Although the term “estate sale” has become somewhat generic, at Next Chapter we work with all sorts of families in some type of transition in the household. That includes everything from a couple downsizing at they move into a retirement community to an empty nest couple deciding moving to smaller quarters to a family deciding to sell household pieces rather than moving them cross country. And, of course, we work with lots of families in distress after losing their parents, grandparents or spouse. Household transition is a more all-inclusive term, but harder to fit on a sign!
As a transition, each sale Next Chapter does has its distinct challenges, and we often say that one size does not fit all. Still, there are similar pieces of advice we offer to each family we help. In this series, we thought it would be helpful to share some advice for those needing to manage a transition. Our goal is to make the process smooth and hassle-free.
Our first topic: Breathe!
Change is difficult to manage no matter how simple or complex it may seem. Managing change is the one skill that we all are forced to master one way or the other. In the case of a household transition, many of our clients never thought they would be forced to make the decisions they face. And, it’s not easy.
Our first piece of advice is to acknowledge the difficulty of the situation and remind the client to take a breath. We encourage them to breathe and understand that our role is to make the transition easier, and we encourage the client to define what easy means to them. Just as each person deals with grief and change in different ways, we provide our clients with suggestions and guide them to make a decision that is easiest for them. That can include everything from turning over the key and walking away, or being at the house every day as they get completely involved. In most cases, we encourage something in between!
From our perspective, taking some time for the client to consider how involved they want to be in the first step. Then, we put together the plan from there.