Friday, January 29, 2016

Quickies: A Tirade About Competence

     Time was, you could reliably assume that people are able to do what they claim they can do – in many cases, what they’d taken money to do. It was an essential premise of American culture – that’s American culture, not some transnational progressive fairy-tale that involves excusing every deficiency, intellectual, physical, or moral under the Sun – that no one would represent himself inaccurately to someone poised to pay him for his performance.

     Time was.

     One of my retirement activities is “flipping” real estate properties: purchasing them, doing whatever work is required to render them marketable at their full assessed value, and reselling them. I’m pretty good at it. But to do it at a profit requires accurate information about the properties involved. Among other things, I need to know what are usually called the “carrying charges” on a property. As I only purchase in cash, that’s mainly the property taxes and average annual utility and maintenance costs.

     I’m becoming incensed at the number of sellers and sellers’ representatives who can’t – or won’t – give me that information. Today I hit seven in a row. Each of them professed ignorance. Each of them wanted to know if he could call back. Each of them wanted to tell me about some other property that might be better suited to my needs: this without knowing the first thing about me, my “needs,” or any other aspect of my inquiry. I wound up turning off my phone and answering machine and contemplating some lower-stress pastime – say, crack dealer.

     Is it possible that that many people are unaware of the necessities involved in selling real estate? Or is this a manifestation of the new “playing coy” style in commercial interaction, in which pretense and artful indirection are regarded as sales tools?

     Sheesh. Some days, it’s just not worth chewing through the leather straps.

2 comments:

  1. That's a problem with being gifted. Some days you feel like most people around you are drooling morons.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nobody can do anything anymore. Thats just how it is.

    ReplyDelete

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