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Sometimes helping family gives you new perspective

Seeing my mom cry has giving me a new perspective on real estate and why it is so important to hire a real estate professional to help you through the process of buying and selling a home.

You see, my parents were in a situation that they would never move from their house that they have lived in for the past 30 years. But, three weeks ago, they were thrown the opportunity to buy a property that my grandfather built that appraises for $700,000 for only $250,000. This property is an amazing property that overlooks the river from the deck.

However, the process was so overwhelming for her. My mom and dad are both teachers, and very smart, but this was even more than they could understand. Despite me talking to my dad everyday, I realized that he doesn't completely understand what I do or what I do in the background of every transaction.

My mom was being told something by the lawyer for the trust and because she didn't understand she just broke down. It was something simple for me to understand when dad called me on the phone with the question, but answering over the phone just something that couldn't be done.

I ended up going over because I heard mom was in tears because she didn't understand and thought she was going to lose the home. In reality, it just needed something creative to be done and the lawyer and the trust had to be involved. Something simple for the lawyer and me, but to her, she just didn't understand.

But, it made me think. How often have I had a buyer or seller break down in tears because they didn't understand the process? Instead of calling me like dad did, they just broke down in tears?

 What I think is simple to understand may not be to someone else. PMI, Capital Gaines, Title Insurance...Things we deal with everyday, but to buyers and sellers they are totally foreign. I think from now on, I'm going to be more proactive and more understanding. I will run things by my dad and if he doesn't understand, then maybe I will call the buyer or seller back and break it down to terms they CAN understand.

I now understand how so many FSBO (For Sale by Owners), and the buyers of these homes, get in to trouble so easily. There are so many things that go into the buying or selling a home that if you don't understand it, can cost you thousands, or even the home of your dreams. I know had I not got involved with this transaction that it would have never gotten to close.

Thanks mom and dad for making me a better real estate agent during the process of this complicated transaction, and I look forward to helping you move in to your new home. (With a smile, I Promise.)


Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)


At Respect Realty, LLC our agents believe in 100% dedication to client satisfaction.  We specialize in property and land acquisition around the Portland Metro and Vancouver, WA area. We delight in working with first time home buyers and sellers to guide them from start to finish. Our doors are always open and we are always happy to assist you with your real estate questions.


Reach out today, we look forward to talking with you!


Todd Clark and Seraina Aguayo (Owners of Respect Realty)

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)



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Comment balloon 15 commentsRespect Realty LLC • August 25 2008 09:19AM


It's rare that we can take a step to pay back our parents for all they've done for us over the years.  Nice post.  I hope to do something great, just phenomenal, for my parents one day above and beyond the norm.

Posted by Larry Bettag, Vice-President of National Production (Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001) over 10 years ago

Todd, you are seeing the valuable lesson of gently teaching others what they need to know about real estate through the lives of your parents. You are making a difference and that is good to see.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 10 years ago

Todd, what a moving post.  It is so true but when it strikes home, it makes us more sensitive.  I believe we become hardshelled because we do it day in and day out.   My parents are in their late 70's and early 80's.  My father and mother are living where they want to be - at the summer home that was converted to a year round home.  It was nothing for Dad to do but we did the transfer when they were in their 60's.  It is so hard.  So very hard even when working with estates.  All the emotions.  That's when I always step back and I actually enjoy working with expireds and the senior saints because it keeps me sensitve and in tune to their needs.

Bless you Todd.

Posted by Barb Van Stensel over 10 years ago

Todd~ How wonderful for you to have been able to help your very own family! They couldn't have been in better hands, that is for sure. 

Posted by Vickie McCartney, Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY (Maverick Realty) over 10 years ago


What a great post! And we need to be responsive and sensitive to situations like this...they are not as rare as people might think! Thanks,   Fran 

Posted by Fran Gaspari, "The Title Man" - Title Insurance - PA & NJ (Patriot Land Transfer, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Thank you for sharing that That was a wonderful post.

Posted by Janice MacMillan, Associate Broker (ERA Joyner Realty) over 10 years ago

Todd - I'm glad to hear that you stepped in to guide your patience through the real estate maze.  I'm sure that they will think of you as they sit out on their deck overlooking the river. 

Posted by Debbie Summers (Charles Rutenberg Realty ) over 10 years ago

Larry - My parents are so lucky to have this opportunity, but I am glad they didn't have to do it alone or they for sure would have lost it!

Gary - It really was an eye opener and I plan to treat future buyer during the transaction.

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) over 10 years ago

Todd- You are right things we take for granted, thinking our clients understand may be completely overwhelming for them- Thank you and your parents for the reminder- Good Luck to all!

Posted by Barbara Carter, Serving Your Real Estate Needs in the Hudson Valle (C21 Alliance Realty Group) over 10 years ago

This is where our counselling skills come in.  This is a great story and a wonderful reminder that our job is overwhelming to many people and its up to us to keep the lines of communication open. 

Posted by Leslie Stewart, Realtor, ABR, CRS, Oregon Licensed Broker (Oregon Licensed Broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Real Estate Professionals) over 10 years ago

Todd - What a great story! My gandmother-in-law is currently selling her house in California in order to move up here to Vancouver. I am not certain that she would be able to do it without Janice and me helping out. Luckily we found her a great agent down there. Otherwise one of us might be on an extended visit to California trying to get it sold.

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Posted by Mark Hall, Homes for Sale Vancouver Washington (Realty One Group Cascadia) over 10 years ago

Todd, Your experience just points out how important it is to fully explain to our customer/clients everything related to their transaction. And don't use industry jargon. Break it down so it is easy to understand. Not only is the right thing to do but it will also help to keep issue to a minimum.

Now go give Mom a hug!!!

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 10 years ago

Todd -This is a great example of why we need to be on our game all the time. Our loyal clients trust us to be professional, and look out for their interest, and most of us do.

Posted by Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc (Benchmark Realty LLc) over 10 years ago

Todd--This is the best post I've read in a long time. Very moving, and made me think. I sold my family's homestead last fall and it was frustrating. 3 kids (my dad + aunts), all educated, all grown up, all with houses of their own and successful at their careers. I got to see first hand how this all affected them, and what little they understood of the process (the process in general, and you're right--what we DO EVERY DAY). It's 2nd nature to us. But to them, it's mystifying and scary and emotional.

We need to step back sometimes and remember that. To us, it's just business (most of the time). To them it's a momentous time.

Posted by Erica Ramus, MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate (Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA ) over 10 years ago

Barb - So true, I wouldn't try to go in to their job thinking it was simple, but so many step in to our thinking it is the easiest thing in the world and find out the hard way that it just isn't so. But, at the same time, maybe we shouldn't act like It is the easiest thing in the world.

Vickie - I'm glad I was close by, because I can't imagine having them try this on their own, they would have lost out on this amazing opportunity.

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) over 10 years ago

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