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Olde English Real Estate Proverbs

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Posted 08-09-2013 at 12:16 PM by Roy Sanborn



Olde English Real Estate Proverbs

I was thinking about some old English proverbs about real estate. You know, sayings like “a man’s home is his castle”, “a house is not a home”, “home is where the heart is”, and the ever popular; “there’s no place like home.” Looking at a list of proverbs I realized that most of them applied to real estate and wondered whether a real estate agent was sitting in his thatched hut back in the 16th century making these things up? I could see Ye Olde Estate Agent John Bridges in 1587 writing “If they pay a penie or two pence more for the reddinesse of them..let them looke to that, a foole and his money is soone parted.”



Anyway, I can apply most of these proverbs to real estate on a daily basis. For example, I know the “customer is always right” even when he is dead wrong. And, I can show a customer the perfect home knowing that they might not buy it because ”you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”

But “there is an exception to every rule” and every now and then there is a buyer that feels “there is no time like the present” to make an offer knowing that “that the pen is mightier than the sword” and that “it’s the early bird that catches the worm.”
Even then it’s tough to get a buyer to “put his best foot forward” and make a good, solid offer. Buyer’s often think that “money talks” not realizing his talking may only be a whisper to the seller. While the buyer knows that “every man has his price”, his perception of what that is may be far different than that of seller.

I have learned that you “can’t judge a book by its cover” because even the most poorly dressed buyer can drive a Mercedes and have the wherewithal to buy whatever home he wants. But “first impressions are the most lasting” and that clearly applies to people as well as the houses. And while “clothes don’t make the man” a clean and well staged home might make a sale...



Many home sellers often learn the hard way that “a bird in hand is worth two in the bush” after declining a deal that didn’t quite meet their expectations in hopes of receiving another. “Opportunity never knocks twice on any man’s door,” or at least very rarely… That brings me to a saying that is probably not an Olde English proverb at all, but one worthy of note; “The first offer you receive is usually the best.”

The old saying ”let the buyer beware” spawned the home inspection industry and while “no news is good news” is great in many industries, it is not necessarily in ours. It is also true that good fences make good neighbors” and a “little knowledge is a dangerous thing” especially in a real estate transaction. But, the overriding, most common, and truthful proverb in real estate is this; “the husband is always the last to know.” Any agent that learns that upfront will be very successful.




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