As published in the Conroe Courier, these articles written by Claudia Hohlt address various real estate topics in and around Montgomery County.
It’s not unusual for us Realtors to get emotionally connected to our clients as we pass through their lives for a while. After all, we’re usually brought in to help them navigate through a major life decision. But every once in a while, a buying or selling experience stands out for some reason or other. I had one of those earlier this year that I would like to share.
As I met my client for the first time at her recently acquired home, I noticed that the landscaping was quite overgrown. The ligustrums hung over the front walkway making it difficult to fully appreciate the attractive Victorian architecture. As we entered the home, there was an eerie stillness. A heavy coat of dust had accumulated on every surface. A large calendar on the wall hadn’t been turned in seven months. Houseplants had long ago given up hope for a splash of water. And random pictures of vacations and get-togethers from many years past were spread out on the large coffee table in the living room. Most of them appeared to have been taken in the 60’s and 70’s and portrayed young folks being happy. A more recent photo was of a cheerful man standing on the newly poured slab of this very house. The photos were spread out in a manner that enabled someone to linger over the photos and reminisce about a time in which so much time lay ahead. Alongside these happy memories was a hospice log detailing the last weeks of someone with very little time left.
I was called by the new owner of this home to help her sell it. She had just recently inherited the home from her brother and wanted to put it on the market. That is one of the more challenging tasks for a Realtor. Often we’re brought into to help someone transition through a difficult time. The death of a close relative, divorce, financial hardship or poor health can sometimes force someone to sell a home. In addition to one’s real estate expertise, these times call for an extra dose of compassion, patience and friendship.
The one thing in common that most home sellers have in these circumstances is a desire for another family to enjoy the home as they or their loved one once did. Especially for someone who has lived in the home for a long time. A new family bringing energy and excitement into the home can be comforting to the seller. And it can help relieve some of the heartache and help bring some closure to a difficult time.
Initially, my client was completely overwhelmed with the prospect of selling her brother’s home. It had fallen into a state of disrepair and she felt that she lived too far away to deal with the numerous issues involved with the property. At first, she was inclined to sell the property as-is, which would likely have required a heavy discount. Sensing her anxiety, I offered to assist her through the process of fixing up the home. After helping her get bids from some reputable contractors and being her “boots on the ground” in reviewing their work, my client was able to fix up the house and sell it for a fair price to a family that fell in love with the home.There were numerous emotional moments during this process that made this one of my more memorable real estate experiences. Along the way, I began to feel as if I had known my client’s brother and was working for him as much as I was for his sister. As we left the closing table, my client was very relieved and satisfied with the outcome. I think her brother would have been pleased as well.