Most real estate advertising, including mine, is filled with images of beautiful houses and happy people enjoying one of the high points of their lives. Those are the times that make fabulous memories, and any Realtor, including me, would be thrilled to help you make the most of it.
I’m George Grant Burch, a Realtor, and Residential Lifestyle Consultant in Houston, TX, and in this video, we’re going to keep it real by exploring some of the ways you might find yourself in need of Realtor when you least expect it.
I call these experiences “The Difficult D’s.” Thankfully, few of us will experience all of them, but the reality is that we will all face some of them at some point in our lives. Having an established relationship with a Realtor that you know and trust can make these difficult situations a little more bearable, and can be a source of confidence in a time when you feel most vulnerable.
Let’s start with the one that, unfortunately, is the most common, because we all experience it at some point. A death in the family probably creates more unexpected real estate encounters than any other. The grief, turmoil, and emotion connected with the loss of a loved one can be disturbing and traumatic, and often brings heirs into the real estate market unexpectedly. Sometimes this is a first real estate experience for these folks, and they may not have an established relationship with a trusted real estate professional. When the deceased has left a succession plan, or will, there is some comfort in knowing that you can execute their wishes with respect, but it can still be a difficult, emotional process. An experienced Realtor can coordinate the sale of the property with the executor and their attorney, following the process and timing stated in the will. In the case where a loved one has died unexpectedly, without a will, your Realtor can recommend trusted probate attorneys who will guide you through the administration of the estate. When the heirs live in a different city or state, a dedicated Realtor and their network of professional services can be of remarkable assistance in preparing the home for sale. There are numerous options for selling the home, and whether you’re looking for a quick liquidation or the maximum sales price, your Realtor can explain your options and help you decide on the one that’s right for you and your family.
In a similar way, Disability can come along unexpectedly, especially with older family members who may no longer be able to navigate large houses or take care of themselves on their own. This situation may be eased or complicated by the fact that the homeowner is involved in the transaction. If they are “bought-in” to the idea of a move, they may still be encumbered by sentimental attachment to things they no longer need, and memories they don’t want to leave behind. When they are resistant to leaving their long-term home, their loved ones and caregivers may find themselves facing frank, difficult discussions about the best course of action. While doctors and therapists are the professionals best suited to guide families through these discussions, your Realtor can provide you with options for leasing or selling the residence, as well as professional resources to prepare the property for either of those options.
Divorce is another devastating D that brings people unexpectedly into the real estate market. Often, there are 3 residential decisions to make: 2 new locations, and the liquidation of a 3rd. Obviously, attorneys are the guiding professionals in these difficult, emotional situations, but a trusted Realtor can give insight into the value of the existing property, and options for new living situations for the parties involved. Because representing both parties could be awkward for everyone, many Realtors, including me, have referral partners prepared to work with the other party. This can help remove some emotion and allow each party to move forward with dignity.
Disaster is another D that thrusts people into the real estate market at a time when moving into a new home is the last thing on their minds. Whether it’s a personal disaster, like a fire, or a regional disaster like a storm or flood that forces hundreds of people into the market at once, your need for assistance is immediate, as your primary residence is rendered un-livable. A Realtor can assist with short term leasing, as well as helping you assess the value of your property in its damaged condition, and its potential value after restoration. If you decide to remodel, your Realtor has a network of trusted contractors who can bid the job for you. Sometimes people see this as an opportunity to move on, and your Realtor can help you liquidate the damaged property and acquire a new home wherever you want to live next.
Dislocation may not be quite a dramatic as the previous D’s but facing a change of jobs in a strange new place is not without emotional strain. If your change of jobs is internal, your company may offer relocation services- with or without a price. The best of these services allow you to work with your trusted Realtor, and if they offer to buy your property, that Realtor can help you evaluate their offer and determine if you can get more for the home on the open market- quite often, you can. If you’re changing companies, there probably won’t be a relocation package, so your Realtor is your only source of real-time market data. Often, families are separated during these relocations, and your local Realtor and destination Realtor can work together to help you make the transition as seamless as possible, and get your family reunited quickly.
Downsizing can be a happy occasion or a sad one, so your Realtor will take their cues from you and respect the situation with appropriate regard. Empty nesters often look to downsizing with elation and anticipation of their newfound freedom to explore and enjoy their city. Your Realtor knows the amenities and benefits of each part of town and can help you on your hunt for your next big thing. Others may be burdened by a lifetime of “stuff” and may struggle to move forward with something they feel is an overwhelming undertaking. Your Realtor has helped countless folks though the journey, and can offer services, advice, and support to help you get over the hump and look forward to your new life and new memories.
Whether your lifetime brings you one Difficult D or several, having an established relationship with a Realtor you’ve come to know and trust can be one less thing to worry about when emotions are already in overdrive. My goal as a Realtor is to earn your respect, trust, and friendship, so if and when the need arises, you don’t need to think twice about where to go for trusted real estate guidance and advice.