The Perfect Place

The real estate business isn’t an easy one, let me tell you. But I’ve been in it for a while, and by now, I pretty much know what I’m doing. I have plenty of satisfied customers, too, which is how I met Marlon and Teri Fox. I like couples like the Foxes – you know, young couples starting out in their first homes. They have a lot of energy, even if they can’t afford a lot. And if I make them happy with their first home, they’ll come to me when they’re ready to upgrade.

It was Marlon who first called me. I’d sold his boss a house, and Marlon liked what he heard. See what I mean? Satisfy customers and you get more business. Then I met with both Marlon and Teri, to find out what they wanted. They didn’t need a big home or yard – they don’t have kids – but Teri wanted a garden. ‘No problem,’ I said. ‘I’ve got several really affordable places listed right now. I’m sure we’ll find you one that works for you.’

After the Foxes went through their finances, we met again and talked about what they could spend. ‘We can’t do a lot of upgrades,’ Teri told me. ‘At least, not yet. So we’ll have to take a ready-to-move-in-place.’
‘We can manage that,’ I reassured her. She and Marlon were ready to start looking at places.

They really weren’t interested in the first two places we visited. I couldn’t blame them, really. The first one would have needed a new refrigerator and dishwasher, and the second one was in a rough area. I’m having trouble selling that property, but that wasn’t their problem. I advised them not to get discouraged; some people spend months looking for the right home. Then we visited a third place. ‘This one’s been on the market for a few weeks,’ I said when I called. ‘I’d have to find out, but I’m pretty sure the owners would be willing to negotiate the price a bit. They’re eager to sell.’ The Foxes were both excited about that, and we went to visit the place that afternoon.

The first thing Teri said when we pulled up to the house was, ‘This is in a nice, quiet area.’
‘It is a great location,’ I agreed. ‘It’s in great shape, too. New roof, weatherproofing, and there’s a new washer and dryer.’
‘Wow,’ Marlon added. ‘I like the sound of that.’
‘Let’s take a look inside.’

We got out of the car and went up the short walk to the front door. I was fairly sure the house was ready for viewing. Teri looked around. ‘There’s no garden,’ she commented.
‘Fear not. It’s around the back. We’ll check it out after you’ve seen the house.’ Teri nodded and we went inside.

Both of the Foxes were impressed. Two bathrooms, a big main bedroom, and the kitchen has a nice view of the back yard. I’d made sure everything had been painted, too, so it looked like new.
‘What do you think?’ I heard Marlon murmur to Teri.
‘I love it,’ she whispered back.

When we got to the living room, Marlon commented, ‘This is such a great home. Do you know anything about the former owners?’
‘Not much,’ I shrugged a little. ‘Their name is Nelson. Seem like nice people.’
‘Why would anyone want to give up living in a place this nice,’ Teri wondered aloud.
‘Job change,’ I answered. ‘They had to move and can’t manage two places. They’re willing to be flexible about the price.’

We went back into the kitchen and Teri looked out the window. ‘You were right,’ she smiled at me. ‘That garden is gorgeous. I’ve never seen flowers grow that well. Was the other owner a gardening expert or something?’
‘Not that I know of.’
‘I’d love to know what kind of soil and nutrients they used!’
‘Come on,’ Marlon said. ‘Let’s look at the bedrooms and the second bathroom.’ Teri agreed and we went to see them.

Marlon spent the next few minutes opening and closing closet and cupboard doors. ‘That’s weird,’ he commented when he opened the linen closet. ‘The previous owner left some sheets here.’ He pointed to the top shelf, where there was a set of dark sheets.
‘Don’t worry about that. I can deal with that if you’re interested in the home.’
‘OK,’ Marlon said.
We went back to the living room. ‘So,’ I asked with my best realtor’s smile. ‘Can you see yourself living here?’
They Foxes looked at each other. Teri grinned and Marlon smiled back at her. ‘I think we could,’ he told me. Teri added, ‘We really like the place.’
‘Great! If you’re ready to make an offer, we can start the paperwork.’
‘Sounds good,’ Teri smiled again.

The Foxes went to see the place again a couple of times while they were in escrow. That made me nervous. Sometimes people ask a lot of uncomfortable questions, and it makes the process that much harder. The week before they got out of escrow, I went through the place one last time, to be sure everything was done. It was. No more sheets in the linen closet (I still can’t believe I made such a stupid mistake leaving them there). Everything was painted. The house would be ready when they were.

A month later, the Foxes moved in. So far, it’s all been good. They haven’t asked any more questions, which is just as well. I’d really hate for them to be too curious. They’re a nice couple. I wouldn’t want them or the Nelsons to know I used the house one night. I mean, it was so convenient – the perfect place for what I needed to do – and no-one was living there at the time, so why not? After I was done, I cleaned up really carefully, too. And after all, Teri Fox is going to get a beautiful garden out of it.

16 thoughts on “The Perfect Place

  1. Well, I must confess I started this and thought, ‘Oh, I didn’t know Margot was in real estate… ‘ LOL! I soon realised it was another excellent piece of writing which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’ll be eyeing people’s lovely gardens differently now!


    1. Haha! No, I’m not in real estate, Cath. Thanks very much for the kind words; I’m so glad you enjoyed the story! And, yes, you never know what might be going on underneath that perfect garden…


  2. Great story, Margot. I kind of had suspicions when Teri asked what kind of soil and nutrients they used in the garden. But what was a surprise was that the agent was the culprit. I didn’t see that coming. 🙂


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