A New Perspective: Mercury is in retrograde | Real Estate Insights

Translation (for the non-astrologers): Anticipate that life will have unexpected turns — and why that’s a good thing.

The personal stories of one Realtor’s battles and triumphs in the highly-competitive Bay Area Real Estate Market, seeking to illuminate and humanize the very real ups-and-downs of homeownership.

“Mercury is in Retrograde,” my lovely client said as if I’d understand the significance. (Astrology has never been my strong suit.)

“Meaning what, exactly???”

“That things aren’t going to fall into a straight line,” she said, offering me a delicious bowl of fruit, and some well-earned wisdom as we took a break from filling out her Seller disclosures. (Those take a bit of time.)

Got it. On the other hand, what in life actually does follow a straight line? (Not much.)But she did get me thinking about the planets, about the blue moon, about the king tides, and about life in general. I don’t know if the stars actually have any sway over human behavior – good or bad – but why not? So I turned to the Internet . . .

“Mercury retrogrades commonly affect things like communication, travel, and technology, and these effects can be annoying. But they’re not without purpose. Planetary retrogrades give you the opportunity to clear out things in your life that no longer serve you.”

Now that makes sense to me. None of us need what no longer serves us. Let it go, I say, and move on.

As for the straight line? Aside from geometry, it doesn’t exist; certainly not when it come to Real Estate, which can be a difficult concept for Sellers and Buyers to understand, but there you have it. Life is a series of zig-zags where transactions rarely fall neatly into place. We’re often taking two steps forward and one step back as we unravel the pieces only to put it back together again. Such is the life of a Realtor.

Not that our experienced team doesn’t have a tried and true system for addressing all manner of unwelcome surprises (your house isn’t our first rodeo) but invariably, unforeseen items pop up that the Sellers either didn’t know about, or didn’t think were important enough to tell us about (please tell us) and then we’re left scrambling to find a solution. Often these issues don’t surface until the home or structural inspectors turn in their reports, OR until the vendors get down to work:

“The irrigation system is non existent.”
“There’s an active rodent infestation in the basement”.
“Are you aware there’s standing water in the crawl space?”
“Did you know about . . . ?” (Fill in the blank.)
And so it goes.

If it’s a problem that can be quickly repaired, it shouldn’t slow up the process – much – but what homeowners might perceive as a mere inconvenience (“The balcony has always been a little suspect.”) might morph into a much LARGER issue when we dig a little deeper (the tile and waterproof membrane have failed.) If that’s the case, plan on the 3-4 weeks we THOUGHT it would take to ready your house for market to expand accordingly.

As Realtors® are held accountable for any new discovery (as are homeowners) we ARE going to resolve whatever comes up – one way or another. Which means, we’re fixing the problem, disclosing the problem, crediting the Buyers the necessary dollars to address the problem, or discounting the sales price to offset the problem. Take your pick.

​What we’re NOT doing is covering up the problem, ignoring the problem, or hoping it spontaneously goes away on its own. (It won’t.)

In other words, a little patience, solution-oriented discussions, experienced Agents, dependable project managers, hard-working vendors, creative thinking, investment dollars, realistic expectations, and flexibility are the key ingredients to successfully bringing a house to market in good time. Consequently, the more we know upfront, the less likely we are to be held up in the eleventh hour as the unknowns rise to meet us head on (and they most decidedly will).

Remember, your leaking sink today, is tomorrow’s new vanity. 

It’s up to responsible homeowners to timely address any “issues” in their homes before they become major problems. (Sound familiar?) For those who haven’t stayed on top of their home’s health and well being, we’re often trying to cram 10-20 years of deferred maintenance into a few short months. (That ain’t easy.)

Listen, there will be enough emotional zigging and zagging going on when you ultimately decide to place your property on the market; that’s to be expected given the memories, and the celebrations that have taken place within those four walls. But if we can avoid having to tackle nagging issues that should have been dealt with long ago (and for far less $) then we will have a better shot at staying on track and walking a straight line come time to sell.

But to be clear, when it comes to either buying or selling, we’re likely to make a few left turns before we reach the finish line. And now I know you can blame Mercury.

​How can we help you?

Julie Gardner & Sarah Abel | Compass Realty

Not just Realtors, but consultants in all things house and home, we’re here to educate, explore, examine and refer . . . In short, you may count on us to take care of your home as if it were our own and anyone who knows us, knows we take pretty darn good care of our homes.

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