Life After Multiple Sclerosis ~ An MS Patient Goes Public!
About the author, MS, and Why FSBO (in his own words):
MS (Multiple Sclerosis) is a dread disease diagnosis decree whereby victims are
given a SLOW DEATH sentence. The jury, made up of medical doctors or a panel of
specialists, examines the body of evidence. It's your body, with its tingling
hands, impaired mobility, pain, and abnormal responses to their expensive tests.
Once they hand down the verdict, you are told "There is no escape." Just as
there is no known cause, millions of once healthy men and women are expected to
accept the fact that there is no known cure. To me, it was the equivalent of
having a somber judge say, "May God have mercy on your soul!".
I retired from real estate in SW Washington, but only when I could no longer
walk. Over three years previous, the doctors had said I needed to "Get rid of
stress and stop working." In denial, I was slow to accept Multiple Sclerosis.
Who, after all, would embrace a diagnosis of the dread disease of no known
cause, and for which there was no cure? I continued to operate my own real
estate company, increasing the number of experienced agents who required less
Putting renters in my house, I moved closer to my office, using a handicapped
scooter to get back and forth on those days when I didn't have appointments set
up to 'List' or 'Show' homes. I refused to give up driving because one leg still
worked, most of the time.
In hidden panic, I began to make more hasty decisions. On a week that required
my personal intervention on behalf of two of my agent's real estate
transactions, I decided to sell my company. For a coffee cup, I traded my
principle share of the real estate corporation to my new partner (another hasty
decision), just to get out. I had no problem obtaining an Associate Broker
position with one of the major corporations.
When it became apparent, even to me, that I could no longer provide the level of
service I expected my clients to have, I took the Social Security Disability
option. Gritting my teeth, while the mandatory waiting period ticked away, I
tried to decide what to do with the remaining years of my life. Although I had
once owned art stores, even taught oil painting, always the optimist, even I
could not paint a portrait of future prosperity. I think they had a special on
despair at the time, and I considered trading in my depression on it. At 53
years of age, with a pre-teen daughter yet to raise, and an ex-wife who couldn't
work, life looked pretty bleak.
A good friend suggested that I write a book. As I had published two poetry books
twenty-five years before, I considered the possibility. In an attempt to
overcome personal depression, I decided to write about making better choices. I
chose a novel format because it allowed the freedom to develop hypothetical
scenarios, involving fictional characters, while forcing awareness of real
dangers. I wanted to make a compelling case for right choices, not just in
marketing ones home, but in all aspects of life.
I've made a lot of mistakes. Most of us do. We live in troubled, unpredictable
times. People must contend with changing economic issues, employment
disruptions, family problems, health upsets, crime, and consequences. Through
awareness, we can perhaps gain clarity when, standing flat-footed over home
plate, the curve ball comes while we were expecting a fast pitch.
For Sale By Owners: FSBO www.FSBONovel.com is a novel about people. Not perfect
people. It begs the question, "What would For Sale By Owners do if they knew
they were really buying trouble?" As former real estate broker, I am qualified
to shed some light on this often un-addressed area of concern. Most agents are
reluctant to tell people just how dangerous it is to open their doors to
Understandably, people who must sell homes do not want to pay brokerage fees, if
they can avoid it. It is, absolutely their right to sell their homes themselves.
But all too often, the man says, "We can sell it ourselves, Honey," pops a FOR
SALE BY OWNER sign in the yard, and goes off to his work. His wife then places
an ad in the local newspaper, answers the phone, and sets appointments for the
supposedly interested buyers to come see their home for sale. The danger is
I've had client wives tell me they had prayed that no one would call. Then,
peeking out the curtains, they had decided not to answer the door. My father
once told me, "Son, all crooks have honest faces." What dad meant is that you
can't tell, by looking at someone, what their real intentions are.
If an effort to be professional, most agents do not wish to alarm or alienate
home sellers who might list with them, later. I have no such vested interest.
Even real estate agents recognize they are placing themselves at risk when
showing houses. Every year, many are abducted, robbed, murdered, and raped in
this country. The National Association Of Realtors constantly warns agents to
vigilant, careful whom they work with. Many Realtors© will no longer do "Open
Houses" because it is simply too dangerous. The commission reward of marketing a
home this manner, to them, is not in proportion to the risk. Yes, I am
passionate about the problem. My book doesn't mince words. The serial rapist
adds an eerie element, gives a fractured face to one possible perpetrator.
The diverse cast of characters, each with their own perspective, is largely
unaware that they even have problems. Each is imperfect. All are preoccupied
with their own survival. Maybe, through increased awareness, there is hope for