Closing a Home in South Sacramento for an Elderly Seller

African American Woman WavingIf my mother were alive today, she would be in her early 80s, just like an elderly seller in Sacramento whose home that I, as her listing agent, recently closed. This woman’s son had called from Georgia to ask if I would help his mother to sell her home. His mom is moving across the country as I type to live with him. Her son had done his homework online, reading website after website about real estate agents. He didn’t pick any ol’ Sacramento real estate agent, he entrusted this agent to take care of his mom.

I suspect he chose me in part because I give a crap about other people; I guess it shows, and I have a conscience that follows the Golden Rule. I have an obligation to those I represent, not only as a a REALTOR  but as a person.

This elderly seller lived for many decades across from a school in South Sacramento. It’s not the easiest neighborhood in which to sell nor the best location. People get so used to where they live that they don’t always realize that selling real estate depends on the adage: location, location, location. They feel that if they can overlook a train rumbling past the kitchen window, so should every other buyer out there.

Selling a home near a school is no easy feat. I’ve sold 3 of them like this in the past few months. It’s got to be the right combination: an attractive sales price, good condition, exemplary layout. The first buyers who expressed an interest in making an offer were put off by the school, and there was no way they would offer list price. So, we focused instead on the second buyers who appreciated the immaculate condition of the home and its upgrades.

This elderly seller was a bit feisty, sharp as a tack and a supremely delightful person to represent. She was resourceful, and we talked for a while at her kitchen table about her life. It was difficult for her to read the listing paperwork, which I also emailed at her request to her son so he could feel comfortable as well. I showed her patience. Some day I will be that old, and I would like to think that my real estate agent at that time in my life would take a few extra minutes out of her day to be patient with me.

I am honored to have met this woman, this elderly seller. I wish in our country that our American customs showed more respect for elderly people, like they do in other cultures in which the elderly are revered for their wisdom. We should show a little more compassion for our elders. Open doors for them, if you can. Let them move ahead of you in line at the grocery store. Stop your car at pedestrian crossings and wait for them to cross. Small things, simple gestures, are big things.

Subscribe to Elizabeth Weintraub\'s Blog via email

Sorry we are experiencing system issues. Please try again.