The Walk-through...

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Buyers' Choice Realty


a sad goodbye to a home


The walk-through went beautifully.  The ex-owner had everything in tip top shape:  the hardwood floors were glowing, the pool was sparkling, the garage was immaculate, all the fixtures and windows were spotless and there was not a spec of dust in the place.   She even had small containers of paint diligently labeled: “Kitchen, living room, sewing room”…

 

She was meticulous about every single detail.  She showed me where everything was and how everything worked, ensuring that the home she had built and loved for over two decades will be properly tended to by the new owners.   She raised her children in this home.  Her husband passed away in this home.   This home had so many memories tied up in it and now she was saying good-bye to it. 

 

We finished going over everything.  The locksmith was finally done re-keying all the locks.  I walked her to her car and we hugged.  I watched as she pulled out of the driveway one last time and I waved good-bye.  During these past two weeks we’ve talked and seen each other several times.  We’ve become friends.  She’s shared many of her life stories with me.   I’ve met some of her friends and family members. 


I came back inside and broke down.   My tears were flowing as if someone had just opened up the flood gates.  You see, this was no ordinary walk through.  I don’t have a happy family taking over this special home tomorrow.  This home now belongs to the Bank and I am the REO Agent who evicted her.

 

 

Mirela :(

 

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Linda Lipscomb 03/27/2010 03:12 PM
Topic:
Home Buying
Location:
South Carolina Horry County Myrtle Beach
Groups:
Realtors®
The Lounge at Active Rain
REO REALTORS
POSITIVE ATTITUDE for the Weary Soul
The Optimist
Tags:
bank owned
foreclosure
the walkthrough
mirela monte reo agent
myrtle beach reo agent

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Rainmaker
1,816,451
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Oh, Mirela, you're beautifullly written blog has me in tears. Your caring and friendship is a bright spot that the former owner will treasure amidst the pain, I'm certain.

Dec 07, 2009 03:30 PM #10
Rainer
176,189
Julia Odom
Select Realty Professionals - Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga Homes for Sale

That is heart-rending. It says a lot about the owner's character that she left it in such good condition.

Dec 07, 2009 04:58 PM #11
Rainer
437,789
Terry Chenier
Homelife Glenayre Realty - Mission, BC

Mirela,

Well written. I have two cases similar myself, where I am caulking, packing etc. They just need help. Sometimes, we're just not realtors.

Dec 07, 2009 05:00 PM #12
Rainmaker
535,974
Melinda (Mel) Peterson
Real Estate Cafe LLC - Bend, OR
Curator of Happy Endings

Mirela ~ You are truly a woman who exudes compassion and empathy for your clients and fellow man.  You will be rewarded in this life and the next for loving thy neighbor as thyself.  And, your clients will remember the kindness you showed them in their most difficult moments.

Dec 07, 2009 05:36 PM #13
Rainmaker
175,630
Wendy Rich-Soto, Realtor/Broker Associate
Keller Williams Realty, LA Harbor - San Pedro, CA
Owner of SellingLASouthBay.com @ the WRichTeam

Thank you so much for posting this!  I don't know how many agents only see dollar signs when it comes to REO's and short sales but most people have some level of emotional attachment to their homes.  To lose it or to be forced to sell short is humiliating and heart breaking.  We have to understand how painful it is regardless of how the situation happened to the homeowner they are still losing something very imporatant to them.  We have to be sensitive to that or we are in the wrong business! :-)  Thanks again!

Dec 07, 2009 05:56 PM #14
Rainmaker
3,860,081
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Hi Mirela,

What a touching post and I applaud you for your compassion for your work. Melinda said it best when she commented you will be rewarded in this life and the next for loving thy neighbor as thyself.

Dec 07, 2009 07:31 PM #15
Rainmaker
1,847,634
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

This is really sad how someone really cared for their property for quite a few years only to lose it ! How could they not have had SOMEONE to advise them finacially ??????????

Dec 08, 2009 12:00 AM #16
Rainer
53,860
Kenneth Bargers
Prudential Woodmont Realty - Nashville, TN

Mirela - This is a great story to remind us that we are not just processing real estate transactions.  There are tragedies and triumphs that touch individuals and families when entering the real estate market.  For this tragedy there will be a new homeowner that hopefully will also have wonderful memories in the home.  I hope the ex-owner lands on her feet and will be blessed with a new beginning.

Dec 08, 2009 10:55 PM #17
Rainmaker
195,279
Antonio & Alexia Cardenas
Alameda County - San Leandro, CA. - San Leandro, CA
"The Realtors In Motion"

Mirela, you just know how to write a post that touches the heart, very well written and inspiring. We cannot do this job without putting our hearts out to serve our clients, we don't just sell a piece of property, we sell dreams and also memories.
The ugly side of our present situation with foreclosures and short sales is the human toll that leaves behind broken dreams, abandoned pets, divorces, etc.
We cannot avoid getting emotionally involved, I know, I have been doing this job for 25 years. I am glad you shared your emotions with us, because we all have felt them before. I appreciate your post.

Antonio


Dec 09, 2009 02:27 PM #18
Rainmaker
476,257
Drick Ward Property Management / Broker Assoc
NEPTUNE REALTY - Virginia Beach, VA
"RealtorDrick" - Experienced Representation

I just hate that because of the system we have, that responsible homeowner is in the same boat as the one who strips the house and vanishes.  I guess we can take comfort in knowing that at least your person will have good karma.  Thanks for the post, it reminds us of the human side behind the numbers.

Dec 10, 2009 07:06 AM #19
Rainmaker
596,993
Jim Hale
ACTIONAGENTS.NET - Eugene, OR
Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website

Mirela -

Some people can bring a tear alright.  The lady may no longer have her home.  But she still has her self-respect.  What an asset!  Sounds like you helped to do that.  Good job.

Does every REO agent do that? I think not.

Dec 10, 2009 06:08 PM #20
Rainmaker
596,993
Jim Hale
ACTIONAGENTS.NET - Eugene, OR
Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website

By the way:   What are the birds in that picture?  Swans?

Dec 10, 2009 06:09 PM #21
Ambassador
530,235
Mirela Monte
Buyers' Choice Realty - North Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach Real Estate

Jim:  Thank you! 

I'm not sure what birds those are.  The birds flying away evoked the dreams now lost...  I took a long time finding just the right picture for this post.  This one was just perfect.

Not every REO agent does the "cash for keys".  I volunteer to do it for the banks as an added service included in my commission when I sell the property.   I've almost lost my home and I know how it feels.  I think I have just the right approach to be the bearer of bad news in a kind and gentle way.  With me in the middle, the ex-owners get treated well.  They make some extra, much needed cash and the banks get homes in real good condition.  It's making the best of a bad situation. 

There is a lot to be said about having the right person to do the transfer.  With me in the middle, the ex-owners have a much smoother exit.  The homes I've taken over are in immaculate condition with all appliances and fixtures intact.   The ex-owners have been very cooperative.  In return for giving them much needed time (and sometimes help) in packing and moving, they give me a home in great condition and a tutorial on how everything works.  I have taken pages of notes from the ex-owners, which serve my buyer clients well when they move into these homes. 

 

 

Dec 12, 2009 10:05 AM #22
Ambassador
530,235
Mirela Monte
Buyers' Choice Realty - North Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach Real Estate

I've set upon this Life to experience it to the fullest.  I've never shied away from difficulties.  My goal is not to have an easy Life: my goal is to experience Life in all its magnitude. 

The reality is that we are in the midst of a great depression.  People are losing their homes.  I am a Realtor.  By virtue of my career, I am now in the midst of it all.  I do not want to gloss over it.  I want to immerse myself in it, make sense of it and do the best that I can with it all.

There is a story to be told here and I intend to tell it...

Thank you for all your kind and caring comments!  I am fortunate to be part of such a lovely group of people as yourselves.

 

 

Dec 12, 2009 10:14 AM #23
Rainmaker
518,506
AJ Heidmann ~ CRS
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

This shows what true class is... maybe from a bygone era?  It seems so quaint that an owner would treat the foreclosure of their home in this manner in a time when people calculate how long they can stay in a home without paying and then strip it on the way out the door.  Or maybe I'm just too damn jaded.

Very nice on your part Mirela to give her the respect and friendship she deserved, which I'm sure is how you handle everyone!.

Dec 13, 2009 08:17 AM #24
Rainmaker
186,651
Tanya Nouwens
RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager

Oh Mirela, you have a way of writing that shows your deep and broad character. This homeowner was so lucky to have you to help her leave her home with dignity and self-respect. At the same time, I know you feel this experience has enriched your character and your life experience. As you said, "My goal is not to have an easy Life: my goal is to experience Life in all its magnitude. " Amen. -- Tanya in Montreal

Dec 16, 2009 11:52 PM #25
Rainer
100,401
Dianne Bartlett
Brightside Realty, LLC - Austin, TX

Whew!  That's rough.  This gal had a lot of dignity in a time of crisis.  That, in itself, is inspiring.

Dec 17, 2009 12:18 AM #26
Ambassador
530,235
Mirela Monte
Buyers' Choice Realty - North Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach Real Estate

Tanya:  Thank you!  Yes, I take my Life head on.  I must confess that it takes its toll on me emotionally.  I know the people I evict have a much better exit because they are dealing with me instead of someone else.  Some of the people who do these evictions are pretty ruthless and rude.  That is such a vulnerable time in someone's life that a bad eviction might carry them over the edge.  I do it because I've been there and I know how it feels to lose your last security blanket... 

Between the evictions and the daily, grueling battles with loss mitigation on the many short sales I have on my plate, I'm not so sure I will be doing this much longer.  I am giving some serious thought to becoming an advocate or a non-profit in order to better help these people. 

2009 has been the most difficult year in Real Estate I've ever had and I've been doing this business since 1988.  I work 80 hours a week and the quality of my life has changed tremendously this year.  My son is fighting the war in Iraq and my 16 year old daughter deserves more of my time.  This is going to be a fractioned Christmas due to his absence. 

I love the business and I am really good at it, but I question its place in my life in the grand scheme of things...

 

 

Dec 17, 2009 02:00 AM #27
Rainmaker
186,651
Tanya Nouwens
RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager

Mirela, my heart goes out to you. I hope you find your path. I also hope you find more time to spend with your daughter. She's lucky to have a mother who lives with conscience and consciously, if you know what I mean. Happy holidays to you and safe keeping to your son. -- Tanya in Montreal

Dec 17, 2009 05:23 AM #28
Rainmaker
449,858
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi Mirela~  You are such a strong and caring person and I am so glad that that lady and others like her have had YOU to walk them through these heartbreaking ordeals.  I just worry about you holding up.  Emotionally it has to be draining and devastating and you can only take so much!  You are an angel for being able to deal with this and to be so compassionate!  Thank you so much for helping these people so gracefully and giving them hope!

Mar 27, 2010 03:42 PM #30
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