My grandmother belonged in her home like valentines day chocolate in a heart shaped box. Each article of clothing, piece of furniture, and accessories seemed perfectly suited to her lifestyle and personality. I can imagine her now, standing in her doorway, ushering my excited family of five inside with werthers originals after the ferry ride from our home in Langley to hers in Maple Ridge.
I guess you could consider her a little bit of a traditional grandmother. However to me, her knitted blankets were priceless, her wardrobe was typically simple but cozy and she always dressed up the best on Sunday mornings for church. She was my grandmother and I loved her beyond words could say.
My memories of my grandmother are made from details of visiting her home mostly. The sound of the crackling fire in the living room, the smell of wood burning smoke sneaking its way from the chimney and into the living room, the hum of crickets and water splashing from the lake drifting into her living room on summer nights.
Her house was like a living breathing thing with character and history. Scattered throughout the house, were pictures of her youth. These framed and fascinating treasures told of a time when my grandmother was a wild child who would stay out all night with her friends just to skip rocks and drink milkshakes.
I can literally remember exactly how it felt sitting on her knee while she ran her finger tips along my back up and down, side to side until I would fall asleep on top of her. Only for me to wake up and ask her to keep doing it over and over until she couldnt hold her hands up anymore.
It be founds me that we are never so kind or considerate as we are to people, places, and things until they are in the past.The last time I visited my grandmothers house was just before it was sold and prior to then I hadn’t been there for years. She spent much of her time fighting cancer in our home as my mother wasn’t working to tend to her sick mother. By the time I returned to my grandmother’s old house, it was empty and all my grandmother’s belongings had either put in a box or stored away.
Sitting timeless in the hallway looking at bare walls I thought the house looked worn and tired – like the cancer that took my grandmother it too had weakened its structure. I had hoped returning would help me remember my grandmother and the childhood days I spent there, but to my dismay it did not. My hopes of seeing her house as I remembered it one last time in attempt to preserve its beauty in my memory banks were long gone.
As a Realtor I have seen people give up and sell homes for various reasons. Sometimes the circumstances for selling are in their control (such as making the choice to sell a house and move to a new one) and sometimes they aren’t (like in the case of foreclosure, house fire, natural disaster, or death of the primary resident). Leaving your home can be very sad and emotional regardless of the reason.
Saying Your Goodbye
A Healthy Visit: If the place is not your primary residence, find an opportunity to visit one last time. Prepare yourself though, there’s a chance it will may seem strange and different.
Documentation: Take photographs of different rooms and significant places. Take notes that you remember to add to a scrap book to show your children or immediate family.
Ceremonial Goodbye: This may not be your cup of tea. However some religious folks like to say a prayer. Blessing the house and cleansing it of any bad doing for the new owner. Some may just have a toast and enjoy one last amazing meal to bring back those fond memories of holiday dinners spent with the ones you love.
Take Some Time: Soak it up! Don’t just move thins into boxes miserably. Spend time looking at some of the unique memorabilia from he home. Spend purposeful and meaningful time learning and reminiscing.
Leave your mark: Now I have to be careful with this one as you are technically supposed to leave the home in the same or better condition as in when sold. However, carving your initials in a tree, bury a time capsule in the backyard, or planting a flower may not be so bad.
Care for it: Leave the home feeling loved. Add a coat of paint in small areas if the new buyers are okay with it. Give the home one really good dusting. Clean those windows so you can watch the last sunset clearly together in the home.
Take something with you: Unearth a small plant or tree to replant at your new home’s location, take a brick out of the front pathway prior to listing, unscrew a doorknob – go ahead and cause some destruction. Please just do these things prior to listing the home.
Lastly Dont Be Afraid To Reminisce: Talk about all those memories you had in the home, both with those who you shared the memories with and those you didn’t (maybe your children or close friends).
A home is a place where you raise your children. It’s a place you come home to rest your head after a long days work. It’s a place of peace and safety. Selling an estate home is tough enough. Your emotions and soul are worn and tired. You’re likely in a great deal of pain. Dealing with the grief is enough alone, having to deal with a greedy relentless real estate shark looking at this home as tare down investment can just make the situation for you and your family worse. Selling an estate home can be very difficult and hard on the heart.
Home is not a place, it’s a feeling. If you need any assistance please do not hesitate to call. We are here to help.