Self-ish or Self-less?

Her legs relaxed, and she sat down.  For the first time in weeks, she looked calm.Pudgy 1

Her front legs started to give in.  Sean was embracing her around her shoulders.  He gently laid her down as tears wet his cheeks.  He sniffled and wiped his face with the back of his hand.  He laid her head down on the soft blanket and kissed her cheek.  “We’ll see you again soon, Pudgy.”

I watched – a sob caught in my throat and the tears slid down my cheeks.  I bent down, kissed her head and whispered in her ear – “Mommy loves you.”

Pudgy, our 13 year old Boxer, laid peacefully on the table.  The vet was thoughtful and put a nice thick comforter on the steel exam table to make her as comfortable as possible.  For the first time in weeks, she was pain free.  Her eyes, glazed over with the blinding disease, were still open.  She couldn’t see us, but she knew we were there.

Her paid was gone – ours had begun.

We pulled at the tissues in the box until our hands were full.  We thanked the vet, and the nurse, and we fled the room.  This was all surreal.  We walked outside and stood in the middle of the parking lot.  We were leaning into each other, holding each  other until we stopped crying.  “It was for the best.”

“I know.  She is up in Heaven running across the grass playing with all her boxer friends.”

Pudgy had been with Sean for 13 years.  She had been a member of our blended family for 7 of those years.  You couldn’t ask for a better dog.  She was faithful, obedient, loving, gentle and very friendly.  Everyone who met her instantly loved her.

Over the years, Pudgy had turned grey and her arthritis would bother her from time to time.  But for the most part, she was playful and youthful.  Then about 6 weeks ago her eyes started glazing over.  The vet said she was blind in her left eye and her right eye was not far behind.  We gave her eye drops to help manage the pain, but she still whined as she scratched at them.

We didn’t expect her to go completely blind as fast as she did, but when she started walking into the walls and furniture – we knew.  When we would let her outside, she became confused.  She didn’t know how to get back in.  Sean had to pick her up and carry her to bed.

We weren’t ready for her to go, but she was scared and in pain.  It was time for us to make an  extremely hard decision.  Time to think of Pudgy – not ourselves.

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And we did.  She is now in a safe, happy, pain free place.

Doing the right thing, the self-less thing, for some people, is not easy.  In fact, for some, it is downright HARD.

Real Estate agents face these HARD decisions more often than they like.  Some make the self-ish decision, and others make the right decision, the self-less decision.

Two years ago, “Bob” and “Ali” were looking for a true Floridian style home.  They wanted a big covered front porch, and the back had to have a screened in pool.

Sean found them the perfect home.  The front porch was beautiful – dark plank flooring, high plank ceilings painted a light blue.  The huge white wooden rocking chairs completed this cheery outdoor space.  The Ranch style home was U shaped.  Each side of the U had wall to wall sliding glass doors that opened up the whole house onto the lanai.  The screened in lanai had a pool, a complete outdoor kitchen, and space enough to entertain 100 guests.

They fell in love with the house and put in an offer.  It was accepted, and they were super excited.

Sean was super excited too.  It was September.  We were just finishing up the “slow” season in the Southwest Florida Real Estate Market.  It had been a long couple of slow months, and this higher priced sale would be a relief.  Having 20 years of Real Estate experience taught us how to save and plan for these dips in sales.  And we do, but it is still a relief when we come out of the slow season.

All the paperwork was completed, and Sean scheduled the home inspection.  It was a bright, sunny Thursday morning, 88 degrees and thick with humidity – the kind of weather that brings in storms every afternoon.

All was going well with the inspection until the inspector stepped into the guest bedroom.  The carpet was wet and mushy.  You could hear the water squish under his feet with every step he took.  He took out his flashlight and moisture meter and began to investigate.  The old metal roof had been leaking for quite some time.  The ceiling was wet, and the walls were wet.  He finished the inspection and wrote up his report.  It was not good.  The buyers were confused.  They weren’t sure what to do.  They absolutely loved the house.  They asked for Sean’s advice.

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This deal could have gone either way, depending on the advice the buyers received.

I never doubted what decision Sean would make.  He has always put his client’s needs above our own.  And good thing too.  This beautiful home with a bad roof and hidden problem sold months later.  It took the new buyers almost 6 months of work to repair the problems.  Day after day, week after week, there were constant contractor trucks in and out of the driveway.  The entire roof was replaced.  We don’t know how much the repairs cost, but it couldn’t have been cheap.  And considering these buyers paid market value and then had to sink tens of thousands of additional dollars into it, they ended up overpaying for the house.

It makes me wonder what kind of decisions other agents make.  Self-ish or self-less.  Especially when the average agents in our county only sells four homes a year.  They are making a poverty level income.  Imagine how desperate they must feel for each sale.  If a sale falls through because of a roof issue, they will be financially devastated.  They may not be able to pay their mortgage or rent for the month.  They may not be able to buy food for their children.

Is that agent really going to be able to make the HARD decision?  The right decision?  The one that puts their clients’ needs above their own?

That’s a good question to ask yourself next time you are going to buy or sell a home.  Can I trust that the agent I chose will give us the right advice?  Will make the self-less decision?

Doing the right thing, the self-less thing, for some people is not easy.  In fact, for some, it is downright HARD.

But not for us.

We did the right thing.  We do make self-less decisions.  Pudgy.  Our clients.

You will always come first.

Sean and Cheryl Sig

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