Relocating Late in Life.
Seattle, WA  -- "Here I Come!"



After 36 years of assisting Buyers who were relocating to St. Louis, Missouri, I found myself finally understanding the depth of disruption a major relocation can cause--by relocating myself.  With 26 years in the same house, 36 years in the same career, and 64 years in the same city, it's safe to say "change" doesn't come easy.  Not only was I leaving behind family and life-long friends, I would be saying "good-by" to my past clients, real estate sphere, chiropractor of 30 years, manicurist, esthetician, neighborhood full-service car wash, massage therapist who came to my home, and my dentist/brother who does my dental work for free -- to name a few. Relocating late in life for me was a major challenge.

How often do we real estate agents think about what our relocating buyers are leaving behind other than their houses?  Relocation to a new locale is more than huge.  It's a shock to the system. It's pulling away the rug from beneath your feet. And when dealing with children who don't want to leave their friends, losing their favorite babysitters, and giving up their support system at a time when they really need it, these clients want more than a new house.  They want our guidance and our empathy. For someone relocating late in life, those roots are even deeper and the challenges more profound.

My suggestion, speaking as a real estate agent who now knows what it's like relocating late in life, is to ask them to make a list of what they will miss most.  Then, take that list and network your sphere to see how much of the void you can help fill.  It's a great opportunity to connect with your referral pool, and it will show those that send you business how much you care about the welfare of your clients.

If any of you are curious as to how well I fared with me as my real estate agent in a strange city, I can tell you my story of relocating late in life has a happy ending.  Due to the recent changes in our financing rules, I must rent until I have a 2-year track record of commissions.  Not wanting to be overwhelmed by the size of the Greater Seattle Area, I focused on the same zipcode where my daughter and son-in-law live.  I made two trips to Seattle and called the property managers of rental condos to show me their listings.  Once I had a solid contract on my home in St. Louis, I flew to Seattle and checked Craigslist hourly.  Three days later, I had my Seattle condo, and in the incredibly cool Greenlake neighborhorhood of Seattle.  My massage therapist is two doors away and my aesthetian is a block away.  The gym I pay for but don't yet visit is also a block away, and the coffee shop with Seattle's best gelato is across the street. I'm a block from Green Lake and can walk around the lake whenever I have time and it's not raining.  I love my new chiropractor.  I see a Naturopath, a profession which isn't available in Missouri.  I've come to love the fact that I have a silver car because it's frequently needing a wash, and I fly back to St. Louis for my dental work.

I love the temperate climate - have come to tolerate the rain - and I can truly say after 1 year, 19 months, 22 days, and approximately 4 hours, "Ich bin ein Seattleite!"