On Empty Nesting- TBG Update 11/21
This week I found myself thinking about a side-by-side duplex I sold a little over two years ago. I went on a listing appointment about a year and a half before the property sold. When I first met the owners who lived at the property, they shared their dream to move to a remote area of Oregon surrounded by water and lush trees, far from civilization. After our meeting at their home, every week I would call the owners’ cell to follow up. For about a year I called and I never reached anyone. I never got a call back. I would drive past their house from time to time and leave treats at their door. I never reached anyone and I never got a response. One day, as I happened to drive past their house, I saw the owner pulling into his driveway in his pickup truck. I called to him out the window and he said hello. Another day, a few months later, the same thing happened and the couple said they’d like to come into my office to talk. They came to my office two more times and then they were ready to start taking steps to make their dream come true and they listed their house for sale. It took some time to prep the house but in time we got the house on the market and then it sold. When I called the owner to let him know we had confirmation of the title transfer and his house was sold, he sounded kind of sad. He said, “So does this mean you’re not going to call me all the time any more?” I told him he had to be kidding. I called him SO many times and he NEVER once answered or called me back. Sheepishly he said that he loved getting all those messages anyway.
I went on a listing appointment a little over two months ago when a homeowner’s dad just died. Last Sunday the owner called to tell me that she needed lots more time to separate from her childhood home and to process her dad’s death. She thinks she might have another update on her emotions in January. I sincerely told her to take her time and to respect her process. Grief is hard and as a person whose mom died almost 9 years ago the best way is to feel the feelings and take care of herself.
We sold a beautiful house a month ago and we met those sellers at a listing appointment two years before they listed their house. They had a dream to move to another area, to a house with a pool, and perhaps to start to live on their own and have their grown children venture out into the world and start to live in a house not their parents’. Every few months over the two years, we would schedule a call and the very thoughtful, sensitive owners would get on the phone together and we’d discuss logistics, and questions about overwhelm, and the process, and they would ponder. And when the time was right, the very deliberate owners scheduled to go to the Hamptons for two weeks while their house got painted and staged, and then they came back and together, while they lived in the home and prepared it for each showing, we got the house sold. We did a really good job, and the house sold for a really good price, and everyone felt especially good, and most importantly, the timing was just right.
I learn so much about myself, and the world, and the human process, from living experiences with the wonderful people I have the extreme honor to represent through their real estate sales. As I personally make a shift in my life from a bustling high energy household full of children at home to a quiet empty nesting one with the kids married and living far away, I’m extraordinarily grateful every day for a career I absolutely love, and like my clients, I also need to respect the human process and the emotions that hit us as we live through change.
This week was especially emotional as we experienced multiple clients surrounded by boxes all packed up, wiping tears flowing down cheeks, as they went through their process of saying goodbye to houses filled with years of memories through so many stages of their lives. It almost feels heroic and monumental when we witness people step up and pull themselves through their process and on to the rest of their lives. I’m filled with awe and gratitude for the inspiration and lessons in fortitude and resilience we get from sellers braving it and moving forward. I love a quote, “Today is a gift. That’s why it’s the present.” While people hire us to sell their homes for top dollar, it’s a gift for us to support and to honor our clients and their human process. And I’m counting down the 864,000 seconds until my kids come home for Shabbos Chanukah next week!
Wishing everyone an awesome weekend!