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The Three Percent Solution

I met with the first of a small handful of realtors today. I realize I’m the one interviewing them for a job but it doesn’t make me any less nervous. I’m a fish out of water with this whole thing and people who know me wouldn’t recognize me in situations like this. I’m one of those people who like to *know* what I’m talking about and be clear-eyed about a situation. When it comes to things like pediatric general surgery, facial reconstructions, ancient history, baking, literature, and the color wheel, I’m all over it. I tend to be opinionated and assertive and I know what I know and will blab on about it at length and sometimes I come off a little strong.

Not so with this home-buying thing. Because I’m so analytical, I tend to listen first before I speak so I’m sure I know what I’m talking about and it hasn’t all gelled in my mind yet (and probably never will, I’m very good with arguments, not so much with finite things like numbers). I think the two of them did most of the talking. I didn’t sign an exclusivity agreement but I liked how responsive they’ve been and how they gave me a copy of everything so I could read it over. They’re also nearer my age and didn’t really talk at me at all which I hate. But what does make me a little leery is that there are two of them. It could be a good thing in that I won’t be dealing with an assistant or go-between I’ve never met before. The bad thing is that it’s a 2 on 1 situation and that makes me leery. I wouldn’t call myself paranoid or suspicious but I’m not naively trusting either. I always wonder– my irrepressible inner cynic– what’s in it for the other person and what lies behind what they tell me and how much of it is the truth and their truth. These two want 3% of the sale price which the seller will pay plus $250 extra I’d have to pay. It doesn’t sound unreasonable, but I was told at my home-buying class that I shouldn’t pay anything. A realtor’s true payment is a satisfied buyer who will pass on business cards to friends and coworkers.

After leaving them, I went to my hairdresser’s, who I love and of course I told him where I had just been. He gave me the card of another realtor, someone he’s used to buy his house in the south of the city. Maybe I’ll contact the guy, maybe I won’t. But it’s all been a start to the whole thing and it’s making me queasy. It’s a lot of money and some risk and with the market being what it is, it’s a scary time for everyone. I can just remain thankful of what I do have: job security and ten percent down.

I have 10 dollars remaining for groceries this month. Poverty sucks. 

I need to think of something other than real estate so I’m off to read about Ferdinand and Isabella and the Spanish Inquisition. It sounds awful, but reading about someone else’s misery makes me feel better.

 

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