A perfect spring day. Sun shines, sky’s blue, birds are singing. Let’s sell a property.
Spouse had been happily ensconced in his stylish and expansive bachelor pad for several years before I came along and threw a massive couples spanner in the works. The light filled one bedroom apartment had perfectly accommodated him and his debonair man about town lifestyle.
Fast forward to the point where my undeniable charms have won the day and cohabitation is inevitable. The executive style contemporary apartment was just not big enough for the both of us…
or my shoes, books, the contents of my pantry … or either of my offspring.
We found a townhouse in the same area and the apartment was rented out.
Three years later and my beloved makes some cash dependent decisions and his place is on the market. Despite protestations to the contrary, I’d wondered whether he’d secretly fantasised about a bolt hole to escape to if things between us had gone seriously tits up. I’ll never know.
He approached one of the bigger real estate agencies in the area and sat down to discuss the game plan. Dates were locked in, photographers were booked and nervous energy prevailed.
Arrangements had been made with the tenant to vacate for several hours while we descended on the place for some forensic cleaning and minor repairs. This proved impossible. The impressive 1 bedroom apartment looked like a crack house.
A grubby mattress surrounded by dirty plates and glasses dominated the lounge area and the kitchen counter was covered in food scraps and containers. A cast iron pot on the stove top was half filled with a rancid fat covered liquid. The chocolate ceramic tiles on the bathroom floor were dusted with talcum powder and the vanity looked like a Chemist Warehouse.
We took photos and left.
Campaign dates were re-assessed when it was established that the tenant might not entirely grasp the concept of tidying up. After some protracted exchanges between spouse, Trevor, the super sales manager, and the rental property manager, things were back on track.
I wasn’t feeling favourably disposed toward the chap renting my husband’s abode at this point but a surreptitious glance at some carelessly piled paperwork, some photos and various medications changed my mind.
A divorce, cross country relocation and cancer diagnosis were just the start.
A picture emerged of a highly intelligent man. Half a dozen UN security council lanyards with his name and job title swung on a hook by the back door. A collection of anthropological books, biographies on seminal 20th century figures and Swedish crime novels filled the space where a microwave should have been. His fridge was at room temperature and full of UHT tetra packs.
Walk a mile and all that, now I just wanted to make things better for the guy. Spouse offered him a month’s free rent in deference to the inconvenience of open inspections. It was something, I guess.
A few weeks later I witnessed Trevor in full flight as he auctioned the townhouse across the road from us. Sitting cross legged on the floor of our bedroom, the full length window afforded a magnificent view of proceedings. There was a sizeable crowd and several toey looking contenders.
It was like the best reality television with Trev creating tension and excitement. I could clearly see the two main bidders as things cranked up and began irrationally barracking for one of them.
He may have been attractive.
A third bidder arrived out of the ether at the eleventh hour and positioned himself under the awning directly below me. Leaning my forehead against the glass, I valiantly strove to identify this maverick.
A couple of bystanders looked up and spotted me alternatively pressing my nose against the window and pacing the length of it.
It sold for an astonishing amount of money and ’10% for every 10k over a mill. Trevor’ was looking fairly chuffed.
Spouse was feeling well and truly validated after I regaled him with a blow by blow account of his agents redoubtable auctioneering prowess.
So, back to the delightful early spring day. Briefed earlier that the judicious placement of faux potential bidders helped add to the drama, we had done a quick ring around and assembled a small group.
I popped down before the final pre-auction inspection to make sure everything was schmick and met Trevor’s side-kick, Lucas.
Robin to Trevor’s Batman, Lucas stood not much taller than Trevor’s shoulder and was the prefect wingman, spotting bids at 50 paces.
We did a quick check of the rooms, turned off the heat and opened the back door. Some quick incidental chat and then Lucas followed me outside – locking the apartment keys and his car keys inside as the security door slammed shut.
“Ooh, that’s never happened to me before. Has your husband got a spare set?”
A small crowd was gathering now and Lucas’ calm reassurances that this was a minor hiccough was belied by the sheen of sweat breaking out across his forehead.
Neither Batman nor spouse had arrived and we had fifteen minutes to figure something out. Remembering that the complex backed onto a dodgy motel and that we had opened the back sliding door, I sprinted around the block with Lucas in hot pursuit.
Fortunately the low lying back wall of the motel was a metre or so away from the unit’s courtyard and Lucas was able to hack through a creeper and scale the aluminium fence with relative ease.
Holy Agility, Robin!
My harried love loped towards me, worry lines etched across his dear face.
By the time we made it back around Lucas was smoothly handing out brochures at the door with nary a hair out place.
At 11.58am the Peugeot-mobile had pulled up out the front and Trevor emerged fresh from an 11am real estate killing.
The man was seriously good.
A quick briefing and we were ushered down to the secure car park where we were to wait, out of sight like Anne in the attic, for the all clear.
Two serious bidders got the ball rolling and quickly reached the ball park. The property was passed in just below the reserve, but with some psychological tap dancing from Trevor, the last bidders bumped up their offer and spouse happily sold.
To the bat cave!