Saturday, March 19, 2005

The offer

Well some good news first. I just got an offer for the old big family house; if mum accepts it I can pay off all her gambling debts and the money she owes to the bank - and still come out ahead. Question is whether my mum has the moral courage to accept it. Accepting it also means accepting that she screwed up big time and lost all that money. Postponing the sale helps her stay in that fantasy world of hers - where God will send an angel down to give her a golden cheque that will help her to pay all her debts and get off scot-free.

Something else-I must say that all this has been a big learning curve for me. People here don't ever come out and say what they mean- so I must seems like the odd-ball around here.

I made a mistake the other day. The managing agent came by and asked me to sign a document stipulating the percentage he would receive out of the sale. Fair enough. Then I blabbed and told him I'd give him the normal rate if he sold the property but even if he wasn't directly involved, I'd still give him 1% of the sale price. He said he would be happy with 1/2 a percent (ie a sum of about $10,000)- but like some dumb hero I insisted "No, I'd give you 1%  ($20000)." I told him I wanted to impress upon him the importance of getting a good sale on the property. And I was willing to pay him that money to achieve that goal. He's suppose to help me coordinate the buyers and to negotiate on my behalf on any bidders. I had already resolved to give him 1%. But he did say he'd be happy with 1/2.

Looking back at it now. I should have taken his document and told him I needed sometime to think about. And also asked him what he wanted. He would have said 1/2 % and I would think about it - ask around to see what the convention was - then told him the answer the next day.

ANyhow, in my haste I gave up $10000 for not much in return. I probably impressed him more with my stupidity than generosity. But I think he did get my drift- that I was willing to reward agents who work hard on my behalf and get the job done well. 

The lesson for the day is to put some distant between you and the negotiating process and decision making.  Quick decisions are rarely made in good judgement.

Next week the agents will be hassling me for a decision. I'll try to keep cool about it and tell them the truth. The info has been relayed to the old girl and she hasn't made up her mind about it. They will be probing for weakness in our armor - the only thing to say - not a concern to them. But try not to sound too defensive.

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