By Alexsandra Stewart

I drive past the Riverview Cemetery on Taylor’s Ferry Road several times a week. Several of my great, greats are buried there, I always think of them. The Langworthys and Fosses: I’ve looked for and found their grave sites.

It is a little uncanny to look at a mossy headstone, see names and dates that are a hundred years old and reflect that the dust under the stone was once flesh and blood.

It is only recently that I’ve thought about mortality as I pass Riverview. My mortality to some extent, since I haven’t decided where I want my ashes scattered, or stored! But also mortality in the sense of change since change is a kind of death. One thing ends, becomes something else, shifts, modulates or crashes. I’ve been rediscovering how hard it is to let go of the old story, the what used to be.

As a realtor, I know that change is scary, just as death can be.

I’ve heard my own reluctance to accept change in my little inner voice that complains about current conditions, or something else that is out of my control. And while I resonate with the closing lines of the Dylan Thomas poem — Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light — I’ve learned there are times to let go, to accept the death as part of the story.

Change: quarters, nickels, dimes

I’ve heard it from the seller who is thinking in terms of last year’s market, or even more problematic, 18 months ago. Who is saying, I know it is worth more than THAT!  I’ve heard it from some fearful buyers who thought the wild ride would be there when they were ready to purchase.  They express concern that maybe we aren’t at the bottom, that there won’t be appreciation in the house they buy. I’ve heard it from other agents in a variety of ways, and I’m sure you have too.

Just as hospice and care can ease the passing to the biggest change, easing the passage to this market is part of our role.

I’m being more explicit with sellers, giving lots of statistics and graphs, talking current market realities, and reminding them that they may be getting less than they thought perhaps, but they are also going to pay less for their next home.

A pair of dimes!

And I’m providing care and comfort. I’m spending more time hand-holding with a few first time buyers.  I’m even more consistent in my education about current market values and historically low interest rates.  I’m reminding them about the appreciation trends over time, and real estate as a long term investment.  I’m saying the market has a future, and now is a great time to buy. Yes. It is.

The market has changed.  The old market is dead!

Long live the market!  It’s one with incredible opportunities.


A broker with RE/Max Equity Group, Alexsandra Stewart  describes herself as “an artist, traveler, dreamer, real estate broker, reader, and gardener in no priority order.” She returned to her hometown of Portland three years ago after a career as a diversity and organizational-development consultant, helping businesses and nonprofit organizations weather the process of change. This post originally appeared on her site on the real estate blog


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