Two Vancouver real estate agents are apologizing for a sympathy note they mailed to a recently widowed man, offering to help him sell his home “when the time is right.”
Linda Shaver and Leanne deSouza of HomeLife told CKNW that they’re sorry for causing any harm to the family of Launi Bowie, who shared the note on Facebook in a post that has been shared more than 2,300 times and sparked harsh criticism among commenters.
Bowie originally put the note on social media Sunday, saying that her father had received the sympathy note from two “ambulance-chasing vultures” just three weeks after her mother’s death.
“So this is what our real estate market has come to,” she wrote in the post.
“On what planet does someone think this is ethical, or even remotely acceptable?”
The letter, which was included in the post along with deSouza and Shaver’s business cards, 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.”
Bowie wrote that the realtors did not know her mother and the note “absolutely devastated” her father.
“Absolutely disgusting and misguided in the worst way,” wrote Bowie, saying she planned to visit the HomeLife offices.
Shaver and deSouza told CKNW they regret sending the business cards with the note, but deSouza said they actually spoke to Bowie’s father while door knocking in the area.
deSouza said the pair talked about the value of his home, which is when Bowie’s father revealed his wife had recently died.
“Pretty much from the moment he said his wife had suddenly passed, the conversation … we pretty much decided we were out of there because obviously he was grieving for his wife and we happened upon a family in a terrible circumstance.”
The real estate agent said the initial thought was that the business cards would remind him of who they were, but in the end, it was a mistake to include them.