The Rochambeau Game

God Bless Real Estate. Neither rain, nor snow, nor heat of day, nor gloom of lead- based paint, electromagnetic frequencies, radon gas, agricultural spraying, underground storage tanks, black mold or any nearby methamphetamine labs that may be lurking , shall stay us Realtors from our appointed rounds.

Our sacred mission? That most basic of biological imperatives – survival. You know…saving humanity. And since we humans require such a significant amount of idiot-proofing to insulate us from our own strange natures, survival in this case also means: Saving Ourselves from Ourselves.

It’s a scary world out there. Ensuring the safety of mankind and the huge roof lying over its head is a difficult job. But someone’s gotta do it.

So here we are. Hard at work on the Herculean task of protecting everyone from everyone else and their cousins. And from everything and every other possible thing that anyone could conceivably conjure up in their wildest dreams and/or worst nightmares.

Someday we’ll actually have a complete compendium of all the what-if’s that could hurt, damage or otherwise disappoint people in their new homes. Of course, even when we pull that list together, we still aren’t going to guarantee that you won’t get hit by a bus while crossing the street or struck by lightning while watching Jeopardy during the next big storm. You’ll have to consult your local priest, shaman, bartender, attorney or other suitable expert for greater accuracy regarding those specific matters.

But we Realtors can do the next best thing. We can warn you. And warn you again. And then warn you some more. Until eventually you either get scared to death and run away screaming as fast as you can in the opposite direction from buying a home. Or…you proceed forward both forewarned and forearmed with the knowledge that something terrible could happen at any time. Big terrible. Or little terrible. Terrible-ridiculous. Or terrible-sublime. Or…you just become numb and numb-er to the whole process and succumb to the mindless tide of acquiescence that clouds the vision and makes the brain feel dumb and dumber.

In the great Rochambeau game of real estate we try to leave no stone unturned or rock uncovered by paper. Paper is the talisman we use to ward off the eventual consequences of all the potential evils that could happen to people living in glass houses. Paper is the most powerful device we can use to demonstrate our desire to save mankind and to actually save ourselves (me) from ourselves (you).

Think I’m kidding? Your honor, I want to draw your attention to Estate’s evidence C.A.R. Form SBSA Revised 4/07, Otherwise known as the Statewide Buyers and Sellers Advisory, Page 4 of 10, Item #18, which reads and I quote:

Errant Golf Balls: Buyer and Seller are advised that if the Property is located adjacent to or near a golf course there is a possibility that golf balls may damage the Property or injure persons or pets on it. Additionally persons playing golf may enter the Property to retrieve errant golf balls or for other purposes. Broker recommends that Buyer investigate this possibility during Buyer’s inspection contingency period. Brokers do not have expertise in this area.

Realty truly is funnier than fiction sometimes. The fatal flaw in all our exacting efforts to disclose and encourage due diligence and real active investigation? Human nature. The more paper that people are presented with, the less they read. The quicker they fall asleep. Thus we keep shooting ourselves in the foot and the number of lawsuits in real estate keeps increasing in direct proportion to the stumbling attempts we make to jam consumer protection down everyone’s throat in lieu of common sense.

There, I’ve finished my written Agent Disclosure for this Saturday. I’ve done my small part to save ourselves from ourselves. Sign Here and Press Hard to acknowledge your receipt.

Meanwhile, I’m off to my appointed round – a 12:30 tee time – while you move forward, forewarned and forearmed, in the purchase of your new home. If it happens to be on a golf course, I promise to yell fore before my next huge slice flies off the fairway and lands in the middle of the guacamole dip resting on your future back patio. Today’s golf game is certainly going to prove once and for all that “brokers do not have expertise in this area.”

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