The homes we leave behind

Winston Churchill once wrote “We shape our dwellings and afterwards, our dwellings shape us”.

Throughout our lifetimes, we meander through many cycles of growth and change, good times and difficult times, happiness and sadness. And through our transitions, our dwellings change – we move to a smaller or bigger home, to an apartment or residence or to a different city or country. But one thing is sure – every move has a purpose and is based on emotion.

We remember our childhood homes, our university dorms, and all the homes as the family grew. The memories and the sadness of having to move on for whatever reason. But the one thing that we hang on to is the feeling. That never goes away because feelings follow us in our hearts no matter what “home” looks like.

The places we live are not just brick and mortar. Home is where family is, where love grows and even where troubled times make us stronger. As we move through life, “home” changes but as someone once said “ Home is what you take with you, not what you leave behind”.

As brokers, we work with so many clients at different stages of their lives. We have quite the challenge of trying to determine what that particular stage is and we need to ride the wave of emotions they are certainly going through. The young couple buying their first home with financial stress, an older couple selling their home of 30 years and a lifetime of memories to move to a condo, or a senior facing the challenge of moving to a residence whether voluntary or not.

The greatest myth about real estate brokers is that we sell and buy homes for our clients and that all we care about is piling up those sales. The honest truth is that we help our clients with emotional changes and to facilitate their decisions. One has to have compassion, diplomacy and a good ability to listen to do that and somehow along the way we earn a living. What we do is not easy and many clients only realize that after the transaction has concluded. If we have done our profession justice, our clients leave “home” looking forward and not back.

In these difficult times of 2020-2021, we should be especially mindful of the issues of anxiety, loneliness and fear and how this may be affecting our clients’ decisions and reactions. They still have change happening in their lives but with a lot more going on around them. It is our duty to treat every clients’ new challenge with respect and to guide them with honesty and care.

Selling or buying a home is not just about the business of real estate. It is much more than that. As we navigate through our careers, the only thing to remember is that our goal should be that our clients take with them the best of what they have to leave behind.

Karen Rossy

Certified real estate broker

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