Keeping the target off my client's back
I read an article in the Dallas Morning News yesterday about a widow in Las Vegas who found herself lonely and isolated, away from her family in Ohio. Her husband had passed away a little less than a year ago and she was overwhelmed by the idea of preparing her home, putting it on the market and selling it. The answer seemed to come in the form of a letter from a company offering to buy her house without having to ever prepare or show it. I can only imagine she was flooded with relief.
The problem came when she met with the representative for the company and using high pressure sales tactics had her sign a sales contract. She soon discovered that her house was worth significantly more than what they offered. She contacted the company to cancel the contract. She believed the deal was dead and went on to sell her house with a professional real estate agent only to show up at closing to discover the high pressure company never cancelled the contract. This effectively stopped the sale of her home causing her an insurmountable amount of stress and the loss of thousands of dollars.
You might wonder how this happened without the widow understanding, but if you've experienced the loss of a spouse, you probably get it. There are times when you can't think, where you can't remember important things or make decision that you would normally make. I was surprised to discover that my husband's birthdate was incorrect on his death certificate. When I contacted the funeral home they explained that I had verified all of the information and confirmed it was correct via an email. I had absolutely no recollection of ever having seen the email. That situation makes me understand completely how this widow functioned (or not) during the contract, negotiation and sale process.
That's why I rely on women to help their friends and connect me with them before they have to make any real estate decisions. Maybe moving isn't even on their radar and that's ok, at least they know that there is someone watching out for them if their situation changes. There are not a lot of resources beyond grief support for widows/widowers. Few people understand the vulnerability of our demographic.
It is that vulnerability that makes me so passionate about working with those who have suffered the loss of a spouse. I can be a warrior and protect my clients, making sure that they are not targeted by unscrupulous people. At the same time, I can understand when emotions change and decisions are questioned. Every step of the way I can let my client know this can be changed, this is a step that's going to be difficult or costly to change and this is a step that cannot be reversed. I'll take on the burden of weeding out shady characters and reminding my clients what to expect every step of the way.