Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Very delayed blog - the home sale edition

Some advice: Never sell your home, if you can. It's too much of a hassle. The simple act of keeping it clean is an exercise from the Devil's handbook: every morning before work it must be spotless, and the next day you start over. The longer it goes on, the more you wonder if you can skimp on little things; dusting the cabinets, making the bed, picking up the landfill-quantity of trash strewn across the living room. This is in preparation for people who may or may not come.

When I was a child, my mother insisted I make my bed every day, and I wondered why- were burglars going to come in and be offended by my sloppiness? And even if they were, would that prevent them from stealing things? Now I know the real reason, which is that my parents had to be ready at a moments notice to sell their house. I could have come home from school to a moving van on any given day.

Another interesting thing that I noticed is that realtors are evil people. Those we could lure in with a commission came in snarling and resentful; standoffish. They didn't want to exchange money for my house; rather, they were paid in human misery. We ourselves went looking for houses, and were told rather snidely that nobody sells their house without a realtor. The same people emailed me once they discovered I had sold my house and with a wolf's smile asked if I needed them to show me anything else and to please contact them.

Being a realtor is not a bad job- you drive to houses for sale and unlock them for people. And you fill out a little paperwork. The average commision for this noble and useful task is 3%- the average home price around these parts is over $500,000. I'll let you do the math, and then you can go find out how much it costs to become a realtor. I think some of the people weren't even realtors- they just wore big red jackets.

Once you do sell (and do a happy dance for it), you then have to buy, which now makes you exalted among all mankind, even Solomon, which is pretty good. Every realtor is your friend and will forward many listings to your email (the more pricey, the better!). The first question out of selling realtor's mouths is, "Are you working with a realtor?" and it's fun to crush their spirit when you say you are (otherwise they get a whopping 6% commission).

A fun part of buying is submitting an offer, because you can stipulate anything you want; "Seller must provide 12 packs of multi-flavored pudding snacks upon delivery of house";"Seller must perform Pirates of Penzance with no less than 3 backdrops"; "Limo rides must be provided to buyer for a period of no less than 2 months, or as the buyer wishes". All of these demands will ensure that you never get the house, but it's fun to think about.

So at some point your offer is accepted, and it's only $45,000 more than you can afford, and the roof is made of straw and here comes the Big Bad Wolf. The next step is to call all of your utilities and ask them to turn off service. And call the utilities in the new house and have them turned on. Both will require DNA samples.

So that's the simple way of selling a house in Modern America. God forbid we go back to the day where a guy hands you a sack filled with money and you give him the deed. That would be far too simple and painless. And then where would the realtors go?

Note: I do not hate all realtors, just all the ones I'm associated with. Perhaps in times where real estate is less of a cash cow, there is civility and honor; since this is not the case, I can only speak to what I know.


A note to Milk readers: I have a tendency to be silly in this blog. Originally, my intention was to use this as a way to improve my writing, but it's turned into a thing where I've tried to be funny and/or irreverent, as well as tell the fantastic/interesting/stupid stories of my youth. It has a voice, and that makes me happy, and I will keep doing it as long as it's fun.

That said, I lost the original focus of this blog, which was to improve my writing. So I've created a new blog meant for actual serious attempts at literature. It will probably devolve into something where I post naked celebrities, but I'm going in optimistically. If you're interested, you can check it out at Lake of Pines. I neither expect nor require an audience there, so if you hate that kind of crap, skip it.


At 2:49 AM, Blogger ChickyBabe said...

Aaaahhh...the pressure! Sell! Sell! Blog! Blog!

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At 5:10 AM, Blogger ChickyBabe said...

In certain parts of Sydney, they insist on selling by auction, which is a farce these days considering not many are making the reserve price. "Vultures" is a word that best describes realtors, or real estate agents as we call them (no offense to anyone!) If you're selling, they're all over you. If you're renting, they treat you like dirt!

At 7:11 AM, Blogger Knows It All said...

Realtors are so creepy. I mean, they may be good or normal people outside of those jackets....but when they are in sales mode, it's disgusting.

At 5:35 AM, Blogger -Ann said...

I'm with you on what a pain it the butt it is to sell a house. Put our house on the market in March - we had a contract within a month, but what a long, hellish month it was. In addition to keeping the house spotless, I had to be available to whisk Big Dog away at a moment's notice so he didn't eat the prospective buyers. OK, he wouldn't have eaten them, but at 100 pounds with a deep throaty bark, he would have scared the pants off of them.

The day we got the contract, we discovered that our sewer pipe was broken. In two. By tree roots. Nothing like dropping 6K on a house you're about to sell.

I better stop before I go into convulsions.

At 8:13 AM, Blogger sheriff of nothing said...

I dread the day I have to sell - luckily have NEVER been through it!


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