By K.B. Sherman
Part 1 of 3
With the current slump in housing sales it's easy to forget that just several years ago housing was riding the crest of a real estate bonanza. It was at that time my wife and I jumped onto the realty bandwagon. Subsequently, the bandwagon threw us off and then paused just long enough to back-up and run over us several times for good measure. From a start in April of that year, when we were living comfortably in our own home, we soon became “displaced? persons,” literally out in the street with no place to call our own.
t that time, most realtors couldn’t stop telling homeowners about the epic “sellers’ market.” What they didn’t tell you was that in order to take advantage of it you needed the patience of a saint, the nerves of a test pilot, the financial flexibility of a Caribbean ?bank, the predatory instincts of a trap-door spider, and ?the scruples of a Nigerian bond salesman. You were also likely to develop what is euphemistically called in executive circles “a chemical ?dependency.”
Presented below is a diary of this disaster, just as it happened.
APRIL 23: received in the mail a packet of coupons entitling ?one to discounts at local businesses; included is a coupon for a ?free house appraisal by a local realtor; my wife and I decide to see what realtor has to say about our home; perhaps we can trade ?for a house better suited to our needs (Ah! From such small seeds are mighty psychoses grown!)
APRIL 24: realtor sees house and quotes a market value that makes our hands sweat
APRIL 26: we put house on market, begin house hunting for new place
MAY 6: find home that suits our needs almost perfectly; owner reportedly has been transferred out of state and ?wants fast sale
MAY 30: sign P&S on new house and begin planning for the move, envisioning a similarly speedy sale of our old house
JUNE 5: receive and accept bid on our house
JUNE 18: couple submitting bid has been less than forthright about financial status and are subsequently laughed out of every bank in ?county; house back on the market, more time lost
JUNE 12 – 21: get repeat visits from a couple who like our house ?so much that they see it three times, bring all their in-laws, ?cousins and friends to see it, take over 50 pictures of it, and spend four hours one afternoon sitting with us on porch drinking beer and detailing how they will furnish the house and yard
JUNE 22 – JULY 1: couple mentioned above drops-off face of Earth; initially suspect foul play or rogue black hole, but are dismayed ?to find that this is typical buyer behavior in “sellers’ market”
NEXT: THREATS AND INTIMIDATION