How to help downsizing clients come to terms with their possessions
Bill Risser, the vice president of digital strategy at Fidelity National Title, recently packed up a five-bedroom, three-bathroom home in Phoenix to move to an 1,100-square-foot condo in a Tampa, Florida high-rise.
So, he’s intimately familiar with a conundrum that many downsizing movers are facing: getting rid of extra possessions. It’s harder than ever to get rid of your stuff — and once that lamp, jewelry or antique hutch reaches “family heirloom” or “treasured artifact” status, feelings can get hurt.
This is an issue that real estate agents all over the country have been dealing with as downsizing movers — many of them baby boomers — look to pass down furniture and memorabilia to family members (often millennials) who don’t want it.
Because it’s a scenario that can really ruffle feathers, agents need to manage the relationships and people involved with tact and grace — especially if they’re hoping for repeat business or a referral from the family.
Different strokes for different folks
“We deal with a lot of millennials and kids who are moving to Colorado, and their parents live in other states,” explained Stacie Perrault Staub, a broker in Denver. “They get to come here and have a really fresh new start and have their apartment or their first little house just the way they want it. “It makes me think about their parents and what they left behind — and what a Realtor in that other state is going to have to deal with eventually,” she added.
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