Avoid Dance of the Void

How does the quote go?    “ Stare into the void long enough, the void starts staring back.”    Nietzsche, I think.   The patron philosopher of Real Estate. The guy who also said:   “ That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”   No doubt at a time when the uber market was less than robust.

So, in the interest of avoiding the void and plunging deeper than the DOW,  let’s  avert our gaze.  Stop staring so fixedly at the abysmal state of real estate’s big picture.  Do the next best thing – distract ourselves with little stuff.

How about if I recount the shadow inventory of insidious, nagging little fears we Realtors lug around on a daily basis?  That’s right. Don’t let our smooth sales personas fool you. Beneath them, most of us are just quivering masses of euro-like uncertainty. Champion producers of the same paper equity that turned out not to be gold bars in a safety deposit box afterall.

Real Estate – how do I fear thee?  Let me count the ways:

I’m afraid of leaving a zero off a list price.  Happened once. Adverstised a place in Pasatiempo for $140,000 instead of $1,400,000. Ooops.  The phone rang in my ears for days. Suddenly everyone wanted a dream home.

I’m afraid to use my supra lockbox key.   Why?  I know that the battery only lasts for 10,000 lockbox openings.  Died once while I was trying to show a big property to a HNWI (High Net Worth Individual.) Could happen again if one of those HNWIs ever comes around.

I’m afraid of Rottweilers  for obvious reasons. But I’m more afraid of mistakenly letting Fluffy the Lapdog escape  through a sliding glass door left unattended.  Happened once.  A mad dash to freedom tragically turned into coyote bait.

I’m afraid of  people’s  eerie doll and owl collections. But I’m more afraid of a chance encounter with a home full of scary clown paintings. And yes,  I’m afraid of the powerful off-gasses of potpourri.  Specially when used to cover up the far more pervasive presence of 3 month old kitty-litter.

I’m afraid I’ll hear little feet in the soffit areas above the kitchen cabinets.  But I’m more afraid of the sound of dampwood termites chomping behind a shower wall.  (Yes, sometimes you can actually hear them.) Not to mention gopher holes that can take out whole sections of private road.  Oh, and I’m afraid of crickets too.  No, the other kind – the one’s on the roof near the chimney where  it always leaks when it rains,

I’m afraid of the “family expert”  when they provide the down payment to the first time buyers I’m chauffeuring around to those starter shacks .  Waiting to exercise their veto power no matter what the house “majority” decides.

I’m afraid that next “blocked” phone call will be the same client calling for the eighth time today.  Or worse, another cold caller pitching me a website  to replace that miserable excuse that I call a website.

I’m afraid of the neighbor’s chainsaw.  I have recurring nightmares about the Open House Chainsaw Massacre.  Or was that the Open House Leaf Blower Massacre I was dreaming about right before my alarm went off this morning?

I’m afraid of the escrow from hell.  And the homeowners management company from hell.   And dog poop.  And the hysterical effects that a historical designation might have on a Victorian.

I’m afraid of running out of gas.  Of not being able to turn around in a tight driveway.   Of getting lost.  Of pot holes and pot houses.   Leach fields.   Out of town appraisers.  Tar and Gravel.   Lava rock  lawns.   Avocado appliances.  Forgetting a clients name.   Working a calculator in a pinch.  Losing an escrow deposit check.    And T 111 siding.   Did I say out of town appraisers?

I’m afraid of setting off the alarm.  Now knowing a gate code.  Going to the wrong house.  I’m afraid rates will go down after I lock. Or go up before I lock. I’m afraid of being stuck inside of  Boulder Creek with the Capitola blues again.  And an endless funnel full of champagne tastes and beer budgets.

I’m afraid of a full priced offer coming in on the first day  knowing my client will think they listed too low.  And I’m afraid of one more seller saying they are going to put their property on next spring when the market is better. But not as much as I’m afraid of one more buyer saying they are going to wait until next spring when the market is worse.

I’m afraid my head will explode if it gets too busy but not as much as I’m afraid my head will implode if it gets too slow.


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