Does NJ need a new law to protect widows and widowers? (Opinion)
We received an email from a loyal listener who recently lost his wife. She passed away in late October. Within two weeks, he received seven postcards, three letters and three in-person visits from realtors looking to see if wants to sell his home.
We realize that it's a frantic market right now and people are looking for houses at just about any price. But maybe there should be some sort of time frame that gives the human beings that live in those houses some time to grieve.
If you've ever lost a close loved one, maybe a wife, husband, or parent, you know that besides the overwhelming grief that consumes you, there is a lot to deal with.
The last thing you need is someone looking to sell the house you shared with that person. Maybe six months or a year? But almost immediately this poor man was inundated with overtures to get him out of his house.
Imagine you get the mail and instead of a condolence card, it's a postcard or letter offering to put your house up for sale. When you hear a knock on your door expecting a visit from a neighbor or relative, maybe with some food. Instead, it's a stranger wanting the house you shared with your dear departed loved one.
I'm all for the free market and capitalism, but there have to be some guardrails and guidelines for this kind of situation.
These people go through the obituaries and look for people of a certain age who've recently died. They then reach out to the person still living at that address guessing they're the vulnerable survivor and offer to put their house up for sale.
The listener that contacted us reached out to his legislators in his area to see if something could and should be done.
We've never had a real estate market as frenetic and chaotic as this and maybe there needs to be a time limit on how soon a realtor can contact the relatives of the recently deceased.
Three or six months seems fair. People need a little time to digest what just happened and get their life together as best they can. A law like that would seem to make sense, but few of our lawmakers are interesting in common sense these days.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis Malloy's own.