Friday, June 16, 2017
Ok Yah - Friday
‘Do you mind if I ask about your funding for a purchase?’ I say to a youngish, rather well-spoken couple, sat before me. I’ve ascertained what they’d like in terms of accommodation and location and they seem to be fairly confident about their budget.
‘Is that any of your business?’ Challenges the man, with an aggressive tone.
Yes it is, young fella. If I’m going to spend time and effort showing you homes, I’ve lovingly brought to the market, having fought off all the other shitesters out there - with their false promises, cheap fees and unrealistic prices - I’m going to want to know I’m not wasting my time. Plus, I have a duty of care, morally and in law, to find out if the people I’m introducing to my clients have the wherewithal and determination to actually buy their home.
I gently explain the reasons for my enquiry and the young woman nods in acceptance, but the spoon-in-the-mouth man, who I suspect is another of those over-privileged toffs who’ve been educated beyond their ability at a private school, still bristles.
‘I know what you lot are like.’ He states in his plummy accent. You don’t Giles, you really don’t.
‘You just want to flog me some insurance policies and a mortgage you get a kick-back on.’
Ok, maybe you do Giles. But I don’t enjoy it. I was here before all the corporates piled into the estate agency business, when the sole reason for existence was to act for the vendor, and earn my commission from him. The big banks, building societies and insurance companies clouded that picture when they bought estate agency firms lock stock and barrel. They screwed it up, of course, but the legacy remains.
‘Look I’ve got my mortgage sorted out through a family friend.’ The man eventually concedes, grudgingly. I can see M, our tubby finance-fiddler prowling in the background wearing the carpet out. He wants to get to grips with this pair. I’d like to think recommending him would be in their best interests, but he’d probably eat them alive and he did sell a lot of discredited endowment and PPI policies.
‘I didn’t come in here to be grilled about my finances, I just want a suitable property for our first home.’ Continues the man angrily. His fiancé puts a restraining hand on his arm, she’ll possibly need a restraining order a little down the line.
‘My mother and father have provided the deposit for me, if you must know.’ He barks, eventually.
‘Now can we get on with finding me a house? There are plenty of other agents in the high street.’
‘He was an arse of Olympic proportions.’ Says assistant manager T, after the pair have left clutching half a dozen sets of particulars but with no commitment to view any of the properties, despite my encouragement, once I knew they were genuine and had funds to back their interest up.
‘Any lead for me then?’ Says M, having crept up behind me. Not an unimpressive feat, considering his bulk.
‘Mortgage arranged by the family accountant.’ I tell M, secretly pleased, although it won’t hep me hit my financial services’ target.
‘Alternative quote?’ Pushes M, his breath in my face, with the reek of old cooking oil and stale cheeseburger.
‘I hate people like that.’ Says negotiator S, earnestly. She’d make a better Labour MP than most of the present, never had a proper job, incumbents.
‘Silver spoon in their mouth and another, heated up under their nose.’ Says T, with a sneer. I thought you had to inject the liquid, but then what do I know? I’ve been too busy selling to pay my way to do recreational drugs. The only thing I’ve put up my nostrils is Vicks inhaler, every flu season.
‘I’d take him off the mailing list.’ Suggest T. ‘ Those bank of mum and dadders make me sick.’
‘Is that the only way young people are going to be able to buy their first home?’ Asks S, with sad eyes. ‘By being subbed by rich parents?’
With too many people and not enough homes. Quite likely.