I have been blog-free for a week, which is I think the longest I have ever gone. The first four days represented a planned outage while my groom and I did what every sane person does in the throes of global financial crisis. We took a road trip. It is the last three days, however, which have been the most difficult for me, and I think it must be viral. In an example of what is called in Blog Land “hijacking a post,” I found some “misery loves company” solace in a post by Jay Thompson. Apparently, he too has come down with a severe case of writer’s block. I have been suffering the mild strain for awhile now, but lately I have been feeling more than a little under the weather.
For me, it is not that I lack things to say, but rather that our current world events have left me with this notion that business as usual, blogging full speed ahead about market statistics, contract nuances, and my issues with agents using Transaction Coordinators to do their work for them, is not only trivial but a crashing bore. Many of us are in a deep blue funk right now. Funny is a lot harder to come by when we are surrounded by serious. When the real estate market was frenzied, anecdotal stories about loopy agents and wacky escrows were plentiful. Now, business is steady, but the nature of our daily dealings is sucking much of the joy out of our accomplishments.
So often today, when our clients’ homes sell, it takes far longer and it is for far less than they had hoped, wanted, or needed — or all of the above. Some sell for nothing, nothing, that is, in the short-seller’s eyes, because they are essentially forfeiting. We are working with many buyers, of course, and there is that feeling of accomplishment in helping them to find the right home at an insanely low (by yesterday’s standards) price, but their success often comes at the expense of another family’s loss. As we show home after vacant home, homes with families still in residence but families being forced to leave due to financial difficulties, it is often challenging to find joy at the closing table.
Not every sale is hardship, not even most of them in our core I-15 corridor market, but we see too many sad houses, and these tend to loom large. Steve is on the road this morning showing six homes. Five of them are owned by a bank or may be soon. Five of them are sad houses with sad stories to tell. When our clients are eventually in escrow on their new home, a home they will purchase at an incredibly great price, I will undoubtedly have a crazy story to tell about our antics at the home inspection. And chances are that there will be another family, at that moment, who is hurting as a result and may not get the joke.