Times when you want to help, but can’t.
In the auction business, obviously a big part of my business, is dealing with estates, or someone moving or downsizing.
There are some situations that are exciting to deal with. The April 7 auction will feature the antique contents from a 200 year old home. Family wants me to take whatever I can sell…and there are some nice pieces! House full of Canadiana. This is going to be interesting for me and will make for a very good auction.
However, there are also situations, where people are in a tough financial position. Those are the ones that are harder for me to deal with. Currently dealing with a couple who have been together for 40 years, but now one of them, with advanced dementia, will be going into a long term facility. This is forcing the other partner to sell the home and try and find an affordable apartment. He told me the cost of the long term care will just about cripple him financially. He has become overwhelmed by the situation.
They have a house full of collectables and souvenirs from 40 years of world traveling. The sad part is, there is very little monetary value in what they have. He realizes it, but I had to confirm it for him. I will be taking some items to auction for him, but probably total value, less that $2000. It will help, but certainly not solve the financial situation.
I really do feel badly for some of the people I deal with. I would like to help more, but I cannot fill the auction with items that have almost no value. If I charged a hefty dollar to pack up, store, and take the items to auction, I could make money, but they certainly wouldn’t. That’s not the kind of auction business I am interested in running.
Sometimes, I leave the house, wishing I could do so much more for them. There are times when I can recommend other options, but most situations, there isn’t much I can do. That’s not a good feeling for me.
However, on a brighter side, there are very often, good situations I find people in. In the fall I sold some nice Victorian furniture, for a very nice lady, who was moving into a very nice retirement home. The furniture items did not bring what I hoped for, but as always, I was very upfront about the current market, when I first met with her. I called her after the auction, and she said “don’t worry about it dear, as long as they went to a good home. I have put all that behind me, and I absolutely love the place I moved to!”
That was one case I felt very good about!