Wednesday, April 09, 2008

If you own a house, hang on to it

If you’re wondering why this blog has been dormant, well, ask yourself this: What would happen if I tried to sell my house in a flat market, found a buyer, got all excited, named a settlement date, packed half the house, sold half the furniture and the deal fell through because the buyer could not arrange finance?

Got an answer?

Well, the first thing you should do is have a bloody good lie down because chances are you’d be exhausted from all the excitement, the going away parties, the selling and the packing.

Did we lie down?


What did we do?

We unpacked, and we thought seriously about calling in a distant cousin from another country to whack the real estate agent.

Why, because we needed someone to blame, a victim, a scapegoat, because he overdid the personal deodorant? No, because he did two things we did not appreciate and didn’t do a number of things we would have appreciated.

For a start, he dropped the price on our house without any consultation. We simply woke up one morning, picked up a paper and found our house had gone from $609,000 plus to $599,000 plus.

The “plus” was his idea, part of his create selling plan.

Then, after he thought the deal had fallen through, he dumped the buyers, put the house back on the market and announced a house-open, all without consulting the vendors, the sellers, us.

We called the buyers, who we had shown over the house the previous weekend and they said: “We are still interested. His phone call upset us. We thought he was acting under your instructions.”

Instructions? Sellers would issue instructions to intimidate buyers? This happens? Anyway, good point. We suddenly remembered who was acting for whom.

Which was all fine and good but we still owned a house we didn’t want to live in any more and had a mortgage on another house we did want to live in, sleep in, eat in and do all the other things happily married baby boomers do in after they have relieved their cluttered lives of vast amounts of superfluous junk they have no wish to leave behind for their children to sift through when they finally move off to the planet they thought they were on in 1966.

In short, our agent was not acting in our interests, but in the interests of someone who wasn’t talking to us.

Such matters take their toll.

Especially on the person who is left living in the house we don’t want to live in any more and that wasn’t me.

Where was I?

Doing what I do, driving all over the South West of Western Australia, working my guts to the bone, or the gristle, talking, back slapping, hand shaking and falling onto the nearest bed in a collapsed heap dreaming dreams that suggested my life needed a settled home life.

Meanwhile, Tibetans and Zimbabweans battled enemies of a much greater consequence.

Perspective is a great leveller. We may be experiencing some confusion, but we still eat well, get some sleep, feel safe in whatever house we are in, enjoy the companionship of fine friends and here, where I am now, in Albany, next stop Antarctica, most days the surf rolls gently onto fine beach sand and I get to feel at one with the universe.