I remember well the day in the waiting room in an Edmonton hospital, where we sat waiting on word about our daughter's surgery. After months of waiting, a spot opened up and she was having open-heart surgery. Fear, anxiety and stress washed over us when the surgeon came out. Calmly, almost as if he was a mechanic simply telling us how the repairs on a car went, he explained the whole procedure.
A simple procedure to repair things and pretty standard fare – for the doctor.
To him it was no big deal. Something he did everyday. To us, it seemed like the world stood still.
Now to change direction.
We talk about homes being a family's biggest investment. We discuss buying at the lowest possible point and selling at the apex to maximize one's financial "Return on Investment". We compare the value of real estate versus other opportunities to ensure long-term benefits. We as a society get stuck on numbers when it comes to houses. Is now a good time to sell, to buy, to rent? Can we maximize profits?
And when we in the industry look to assist people with the sale of their home, we try to verbalize a house in terms of catch phrases: "great curb appeal", "family friendly location", even "handy-man special"; all with the best intentions of helping them reach their goals.
What we so often forget is that the investment in a home can sometimes go way beyond the dollars. This may have been the family home for only a couple of years, or it may be that for twenty or thirty years the family has made this house a home. In that time, there will have been special moments like weddings and births. There also may have been tragic times and deaths through the years.
And thus we need to be vitally aware, that although there may be logical reasons a person is relocating and selling their home, there can come moments of high, strong emotion. Though they may be excited at the idea of a fresh start, that excitement can be tempered with sadness and fear.
We need to be aware, whether we are showing a home to a buyer, or selling on behalf of the owner, this is not just like every other investment. Although we do these transactions all the time, the people who are transacting may not have done it in a very long time. And although it is standard fare to us, it may not be to the owner.
For them the world may feel just a little like it did to us in the waiting room of the hospital so many years ago - standing still and surreal.
They say the most admired and respected doctors are not necessarily the ones with the best knowledge rather the ones that combine their skill with the best bedside manner. As professional REALTORS®, we should remember that.