You get a call from a family out of state. There's been a death.The home mom lived in in Maine is going to need to be sold. She passed away a few months back and it's time before another Maine winter to get the real estate sale ball rolling.
The family needs some help, guidance from a local professional. What to do first, second and third in the process?
When a Maine real estate broker enters the old home on say the Jones Road or Alice Avenue, you study the top to bottom of the place. And the walls, front of the refrigerator tell you a story. You "see" the person who lived here.
As you measure and take images, shoot video you sense what the person was all about without actually meeting them in some cases. There is an mental "image" with the kids, grandkids, great grand kids that forms from the actual pictures taken over the years at this home.
You come in to an empty silent empty home. But suddenly begin to hear laughter, can picture the life events that happened here. It's like real estate CSI and the slide show of the family that owns the place begins to play thru a loop slowly. Actual images on the walls and refrigerator help guide you too. There is one from a Christmas in the late 1950's in black and white. Another from Thanksgiving in the 1960's. Or a family reunion behind the home on the open deck during a fourth of July with home made ice cream. Grammy's favorite like many older folks was grape nut. It was what they had to add to the plain vanila ice cream churned and turned by hand on the open porch because they eat the grape nut each breakfast for cereal. This couple went thru the depression, a couple world wars or conflicts. Raised a family here.
Family and the special place Grammy raised those kids in shines on, lives on, echos as you tour the place. Making sure to lock up and take it under your wing to worry about because no one else locally is here to take the job for family members.
As a Maine real estate broker, you help the family figure out who is buying the old car only used on Sunday drives to church. Lots of details to address. And no family here to do the job so the broker takes on the extra duties to help with the many small details the family is too far away to deal with.What is staying with the sale. What furniture the family does not want or is able to transport eight states away where they live now. As a broker, it is an honor, privledge to help the family that often times you never actually meet. I am sure Florida real estate brokers see this situation all the time with the number of retirement places there and family not in the same state when a sale is needed.
As you tour the Maine home, or lake cottage you make notes to use in marketing the place. And for suggestions to the family. There is some deferred maintenance that was not tended to. Or maybe forgotten about during long illnesses, or sickness with the husband before he passed away a few years back. Or money was not there to tend to the areas needing attention. You advise the family on what is worth doing for repairs. What is diminishing returns in a small rural Maine real estate market. No stager called in to redecorate. The place is priced at $34,500. Humble, simple, and affordable. It may be filled with a new young family or bought as a Maine vacation place. You can do that with a second home purchase when the price tags hanging on the property is this low cost and reasonable.