Hi Karen and Nate
Of all the days when we should have been having a discussion like this, you guys had picked the jackpot.
I had an appointment with you at 6.00 pm on the 4th of March, The Professor’s words were rattling around in my head, as I drove to meet you.
Your auction was scheduled for the following Saturday. We were meeting to discuss the reserve price, the level of interest and the likely result.
We had buyers, but there was a significant gap between their price point and Nate’s lofty expectations for the property.
The home was an old terrace, nicely renovated but there were some questions about boundaries and the physical state of the building. I knew our best chance of overcoming these issues, would be if we could generate competition on the day.
I wanted a reserve price to meet buyer interest levels. I was relatively confident that if we could announce the property was on the market at that point, there would be enough interest to push the price somewhere close to what Nate hoped for.
Nate was sceptical of my plan and when Nate is sceptical I had learned he could be outspoken, loud and close to rude.
Karen, you were the quiet antithesis of Nate, you listened, assessed and asked questions.
I had enjoyed working with you both during the marketing campaign. You were a fun couple, even if; at times Karen would roll her eyes as Nate expounded loudly on his latest thought bubble.
I liked you both and we had got along well during the campaign.
Nate was in his worst form that night, we were sitting on either side of an abyss. Karen understood my reasoning, but Nate fueled by several beers before I arrived; was becoming more and more belligerent.
The events of the day suddenly overwhelmed me, I slammed my book shut, stood up and reached into my wallet for five dollars which I put on the kitchen bench.
“Nate if you want to fuck up your auction, go right ahead. I will see you on Saturday, I will do my best for you on the day, but if it is a fuck up, it is on your head”
I headed for the front door.
“Where the fuck are you going, and what’s the five dollars for?”
“I am going home, I have had a shit of a day, I am sick of your crap and the five dollars is for my beer”
“You can’t walk out on me”
“I can and I am”
Karen intervened “Nate, we need to talk” she dragged him into the courtyard.
“Bruce, give us five minutes”
I sat back down, I did have the good sense to know I had probably just blown, not only Saturday’s auction, but also any ongoing relationship with you both.
The door to the garden opened and you came back into the room.Nate looked almost shamefaced.
“Bruce, you are right, give me the form and I will sign it, but you had better hope you get it right on Saturday”
The last few words were delivered with a wry smile, I think I detected a wink from Karen.
We parted cordially and Saturday’s auction went exactly to plan, even Nate was happy with the result.
This is not a pre-auction strategy I would recommend to anyone. I have always prided myself on my patience with my vendors.
That patience deserted me that night
I guess it does show, just how fragile I was.