Don't want your sympathy

One B.C. realtor has learned the hard way not to use a sympathy card to win a grieving widower's business.

A family in White Rock is incensed after realtors who visited the home and learned of the death sent a handwritten card that reads: "So sorry to hear of your wife’s passing. Please let us know if we can help in any way with your real estate needs when the time is right. Thanks."

Launi Bowie calls the card sent to her father “a tremendous lack of judgment."

Her mother, Audrey Smith, collapsed at a birthday party and broke her neck three weeks ago. The 73-year-old woman died in hospital.

When Bowie's grief-stricken father opened the sympathy card, his face dropped.

“It looked like someone had punched him in the gut,” she told CTV News. “That really, really upset me. It really bothered me to see that somebody did that to my dad.”

“It’s hard to look at this as anything but a solicitation for business.”

The Real Estate Council of B.C. confirmed it is investigating what happened.

However, Dennis Wilson, manager of professional standards for the board, told CTV News it's likely a “very sad misunderstanding.”

“They told him how sorry they were, they backed away and went back to their offices, and at some point thereafter decided – right or wrong, but in their view they thought it was a nice gesture – they wrote a note back,” Wilson said.

“They certainly were not intending to put any pressure on him.”

The two realtors told CTV News that when they spoke with the widower, he told them he was thinking of selling his home. They decided to reach out.

with files from CTV Vancouver




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