Sometimes We May Not Get It.....

Real Estate Broker/Owner with McKinney Realty Group

Today was the first day of school for Cumberland County.  As my children were getting ready for their first day of school we were all rushing around trying to make sure that everyone had what they needed. But before they could leave they had to stop and have their picture taken in front of the fireplace like we do EVERY year. That is when it HIT me! I have become very attached to my house! You see my husband retired for the Army after 21 years so we did not stay in a house very long.


When I am listing a house I often find that people ARE very attached to their homes. Sometimes I would think to myself “do you REALLY want to sell It?”. I really never got it till today... We have lived here for six years, and we had traditions that happen here. I realized today that “someday” when this house no longer meets my needs I will also say good bye to this home.  But I already know that it will be the hardest good bye yet!



I guess what I am trying to say is, the next time I list a home for someone that has been there a long time I need to be a patient listener while they tell me about their traditions in front of their fireplace......



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Nancy Conner
Olympia, WA
Olympia/Thurston County WA

It can be so hard for long time owners to let go - so many emotions connect to our homes.  Seems like part of our role is always helping acknowledge those emotional ties, and then gently help sellers move beyond and be ready for the next phase and next home to create memories in.

Aug 25, 2010 07:41 AM #18
Chris deLambert
Sanford, NC

Not only am I retired Army, I grew up as a military brat.  Until I bought my current house in 2005, the longest I'd ever spent under one roof was 2 1/2 years in Huntsville AL back in the 90's.  My wife and I agree that we ought to put our house on the market in the next couple years.  However, the thought of saying 'goodbye' to the only real 'home' I've ever had turns my stomach.  I don't know how I'm going to do it.

Thanks for your service, btw.  Everybody knows Army wives have the toughest gig around.

Aug 25, 2010 07:49 AM #19
Michael and Cheron Lange
Solutions Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
Associate Broker, GRI

Well said Melissa!!!!  A little kindness and a little patience goes a long way when you have history and memories in that home, let alone the emotional attachment...I'm there!  :) 

Nice blog!  -    Cheron

Aug 25, 2010 08:45 AM #20
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I too noticed the deep attachment people have to their homes.  Once you figure that out, then whatever you say after that....... is more in line with how we greet each other when we meet.

Nothing heavy and just pleasantries........

Aug 25, 2010 09:11 AM #21
Coral Gundlach
Compass - Arlington, VA
Real Lives. Not Just Real Estate.

Great post and cute kiddos!  The best Realtors are empathetic.  You are probably very good at relating to people because of your experience moving around  as a military family.

Aug 25, 2010 09:29 AM #22
Melissa McKinney
McKinney Realty Group - Fayetteville, NC

Wendy~ I learn something new all the time!

Zela~ Thanks! I am going to have to check out that book.

Corinne~ I wish I could take credit but I will have to give that one to his soccer coach. They have to wear dress pants and tie on game days to make the team look good!

Phillip~Your right we can always turn things in our own life around and use them in our business.

Tish~ I am SO sorry to hear about your husband! I lost mu Mom last year and it has been very hard to go on without her! Memories are even more important in those cases.... I really feel for you!

Dick & Dixie~ Funny you say that cause just the other day I thought I should have been doing that!! I guess never too late to start.

Brent & Deb~ See explanation up a few.  But hey he has the personality! He just started his Freshman year and he "thinks" he is quite the ladies man... LOL

Tammi~ Exactly!

Lesly~ I am glad you enjoyed it and I try to EVERY minute!

Carla~ I know! Where does the time go???

Margret~ Where did the summer go???

Terry~ You know exactly what I mean but I really do get it now!

Pippa~ Have always done it, fun to look back at the photos.

Chgristinne~ Funny how we become creatures of habit!

Jerry~ We also built this one and it will be very hard to say good bye..

Emily~ Bittersweet!

Nancy~ I am going to have to come up with something special for just this occasion.

Chris~ Thanks! The guys have it ruff too (ok maybe not as ruff as the wives... LOL) We had four kids at home when we built this house two have graduated and someday it will just not be practical, but I am NOT rushing that day!!

Michael~ Glad you enjoyed, food for thought is always good!

Richie~ I am going to be so much more aware now!

Coral~ Thanks, I really try to cater to people moving in from out of state, they really do have it ruff!

Aug 25, 2010 10:15 AM #23
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


Yes! Traditions are fun.  My neighbors have contemplated taking down a nice tree on the corner of their property that is too big for the spot.  The husband wants it down, the wife wants to keep it.  I didn't think too much about it..... UNTIL.... 

Yep, you guessed it, we took our 11th annual kids going off to the first day of school in front of it again this year.  So, my vote is that it needs to stay for the next 6 years, after that, they can take it down:-)

All the best, Michelle

Aug 25, 2010 10:40 AM #24
Ted Tyndall
Davidson Realty Inc. - Saint Augustine, FL
I will help You find the Home YOU want to Buy

melissa, it is tough getting a home owner to convert from it being their home to their house that is an asset they are selling. Our problem is we for get how long it has been their home and all the mental attachment.

Aug 25, 2010 11:41 AM #25
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

Cute pics and memories to keep.  Thanks for the post.  Every mom is happy about first day of school starting.. Whahooo!

Aug 25, 2010 12:33 PM #26
Laurie C. Bailey-Gates
Robert Paul Properties - Barnstable, MA

Great looking children - traditions are what kids remember - they will have these pictures in front of the fireplace to look back on for years to come.



Aug 25, 2010 01:08 PM #27
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Being a better listener will definitely help you with your business, and since you can empathize with them, you can suggest ways to make these types of memories selling features for their home.  For instance, I had a listing this summer that had a beautiful garden complete with gazebo and pond and arbor.  They took photos their for countless proms, homecoming dances, and one of their daughters even got married there in the backyard.  It was wonderful to share some of that with the new buyers of the home.

Aug 25, 2010 01:18 PM #28
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Home is a place we use to build our lives...  My grandmother left her house a while back, and it was VERY tough for her.  Her grandfather built that home, and she was there for 50+ years...  She couldn't even drive by it after she moved out... 

Aug 25, 2010 01:37 PM #29
Karen Bernetti
Southington, CT

Melissa, Preparing a home for sale is 50% getting the house ready.  The other 50% is getting the seller(s) in the emotional mindset to part with their home.  THAT'S what I love most about what I do. 

The stories about what took place in front of the fireplace, NEED to be shared.  A good agent/stager will listen.   It's all a very important part of a very special process.

BTW your children are beautifu! Congrats on the feature .... again! 

Aug 25, 2010 01:38 PM #30
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

Our kids start on Tuesday. Funny thing is that while I cherish the memories, I am not attached to my house. I know that I am unique in this way and that I need to be sensitive about the feeling of others--especially in short sale situations where sellers want to keep their homes.

Aug 25, 2010 03:05 PM #33
Todd & Devona Garrigus
Garrigus Real Estate - Beaumont, CA
Broker / REALTORS®

I've only been in my home for three years now and I am very attached to it. Its where my boys are growing up, its where we are a family, in our ups and our downs, together...

Aug 25, 2010 03:16 PM #34
Vince McEveety
Gilleran Griffin Realty - Sherman Oaks, CA

nice ideas

thanks for sharing

a little down home wisdom

Aug 25, 2010 04:51 PM #35
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

 I lived in many homes growing up, and the home I live in now, I've lived in longer than anywhere else. I'm definitely attached.

Aug 25, 2010 05:39 PM #36
Sandy Wagner
RE/MAX Professionals 253.225.8322 - Gig Harbor, WA
Short Sale Specialist Tacoma, WA, and Gig Harbor,

Understanding the emotions of our clients is what will make us a good agent. I just listed a property where the people are very excited to move on with their lives, but built the home in 1990 and really got teary eyed when signing the listing agreement. It is so important to understand what they are going through when going through this process.

Aug 25, 2010 05:55 PM #37
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi Melissa~  For some people it is harder than others to let go of their home emotionally.  We lost a home to a fire many years ago, and it has made me realize then just how hard it can be!

Aug 25, 2010 05:55 PM #38
Robby Milam

Thank you for sharing your 'tradition'!  I does really put it in perspective.


Aug 27, 2010 07:57 AM #39
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