Buying a house might be weird for everyone, but in my case it’s extra weird. Why? Because I’m in the business. I do staging for houses being put on the market, which means I’ve seen every manipulative trick in the book. I can’t look at property listings or attend inspections without inwardly groaning at the lengths people go to to push the price up, not to mention the willingness of buyers to go along with it.
At least I’m not in the conveyancing business. Collingwood has pretty inflated property prices, and I’m sure conveyancers must experience the inner groan factor while overseeing settlements. I have no doubt that they can see things that I wouldn’t notice when it comes to costs and values, given how much paperwork passes through their hands.
Even worse than that would be being a real estate agent. Then again, if that was your biz you might be able to get in the back door, or at least be equipped to counter the attempts of the vendor’s agent to bump up the price. But it just seems like one of those areas in which ignorance may, indeed, be bliss. Sure, the average would-be buyer might be oblivious to being taken for a ride, but is that really a problem if you don’t know about it?
At the end of the day, we all need real estate agents, conveyancing lawyers and people with staging expertise if we’re trying to sell property, and these are all legitimate businesses to be in. The tricks used to do this aren’t anything too unethical; it’s just how the job gets done. It’s just that once you’ve seen it in action, you can’t unsee it, and then you’re all too aware of being played for the fool that you are.
On the other hand, this does give me the upper hand in the sales process. I can tell immediately when a house is dodgy or has something to hide, because it’s been styled out the whazoo to make up for it.