Monday, March 1, 2010

Telling It Like It Is...

Today, I never stepped outside my home. It looked like a beautiful day, bright, sunny and clear. About 41 degrees F. Well, yesterday it was about 42 F, so I'm sure I know what it was like being outdoors, today.

Believe it or not, I worked at home, throughout most of the day. Between computer work, e-mailing, calls, etc., I was kept busy, right into the evening. For those of you who don't work from home, it may seem hard to believe, but those of you who do work from home, will truly understand.

About mid-day, I realized there was a person who was important to both Gordon and I, who did not know he died. Our friend/sister-in-the-Lord J, used to live in Windsor and worship at our church. J is a lovely lady, older than both of us. Her husband died; it devestated her. In addition, she was up in age enough that her daughter, who lives in B.C. wanted J to move out west. So, last year, she did.

In the beginning, J rented out her home, here in Windsor and made the move to B.C. However, about the time when Gordon collapsed, was hospitalized and died, she had her home on the real estate market for sale, with another realtor. Not me.

Please don't misunderstand. I would love to have helped her sell her home. My not contacting her didn't have anything to do with the fact that she didn't choose to have me help sell her home. Actually, I didn't contact her, because it is unethical for me to have contact with any seller who has listed their home for sale with another realtor. Any contact initiated on my part could be considered 'interfering in a listing'.

Most people aren't aware of this. But, it doesn't change the fact that it is true. The Windsor-Essex County Real Estate Board (WECREB) has rules that we realtors must follow; so does the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

About twenty-two (22) years ago, when I was a new realtor, I had given friends of mine a list of homes to drive by while I was at training out-of-town (in Toronto). When I returned, I spoke with them by phone. They suggested we get together the following day.

As I drove up to their home, the 'sign man' was installing a 'for sale' sign on their lawn. When we sat together, they explained that they had driven by the homes I gave them to check out, on the weekend. One of the homes was having an open house and so they went in. They loved the home. The salesperson suggested they make an offer on the home; they did. So, they listed their home for sale with that salesperson.

While I didn't feel I did anything wrong by being at their home, talking with them, their listing salesperson did. I was threatened with being reported for interfering in a listing contract, with the possibility of losing my newly acquired real estate licence. You could have blown me away with a feather!

During my real estate career, I have been called a 'straight arrow' more times than I can tell you. I have integrity. I don't/won't do anything that could be considered unethical. I have always known that my reputation precedes me, so I have always wanted it to be good. Never, would I want to cross the street to avoid you, because of a problem. No. It's just not me. If the rule says _______; I follow the rule.

So, I didn't contact J, because her home was listed by another realtor. Even before Christmas, I checked; yes, it was still listed, so I never sent a Christmas card. She must have wondered what was wrong, for most people aren't aware of our business 'rules'. In addition, we had such a close relationship, that she used to always hug us and tell us that we were like her children, to her.

Anyway, I hadn't checked for a while, but today I did; I found her home was no longer on the MLS system, so I called J. To say she was shocked at what I had to tell her, was an understatement. Still, I'm glad I called her. Finally.

It was difficult for me to tell J about the circumstances that surrounded Gordon's death. Reliving the experience did not lift me up, I assure you. However, I am grateful that the deed is done.

I am thankful God will surround J and me, as we both sorrow our loss. It truly has been the most heartbreaking, crushing experience. I've never felt so low, before; even during some of the most devastating circumstances that I've lived through in my life, that you don't have any idea about.

I love J, so very much. I realize that time stops for no man and as we are all aging, she may be called home, any time. So could I, for no man knows the hour. May God bless her, now and always.

Until next time...