Move While You're Still Young Enough to Enjoy It

Real Estate Agent with Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 NRDS ID#641625055

Move While You're Still Young Enough to Enjoy It


Normally, when you're selling one home, you're enthusiastically planning for the purchase of another.

But not always.

Forty years was a very long time to live in one place. All their life cycle milestones were tied to this residence.  Every displayed memento needing to be wrapped, sold or trashed unleashed a torrent of near- paralyzing memories. Packing up was excruciating. 

Norman J Levy Preserve Merrick

Picture elderly clients with serious health concerns. Leaving the house normally meant a visit to the doctor. A flight of steps and practically any distance at all needed to be avoided at all costs. Their minds were on other issues - pressing issues like estate planning - serious issues - matters of life and death. 

My home visits needed to be brief. Sitting for any length of time was difficult for them and a limited attention span resulted from their obvious pain. The information I brought yielded little more than a cursory glance. Interest in the recommendations I made was practically nonexistent.

However devastating it was for them to leave a home they owned for so many decades, this property was like a noose around their necks and the time had come to let it go. 

It was complicated.

Those closest to the homeowners needed to offer assistance with some of the many arduous tasks associated with moving but no family member wanted to voice out loud that perhaps obligations were not getting attended to the way they once were.

There was a delicate balance to maintain.

The homeowners, highly intelligent and formally educated, held prestigious positions in their respective careers of earlier years. The occasional forgotten meeting, the somewhat-misunderstood instructions and the sporadic inability to have meaningful dialogue due to short-term memory loss were all dismissed as non-essential.

If you've ever taken away a loved one's car keys and, inadvertently but simultaneously, taken away his independence and pride, you'll understand the struggle. You know that out of respect for the individual, you delay the inevitable for as long as possible but, out of love for this person and concern for his safety, you eventually are forced to make the tough decision.

Nine months after we listed, we finally had a buyer but, even after contract, the homeowners were reluctant to leave. Stalling techniques popped up repeatedly. It would be another 9 months, 18 in all, before closing took place. Communication was always held in person because phone conversations were circular. Time and time again, I drove to wherever I was needed, in the name of progress. 

Even with all the modern devices we have at our disposal, not a single one proved useful in this transaction. I went back to basics because it was my only option. I started at a price that made the homeowners happy and every once in a while, we reviewed the amount of traffic the listing generated and its accompanying feedback and dropped the price accordingly.

Whether the sale dragged on longer than necessary is probably less important than the fact that this tried and true process eventually culminated in success. The couple joyfully settled in with family once they were emotionally ready to commit to the next leg of their life journey.



Posted by

No matter how you spend your day, come home to this



Long Island Real Estate Needs? 

Reach me @516.395.8376


Long Beach is a diverse community that is never short on entertainment. Interested in moving to Long Beach?

Don't hesitate to call me and we can begin our tour.



CHARLES RUTENBERG REALTY INC.  *****  516-575-7500  *****


Jill Sackler, NYS Real Estate Broker Associate based on Long Island's South Shore

Sunny Isles, Fl 



     Specializing in Lifecycle Real Estate Transitions

"When your family doesn't fit your family home, I can help."




©Jill Sackler 2010



This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Home Selling
New York Nassau County Merrick
Dedicated Bloggers
Local Expert
Long Islander Agents
Diary of a Realtor
life journey
senior moves
life cycle transitions
elderly moves
elderly couple in transition
next leg
move while youre young

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Oh Jill what a story. Your telling this says as much about you as it does about this transaction and these people. It is a pleasure to know you. Suggested.

Feb 13, 2014 01:50 AM #1
Tom White
Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN

Jill, this is a story that all of us have faced or will face. Sensitivity to up and down moods is absolutely essential. It's not easy.

Feb 13, 2014 02:01 AM #2
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Thanks, Sheila. A well-known and well-respected couple - I admired them and all their achievements. 

Tom, So true. Never easy but heartfelt.

Feb 13, 2014 02:37 AM #3
Geri Sonkin
Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103 - Merrick, NY
Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert

I've been there so many times with clients over the years.  You get so caught up in the story and the loss of independence and inevitability of the future that these transactions are fraught with emotion for all of us.  Well written.

Feb 13, 2014 03:06 AM #4
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Jill- I love this storyand your couple was so lucky to have found an agent with so much patience and compassion.  We've dealt with the transitions of both of our parentsand I do understand what it is like to grow older.  It's not easy.  Cheers to you. 

Feb 13, 2014 03:36 AM #5
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

Back to basics is sometimes the only way that works.. I've had a client or two that all new modern modes of working in a transaction were not going to work.  Nice post.

Feb 13, 2014 11:09 AM #6
Patricia Kennedy
Redfin - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Jill, these types of transactions have real challenges for everyone involved.  I've had a few over the past few years, and let's hear it for good estate planning!

Feb 13, 2014 12:35 PM #7
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Jill. I understand, we moved my mother-in-law from Florida back to Connecticut, she as 88 at the time. We knew it would be a challenge and the challenge continues to this day.

Feb 13, 2014 06:22 PM #8
Jeff Fritzson: Frisco Real Estate Pro
Jeff Fritzson Real Estate, Ebby Halliday Realtors - Frisco, TX
Your Success is My Focus!

What a great story Jill. WHile it can be heartbreaking and challenging, our mature population is growing (10K a day turn 65) and agents with your abilities and compassion are making things happen for many in such a great manner. Well Done!

Feb 13, 2014 10:27 PM #9
Maria Gilda Racelis
Home Buyers Realty, LLC-Manchester, Bolton. Vernon,Ellington - Manchester, CT
Home Ownership is w/in Reach. We Make it Happen!

Hi Jill: Reaching the destination in anybody's journey maybe the culmination of success. But it does not end there. However, it was one of the greatest milestones achieved. Thanks to your patience and your clients'.

Feb 14, 2014 12:57 AM #10
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Hello Jill,

Those of us (hello fellow SRES) that work with Seniors know that it is a special transaction.  You handled this beautifully.

Feb 15, 2014 12:10 AM #11
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

I am going through a similar situation right now. Dreading the call to suggest a needed price adjustment. Oh, you have captured this heartbreaking transition only too well. :( 

Feb 15, 2014 01:09 AM #12
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Oh how hard that must have been. I see some older people leave willingly knowing it is best and others that can't seem to make the first move.

Feb 17, 2014 03:26 PM #13
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Jill - what a story... It is so difficult to handle right. Intelligent people, they lose independence, and it is very difficult.

Your level of understanding is enviable...

Feb 24, 2014 12:29 PM #14
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Jill Sackler

LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
Long Island Living - Where Memories Are Made
Spam prevention