How Things Really Work and Are and Always Will and Have to Be, Says God. Part 2: How to Sell a House

My son is getting old.  Not highlander old, yet, but old enough to begin seeing that his old man doesn’t always know everything.  This must be remedied.  To that end, I’ve decided to tell him the secrets of the universe, one at a time, through this blog.  The wrong secrets, watered down to homeopathic levels and then cut with acid and soaked into pages from Dianetics.   Thus this the second installment of my new series, “How Things Really Work and Are and Always Will and Have to Be, Says God.”


Son, few pleasures in life afford one as much pleasure as the pleasure of selling a home.  And by “one,” I of course refer to your banker.  How can I obtain for my banker this incredible pleasure of which you speak, you ask?  I thought you’d never ask–that’s why I’m pretending you just asked.  Here are the steps of selling a home, in chronological order and, coincidentally enough, order of increasing difficulty:

Step one:  Decide, on purpose, by choice, of your own free will, intentionally, that you want to not have your house–your perfectly good, livable, lovable, lived-in, beloved house–be yours, anymore (this, son, is the part where you join me in a hearty laugh.  Hahahahahaha. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.  Heartier, son.  Heartier.  The idea is to laugh so heartily your diaphragm cramps up for a solid six minutes so that you can warp right to the fun part of selling a house (the sky party)).

Step two:  Realize, three months later, through the power of phone calls, that if you just leave your house the way a bird leaves its nest, the other birds won’t ever again let you “have” another “nest,” in the sense of getting to “own” one without “buying one outright with cash” (an impossibility for most birds in the present birdconomy and for the birdseeable future).

Step three:  Advertise!  Some say a good way to advertise your house is to work with a realtor, to get bodies in the door, but other ‘tors can accomplish the same thing for far less money–tractors, for example, have a proven track record moving bodies (hence the name).  You can also get good results with doctors (they call him House for a reason), actors (some say House is actually an actor), even Surrealtor or the evil Shamtor.

Also helpful are ads, so named for the way they add expense to the process of not finding a buyer for your home.  A good ad should list, succinctly, your home’s every positive trait while downplaying the negatives.  Subtle allusions to fanciful creatures can also create a charming mood.  This, for example, is an example of a real estate ad that ran recently on a local (very local) (this) website:

“For immediate sale, purchase, or ownership transfer, via dollars or gold bullion:  One genuine, board-certified house.  Just the right size for inhabitants up to four meters in length.  Interconnected rooms.  Working chimney with fireplace attachment.  Garage ideal for car, sleigh, or wingless light aircraft.  100% organic pure all-paint wall paint.  Multiple closets good for underground railroading or easy troll storage.  Massive open-air barbeque chamber in back of property.

“Complete set of exterior house paint, pre-molded, with supporting house structure for convenient display.  Wall to wall floors.  Shag lawn rolls back to reveal original hardwood dirt.  No ghost or monster corpses.  Ground-insulated basement.  Living room sports chandelier-style air-circulation propeller.  See-through windows with transparent glass.  All doors thoroughly knobbed and hinged.  Living room stores up to twenty individual adults comfortably, or one dyspeptic libertine uncomfortably.  Guatemalan housekeeper sold separately.  Easy night access to neighbors’ pools.  Lifetime supply of internal air–very breathable.  Sump pump/foot bath on lower level.

“Non-chimerical human neighbors make for headache-free property disputes.  Free chakra removal with purchase. No known ancient blood curses or liens held by extradimensional third parties.  Top-mounted ceilings.  Working water-pipes and washbasins with drains in both kitchen and bathroom.  Occasional yeti.  Textured walls in basement useful for hours of mesmerized staring and/or hand-scraping.  House has official black belt from Jojo’s Feng Shui Dojo of Las Vegas.  Every room equipped with negative space–handy for standing, sitting, or luge.  Most rooms pre-christened.  Owners willing to de-christen rooms at buyers’ expense.  Advanced plumbing system provides clean water and removes waste water at several points.  Ground-anchored.

“Porcelain throne sculpture and curtained steam-chamber in bathroom.  Current owners willing to relocate.  Entire structure covered with adorable oversize roof-style hat.  Molemen are forever.  Bedrooms perfect for men, women, children, merfolk, and other.  Towelracks.  Property almost constantly radiation- and genocide-free.  Eco-friendly; clowns welcome.  Located near lovely school, city park, sky, planetary core and cemetery.  No refunds or exchanges.  No sleep till Brooklyn.  Batteries not included; batteries hardly necessary; batteries strictly prohibited; please stop with the batteries.  Do not feed after midnight.”

Step 4:  Wait!

Step 5:  Wait!

Step 6:  Check to see you’ve done the previous steps correctly.  If you are now on step 6, and are still waiting for your home to be sold, you’ve probably made a mistake somewhere in step 4.  Return to step 4 and be sure to follow the directions precisely.

Step 7:  Show the house.  A very important part of step 7 is not murdering the prospective buyers when they explain that your bedrooms are indeed as small as described in the newspaper ad, the MLS listing, the realtor’s printout of same, the realtor’s verbal description of the house prior to showing it to the prospective buyers, Hubble telescope photos, the small print on the tractor’s tread, x-rays of the bedrooms taken by House, the teleplay script used by House for the “Selling Your House” episode of House, and the ominous dreams sent to the prospective buyers the night before by Surrealtor (to be fair to the prospective buyers, Shamtor made no mention of the bedrooms being small).

Step 8:  If step 8 hasn’t been eaten away by bitter tears, i.e., if you can still read this, go to step 4.

Step n:  Suddenly remember that you found a really good buyer for your house down inside this shotgun barrel.  Listen, if you put your ear to the barrel you can hear him!  Hear that?  He said he’s ready to buy, and he sounds really eager!  All he needs is for you to say you agree to his terms.  Just put your mouth right on the barrel there and tell him you’re ready to wrap this up.  What’s that?  He says he can’t hear you?  That’s OK, easy fix–just pull on that little lever there.  Now he’ll be sure to hear y–

Step n+1:   Sky party!   Why yes, son, there IS cake at the sky party.  So glad you asked!  Whole mansions made of cake.  And you get to live there and never have to move again!


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