After a great month at Cheshire & Co, I allowed myself this afternoon a Monte Christo Number 3 and sat ruminating on the many vagaries of life. Why has Miss Minogue not seen the light and swopped her hunk of a well-bred, well-connected, well-everything else of an actor fiancé (who is 19 years her junior), for a well-worn Cwmbran-based estate agent? Would the plastic surgery bill for the X-Factor judges be enough to fund the next Olympics? Who will be the first ‘celebrity’ (I know, I struggled to name half of them as well), to be hoofed off the spangle/fake tan fest that knocks all other spangle/fake tan fests into a cocked hat? Why are there not more bungalows coming on the market? What can get you sacked as an estate agent? (Not fiddling your Rightmove figures as the NP4 demographic will bear witness to…) In Texas, a realtor named Kayle Seloff discovered that “joint activities” of the biblical kind were deemed sufficient to be told that her services were no longer required (well not by the realtor firm at any rate). Miss Seloff was arrested for trespass in a property that she had sold because neighbours had reported “strange activities”. It was heartening to see that she waited to get all communal the night of the closing so didn’t threaten the sale (not wholly unprofessional then…) and that curtain twitching neighbours are lurking in The Lone Star State just as much as in Gwent.
Only in the USA you may think. Not quite. A chapter in the Chesh’s autobiography will be dedicated to my involvement (not literally, you filthy-minded lot) with various “joint activities”. These included a member of staff testing the robustness of the mattress with an agent from another company (a sacking offence in itself, regardless of location) and a buyer ringing up in tears because they had walked in-after completion, to find the old owners “saying goodbye” to their old home-without any clothes on.
Eccentric behaviour has featured on more than one occasion in my experience of selling houses. Not least when conducting a viewing, the next door neighbour appeared in his full-length bedroom window-naked- carrying out an activity that his mother warned him would make him go blind. Whilst struggling to maintain my composure and divert their attention to the newly fitted wardrobes (nowhere near as exciting, but less likely to require the services of a therapist and/or a solicitor), the vendor nonchalantly commented, “Oh, don’t worry, he often stands there about this time”. Well, that’s alright then I thought as I waved goodbye to my not insubstantial commission. Actually, it was; proving that estate agents do not sell houses, people buy them.