Tuesday, July 13, 2010

real estate agent: the (ig)noble vocation

“You must be electric right now,” a friend said to me, “So open.” He was referring to my ability to sense signs from the Universe in the shadow of my mother's passing. I had been telling him about some of the things that went on for me in the days right after. More on that in a later post... For now, suffice it to say, I believe strongly that we all need to move more by instinct. Sometimes, literally – move.

We sort of have a real estate agent working for us. I say sort of because we are trying to buy a house, sometimes, when we have enough time and energy to think about it, from across the country.

We have lived in our current rental house for almost three and a half years now. That's a pretty darn long time considering our record the couple years preceding that. The horror stories were many and gruesome. At the last house, the landlady sold it out from under us nine months in. A lawyer who'd until then kept her claws hidden under soft, white gloves, she did a Jekyll/Hyde transformation on us once there was big money at stake. It sucked and I chronicled a bit of it in this blog (like here and here and here and here).

But the worst part of the whole thing was the real estate agent. No matter how much I begged the Universe to send a rogue crocodile or two her way, inevitably she'd arrive unannounced for another illegal showing, pulling up in her canary yellow Porsche.

After the sale was looking solid, the buyers' real estate agent gave me an ivy plant for a gift. How sweet. An invasive plant just for me? You shouldn't have. Really.

It was the first thing to sell at the garage sale.

I tried once to create a visualization in which I towered over the whole situation looking at all the players in miniature. I reached down and picked up the Porsche lady by the scruff of her be-otchy little neck and dropped her unceremoniously into the ocean. She got out though, and came back all dripping wet still just as evil. I think her little rat dog bit my ankle.

The first time we looked at houses for our big proposed cross-country move, we met two agents. The first showed us a crumbling mess of a house filled with leaky pipes and lots of sarongs for curtains. “Ever seen the movie 'The Money Pit'?” he asked us as we huddled hunchbacked in the damp basement. Then he laughed - a dorky guffaw that went on too long.

The next agent showed us a crazy sprawling house with amazing potential and an interesting history. (Mike is still in love with this house.) But the house had nothing to do with why ultimately we'd accept this man into our passive employ after receiving his out of date CV. The first time we met him he arrived in an old Buick with a rusty roof. He got out, a stout fellow in a knit hat. I know in my heart I hired him because of that Buick. This one was a keeper.

On a return trip to the area, I spoke to a neighbor at one of the houses we were investigating. We spoke about the neighborhood, the area in general, and about renting and buying. Without knowing who we were associated with, she volunteered about the man who is our agent: “He has a reputation for getting things done.” I'm not even sure I really believed it, but it only made me like him more.

He sends me emails in which he always inquires about my “fine family.” He's stuck with us though we can't be the most lucrative prospect around, partly because normally we aren't around. We're three time zones away. Unless of course we're there, for a rare in person exploration, standing in the doorway of another place mouthing “You've got to be kidding!” to each other, while our real estate agent nervously calls our son away from the curb.

Instincts. Maybe it's just a power thing that the relationship feels right. I've never been on the buying end before. But maybe we've reeled in a good one. I'd like to believe my instincts on this are good ones.

PS - Happy birthday wishes today to my sister, Rita.

1 comment:

Susannah said...

I look forward to the time when the keeper agent finds you a keeper house. It is bound to be. Only then I will miss you when you are gone from this west coastal fog zone with its freezing summers. Maybe then you will miss the freezing summers when you are stewing in the eastern humid summer brew. But you will have the fireflies...

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