I know I’m committing the crimes of generalizing and stereotyping, but I can’t help it: I’ve become real estate agent phobic. The way I see it, there is no other logical course of action when one witnesses repeat cases of stupidity, non truths and sheer inability to comprehend the potency of the private information they repeatedly ask us to provide.
Last week, and over the course of two days alone, we have had four different cases where I felt like knocking my head against the wall in despair. I won’t tire you with the full details, but: the first case in the line of frustrations took place when the hard to get estate agent answered our emailed question “do we need to supply proof of ownership or proof of when we bought our house” with a laconic “yes”. In case you don’t know, we are talking about two different official documents here, none of which should interest the real estate agent to the level of keeping a copy; but still they do copies a-keeping.
Guess what? We ended up providing both documents, and do you know why? It’s because the real estate agent is in a position of power over the renter, who has to bend down on his/her knees and take it all with a smile. At this stage of my Australian life experience (I’m adding this disclaimer primarily because of my inexperience with Australia’s education system) I am yet to identify any other area where one has to deploy the stiff upper lip as often and as vigorously as one is required to when dealing with matters of real estate.
This state of affairs reminded me of a song by Rafi Perski, an Israeli singer whose late eighties’ debut album is still one of the most frequently played on my iPhone. Loosely translated from the Hebrew original entitled “Million Dollar”, it goes:
Merely a junior clerk, the one that counts the money
Smooth, negative character
And yet how can it be that he is the one determining my future?
I'll finish on a positive note: we found and secured a place to rent, finally. As deliberated here before, we bound ourselves to a full year lease agreement which we will be most likely be breaking half way through.
Image by Mornby, Creative Commons license