Just the Good News, Please

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470

Just the Good News, Please

Let me begin this post by saying that I absolutely believe in the power of positive thinking, but sometimes in life you have to face some rough stuff.  Some things can be unpleasant to deal with and make you want to run for the comfort of whatever makes you happy.   Of course, there is always total avoidance mode.

My brother and I are dealing with the decline of our mother's memory due to Alzheimer's.  Up to now, she's been driving and living on her own.  Doing as she pleases, day in and day out.  But some things she has said to me and my brother, or that we have witnessed, made us realize that it was time to stop chancing disaster and take her car keys.  Her neurologist agreed.  To say it went over like a lead balloon, as my Mom would say, is an understatement.  She was so angry with us that she refused to return the simple, "I love you."  And she was so sad.  She felt her life was no longer worth living.

This all seemed too much for my brother.  His constitution for the uglier situations in life is more limited than mine.  Mom had worn him down, as he considered overthrowing me and giving her back her keys.  Just because it feels uncomfortable, doesn't mean we've done the wrong thing.  That's something I had to reassure him of.  It was because we had processed the many memory flubs and decided we weren't taking chances.  We made a decision to act.  It was uncomfortable and will be that way until Mom eventually gets used to her new reality.  We will have to lean on each other as deal with Mom's reaction.

All of this personal stuff paralleled perfectly with a seller I am working with.  I was asked to no longer share negative things with them.  Those things were feedback on the home.  Of course, anyone who isn't buying it isn't going to give the property the highest praise.  However, those that walk away with no interest do so for a reason.  And if you pay attention to the reasons, you can usually gleen some helpful information in getting it sold. If it is dark, you can paint a lighter color.  If it is priced too high, make an adjustment.  Sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the things that may hurt your feelings, well, it's not a practical thing to do.  You can't hold on so tightly to the things you loved about a home, that it prohibits you making changes that appeal to a buyer.  It is counter-productive.

You can request just the good news in life, or look the other way when the bad news is front and center.  It doesn't change reality.  And it is possible to deal with reality in a positive way.  Maybe it is just me, but ignoring the negative does not create anything but a false positive.  To truly get to positive, face the negative head on.  



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Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Chris Ann, I am so sorry you and your brother are facing realities with your mom's condition.  Been there ... PAINFUL.

I am with you 100%.  We must look at and deal with the negative aspects of life/things.  I am not one to ignore the elephant in the room ... no sweep the crap under the rug. Ignoring crap just makes things worse.

Dec 13, 2015 09:09 AM #1
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist



Mr. Crappy Says ... Clean that Negative Crap Up - Don't Ignore the Crap. 

Dec 13, 2015 09:10 AM #2
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

The last two years of my dads life was a time of dementia. This bigger than life man was reduced and diminished, and it was terrible for my family. We can't always chose how we get to go out or what is put in front of us. If it is any comfort I can't remember those two years when I picture him. He is still that bigger than life man and always will be. The mind heals itself.

Dec 13, 2015 09:26 AM #3
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

Not a pretty picture for any family but has reached mine as well.  Now dealing with a sister in law which totally doesn't remember the time of day and now on top of that a sister that I think is heading in that direction.  

Seller can hurt themselves by avoiding the obvious.  But sometimes sentiment wins out.   


Dec 13, 2015 09:40 AM #4
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

I am sorry that things are so difficult for you dealing with your brother and your mother. And a tough seller on top of it! UGH! here' s to a better week next week! 

Dec 13, 2015 10:46 AM #5
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

Chris Ann, I am sorry. Peace and love to your family. 

Dec 13, 2015 11:22 AM #6
Linda Guess
Keller Williams Tri-Lakes Branson, MO - Branson, MO
Branson area real estate sales.

Aging is so difficult.  Sometimes the best choices are very difficult.  Be strong and comfort yourself with the assurance it had to be done. 

Dec 13, 2015 11:30 AM #7
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I am also dealing with a parent with memory issues...There are many options we deal with on a daily basis...Some days I don't want to watch the news because it is only bad news

Dec 13, 2015 11:38 AM #8
Anna Banana Kruchten - Phoenix Homes Sales
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ

Chris Ann sorry to hear about your Mom - I understand as we had to deal with the same thing with my Dad and it wasn't easy by a long shot. Took years for many of my sibs to deal with the reality of the situation. 

Stay strong....big hugs

Dec 13, 2015 12:20 PM #9
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Very few sellers can accept the negatives even though inside they know what needs to be done.  As for your Mom, I do so understand as I just pulled the keys from my 95 year old father.

Dec 13, 2015 12:25 PM #10
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Chris Ann - I commend you for dealing with tough situations, or negative information, head on. It is not the easiest thing to do for sure.

Dec 13, 2015 12:28 PM #11
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

Chris Ann Cleland so sorry you have to go through this, I am on the door step of this with my parents. My mom gave up driving on her own but my father was not having it. We agreed to a no driving at night which he has agreed to and calls for rides. But the day driving is almost done as well. He is forgetting where he is and this is the next step. Have a good Mondy and hope things are all positive today

Dec 13, 2015 11:11 PM #12
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Chris Ann ---- the family situation you are dealing with is one that has or will face many.  While wanting to hear only "good news" maybe a temporary relief it does not solve the real issue at hand  --- that's true regardless of the situation -- whether it be family or real estate.    The reality of many situations sometimes is not pretty or easy to deal with --- but it must be addressed.  

Dec 14, 2015 12:25 AM #13
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Hello Chris Ann. I am sorry about your Mom. I can't imagine but doing the hard things is often what is required.

Dec 14, 2015 12:43 AM #14
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

Oh man.  That is such a difficult situation.  I'm sure you are dealing with all kinds of guilt and wondering what the right answer really is.  I'm so sorry.  I hope you get through this in a way that is positive for everyone.

Dec 14, 2015 02:02 AM #15
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

How heartbreaking to have your mom ticked off at you for just trying to help her and lessen the chances something awful will happen. I'm so sorry, Chris Ann.

As for the sellers, I've had that happen to me before too, and you know what? It's OK. It really really is. Deep down they KNOW, and it's hurtful to them to be bombarded with the same negative feedback over and over . . . some simply cannot take it, but they KNOW. Don't for a minute think they do not.

Dec 14, 2015 07:57 AM #16
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

Reality is hard for many people to process, which is why so many of them refuse to face up to it. Eventually, though, it has a way of sinking in...thank goodness your mother has you to help her through this in a rational, reality-based way.  In her own way, I am sure she takes great comfort in knowing you are there for her and making the tough decisions that are best for her. 

Dec 14, 2015 09:34 PM #17
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Eventually, Chris Ann, the sellers come around and lower the price. Or they finally come to terms with the fact that they don't want to sell at market and cancel the listing. Either way, they tend to come to this knowledge in their own time.

Glad to hear it wasn't all out war with your mom!!!

Dec 15, 2015 04:06 AM #18
Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

My sympathy in regards to your Mom, and your Brother.

   Your advice to "face the negative head on" is perfect.

  Best to you and yours.

Dec 16, 2015 10:52 AM #19
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

You made the right decision, of course, in taking the keys away from your mother. I know how difficult that decision was. You have to face problems like this head-on, just like your sellers don't WANT to hear the bad news, but it's necessary to HEAR and DEAL, rather than stick your head in the sand. Beautiful post, Chris Ann.

Dec 19, 2015 07:51 AM #20
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Chris Ann Cleland

Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
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