Monday, April 07, 2014
Please May I Have Some More - Monday
‘You know what,’ spits assistant manager T venomously. ‘ F**k people, f**k all of them.’
I can’t help a quick glance toward B our loose lettings lush, as she’s been working her way through the electoral roll by all accounts. Fortunately she has her head down again - tapping at her smartphone this time..
‘What’s the matter love?’ Asks negotiator S soothingly. She’s never called me love, I think testily, as I turn to wait for T’s reply.
‘Mr and Mrs Greenway are taking their house off the market.’ Says T head shaking in disbelief. The punch to the stomach of a sale falling through still sickens me after all these years.
‘You’re kidding.’ I hear myself say superfluously, as the bile rises in my throat and I think of the hole this news will make in my sales pipeline - and of the conversation I’ll be having with the bean counter boss come stats day.
‘What’s that?’ Asks morbidly obese mortgage man M as he sways back from the kitchen all four sets of cheeks moving unpleasantly.
‘The Greenways’ are pulling out of their sale.’ Says T flatly.
‘Who?’ Asks M face contorted in a frown, several sets’ of chins wobbling in flabby unison.
‘Number 39,’ snaps T. ‘You’re doing the mortgage for their buyers - or were…’
‘You’re kidding.’ Growls M as something gristly escapes his gritted teeth and lands on the carpet.
‘I wish I was.’ Responds T shoulders sagging. ‘Over £5,000 in commission up the swanee.’
‘The buyers will still use me for the finance though, won’t they?’ Pleads M, revealing the perpetual difference in mindset between estate agent and financial advisor - something the banks and insurance companies never got to grips with, when they bought chains en-masse to flog their products for them.
‘How do I know?’ snaps T. ‘I haven’t told them yet. I’ve got that pleasure to come.’
‘No doubt they’ll blame you.’ Suggests S with a half-smile.
‘Can’t you wheel them into something else?’ Asks M desperately.
‘Not like that house. Not in a hurry.’
‘Well just make sure they still do their finance through me.’ Continues M. ‘I’ve got two big policies and an arrangement fee riding on them.’
A fundamental difference.
‘Why?’ I say to T as M skulks back to his office.
‘They all want to shaft you.’ Suggests B, off her phone now and possibly referring to our conversation, but just as likely making a personal observation.
‘To be fair,’ begins T. I don’t want to be fair. I want to see the grey-haired couple topple on the next icy pavement, then at least I might get a probate sale. ‘They have been stuffed on their purchase.’ Concludes T.
My mind whirrs, it carries a lot of data, ‘But weren’t they buying that bungalow from a builder?’ I say as the information pops into a mental window.
‘Were being the operative word,’ says T grimly. ‘The bastard has put the price up.’
I grimace. It’s not the first time and sure as hell won’t be the last. Builders are notorious for panicking if sales on a site aren’t happening and just as notorious for getting greedy when they are; raising prices for an overnight boost to their balance sheets.
‘How much?’ I question, thinking we might be able to squeeze the buyers for some more, maybe even work along the chain for a contribution from everyone.
‘Forty grand.’ Answers T flatly.
‘You’re kidding.’ Says S rhetorically. He’s still not.
‘They can’t do that, can they?’ Questions trainee F, who has been listening intently.
‘They can do what they want.’ Answers T sourly. ‘Subject to contract, means what it says.’
‘I’m guessing you suggested tapping the buyers for more money, to the Greenways?’ I ask T pessimistically. He nods.
‘Yep, they said they wouldn’t do that, they don’t think it’s ethical. They’d given their word.’
The Greenways have my grudging respect but not my commission invoice - on a no sale-no fee basis I get nothing for three months’ work.
‘Builders can’t lose can they?’ States F.
‘What goes around comes around.’ I tell him flatly.
‘What do your mean boss?’
It will change.