california motto

The California Motto is Dude I Flaked

Surf's UpDo you always do what you say you’re gonna do? Not everybody adheres to the principle of self responsibility. They find ways to rationalize. The California motto, believe it or not, is “Dude, I flaked.” Like it’s OK to break a promise. The Blues Brothers exemplified flakiness with Jake’s excuse, but my viewpoint is different. The way I look at the world seems to have more in common with a rebel, almost a radical renegade, sewn together by the threads of a Midwesterner who survived the ’60s and the Zen of it all.

At the core is my word. I try to do what’s right. I think through actions before reacting. Especially when I’ve got so much garbage coming at me at times from all directions because I happen to work in Sacramento real estate. Over the years, I’ve had to step over the rotting pears, dodge the slippery banana peels and hold my nose as I slip past the decay of what is sometimes presented as helpful real estate advice by others.

I’ll give you some examples. A real estate agent yesterday warned yesterday that I will never sell a property at the price the seller wants. I don’t understand why he said it except his buyer wants to pay less. He had no retort when I pointed out I had recently sold a model just like it for roughly the same amount. Eventually a buyer will pay cash and be thrilled, that’s what my experience says. His differs.

Another real estate agent wanted to argue over a short sale listing, in particular the seller’s insistence that the buyer be dedicated to the transaction. Like, who woulda thunk that we’d actually expect the buyer to commit to close escrow? He said his buyer and he should not be required to marry the property when they should be able to milk the cow at their convenience. This is probably the same guy who can’t be bothered to close the front door when he leaves the house.

He argued there is no inventory and the buyer is unlikely to find another home that mirrors the home she so desperately loves but doesn’t want to be engaged to. This doesn’t sound like the kind of buyer I would want to work with, but then I am not required.

When I drove out to Rio Linda last night to inspect a property that the contractor swore up and down 10 days ago would absolutely, positively, be ready for sale on July 30th. Imagine my horror when I discovered the windows were boarded up, covered in newspapers, ample warning signs of the condition inside. The kitchen had no counters, no flooring, no lights, no appliances except a dishwasher.

The contractor pointed to a 15-year-old stove sitting in the middle of the living room. It was stained by globby drips of dried food flings and partially rusted. He asked if should replace it or try to clean it up. It was a piece of shit. I used those words because they have strength. His hands immediately reached for his ears; then mopping his forehead, he mumbled about his Russian heritage and laughed, nervously. Not everybody resides in reality, and one can’t always count on performance simply because a promise was made.

The California motto of Dude, I flaked, does not exist in my world of real estate. But I can spot those who would appreciate the sentiment should the opportunity present itself.

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