What a pleasant surprise. That once-familiar feeling of all the cosmic tumblers falling into place. The window opening. A fresh ocean breeze blowing in off the Bay. Reminding me why I love living and working here. For one brief moment, the biorhythms of the entire planet all jogging peacefully together along the road of life – in complete and utter sync.
Yes, Virginia. There is a profession called Real Estate. And it can be a beautiful one. It is alive and…well…sorta finding its way. Occasionally Santa does show up in Santa Cruz to bestow the gift of mindfulness on some of us needy souls effected by the sonorous fugue that’s straining the collective real estate of mind psyche.
There it was. A blast from the past. An actual win-win transaction where everybody was ceremoniously left standing, relaxed and happy. Instead of reaching for their blood pressure medication, enrolling in anger-management classes or taking an enforced sabbatical in a decompression chamber or sensory deprivation tank.
We’ve all gotten used to existence in a lose-lose market. Not even a win-lose market where Buyers are satisfied and Sellers aren’t. Or even a lose-win market that has Sellers doing cartwheels over properties littered with the remains of would-be Buyers.
Nope, this is the market where no matter what a property sells for, Buyers feel like they paid too much. And Sellers? They got too little no matter what they got.
Lose-lose. If you’re down long enough, it starts looking like up. You begin defining good news as the absence of bad news. Like unemployment rising at a slower pace. Or prices falling less precipitously than they were.
So…yep. This was one transaction where no one lost their home. There was no pall cast over the proceedings by months and months of some suddenly poor someone struggling to hang onto their crumbling dream castle.
There was no eerie sense of displacement oozing out of the pores in the sheetrock. That anti-feng shui effect that washes over you when you visit a home and almost every single thing has lost its sense of place? Leaves a creepy set of karmic cooties in its wake. Even the pest control guys haven’t figured out how to treat them yet.
There was no tortuous short sale subplot here. No detached first lienholder trying to force a squirrely second lienholder into submission. No short sale negotiator having to navigate the minefields of a broken system with exacting precision and numbing patience.
No Buyer wrestling their own lender in an exhausting steel cage death match. The Buyer and Seller agreed on a price and the out of town Appraiser found comps and agreed with them. It used to be called market value. Not even a review appraisal. Or a remote viewing desk appraisal from some cube farm in the Midwest populated by men who stare at comps.
The escrow folks were relaxed. No mad rush to tie up loose ends. No strange title twists. No friction between agents. No odd what-ifs popping up in the inspections. No litigation in the Homeowners Association.
Everybody was just happy. I confess to being a little out of sorts. I was gearing up for another knock down drag out. Gritting my teeth. Trying to get into the painful grin and bear it mode that passes for real estate zen these days.
But the Buyer and the Seller each, almost perfectly seamlessly, got to where they were trying to get to. Namely the next stage in their lives. You know, like in the old fairy tale world of real estate. People making life transitions – moving up, moving down, changing jobs, getting older, having twins, getting married.
The Buyers had to compete but they didn’t mind because they had 7 offers on their house. And the Buyer for their place had just taken a great new job in Silicon Valley and got the house he wanted in the right school district.
So let’s see… there was the Buyer of the Buyer’s house. The Buyer. The Seller . The house the Seller bought. The Seller of that house. And the Seller of the house that that Seller bought. If we aren’t careful, this kind of thing could catch on. Like some kind of benevolent virus or something. Infecting the market with all kinds of positive momentum. Before you know it…everyone could be buying and selling houses
I’m not one of those agents who thinks that the entire market has turned around just because they closed one escrow that week. But indulge me please. Let me ride the short term high for just another few days or so.