Murphy’s Law of Real Estate

I held an open house this week. It reminded me once again, in no uncertain terms, with a decisive whack upside the head and swift kick in the pants – no matter how hard I try, control is just an illusion.

There are immutable laws that govern the Real Estate Universe and Murphy’s Law is one of them. In fact, it might just be the prime directive.

Realtors out there will recognize the phenomena. They’ve all experienced it  before.  I’ll recite a few examples culled from the karmic repertoire.

Remember holding that open house at the beautiful, idyllic country setting so immersed in the soothing sounds of silence? Like clockwork, the 1pm witching hour struck and some self-styled Paul Bunyan within easy earshot, decided to rev up his chainsaw and massacre any semblance of tranquility you hoped to promote.

How about that expansive, manicured mini-estate in the middle of town you invited people to visit? Right on cue the neighbor’s leaf blower launched into decibels of overdrive. You couldn’t hear yourself think let alone mouth all those glowing descriptions about how peaceful and quiet the ambiance was.

Barking dogs? Droning generators? Impromptu road repairs?  Unanticipated septic failures? Newly junked cars? Yep. They are all in play –  just waiting for you to go to work.  The big party at the frat house down the street? Somehow the open keg always runs out of control completely in sync with your open house.

And those open houses you were envisioning for that ridgetop home you just listed? The one with the incredible ocean views? Might as well hire yourself out to the City Water Department now. The drought is over. Rain clouds are lining up across the Pacific. Loch Lomond will soon be full.

When Realtors prepare to showcase a great home they strive for perfection. Lights on. Fresh flowers in the vase. Soft music floating in the air.  But somehow, the very act of making best laid plans is an open invitation for the fickle gods of fate to step in and wreak havoc without bothering to take off their shoes. Why? Obviously, some of those tricksters residing on Mt Olympus get a huge kick out of punking us real estate mortals on a regular basis.  Imagine Ashton Kutcher in the role of Zeus.

Suffice to say. Real estate fortunes can change as quickly as the weather does. Literally and figuratively.

So there I was. Planning a little soiree at one of the most unique properties I’ve ever seen.  Two decades in the biz and nothing even remotely like it.  A half-acre peninsula stretching 270 feet out into the water. A private bluff top providing front row seats for riveting primetime views of every significant feature there is, along the entire curve of the Bay.

In my mind’s eye, all those Brokers with all those discerning beach-buyers were going to answer my call to convene for the Wednesday night sailboat regatta. They would stroll leisurely out to the end of this special point of land. Feeling the breeze while shooting the breeze. Wine glasses in hand, they would watch in awe as billowing sails glided past. So close they could almost touch them. Each sail a harbinger of the big sale to come.

What could have been a better augury than the record 101 degree heat we had on Tuesday? Wednesday morning we woke up again to bright sunshine. All was right in the heavens. Until the 11th hour of course – which is roughly 5pm – regatta time.

Suddenly out of the blue, there was a wash of grey and a confederacy of disaster.  An eerie fogbank blew in from nowhere, blanketing our erstwhile banana belt in a soup so thick you could barely see 20 feet ahead. The few boats that actually made it out past the harbor jetty were fleeting shadows.  Mary Celestes  moving in and out of the mist like ghostly apparitions

So now that real estate is no longer the great pulsing economic engine driving the entire world’s economy, I think I’ve discovered a way to still make myself useful  – thinking globally while encouraging people to buy locally.

I’m going to hold this one of a kind, once in a lifetime, rarest of properties, open for as many sailboat regattas as I can. By doing so, I’m going to help halt the progress of Global Warming. Take that – you capricious, unruly gods of real estate. There’s only one way you can stop me from doing too much good.  You better make sure this property sells fast!


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