The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

Thrill Seeking Real Estate

Last night was one of those times everything could probably have gone differently if I had just thought out the logic beforehand. If I had only made the situation into one of those ‘if/then’ problems I was so good at on my SATs it would have been clear how things were going to shape up.

1.       If you show three short sale properties, then there is a 33% chance each house will be abandoned and without power.

2.       If you begin showing three houses at 6:30PM and the sun sets at 6:42PM, then the second house will be shown in semi-darkness and the third house will be shown in inky pitch-black night.

3.       If you start at the one occupied house in order to give the seller a hard start time, then the last house will inevitably be the one in three with no power.

4.       If you make me show a dark, unfamiliar house with a flashlight, then I will morph into a shrieking terrified teenage girl who’s seen too many horror movies and you will lose all faith in my awesome negotiating abilities.

So yeah. I should have put more thought into the likelihood of the different potential scenarios before I set up the showings last night, because the result wasn’t pretty.

I like to think of myself as super logical and not at all believing in things for which there is no proof (except maybe aliens. Although I could argue that proof exists in the fossilized amoebas they found on Mars. But I won’t. Because you don’t care.). Unfortunately, although my logical brain feels this strongly, my fight or flight mechanism is set to ‘run away screaming and hide under the covers in my bed with the light on’ when I encounter anything even remotely related to a premise that could exist in a scary movie.

Ask my husband and he’ll confirm this. He thinks it’s really annoying. I always think the idea of anything scary sounds fun. I see commercials for scary movies and I want to know what really happened to the girl from the well who like crawls in that strange super fast way or those teenagers who filmed the movie out in the haunted woods. Or I drive past haunted houses during Halloween and think, That would be a fun thing to do! I should plan an outing to do that this year! Then we get about 3.2 seconds into either activity and realize it’s not at all fun and I’m not going to make it through without curling into the fetal position with my arms over my head and screaming.

I haven’t made it through a haunted house in about 10 years without running back out the front entrance. The most recent time this occurred was in a good friend’s garage haunted house. There were 5 year olds going through. I knew it was Gary in the mask and that he wasn’t really going to try to kill me, but it didn’t help. I didn’t make it through the exit.

Jason’s banned me from watching the show Ghost Hunters after the sun goes down because one time I watched it before bed and they actually had a ghost recorded on tape in a lighthouse and I got really scared and made him sleep all night with the bedroom light on. Like not just a nightlight or the hall light. We slept all night with the fan light on. I also slept in my glasses just in case a ghost had the gall to come try to scare me even with the lights on. I didn’t want to have to go running and screaming out into the street while mostly blind because I didn’t have time to grab my glasses.

The point is, last night when I opened the lockbox on the final house I had to show and felt around in the dark for the light switch, pressed the buttons and got no response, it took everything I had in me not to just throw in the towel on the showing right there. I think my behavior should actually be considered a victory as compared to my reaction to other scary situations.

I didn’t run back to the car and lock the doors. I got my flashlight out of the glove box and went back in. I manned up and we investigated the house by the glow of my actual flashlight in tandem with my client’s iPhone flashlight app. It’s possible the following incidents did occur, however:

1.       The male half of the couple I was showing property to might have thought I was hitting on him. I may have been standing as close to him as I could get without actually asking him to wrap his arms around me (which I considered, but decided it would probably be intrusive).

2.       Me being in charge of the flashlight meant the path in front of us got 3 seconds of illumination and then behind us got one second just to make sure nothing and no one had snuck up on us.

3.       When we walked into one of the bedrooms there was something dark on the floor. The female half of the couple (who I think was as freaked out as I was) had this conversation with herself, “Oh my god, is that poop? There’s poop on the floor! Ew, it’s totally poop!!! Wait… no, it’s leaves.”

4.       When we got out to the backyard and saw the mostly empty pool with brown sludge at the very bottom, the joke I always make about a body being at the bottom of the pool no longer seemed funny.

My clients decided they didn’t want to make an offer on that house. I think next time that happens we’re just going to reschedule and come back when it’s light out. I can’t imagine anyone actually liking a house enough to make an offer after viewing it like it was filmed using the Blair Witch camera. And my heart can’t take the stress of any more viewings like that.

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