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Musings on Montana

Posted by John Hathorn on May 16, 2012
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The Following Article is from the Winter 2010 Newsletter

If I had a dollar for every time in my nearly 23 years of selling Westside real estate I have been told “Oh my gosh – you should write a book” well, you know the rest. Over the years there have been some incredibly funny sales situations, some horribly tragic and all points in between. In this article I will share a few of the fun ones.

There was a woman who came to look at a house I was holding open one Sunday and asked me to leave the open house and drive her to the bus stop. She needed to get back home so she could write a letter to George W. Bush, requesting the money needed to purchase the home – she really loved the house! I suppose Bush didn’t like the house or maybe she never sent the letter as I never heard from her again.

I know only 3 phrases in Farsi (I can say “50X150”, “60X150” and “Goodbye”) so you can imagine the look on the faces of some prospective purchasers when I interrupted the conversation they were having, in Farsi, discussing among other things the lot size of the property they were visiting. I am pretty sure they were making some other disparaging remarks about the house, as well as quoting the wrong lot size because when I corrected them on the lot size they looked mortified, obviously worried that I was aware of every negative comment the group had made (the home was being sold for land value only). They were greatly relieved when I assured them that I only understood a few phrases. Although we all had a good laugh – the house was sold to a young couple who bought it and built their dream house on the site.

Another client that was very much into the ancient system of Feng shui, which is a Chinese system of aesthetics believed to use the laws of both Heaven (astronomy) and Earth (geography) to help one improve life by receiving positive energy flow. This Buyer absolutely loved the house that we had listed but once the Fung Shui Master pointed out that a huge palm tree was planted near the street (in the parkway between the street and the sidewalk) directly in line with front door entrance she gave the Seller two options; Move the tree a few feet in either direction or cancel the escrow. Well of course the City made moving the tree nearly impossible so the the transaction did not go through. Luckily we found a Buyer that was not so into Feng shui and eventually the property was sold.

My most recent book worthy experience was by far the most interesting in a very long time and again the Chinese have a hand in it (according to Wikipedia anyway).

Ever heard of a “void-of-course moon” condition? Well neither had I until a young woman that had recently inherited a house wanted me to get it sold. A “void-of-course moon” occurs when the moon in transit makes its final major ‘aspect’ before it changes from one sign of the zodiac to the next. It ends when the moon enters the next sign. In astrological terms it is a period when human judgment is impaired, ventures are bound to fail, business deals collapse, journeys are delayed, and important decisions can be disastrous. Got your attention? Well that concept sure got mine since it seems like most of my time is spent asking people to sign things and make important decisions. And now it made sense to me that she would always say “Can I call you back in a few minutes?” Turns out she was consulting her Chinese Astrology “void-of-course moon” schedule and did not want to meet during such VOC’s. She seemed a little reluctant to explain this to me but I was relieved to know that with her using her VOC calendar the odds were better that we would have a solid transaction – which we did.

Click Here to download the entire Winter 2010 Newsletter

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