Que Sera Sera!

Unknown-2Occasionally I get emails from people musing over their particular realty tunnel or questioning the realty fate that feel they’ve been irreparably assigned to. Recently I had a letter from a person calling themselves Day Late and Dollar Short.

Here are a few excerpts:

“I’m just about ready to give up. I’ve missed out on five different properties in the last six months. I’m exhausted at the idea of
riding this roller coaster one more time. I missed the last property by $5,000. I want to own a home but if it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be. Maybe I’ll just give up and try again next year.”

Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Both as an expression of the incredible frustration that this kind of a “good” market creates for so many “good” people trying to navigate its rocky shoals as well as in the ad hoc philosophy that often surfaces along with it – which I euphemistically refer to as the Doris Day Syndrome.

Pardon my French, but remember “Que Sera, Sera, whatever will be will be?” Close your eyes. You can almost hear Doris’ hit song floating like some ghostly perfume on the real estate ether – refusing to leave.

Among other things, Doris wrote a book called “Surviving the 1950’s” which included a chapter on How to Be Happy Without Psychotherapy (Depression can be cured by a new hat!) Must have been an early Scientologist. But let’s not forget that Que Sera Sera was also the music that Hitchcock chose to weave through the darker psychological shadows of his movie “The Man Who Knew Too Much.”

I’ve thought a lot about this connection as it continues to be a Sellers’ market and I hear more Buyers wistfully humming this fateful little leitmotif as a salve for their bruised feelings and battered egos – a kind of all-purpose balm for those getting bombed out of the market in serial fashion.

At its best, Que Sera is a great Zen approach to real estate. It helps us keep a safe distance from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortunes that home transitions thrust into our paths. It recognizes a place of balance in the market
where you actively want and pursue home but not to the degree that you end up driving it away or become emotionally devastated by not getting it. You have to be willing to let it go. Control what you can, accept what you can’t.

At its worst, Que Sera is a handy excuse for not making a genuine effort to control things you can control. It is the red herring standing between you and a better relationship with your own unconscious. Day Late and Dollar Short rattled off a litany of all the reasons why he didn’t make it on his last five tries. It left me with the nagging suspicion that at some point he could have just bucked up and made it happen.

One of the important corollaries in real estate is: Whatever is buried down there deep in the unconscious is somehow, someway always going to rear its strange and interesting head during the home buying process.

The fact that some buyers try repeatedly, but never quite get over the hump, suggests there may be a secret part of them that isn’t ready to succeed. That shadow self probably exhales a huge sigh of relief each time their Agent delivers the “bad” news that they “didn’t get the house.”

My suggestion for anyone that keeps repeating their failures is: go back into the editing room and watch the film running through your head, frame by frame. Check it carefully for red herrings and subplots lurking in the shadows. As the auteur of your own reality/realty series learn to acknowledge your own inner-trickster/hitchcock.

Don’t be a Doris Day Late or a Doris Dollar Short. Don’t get down on yourself and please don’t just get back on the roller coaster for another mindless ride. Do the heavy lifting inside. It’s easy to put it back on Que Sera Sera but I’ve noticed that the fates most often reward those who buckle down and do their home-work.

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