|We have the Seller, the Buyer and the Agent. Their roles are set and cannot be broken, lest "things" go awry.|
If you have ever bought a house, in the traditional sense, in the United States, you know that it is not a matter of looking up house, visiting, asking the seller what the prices is, taking out your credit card and buying said house.
No, buying a house is a more white knuckle transaction that involves going to showings, touring through your hosts home, judging their sense of color and decorations, talking about this funny scent or that ugly light and then fuming that the home of your dreams is most likely beyond your purse.
When you do find "the" house, then you enter into a formal ceremony that can last 24 hours or up to two months while the offer is issued on a presented contract, and is either refused with a huff, or silence, haggled over, or - it you are lucky - accepted, but with conditions.
This is a first act of The Kabuki Theater of Real Estate.
In this theater, each person has a role to play. You have the seller who wants to get rid of said house at the highest price, you have the buyer who want to buy said house at the lowest possible price, and the real estate agent who just worries that something will get in the way of his or her commission. In certain cases, there may be TWO agents.
After accepting the offer, certain things must happen. Like Kabuki Theater, there are rules, and if the rules are broken, and tradition is left to wither, unspeakable things can happen.
Chief among these protocols is the tradition that the buyer and seller do not interact directly while the house is "in contract". Not only that, but if they have to interact, the "action" is always indirect, and through the respective real estate agent - He (or She) is the gatekeeper of communication. Messages go up, and then they are transmitted back down. But the agent controls the conversation. If there are two agents, then they converse with each other, but the seller agent NEVER contacts the buyers agent for any reason, except when the buyer's agent has lost interest in the deal because its almost done.
This is where we find ourselves.
Today was the Chimney inspection of the "new" old house. Imagine my surprise when I went to said house to meet our agent and the inspector to find the owners at the house that they were not supposed to be at. Just like a home showing, the property owner is not supposed to be there - its part of the veil of smoke and mirrors - when there is an inspection going on because if there is an issue, it could become an issue.
The owners were there. With a plate of fudge brownies.
This cannot be. Why? BECAUSE!
In ancient Greek theater the action never takes place on the stage. No the action takes place OFF stage, then the actors talk what allegedly about it on stage, after the chorus recounts the action. But there is NO action on stage. Oedipus does not seduce his mother on the stage. They do not try and conceive a child. Their infertility is discussed, but everyone keeps their clothes on because that is what tradition calls for. Damnit.
However, there was Audrey sticking her head in the fireplace and looking up it with a flashlight saying "This is so silly to pay someone to do what I am doing for free..." and Doug holding out a platter inviting me and Realtor Bob to partake in some Fudgy Goodness. "They're extra chewy," he promised.
Leaving with the chimney inspector we were talking on the sidewalk - after all I am paying his bill - and here comes Audrey, dressed in red plaids, and face covered in soot (looking like the opening act of a minstrel show) asking "well, are we going to be able to sell this house?"
Realtor Bob, who is adorkable, stumbled over the words found his footing and defty regained control over the situation. "I'll send a copy to your agent," Audrey looked perplexed. Remember, she hasn't bought a house since 1965.
Anyway, the chimney passed. Next up is the home inspection. Realtor Bob contacted the selling agent and suggested that the Doug and Audrey go out while the inspection is going on.
However, in the great tradition of Kabuki, who knows how this next act will play out.
Anyhow, a moving date has been selected and the Moving company chosen. So we are going forward, even if forward means taking an unconventional and absurdist path.