Tales of the Holy Goat

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The garden is particularly lush this year, we have had a very wet spring interspersed with some really nice warm sunny days.  We have the house on the market 5 acres just being too much now but have worked like dogs to keep the weeds at bay ( the beastly actual dogs only supervise!)  The bastard weeds grow at an alarming rate, actually I’m sure they are triffids, they just described them wrongly in the book!

It has now got to the point that the garden is fairly mature and people, total strangers, actually stop and ask if they may walk round and look as it is fairly unusual for Whatcom County in that it is filled with flowers not public lavatory style landscaping as are most properties.  So we are reasonably and justifiably rather pleased with it.  Not unreasonably it is being sold with the garden being very much one of its selling points.  One would not expect a non gardener to buy this place.

Would one?

Now for the Holy Goat, which has become the ranking obscenity of the week plus!

Some wretched woman, a divorcee, (not bloody surprised, he must have run screaming)  living alone who owns two horses and a GOAT wants to buy the place.  We have a rather good barn that she wanted I think a sight more than the house!  First off she tries to knock the price down 30 Grand because we smoke and  not content with steam cleaning the carpets would have to be replaced (Neurotic bitch!)  Then she tries to come round with her realtor and wants to browbeat us over this that and the other. (That we did not allow, most unethical!)  Then she gets her knickers in a twist as we were not interested in making a counter offer and declined to do so.

We were concerned that she would not be able to maintain two horses and said GOAT, garden and full time job and it would end up being tantamount to animal cruelty as they would get out and run into the huge lumber trucks bring monster trunks to the saw mill a couple of miles up the road.  One helluva big heap of minced horse under an 18 wheeler!  So, we had our realtor make discreet enquiries of her realtor to find out which fantasy island she inhabited.

Evidently she intended to let the garden go to to the GOAT as she wasn’t interested, just the field and barn for the horses.  Just after this information was imparted I was off for tea with my little old lady widow, 86 and a very good Christian clean living sort.  Needless to say I waxed lyrical on telling her the tale, ended up ‘f’ing and blinding something horrible.  She and her sons were laughing so hard I thought she would have a stroke.  Her son coined the ‘Holy Goat’ as a ranking obscenity.  By the time the afternoon was over we were all in the highest good humour, I did try to apologise for the language but she was having none of it as she swore she’d heard it all before, (I doubt it! I can get right colourful!)  She did demand updates though on the tale.

Needless to say, said GOAT owner comes back with another offer, upping it 15 Grand.  Ouch.  By this time we had decided that we really didn’t want to move at all!  We only put it on the market because my bursitis in my left knee gave me so much trouble for the last two years but strangely enough hasn’t worried me since my weird Chink doctor has got to it. But we could see this one coming and coming.  We had the dread thought that if she came up to the asking price we would either have to sacrifice the garden to the Holy GOAT or shell out 28 Grand to the realtor as his fee for breach of contract, serious ouch either way!

Not unreasonably our realtor thought we should make a counter offer this time round, grudgingly spousal unit dropped 2 grand and we hoped and we hoped and we hoped she would go away! Further snotty remarks about this that and the other and the word came down that she was going to make an offer on another place.  “Oh what a shame” ( Said with total insincerity and mendacity) Please, please, please may she be very happy wherever she goes as long as it isn’t here!

I hope the GOAT gets eaten for its pains.

We now have to repel all prospective purchasers from making any decent offers.  We have thought about strategically placed coprolitic dog turds  in the living room.  Spousal unit favoured open dishes of rat poison here and there to infer a verminous condition and we could set out our motion sensored ultrasonic deer repeller to human setting to send them mad on entry. (It seriously drives you nuts and gives you a terrible headache)  Anything to get them running screaming out the front door!  Trouble is we shall have to go through this charade the whole summer as a selling contract lasts six months here and that doesn’t run out till the autumn.

Any bizarre suggestions on how not to sell your house would be gratefully accepted.

Author: christinaosborne

Landed on one side safely.

18 thoughts on “Tales of the Holy Goat”

  1. Oh double bother, Tina.

    Back soon with suggestions, but how ghastly.

    Faced with a sort of similar situation, but no goats involved, I upped the price. Perfectly acceptable here, but I don’t know about where you are.

    Other options, complain about the neighbours vociferously, do not make the beds, and encourage the dogs to forsake their training and crap in the house.

  2. Nice photos. On how not to sell your house… I think I am the expert. You need to have had a good run up – a long period of time when you have done absolutely nothing to it, and allowed it to rack and ruin, in advance, of course. This is the marinating period; five years minimum. Door handles coming off; skirting boards utterly filthy, gardens totally overgrown, in the manner of Tennyson’s Mariana…Then, at the frantic period of scrubbing, painting, drilling and decorating, you need, preferably, to have, at your disposition, a couple of young children, with one at least pre school age, who can be relied upon to say… draw on walls with black crayons, as soon as they have been painted. Or perhaps, sit on freshly laundered duvet covers with, ahem, less than clean bottoms. And you yourself need to have certain… slovenly habits. An overflowing laundry, or ironing basket, perhaps, will do nicely, or, shall we say, a grill that is so laden with grease that it is impossible to tell where the grease ends and where the oven begins. Add an utterly incompetent window cleaner who has left traces of god knows what on the twenty five year old double glazing, and a rather ridiculous propensity to do something pointless and witless like… blogging, or god forbid, drinking, instead of cleaning, in the wee small hours – and I’d say you’d be just about there.

  3. What a beautiful garden Christina. You couldn’t possibly allow a goat near it. But you do need to think carefully before you start turning away all and sundry. The garden won’t get any smaller and your bursitis could reappear.

  4. Love it both!

    Unfortunately our realtor is a friend too and he bloody well knows we don’t live like that more’s the pity!
    I still think a strategic turd under the piano is our best option.
    Can we hire children by the hour?

  5. sheona, I love that picture with the three dogs, those hosta leaves are bigger than they are.

    Must away for tea with my widow lady and give her the updates. It has done nothing but rain here all day, hence my time wasting, the house is unnaturally clean, the greenhouse is spotless. I bet she would have put the GOAT in there, over my dead body!!!!!

  6. Co. good evening.

    Given your ‘…….or shell out 28 Grand to the realtor as his fee for breach of contract…’, I did a quick google on the sale of property in the US, Not up to speed, of course, but think that I may have a very tenous grasp.

    I presume that the fact that he can stick you for breach of contract means that you have gone down the MLS route to ensure the widest possible circulation of the details of the property and that the realtor is into you for about 6% of the sale price as and when there is a sale, with the option to stick you for a proportion of it anyway if you take the property off the market. Is there a time limit for him to make a sale or are you stuck in an open-ended contract? I see that ‘For Sale by Owner’ still makes up about 11% of the market and I presume that there was some reason for that not being your choice.

    How very different from the Scots system. In broad terms an average of about 1.5% in commission, payable only if the property sells. Obviously you are liable for vouched outlays but nothing else if you choose to take it off the market.

    Whatever, a superb rant of a blog which I enjoyed immensely. I hope that that it all works out for you, the spousal unit and the hounds. Confusion to the Holy Goat.

    PS Bleubelle’s comment is superb as well, In my opinion.

  7. JM, yes, the MLS route which gives the realtor 6%. The standard contract is six months after which if you have not had a sale you may withdraw without owing the realtor a penny for anything including the advertising which the realtor must bear. If however you refuse a full price offer or very near it they will apply for their fees and get them.
    For sale by owner is a bit of a bummer and rarely works here, it nearly always ends up with them going to a realtor. people here do not like being shown houses by the owner, it is not done at all and if you have no realtor who is going to show the house? You have to leave when the house is being shown, we depart with three dogs in tow and go and hover down at the river.
    The MLS is worth rubies for people out of state and freely available on the internet.
    Interestingly here you use a realtor to buy as well as sell if you are sensible, then the selling realty co have to split the commission with the buyer’s realtor but to buy cost you the purchaser no fees at all except the closing costs and survey.
    Realtors are worth engaging for purchase as a good one will steer you clear of ethnic areas, troublesome places etc etc. Plus they know which areas flood etc and will tell you. All very useful if you are from out of town.
    Once the price is settled closing can be done in a couple of days flat.
    I once bought a house in Memphis and had moved in in a week flat! None of this farting around for three months!

  8. CO – good morning. I have to rush and go out but managed to start the day with a read of your wonderful Holy Goat story. Why don’t you disclose to prospective buyers that the house is haunted by the spirit of a deseased and deceased goat – a goat that is so horny it has made unwelcome appearances in the bedroom. I will catch up with this post later today – I have an appointment with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Goat.

  9. Fantastic tale! You certainly could not give your garden over to a goat!

    Somehow, I can’t see you managing to live in chaos and dirt for very long – so my only suggestion is carry on smoking. I believe America is as bad as Australia in its anti-smoking bias – nightmare!

    Perhaps, if you cooked a strong-smelling curry just before you open your home – but you might get someone like us who are quite happy with that.. 🙂

  10. Mornin’ Christina. Lovely garden and a good rant as always. You have a goat problem you say? I can help with that and my fees are very reasonable.


  11. I had a garden once, my first garden, on which I lavished attention. It was small and Norht facing, but still it looked very good.
    The couple who bought the house maintained it, but they then split up and another couple bought it, ripped up everything worthwhile and let the rest go to rack and ruin… I was invited to tea there as this couple had children the same age as mine, so I saw this with my own eyes… Heart breaking.

    But once it’s sold it’s nothing to do with you….

  12. Christina, I often accompanied my cousin when he was looking for a property to buy in France. One place had tenants who were obviously not pleased that they were going to be evicted and that prospective buyers were tramping round. So my suggestion would be to hire a group of chain-smoking actors, pot if possible, tell them to sprawl round the place with loud music playing and make sure that every available surface is festooned with wet washing, mostly ladies underwear. Scowling at the viewers and grumbling when they have to move out of the way is also recommended. No, my cousin didn’t put in an offer on that one.

  13. Thank you for the creative suggestions!
    I had another offered at tea yesterday by my elderly lady’s son. Take the lid off the septic tank and give it a good stir!!!! (Oh my!!!)

    Pseu has a point about gardens are no longer yours when sold. But I have to admit I had no intention of casting pearls before swine. A lot of those plants, especially the paeonies and hostas are both rare and valuable, I intended to spirit them away, at least a goodly chunk thereof.
    I prefer to call it a humanitarian rescue!
    Had someone called who could have named every species and variety I would have left them but not to a bunch of philistine peasants!
    Last weekend a Polish lady from Canada asked to look at the garden and named virtually every plant, quite incredible, needless to say she was not a buyer, total sod’s law!
    I do think OZ should eat the GOAT, very creditable of him!

  14. Greeting Mrs. O: I don’t usually gloat but I signed an offer to sell my house in town yesterday, a very nice Chinese gent, I am sure my old neighbors will like him, but if they don’t???
    45 days on the market 55 viewings and 30 odd visitors to an open house last weekend (MLS listed) . I am fortunate to be living at the creek house full time so was not directly involved or inconvenienced by the lookers, I did get a weekly summary of of the realtors and clients comments, mostly along the lines of “Hate the wallpaper” “wish the family room was bigger” “garden overgrown” etc. One star comment for me was a lady who responded that she was “looking for something more open plan” if the realtor knew this why did he waste his time showing her a fifty year old classic colonial style house 4 beds, living, dining, family room, kitchen all with doors. I had told the realtor up front I wanted 400K and he badgered me down to 385K (market conditions, large inventory, prices still falling, no end in sight, Greek crisis affecting prices (I made that last one up) woe! woe! etc.)

    So 55 viewings and one offer of 350K with a blizzard of conditions, all appliances to be included washer, dryer, brand new refrigerator, and including Radon, Termite inspections and “other environmental issues” ( I soon struck that last one out). I countered at 370 and told the realtor that was my final move and if they came back lower I would keep the house and live in it during the winter months, we actually started to plan such an eventuality when the buyer countered with 365, I declined. The more people slagged off on the property the more i decided I liked it and was within a day of bagging the whole sale idea when the buying and selling realtors got together and made up the difference by cutting their commissions by 0.75% each, that gave me the extra 5K which I had to grudgingly accept. So it’s done. Yes, Mr Mackie, the commissions are exorbitant but there is always room to bargain.

    You can always decline to counter any offer below the asking price, the realtor I used told me he had not seen a full price offer for three years and that sellers are now EXPECTED to consider lowering the asking price if the house has not attracted reasonable offers within 40 or 50 days. I did not believe that either. Good luck.

  15. LW what a good idea to shave the realtors, well done!!
    However, as you can see the last thing we want to suggest here and let the bloody GOAT have it!
    Property has tightened up here, a lot less on the market especially 5 acres, they are not zoning 5 acre lots any more here, either 1 or 20 is all that they are allowing. In Seattle they are back to bidding wars, dutch auction style on decent white suburbs. There is a lot of rubbish areas there quite crime ridden, too many apartment blocks full of strange people.
    I have quite come to terms with not moving and will be most put out if any s.o.b makes a good offer now!

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