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?

No.

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.


3 comments:

Barry O'Sullivan said...

Ah, yes, the joys of entering the world of real estate agents at watershed times in one's life. Having only ever sold a home twice in 59 years, the greatest irritation is the lack of one's own experience level compared with the 'professionals' feigning they care lots about your outcomes.
Bad experience one - good friend says 'use Mr X, he's a legend at selling'. Mr X calls, Mr X cares, Mr X promises much, Mr X gets our signature, Mr X resumes golf 3 days a week, Mr X's minions intercept all further calls to Mr X.
Ugly side of the business - two agents from the same organization keep calling to see if they can take over the selling process when the 60 days expire. I say to Ms Y "happy for one of you to call but why is Ms Z still calling when I've told her one agent from one organization is enough". Response "Barry, I'm reluctant to say this but even in our own organization, let alone the wider real estate fraternity, Ms Z is regarded as a sl.t". Charming.
Good experience - widen research on agents, look for a 'bulldog' to persist and push our case, find a tough lady who specialises in selling and never moves off the price. She is a legend, only brings around folks she has screened (code for - has checked they have the bucks to buy) and within 3 visitations has secured our price. Happy ending.
Moral of the story for Barry - wait another 20 years for next real estate experience.

rizlablue said...

Grrrr... Selling a house/home is justifiably up there with the major stresses in your life (for woosy Western people, anyway). I've only done it once so far, but it was hideous. The most positive part of the whole experience (apart from eventually selling) was the name of my agent. Digby Washington - what a brilliantly poetic name :*)

winner said...

Nice blog. Thats all.