It's a well-written, clever piece that absolutely plucks emotional chords. Based on the comon-sense implication that houses - like point guards and power hitters - have intrinsic value that is inflated by the marketplace, the author invites the reader inside with a conspiratorial wink to share his superior insight.
Naturally, any fellow with the wit that God gave a horse knows more about what a house is worth than the shallow effervescent fool who's trying to make a living trying to determine not "worth" but what it will sell for.
I'd be interested to see what he'd write about putting his own house on the market and - as is often the case - his realtor told him he's gonna get $200K less than he "knows" it's worth. As Paul Simon once said, one man's ceiling is another man's floor.
Good writer that he is, the author has turned his tour of open houses into a bit of melodrama, with a sinfully corrupt marketplace and the shallow effervescent villains scavenging the innocent. "It's a jungle out there, dear reader," he seems to say, "but you and I, *wink!* we know better." He even has a Happy Ending and a Moral: There's No Place Like Home.
I think I read someplace that real estate agents are the third-most despised profession, after politicians and lawyers - and it's easy to make fun of them. Certainly I've met plenty that I wouldn't care to discuss moral philosophy with. However, unlike law and politics, it's an easy profession to get into, and it's highly competitive. It is a jungle out there. Like my wife says, "I wake up unemployed every morning."
While folks are out there having a good time poking in other people's lives, our shallow effervescent villian is out there in a necktie (or stilettos, depending) on a Sunday afternoon - working. Trying to be pleasant and reasonably informative to strangers. It's not as easy a job as most people think.
Most realtors don't make a lot of money. Some make a bundle. In the last 12 years my wife has cleared anywhere from $100K to less than $10K in a year, and we never know what it's gonna be.
But there's one thing that every successful realtor knows that the average man on the street, or even the discriminating newspaper reporter, doesn't: how to get the most value the market will allow for his client's property. Most of the time.
"Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you're the Charlie Brownest." - Lucy Van Pelt