FacelessGray days like today really do have an effect on the attitudes and outlooks many people normally have.  I went to visit one of my elderly clients today who is pretty much homebound most of the week.  If it happens to be a gray day, I prepare myself for his being a bit depressed and not having his normal peppery conversations with me.  This afternoon he was even a more inwardly turned while sitting in his chair and looking at the gray skies outside.  He was of course glad to see me but really didn’t have much to say about himself, but rather was asking how my month has been and if there was anything new on my side of the fence.  I asked him what he’d been doing lately and his blank response was, “Nothing much.”  I did my best to cheer him up and get him to laugh at least a giggle or two with some of my comical real estate stories.  What really got him going was my telling a story about a recent involvement with a mean spirited senior whom I’d crossed paths.  I said, “I quietly crowned her the Dakota Queen because she’s as big and boney as a milk cow and can kick like a mule.”  I think the rest of his day was a bit lighter after getting him to laugh and likely while looking at those gray clouds again after I left, he was trying to envision what she really looked like.

Another one of my clients called later to see if had done my research on the value of the home he’s going to be selling in the future.  I mentioned that I’d tried to call his home yesterday, but no answer.  Keep in mind, there are still a number of the elderly who don’t have cell phones.  I admire the both of them; especially the husband because he’s not only his wife’s partner, but also her caregiver.  She has lingering health problems that keep him hopping.  Having known them long enough, one day he quite frankly said to me, “I know you think I have my hands full with my wife, but I’m married to her and sometimes on a daily basis I remember our marriage vows and act accordingly. If the tables were turned, I know she would do the same for me.”  Now that statement nearly brought tears to my eyes.  How many people do we know who’ve walked away from their spouses or family members when suddenly there’s a serious or lingering health issue?  There’s more out there than anyone could imagine, only they’ll usually find obscure excuses why they’d walked rather than give the real reasons.  Yes, we all wonder if we’d step up to the plate and be there for loved ones, yet no one really knows the depth of one’s commitment until a crisis arrives.

Over these past five or so years I’ve been finding myself dealing a bit more with absentee owners in selling homes they’ve either inherited or moved out of and left the area.  I do find it a bit more difficult in understanding the wants and needs of someone selling their home when only relying on phone calls, text messages, and e-mails.  Since it’s been happening all the more, I’m pretty much up to speed with it as well as understanding that there’s always lag time involved.  Everything has to be planned and executed a number of days earlier than normal due to mail deliveries and even time zone differences which create hurdles in getting their properties to close on time.  After each one of these closings I often wonder what those sellers look like.  I seem to always remember their voices, but they’re forever remaining faceless to me.

Joe Chodur

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