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Selling A House In A Nanny State Of Nerves

Selling your house in a Nanny State of Nerves is deserving of strong drink, except I had run out. A vodka and orange juice hits the spot after a day spent with middle schoolers. “She called for madder music and stronger wine!” But my bottle wasn’t a magic bottle and eventually it ran dry. I’m way too cheap to keep indulging in those kinds of luxuries, so I didn’t replace it.

That poem I quoted above was most assuredly written by a man. In the middle of a night spent with a prostitute, he nonetheless declares his fidelity to his other favorite arm candy. Why didn’t I think of that when I had reason to? For fun, if nothing else. “I have been faithful to you! In my fashion.” One declaims the first in ringing tones of sincerity, and the last part is said with a verbal shrug. Who can argue with “in my fashion”?

The name Cynara is gorgeous, though. I’m surprised I haven’t seen it on an attendance sheet. There is nary a Paul, or Steve, a Susan, a Rhonda, or Sally, but there are plenty of Trinity-s and Tylers, a Nash and a Nolan. I figure Cynara would fit right in.

Anyway, I toddled over to a local realtor yesterday to list the house. I’m still not sure it was the right thing to do, for the simple reason I hate paying the commission. I did the math, decreasing the price of the house by five and ten thousand each time. While I, the seller, would be out the five or ten thousand dollars should I have to negotiate downward, the commission is only decreased by three hundred each time! How is that fair on the part of math? I knew there was a reason I hated math.

My spidey senses were alerted right away by the questions on the first page of the listing agreement, and which were repeated at the end to make sure the seller is aware the buyers will decide to sue him or her at any moment for any reason. Woke up feeling punk your first day in your new house? Sue the seller! Is there dirt in your backyard hiding under the newly mown grass? Sue the seller! Is your neighbor not centerfold material except for perhaps that of Popular Mechanics? Sue!

Selling your house in a nanny state of nerves on chezgigi.com
Yes, but is there traffic near the Tupperware?

When I saw the “disclosures” I was supposed to admit to or not, and had to debate whether or not to admit to any of them, I almost left. Admit to traffic? I guess there is traffic on our street. It IS a street after all. Is there wildlife? Are there planes, trains, and automobiles? Are there pedestrians and do any of them litter? Is there a dispute going on with a neighbor? Do you have people over on a Saturday night? Do you buy Doritos, or potato chips for your guests? I am really surprised they didn’t include those spotlights people use at night by their front door, or surveillance cameras, or barking dogs, mowing the lawn at 7am on a Saturday, or any of a hundred things neighbors do that can make you crazy.

I gotta say, selling it myself would be so much easier. According to my paperwork, I just have to accept the cash and move on. So maybe I’ll turn down any and all offers that come in. It’s way too scary out there.

This is what David Williams, guest poster, calls a Nanny State. I just call it California, which insists that we are aware of every eventuality that might occur and demands that if we are on the receiving end of some money, we will have to earn it.

My realtor told me a story of when she got sued by buyers. She had shown her clients a property where the owner had died. The owner had many cats. The day they went to see the house, the granddaughter was outside feeding the cats dinner. The buyers later sued the realtor for the “non-disclosure” of cats. Here’s the kicker, they admitted in court to seeing the cats the day they saw the property. I believe they lost the case.

I did have to reveal the material fact that the MOTH died on the property last year. What I failed to do at the time was drag him outside, as my real estate teacher advised us to do years ago. I wasn’t thinking clearly, I guess.

According to the listing agreement, the buyer has the right to know anything and everything, because they may consider something a material fact, even if I don’t. If I’m not sure how to answer a question, I should consult a real estate attorney of my choosing. Sure, that could work. “Mr. Fogsworthy, should I reveal the traffic on my street?”

Revealing defects would just take too darn long. If people can’t get behind our old as dirt house, that’s on them. We got atmosphere, we got ambiance, we got chutzpah! What we don’t got is a ton of renovations.

Number 11 of the listing agreement asks if I’m aware of past or present problems with pets, wildlife, insects, or any odors of urine or feces on the property due to such; if I’ve filed an insurance claim within the last five years; how Don died, although I may refuse to discuss it with them. Let’s just say the rocket he was working on is now circling the earth and will be seen again in 20 years.

Number 16A asks if I’m aware of the following, and I quote: Neighborhood noise, nuisance, or other problems from sources such as, but not limited to (italics mine) neighbors, traffic, parking congestion, airplanes, trains, light rail, subway, trucks, freeways, buses, schools, parks, refuse, storage, or landfill processing, agricultural operations, business, odor, recreational facilities, restaurants…., parades, sporting events, fairs, neighborhood parties, litter, construction, air conditioning equipment, air compressors, generators, pool equipment…..cell phone towers, high voltage transmission lines, or ta da! wildlife!

“Wildlife? Livestock? Never heard of either. Now, go away. We need privacy.”

There are several more categories including (but not limited to!), disputes with neighbors which could impact their future enjoyment of the property. I guess they mean that partying neighbor, who would be well advised to invite these buzz kills to their next bash.

They did not ask me if anyone has ever farted in the house, but they did ask if anyone had ever smoked or vaped in it. Now, I can’t speak for the year 1910 when the house was built, but perhaps I can make a guess for the years 1932, and maybe 1943. One was during The Great Depression when tobacco was expensive, and the other was during WWII during rationing.

Had they tried twice as hard to cover every base, they could not have done a better job of describing our exact location.

To wit, we are surrounded by a wildlife preserve and have visiting deer almost daily; everything mentioned above except maybe industrial manufacturing plants, is located within a mile of us. Trucks drive down Main once every two minutes as it is a main route to Redding on the west, and Oregon to the north; as sure as planes land at LAX, parades move past the restaurants (gasp! restaurants!) and other businesses on Main Street three or four times a year when it isn’t snowing, and parks, baseball games, and agriculture are a given, seeing as how there are cows everywhere and the hay to feed them is grown here.

I think they covered it all, except whether I’m aware that, existentially, life is fleeting and too darn short for filling out listing agreements.

Forthwith, the conversation as envisioned by a friend:

State of California:

Do trains, planes, or automobiles, parades, or anything else ever go by the house? 


I’ve mostly noticed cars and trucks driven by illegal aliens. But, once in a blue moon, a cigar-shaped UFO will zip by. That really burns me up!  

State of California:

Has anyone ever smoked or vaped in the house?


No, never! All activities involving fire and smoke are held outside. In fact, I’ve petitioned the city to have my street renamed Auto-Da-Fé Drive. According to AshHeap.com, I’m related to Pierre Cochon, the judge who sentenced Jeanne d’Arc to death. So far, only a few dozen residents of Alturas have agreed to participate in a reenactment of the trial and subsequent execution by fire in Rouen. The only downside to this regular community event, apart from decreasing the city’s population, is the high cost of lumber and gasoline. At some point, I may have to sacrifice the free marshmallows and roasting sticks I hand out to spectators. 

State of California:

Any disputes with neighbors? 


I don’t engage in disputes. I lock and load.

State of California:

Has anyone ever farted in the house?


On the hour, every hour. Is that unusual?

State of California:
Refused to take out the garbage?


People think my front yard is the city dump. Maybe I should charge a fee? 

State of California:

Eaten crackers in bed? 


I don’t discriminate based on ethnicity. All human food is welcome. Is there a California law against cannibalism?

State of California:

Hide the remote? 


It’s beneath the planks of the floor, stored with the tell-tale heart that belongs to the previous homeowner who annoyed me with his evil eye.

I’m canceling this agreement due to the simple fact I’m at a loss as to what I agreed.


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4 thoughts on “Selling A House In A Nanny State Of Nerves

  • May 8, 2023 at 12:26 am

    Culture, poetry, a girl named Cynara, humor and real estate all in one article: Gigi must be typing again. “Let’s just say the rocket …”. Yep, Gigi’s typing.

    A few years ago I was with some friends on their patio, and they took a Facetime call from their Polish friends. These Polish buddies were on holiday there, and were at the top of a ski jump in the middle of the summer. Wonderful 360 view, and a breathtaking look down the ski jump. Suddenly reality hit us: 6 Poles, a ski jump, and no snow. As one we shouted at the phone: “Don’t jump!!”

    You will do what is best. As you decide, consider that all those disclaimers on the disclosure form are there because California civil law says those are sueable (if that is not a word, it is now) items. Sign the form or not, a buyer can sue for those. Scary, isn’t it, this Brave New World? Maybe by doing it with a Realtor, at least you have some legal protection between you and the buyer? If you are truthful on the form, is the Realtor accepting a lot of the responsibility? I don’t know. But for some reason this made me think of looking at a ski jump without snow. Maybe just use roller blades.

    • May 8, 2023 at 2:19 am

      That is hilarious! Six Poles climb to the top of a mountain, see….Hahahaha!
      Well, we didn’t sue Victor for selling us this house and not disclosing anything. But maybe that’s just us. I don’t think the realtor takes any responsibility for anything unless they out and out lied and got the seller to lie. I guess it could happen. The listing leaves things WAY too wide open for my taste. “A dispute with a neighbor?” What if one arises after the contract has been signed? Or we change neighbors during the six months? And feces and urine on the property? Yah. BUT. There are no Poles waiting to jump off our porch on a sunny day.

  • May 8, 2023 at 3:51 am

    Ah yes, the lists and lists or stuff you “should know”. Didn’t stop the seller of our house forgetting to mention the main sewer line that has to get cleaned out every few years, because the main city line has a “shallow drop”. Shit doesn’t roll downhill fast enough.

    Selling or buying a house is not for the faint of heart. Buy another bottle!

    • May 8, 2023 at 4:59 am

      Haha! Another bottle, barkeep! I have permission!
      Yep, we ran into the same problem here- our system intersects with the house next door, only she had to pay for the truck to come out. We can only use one ply, which is almost not worth it. Oy vay. Makes you wonder, though. Why sign all this stuff if you still get taken?


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