The Power of Surrender

Real Estate Agent

When Carol Williams announced she and Anna Krutchten were hosting an August Challenge to ActiveRain bloggers titled, “Embracing Life’s Lessons,” I was at first, a little stumped as to where to put my focus.  However, after giving it some thought, I realized one of the more important lessons I’ve learned, has been the power of surrender.  I practice it in my personal life, and I have practiced it in business.

Learning the power of surrender is more than simply choosing your battles, and the hill you wish to die on. It’s about what can be gained by stepping back, and allowing for adventurous serendipity, when OTHERS are allowed to make choices and decisions, instead of it always being just YOU!

In my family, I’m known for a saying I have.  I wouldn’t be surprised if when I pass on to the Great Beyond, someone sticks it on my tombstone.  It is, “I’m on vacation!”  Often, when the family makes plans for a gathering, or event, they’ll ask what I would like to do.  My response is almost always, “You decide, I’m on vacation.”  This response, and the planning by others, has found me having delightful times, with an element of surprise.  There have been amazing trips, events and even places within my own community, I wouldn’t have known existed, had it not been for my surrendering, and allowing others to show me.

More importantly, I have a grandson, who experienced a significant battle with Schizophrenia for a few years, especially in his early 20s.  During one visit, he confided he was refusing to take his medication.  He explained the medicine took his energy away, and he could barely function.  He also felt refusal allowed him some element of control over his life.  I asked him if I could share a bit of wisdom.  “Yes, Nana,” he replied.  And, I shared, “There is a power in surrender.”  Even the weary soldier on the battlefield, whether he has won or lost, will often look forward to surrender, as a way to finally be given rest. I’m happy to say my grandson took my advice.  Once he had taken his medication for a few weeks, he found the side-effects which had been so negative, began to disappear as his body began to adjust.  And, because of surrender, he is now a functioning human being, who is absolutely delightful to be around.

Before my retirement, during the 40 years I was a Realtor, it was important to maintain an element of control, to make certain aspects of transactions were kept on tract, and moved smoothly.  It can sometimes be a difficult task, when auxiliary professions and individuals are so critical to keeping things on schedule, and allow for a successful escrow close.  It is especially important to know when you can make a difference, and when you cannot.  For example, in one very memorable transaction, my client was a Gold Star widow, who had lost her husband during the Vietnam War.  I had known her many years.  She was selling her home, and was moving to a small community where she had many friends.  An investor buyer came in with a lowball offer.  They named all sorts of reasons for the low offer, that in reality didn’t exist.  They were also very friendly with their lender.  I explained to my seller that we could wait for other offers.  However, she felt a bit pressured because she had a commitment to the place she was moving into.  She signed the papers, and the house went to pending status. 

Several days later, things became even more uncomfortable.  The appraiser arrived.  The minute he stepped through the door, he immediately started spouting off negative things about the house.  (1) He mentioned it was built on the zero lot line.  Yes, I knew that.  All the comparative sales in that neighborhood were on the zero lot line, and that is what our evaluation had been based on.  Plus, my seller’s home had undergone extensive upgrades in recent years. Most of the sold homes, in the comparative sales, had not.  (2) When the appraiser stepped into the backyard, which had a beautiful Japanese garden complete with a Koi pond, he said, “That pond does not add value.”  I responded, I never said it did.  When the appraiser left, I had a really bad feeling.  Within hours, he had sent the resulting appraisal to the buyer agent.  I got the phone call, it was another $20,000. low from our agreed upon price.  We asked for the lender to review and reconsider.  They would not.  I was convinced the investor buyer, the lender, and this appraiser, worked in concert to run sales in this manner.  I suggested to my seller, once again, that we return the home to the market, and find another buyer.  However, my seller was even more gifted in the power of surrender than I. She wished to continue on with the sale. She wasn’t as disturbed by the low ball offer, and the low appraisal, as I was. She saw she would receive enough from the sale to accomplish what she wished to do.  She wanted to be with her friends in a close-knit condo community, where folks traveled together.  I surrendered to my client’s wishes, and we closed the deal! 

Posted by

Myrl Jeffcoat ActiveRain Signature

Comments (36)

Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Beautifully written and so poignant. Thank you for sharing this incredible story.

Aug 19, 2023 07:02 PM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Broker
Elizabeth Anne Weintraub, Broker - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

This is a fabulous post, Myrl. This practice is even more true in Hawai'i, btw, where often things that happen are out of one's control. Feeling the need to control everything can make a person ill and nothing good comes from it, and I probably know that better than anyone. Survivors have those instincts. However as you point out, real estate agents should know the clients are always in control of the transaction, as they should be.

Aug 19, 2023 07:03 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Aug 19, 2023 07:15 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat

Thank you so much for the feature in your "Posts Just For You," Kathy.  It's appreciated!

Aug 19, 2023 07:21 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Diana Zaccaro Broker Associate - For most of my life, I equated surrender to failure.  It was during a couple moments of insight, I realized it could actually be something quite different.

Dr. Paula McDonald - Thanks for stopping by, and commenting!

Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento BrokerIt's  good to see you commenting here on AR, Elizabeth. You have been missed. And, thank you for the kind comment!

Aug 19, 2023 07:18 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Hi Myrl! What a wonderful story about your grandson and I loved hearing the ultimate outcome. And what a profound the lesson about your seller’s transaction. It was evident that the path to her dreams was worth the surrender. Congratulations on the featur!


Through surrender, the path to her dreams becomes clear.

Aug 19, 2023 07:41 PM
Chad Felter
Virginia Beach, VA
Providing service through out Virginia.

The idea of surrender is against everything American society is teaching our youth, and yet can be the right approach in certain situations. It's too bad politicians can't figure that idea out maybe work for the greater good like we expect them too.

Aug 19, 2023 08:17 PM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

A great lesson that you shared with us here on AR.  We must learn and accept when to let go.

Aug 19, 2023 09:10 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

There’s something about not trying as hard makes you get what you want easier sometimes especially in social situations or job interviews or romantic relationships. I think trying by not trying as hard.

Aug 19, 2023 09:12 PM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate Made Easy

I used to call it picking your battles. There are times you can’t win. Acceptance avoids bitterness. It let’s you move on.

Thanks for this powerful explanation.

Aug 19, 2023 09:51 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

I share your same philosophy on vacations.  I almost always allow others to make the plans and I just make sure I know what day to show up.  There is enough stress in everything else we do and when I go on vacation, I just want to enjoy it. 

I had never really thought about their being power in surrender.  After your thoughts on the subject, though, I do understand it.

Aug 20, 2023 06:40 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Myrl Jeffcoat - This is a very powerful entry into the challenge this month.  When I first saw the title of your post,  I was thinking it was a form of giving up.  I was curious because you do not strike me as a person who "gives up." 

I completely agree with Dorie Dillard Austin TX on this.  Your post has enlightened me to look at surrender differently. 

Aug 21, 2023 11:58 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Myrl:

I love this post and the lessons you shared. There are certainly times when surrendering IS the best option, even when it might not be what you would like to do. The value is in recognizing those times and acting accordingly.


Aug 21, 2023 07:38 PM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

The power of surrender seems to have worked for you but in my world, most look to me as they all seem to be on a continuous vacation.

Aug 23, 2023 03:25 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Wow you think the buyer was manipulating the lender and appraiser--icky!  I can understand your buyer's ultimate decision--she let it go.  I enjoyed this blog!

Aug 23, 2023 08:04 AM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Good examples of how sometimes it’s a good option to just go with the flow and not try to swim upstream.

Aug 24, 2023 11:44 AM
Gloria Todor
Premier Property Sales & Rentals - Springfield, PA
& Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA

Thank you Myrl for sharing your wisdom.  Your words to your grandson helped in a big way.  And stepping back to allow your client's wishes be carried out, showed major control.  To surrender to each moment is an important practice.


Aug 25, 2023 08:49 PM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

Thank you for sharing this tale of success with us. You desrrved that feature my dear 🙂

Aug 27, 2023 10:16 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Wonderful post and entry for the contest!  A value life lesson for sure and one that I feel comes with the wisdom of aging.  I've done the same thing in a smaller scale.  Letting others step up and take responsibility for a  major event I'm chairing has been very helpful.   It's a sort of surrender vs. controlling every aspect of the event.  Good for you with your conversation to your grandson.  Wise words! 

Aug 29, 2023 09:16 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I just reread your post and I guess, I took a different perspective and saw that your client rationally saw she could get what she needed to win her goal. Your success was that your ego wanted to put the house back on the market and show those  Scoundrels you were not going to fall prey to their fraud. Your win was to listen to your your client’s needs, sweet surrender to bring her peace 🙂

Sep 04, 2023 12:33 PM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Congratulations on the Featured post for the August Challenge.  There are so many examples of surrendering -- or letting go.  I was very impressed with your examples and very thankful your son listened to your advise and is doing so much better.  The seller that surrendered to the activities surrounding her sale made her choice and you allowed her to make a decision that was right for her even though you knew you could have gotten her a better solution.  In the end?  All is well.  For me, I had to learn to Let Go and Let God during a divorce.  Now 35 years later I can see it was for the best.

Sep 09, 2023 10:14 AM