Selling the Farm

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It’s said that one of the most traumatic experiences in life is that of moving. Those in the younger age brackets worry about finding new playmates and a pizza place as good as the old hang out. The elders worry about finding a new job, a new rut to fall into, playmates and a pizza place as good as the old hangout.

But most traumatic is the selling of your house. It carries a lot of memories and now it’s being treated as just another building soon to be sold to who knows what. Actually, it’s not the fear of losing memories that’s the problem; it’s really just the oddities that come along with the whole process.

It starts first with shopping around for a broker – the dude(tte) in charge of getting people crazy about the house you seem willing to give up. They all seem to work for 4-5% the final selling price; 3% if you want to do all the work yourself (but at that point, why bother?). Don’t kid yourself – they are all in it for the commission, so it’s easy for your house to become nothing more than yet another paycheck to these people… so you’ll want to find someone willing kill for your house rather than treat it as another drop in the bucket.

So ends phase one… recover. Begin phase two – the permission phase. The is the part of the game where all the legal crap comes into the picture. This is where loopholes are formed and sealed in a flurry of paper pushing. You might as well toss all the forms up in the air and start waving your pen about hoping to hit something – it’d be faster and you’d have the same comprehension of them as if you sat down and read them.

The most pointless of these forms is some sort of full disclosure document. Here you must list any problems with the house that you have knowledge of – from a leaky roof to an alligator infestation in your basement. Once you fill out the form, you promise to fix all the problems; and should they crop up again after you sell, the new owners can sue you…. Or, you could just pay $250 bucks and let the buyer beware. Now there’s a nice bit of nuisance legislation from your local New York government.

Next comes the storefront phase – this is where the Realtor guides the potential buyers through your home while you play mannequin and blend in with the furniture. You just sit there with zipped lip as if nothing is going on as a guided tour is going on around you. You hear the realtor point out all the great things about the house you’re about to vacate. It’s enough to make one wonder why sell the place at all?

Then the jerks you call neighbors break the windshield of your Realtor’s Jaguar playing football… and it all becomes clear again. I gotta get out! Now!

And as always, when more develops, I’ll rant about it.

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Ryan Livingston

Ryan is an artist / writer out of Melbourne, FL.

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