Tuesday, March 04, 2008
If Acres Were Camels, We'd Have A Cup of Tea
So a week after we receive and reject a pretty healthy offer under a cloak of secrecy and a confidentiality agreement, (for all I know everyone in the street was made an offer by this particular developer but isn't talkin'). Then, to our to my mind, modest 'For Sale' signs were erected. These are completely unrelated events but putting the pressure on the big guys nonetheless. My neighbour complains that the signs are too near his border and give the impression he's listed with the same agent. He is for sale mind you and could get a free introduction but nope . . has to be on his terms and he's not paying any agent's commission! He wants it all and he wants it now *strains of Freddie Mercury*. (He has the worst block in the street, thanks to a whacking great 5 line power easement going down the centre). So I've asked for the signs to be moved a little closer to our driveway making it clear that it's our block for sale - not quite far enough away from his boundary for his liking but the Acquire agent is being a bit cheeky and giving the impression that there are four blocks for sale not just two . . . then Foster-Greenwood rings me at work and asks me if I would sign an exclusive agreement for 2 weeks! What the? Two weeks? Clearly he's got another buyer and securing his 'comish' which is a healthy 2.5% of the sale price mind! I switched into Ice Queen mode and told him I wasn't up for signing an exclusive and the disappointment in his South African voice was palpable. I've virtually told him that he's out of the loop unless he fronts with something real and unconditional so he's tootled off with his tail between his legs - blithering on about council contribution tax and how difficult life is, just before sliding into his BMW Four Wheel Drive to pick up his 17 year old from The Kings School - *sobs of empathy* - Real Estate agents really are Hyenas and I don't trust him as far as I could throw him but this one has lobbied hard with us over the past 4 years so . . if anyone's earned their commission he has . . . Babybro is not yet convinced. I'll sign his agreement when he shows me the money! Whatever happened to Gentleperson's Agreements? Can't do anything any more without a contract and a condition, a caveat and a cave in and with four shareholders, that's not an easy thing to achieve.
Tonight, a meeting at Steady Eddies with another developer. It's very strange. Everyone is so negative that you feel for these guys. Instead of leaping onto the chandelier and yelling "Yes, I want to sell . . " they crawl into their respective shells and argue about Capital Gains Tax implications and settlements and what percentage the deposit should be. The developers talk about overheads and power lines, falling markets and water courses . . .It's like a game of Texas Hold'em only nobody's betting.
Am I the only person in the world prepared to get up and say "Look, this is what I want . . come back to me when you have a suitcase full of money? " Perhaps I'm naive but I don't want to waste my time with all this fluffy talk about options and potential or lack thereof. If I have to sit here for another 2 years, well I will. And by the turn of the decade (incredible isn't it, just 2 years away and we're a decade into the new millennium) housing will recover and the place may well be worth $8 million so buy now while it's cheap - suckers! Do you like my sophisticated sales pitch?
And that brings me to plain speaking. Enough of this shrouded talk and blithery innuendo. This is the problem with 'offers'. If you name you're price, you might miss out on something more. Greed is not good folks . . make up your mind what you want, put your cards on the table and accept if it's the right price.
I really wish I was a camel trader . . some hot and animated negotiation . . . two slaps of the hand and the deal is done!