There’s been a similarity with a few of my most recent clients. Although all were downsizing in some manner, either from single family homes to a condo or from a condo to a retirement residence, what made them the same was each had lost a spouse in the past few years. What quickly became apparent was their vulnerability, as they faced having to make a significant purchase and change on their own, this time without their life partner by their side.
There was never a question of “is it the right time to sell my home”. All were making the choice to downsize knowingly and willingly, some soon after the death of their spouse and some within a few years. All recognized that the time was right for them and could envision their new life in new surroundings. In each situation, there weren’t large families and other influencers, each with different ideas of what to do, complicating matters. Decisions were truly the seniors’.
Not surprisingly, they all unknowingly, and I’m sure unintentionally attempted to sabotage the plan they had clearly stated they wanted. As their Sales Representative it was more important then ever to be a good listener, to help my clients be sure that their plan to make a move was the right move for them, to understand and value their uniqueness, to appreciate their fears and challenges, to be patient and to respect the memories and intangibles. Perhaps most importantly, it was necessary to recognize when my clients self inflicted road blocks surfaced; road blocks that were subconsciously presenting, undoubtedly out of fear and attempting to protect them for the pain of dealing with their feelings of loss and sadness as they planned to give up their family home. The fight or flight reflex was evident in all cases. It was critical for me to recognize which road block had the potential to be detrimental and which were less significant. Once these were identified, addressed and overcome – with some hand holding, the path became clearer, and the angst lessened.
Without having the senior’s spouse or extended family by their side through their journey, my role was also extended to being the ‘go-to’ person, providing counsel on many of peripheral issues around the sale of a home. Having dealt with their very personal issues related to their fears, the matters about what to do with their stuff and when to see the lawyer etc became relatively easy conversations. The worst was over. My clients began looking forward to the future with excitement.
Just imagine for a minute having to deal with one of the largest financial transactions of a lifetime – all on your own. There’s no need to be alone at all. A Master-ASA, who has the training, expertise, resources, patience and maturity to work with you can be by your side throughout your journey!