Real Estate, Like Life, Just Isn’t Fair | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 15 November 2012 13:28

By Carl Medford, CRS

Special to the Times

When our kids were young, we struggled with teaching them about “fair.” We wanted them to understand how things really worked.

After all, anyone who’s been alive more than a minute has hopefully figured out that life is totally unfair. And, to be honest, that’s probably in our favor.

I’m personally grateful to have been born in America and given opportunities unavailable to many around the globe. Our freedoms seem totally inequitable to many, as do our excesses when compared to poverty in many locations around the globe.

So, life’s not fair. Then why do we think it should be? I recently counseled buyers who’d missed out on a house they dearly wanted — the person getting the home turned out to be a friend of the listing agent and therefore had an “in.”

“That’s not right,” my client cried and, while I was able to commiserate, I informed them that there had been no illegal activity and, in the end, the seller could sell to anyone they wanted.

“But my offer was higher,” they insisted. Again, I pointed out that while that may have been true, being “better” doesn’t always win the day. Their response?

You guessed it. “That’s not fair!” My response? “I’m really, really sorry. Move on.”

I’ve heard the same from homeowners who’d done everything right — honored their commitment to the banks, made payments on time… and, as a result, were unable to get a loan modification. Others strategically defaulted and are now enjoying newer, better homes (illegally, by the way). Others, unable to keep their homes, moved into apartments that said “No” to the family pets.

Some buyers manage to land the first home they write an offer on. Others have deep cash reserves and can outbid almost anyone on any property they want. Other buyers can’t seem to score a home no matter what they do. It’s simply not… Fair.

We want it. However, even though we hope everyone will be happy, we also desire that the grand scales of life will balance in our favor.

We want to get what we want, not realizing our acquisitions usually come at someone else’s expense. And, in the current economic climate, it frequently means we get a home… someone else just lost.

You’re right. That’s totally not fair. But it’s very, very real. And it’s called… Real Estate Reality. It’s also called… Life.

Carl Medford is a licensed Realtor with Prudential California Realty in Castro Valley and a licensed general contractor. This article is sponsored by the Central County Marketing Association at



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