What is it Worth to You to Be Able to Move On?

By
Real Estate Agent with Realty Executives Integrity R.E. Broker 55289-90

I recently received an offer on one of my past listings from a "protected buyer." The sellers are no longer together but are still tied to one another because of this house.

Both told me individually that it's time to move on -- that they needed to be done with this. I could hear in each of their voices the "wear and tear" this house was putting on them. You can't help but feel for them.

house value

The parties in the transaction were far apart on the price, and it was easy to see why. It's simply a difference in perspective. One sees the dated kitchen, the dated baths, the old windows, and the oil tank in the basement. The other sees the the financial ramifications of accepting an offer any less than their "bottom line."

I can't help but feel for both parties. Here are two buyers who love the house enough to come back months after seeing it to put in a bid, and two sellers wanting to move on with their individual lives but held back because of financial constraints.

Circumstances like this are something I have yet to "get used to." My heart goes out to those who see the equity in their home disappear but continue to pay the mortgage on time. And when a broken relationship is added to the mix, the situation becomes even heavier.

But it is also in circumstances such as this that each person has to decide for themselves the value in being able to move on. Is it worth bringing some money to closing to get the deal done? Is it worth talking to your lender about a possiblel short sale to allow each of you to move on? What is having the sale of this house behind you worth to you?

I wish I had the answer for any of my sellers faced with this. The answer, though, is within each of them -- only they know, in their heart of hearts, what they are willing to do to close this chapter and start living the next.

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Rainmaker
456,136
Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker
RVA Home Team - Richmond, VA
RVA Home Team - Winning with Integrity.

It's a difficult position to be in. When my husband and I sold our home back in 2007, we ended up having to take money to the table as well seeing we just bought the home a year prior and had to move due to hubby's job. It was awful to dip into our savings, but someone gave us some great advice and we took it to heart "rip the band-aid off and just move on with your life. Let someone else get a deal and you will get a deal on your next home. It's worth it to be back together living as a family." Although we lost $25K, we gained so much more by having it over with and being able to live again as a family unit. Your heart does break for people in these situations.

Jan 21, 2011 12:18 AM #1
Rainer
68,972
Nancy Fraser
Exit Realty Premier - Massapequa Park, NY
Realtor, Massapequa Homes for Sale 516-729-0278

Peggy, it seems your heart is like mine in this business. Feeling for the people and their circumstances and not just looking for the paycheck.

However, it is important for our sellers to refocus on their original commitment of why they are selling. This will help them to resch their original goals alot faster. Sometimes that means ending up with less of the dollar but more peace of mind, which is priceless.

Jan 21, 2011 12:19 AM #2
Ambassador
927,818
Kristal Kraft
The Berkshire Group Realtors - Denver, CO
Selling Metro Denver Real Estate - 303-589-2022

Sometimes having the abillity to "move on" outweighs all other issues. It will be a sad time only for awhile until the positive aspect shines through, hopefully for your clients that will be soon.

kk

Jan 21, 2011 12:19 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,041,251
Charles McDonald
Charlottesville Real Estate Solutions - Charlottesville, VA
REALTOR®, Blogger, Principal Broker®, Owner

This is a difficult situation, good luck to you and your clients

Your Friend in Charlottesville

Jan 21, 2011 12:20 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,267,563
Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage - Brampton, ON
Our Family Wants To Help Your Family!

You are absolutely right Peggy, these situations are heart wrentching. We are sure there can not be much worse than leaving a home you possible loved, with a broken relationship and still having to keep paying debt for it.  At the same time, if you don`t, aren`t you still paying both in the anguish of memories every month along with the dollar payments of the mortgage....better to cut your loses and move on....     

Jan 21, 2011 12:21 AM #5
Rainmaker
452,126
Brian Rugg
Rugg Realty LLC Sun City Texas 512-966-3200 - Georgetown, TX
Sun City TX Real Estate - Georgetown, TX Real Est

Hello Peggy:

Heartfelt post.  Real estate agents get to have to see the best of times and the worst of times in peoples lives. Our hearts go out to them, but we may be the only voice of reason and balance they have.

Jan 21, 2011 12:22 AM #6
Rainer
76,974
Deb Jamail
HomeLife Southern Properties - Galveston, TX
Galveston County Real Estate

Peggy

As the others have said, this is a TOUGH one.  I had a situation like this not long ago, the husband and wife were not divorcing, but he was being sent out of the country (works for CIA) and really needed to liquidate three investment properties. The first one he did exactly what you mentioned, came to the table with money...$25K.  I felt terrible, I actually took it personally that this happened.  We did much better on the other two properties however, but when you look at the emotional and financial strain that comes with hanging on, it can be devastating.

Good Luck on this one!  I know it will turn out right for all:) 

Jan 21, 2011 12:29 AM #7
Rainmaker
207,960
Peggy Wester
Realty Executives Integrity - Grafton, WI
Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County

Shannon -- I've seen situations like your's, as well, and it is just so difficult to watch people go through this. But you are so right than being able to live as a family unit can make it a little easier.

Nancy -- I wish I had the magic words to help them see the pricelessness of peace of mind...

Kristal -- Another great point -- that sadness is only temporary. I am hoping they will see that soon!

Al & Peggy -- I agree completely. Moving on -- can be so difficult yet provide such relief.

Brian -- You said it perfectly. It's so tough to see them struggling with wanting to move on and aching over the financial loss.

Thank you to all of you for your comments!!

Jan 21, 2011 12:35 AM #8
Rainmaker
207,960
Peggy Wester
Realty Executives Integrity - Grafton, WI
Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County

Deb -- You touch on another point -- taking it personally. I keep trying to figure out a way to make this work financially for them but I can't change the value of the home and what they owe on it. Such a difficult situation. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement!

Jan 21, 2011 12:37 AM #9
Ambassador
3,678,350
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Peggy, so much of the time, it isn't about the house at all.  My very first listing decades ago was a couple who were selling the Dupont Circle townhouse they had lovingly restored.  It was a bit of a baptism by fire!  Sounds like you have the listening and empathy skills to get them through it!

Jan 21, 2011 01:38 AM #10
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Rainmaker
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Peggy Wester

Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County
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