have the resources to pay for the ticket until the check comes, apparently he was a bit concerned about how he was going to survive from Tuesday until the train trip across country.
  • The seller had sold his car to a neighbor for $400, so was also concerned about how he would get to the train, or even to anywhere to stay for a few days. Heck, he wasn’t sure how he would get to the closing.
  • My buyers father is purchasing the vehicle for its true value, which is a bit more than $400. As he said to me, the tires are worth $400. He doesn’t yet know what he is going to do with it, he said he will figure out something.
  • My buyers father took the seller to his house this afternoon to show him the room he will be staying in until the train ride to Washington State at the end of next week.


The conversation ended with the question posed to me personally. Did I usually check the plans of my sellers to make sure the dates worked, that they had their ducks in a row, was it customary for me to keep track of my older clients when there was really no family involved? I know what my answer was, what is YOUR answer?

My heart was sick. My buyer and his family are truly amazing people though, I am sure the seller would agree with me on that observation.

So, are you selling a lifestyle? Are you TRULY moving your clients forward into a new chapter in their lives? Or are you just waiting for that commission check, who cares what the plans are.

I am one very disappointed Realtor® this afternoon in some respects, but I am proud of my buyer and his dad, that’s for sure.

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