I don’t have to tell you that the real estate business has been tough in the last few years. Many of you may not know this, but more and more buyers and sellers aren’t even at the same closing table anymore. The deals can be so contentious and mean-spirited that buyers and sellers don’t even want to be in the same room when the time comes to seal the deal and transfer the title. I have started to become accustomed to it; I am numb to it and sometimes, I even expect it. Then George and Adele made my day.
It was a simple closing on a warm summer day for a modest home in Denver that was built in 1964. I was representing the buyers, a young couple looking to update the home where they will continue building their young family. When I walked into the closing, there sat George and Adele, 15 minutes early for the selling of their home. I took the opportunity to start conversing with what seemed to be a lovely older couple before anyone else arrived. To steal a line from the movie Jerry McGuire, George and Adele had me at “hello.” They seemed like they were in their late 70’s or early 80’s and I just about fell off the chair when they told me that George was 90 and Adele was 91. They were both sharp as a tack, still driving, and still leading a very active life. For the next hour, George threw out the one-liners and entertained me with stories of living in that home on Wabash for almost 50 years. They raised four girls in that home and their youngest (George called her the baby) had just turned 60 and had retired. George wanted to take his last breath in the house, but the stairs were too tough to handle anymore. They decided to move to a retirement community where, as George says, “everything is on one level.” George says he doesn’t have to shovel snow anymore or cut the lawn. At which Adele quipped, “You didn’t do that when you lived at the house.” I felt like I was watching an old George Burns/Gracie Allen bit.
At last, it was time to hand over the keys as the transaction was done. I don’t know who was sadder when the closing was over – them or me. I wanted George and Adele to keep telling me stories for a few more hours. As we said goodbye, you could tell by the look in their eyes how much they loved that home, how much it meant to them and how many memories they will always have in that home.
That was a good day.
Dan Polimino is a Realtor with Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty. He can be reached at DPolimino@fullerproperties.com