Life, Death and Real Estate
It's been a rough summer when it comes to death and serious illness. Real estate agents I know from coast to coast, even some in my own market, have lost, or are losing, parents, siblings and even spouses. Heck, even one of my very own clients had a sudden and tragic death in the family that lead to an unexpected and prolonged trip out of the country right after a home inspection on the property he was set to purchase.
Death and illness are a part of life. We can't control when tragedy strikes. Yet whether you are a real estate agent, or a client in the middle of a real estate transaction, preparation and the ability to have a back up plan on the fly is a must because real estate doesn't have a pause button.
Real estate agents work in the best interest of their clients. So when tragedy strikes in our lives, it is important that while we are dealing with personal loss, we have competent back up ready and willing to step in. Maybe it is our broker, or a close friend in the business. Maybe a teammate. Either way, the show must go on for our clients. Our personal life should never interfere with their transactions.
Personally, I know that even though I work as a one woman show for my clients, that if something happens in my personal life that takes me away from my job, there are plenty of ready, willing and able agents willing to help me. I know because I have spent time helping them in unavoidable family emergencies. So if you are working with me as your agent and something happens in my personal life, you are in outstanding hands.
If you are my client and tragedy strikes, I will be here to help you sort out a back up plan on the fly. Maybe we need to implement a Power of Attorney for someone to sign your settlement documents. We can certainly work long distance and very unintrusively to get your contractual documents signed electronically. As someone who has been helping clients buy and sell since 2005, I know what lies ahead in your transaction and can certainly help you with contingency plans when life serves up a sudden emergency.
Even as I type this post, I remember the purchase of my very first property. I was so excited. At the time, I didn't have a license, so I had an agent representing me. The seller I was buying from was not present at settlement, but a friend of hers was. The reason for the Power of Attorney was the seller's sister had been killed in a car crash. My happy moment was tempered when I heard. Yet somehow the bulldog agent I hired had no kind or empathetic bone in her body. The first issue she brought up, unapologetically at the table was that a window treatment in the kitchen was missing. The friend apologized and said she had been given a key and told to pack up what was left when the seller had to leave town. My agent was aggressive in getting it back. I stopped her right there, looked at the friend and said, "It's really not a problem if you never bring it back. I am so sorry for your friend's loss. Please tell her so."
I guess that one incident has stuck with my all these years and influenced how I do business in times of crisis. Business still gets done, but you don't have to be an ass about it. You can accomplish your client's goals and be empathetic to loss even on the other side of the transaction.
Just some thoughts on life, death and real estate.