For Sale By Owner

Home ownership is not for the weak.

Ms. Donna Realtor
Professional Realtors Inc.

Dear Donna:

I don’t feel quite comfortable calling you by your first name, but given the friendly and somewhat over-familiar postscript of your letter, I’m sure you won’t mind.

Yes, you are right! I had not considered enlisting the help of a professional realtor in the sale of my home. I am, as you predicted, quite surprised that you would be willing to help me in this endeavor even if I don’t list with Professional Realtors Inc. The check list you enclosed detailing matters I should attend to before showing the house was quite informative.

According to your lengthy postscript, you grew up in this area and went to the local schools. No doubt you know the original owner of this property or, at least, his children. You may or may not know that Old Frank was foreclosed upon when he grew his tanning and ginseng business a trifle too fast. My parents live in Frank’s place and, after a few too many drinks, my (now ex) husband and I decided to turn Frank’s storage barn into our home.

While Frank took exquisite care to build the house strictly according to code and utilizing the finest materials, he felt no such compunctions with the barn.  This was not something we gave even the slightest thought to in our ignorance.  Cursed with the idealism and optimism of youth coupled with impoverishment, we decided to roll up our sleeves, put the furniture in storage, and convert the barn ourselves. While it may look like we quit after a couple of days, I can assure you years of labor (including some by professionals) were involved.

I’ll not bore you with the details, but that young, idealistic woman is now a wary, old woman. With great frequency, I proclaim that this structure must have been built over an ancient Indian burial ground. When I’m feeling particularly imaginative, I like to daydream about the wonders I could effect should I acquire the $82.3 million dollars necessary to bring the place up to par with what I had originally envisioned. That may sound like a high number, but experience has taught me that it is much more expensive to remodel than to build from the ground up. As a professional realtor, you probably know that as well.

In moments of sobriety and realism, I sometimes get the calculator out and, if it’s a sunny day (it’s a solar calculator), I cipher the dollar figures it would take to get the house into condition to sell or at least slightly above sub-standard. Given that this is the Ohio Valley, the sun disappears long before I’m done tallying numbers. In moments of despair, I contemplate buying a petroleum product and lighting a match. At $4 a gallon, I’m loathe to utilize unleaded and, thus far, haven’t had any luck igniting the Vaseline.

So, yes, your checklist has helped me to neatly categorize my to-do list. By the time I complete the list, I’m sure that selling the home (or burning it) would be the very last thing on my mind. Speaking of which, I’m quite interested to know what makes you think my home is on the market as “for sale by owner.”  Normally, I would just toss your letter in the trash and mark it up to over-zealous salesmanship, but my family has been behaving badly for the past several months. At this stage of things, it’s not in my best interest to ignore even the slightest oddity. While I’d like to just assume that there’s been a transposition of phone or address numbers during a reverse look-up, I’m really not in the mood to get my lawyer going on a third lawsuit. (By the way, you’ll want to steer clear of the carpet store next to the strip joint.)

Looking forward to hearing from you soon,

(who will probably die in this house possibly through smoke inhalation)

One thought on “For Sale By Owner

  1. Pingback: Mmmmmm Co’Cola | W. Va. Fur and Root

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