Friday, May 13, 2011
If I were a patient sort of person....
A couple of weeks ago my mom bought a new car. She decided on a make and model a while ago and was just waiting for a gently used version to hit the market. She could have paid for it in cash but chose not to...probably just to bug my dad. She bought the new-to-her car from Car Max. You know, the place where the sticker tells you what the car costs and you pay it. No barter. No hassle. She saw the sticker, paid the price and drove home with her new station wagon on crack.
I've ranted before on this blog about customer service, coupons, and all my aversions to bartering, bargaining, and getting a deal. It is incomprehensible to most, particularly my husband, why I am willing to pay the asking price for products and services large and small. He says that most of the world functions as if it were a Moroccan Bazaar - where the ASKING price is very different than the actual SALE price. I say, "I don't go to the grocery store for a gallon of milk and tell them that even though the price is $1.39 I only have 10 pennies so that is what I will pay." I just pay for my milk and tell the checker to have a nice day.
My husband and I? We're very different. For example, when I need a new shirt, I go to a store and buy a new shirt. I wander, peruse the merchandise, check out the sale rack, pick my item and pay. I bring it home, wear it the next day and call the experience a success. That boy I married? He wanders a store forever, carries 10 shirts around trying to make a decision, tries stuff on, only buys stuff on sale, brings his purchase home, tries it on again and then more often than not, decides he doesn't like it. Then he returns that shirt to the store. Sometimes he returns the return.
In my purchase decision making I am definite. In his purchase decision making he is indefinite. I say the offer is good and he says there is always a better offer.
Husband vs. Wife thing? Man vs. Woman issue? I don't know. I do know however that this is NOT a good yin and yang when trying to buy a house.
I don't know how many counter offers (counter to the counter to the counter) are kosher when trying to buy a new house. I don't know what is reasonable to ask for when buying a new home. I do know that I wish house buying was like my mom buying a car at Car Max - the price is the price and deal with it.
Today I signed a contract for a new home. A home that two and a half weeks ago I walked through it and said to myself, "This is a beautiful home. I could live here for a long time. I like it. It's not perfect, but nothing is. It will do." I took my husband back to see this home. He wandered and paced the floors. He opened cupboards and closets. He found every flaw. He was, in essence, trying it on just like a shirt from Banana Republic.
We left the house to see others. Nothing we saw (or have seen) has compared to this home so we decided to make an offer. We waited and waited for a response. The response came in the form of a very "ungenerous" counter offer. We then countered the counter. Then they countered the countered counter......it's gone on for an entire week. It's been making me sick and frustrated. It's made me have strange dreams about cancer and divorce.
I talked to my husband whom I love dearly last night. I asked him, "do you like this house? Could you see yourself living in this house?" He told me yes, but that he wanted a better deal. I told him that I think we've got the best deal we're going to get and we should probably take it.
He told me this morning that we were lined up with our realtor to see three more houses tonight. Just to see what else is out there. Just to see if instead of a white linen button down I might want a blue gingham mandarin collar.
I told him no!
You see - I'm done shopping. I'm done "returning" my purchase. In 2.5 weeks I am going to be homeless. A family from Florida is buying my house and as generous as the offer is, I don't want to spend time in a basement. Our clock is ticking (the store is closing) and I want to move into my own house and start setting up shop as quickly as possible. I shopped and found a house I liked. It fit. I'm satisfied. I don't need to try on a different size of house and I don't need any coupons (like a short sale).
Phew! Did you make it this far? Are the shirt analogies confusing?
Moral of the story?
If I ever live in Morocco I will never go to a bazaar.