Posts Tagged ‘Kübler-Ross model’

Stages of Grief when loosing a home

Loosing a home to Foreclosure or having to do a short sale is a traumatic event.  So is the Bankruptcy that often follows either. My experience is that people in these positions go through the stages of Grief described in the Elizabeth Kubler-Ross  1969 book On Death and Dying.

The traditional stages of grief are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Accetpance.  If you add Shame to the mix you have a pretty good discription of a person loosing their home.  As Realtors we need to be sensitive to the fact that our clients are in one of the most traumatic periods of their lives. We also need to be objective if they are behaving in ways that don’t make sense.

I recently had a client who was so mired in anger at her situation that she turned it on me.  I was hurt and stunned by her outburst, and then reminded myself of her situation.  She has seen her career grind to a halt, lost her home, gone through bankruptcy, and is now a single woman in her fifties living with family and attempting to start over with no obvious path for doing so.  Her anger isn’t about me and never was.  It is about fear.  She is terrified and has every right to be so.

We are taught to show our best side to people, to be good members of society and to play by the rules.  Many of the people loosing their houses feel cheated.  They have tried to modify their loans and been mis-led about their chances of being able to do so.  They have been swindled by companies that offer them help, take their money and disappear.  Advisers give them conflicting information and the government programs are confusing and largely ineffective.

The best we can do is to try to understand the greif our clients are experiencing and be gentle with one another.