Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Life as a House

Last night I slept like a log; a log stuffed with sleeping pills. I've been having insomnia a few times a week for the last six months -- which is about how long my husband and I have been trying to buy a townhome as a short sale. (Yeah, short sale is a cruel misnomer. It doesn't indicate the length of time of the sale, it indicates that you've shorted the bank on the price, which means you can get an amazing deal IF you're willing to wait. And wait. And just for the heck of it, wait.) Once this process is over -- assuming that it ever will be -- I'll be an expert on short sales. Hopefully I'll also have a home. But it's not over yet.

Anyway, this whole process reminds me of what people go through during the Agent Search. In this metaphor, the writer is both the buyer and the house. With me so far? Making the agent both the seller and the lender. Have I gone off the rails?

It's like this: As the house (which is the writer's product), the writer must provide a solid foundation; not too much of a fixer-upper, but willing to update the paint, windows, lights or flooring to make the house more presentable. As the buyer, the writer must have good credit (a referral perhaps, or a list of credentials and previous writing clips), and the ability to make steady progress on her mortgage (career) by writing checks each month (working steadily and keeping deadlines).

As the seller, an agent must pick out a good house to work with, go over each aspect of the product (novel) and help it shine, and then present it in the best light to the people most likely to fall in love with it. As the lender, an agent must do a thorough check on the buyer -- are they reliable? Will they default? Did they sign all the paperwork correctly (research and write a proper query)?

These may be the nutty ramblings of a sleep-deprived woman, but when they came to me, they made perfect sense.


  1. Actually, I think you've made a really great comparison. :-)

  2. That's a great comparison!

    I'm actually in the middle of buying a house on short sale with my sister. The original offer was submitted in June and finally approved by the bank in October. Then the mortgage people have been stalling for the last two and a half months, because the house is 100 years old and needs work. Basically short sales are a mess, but if you can wait it out and make it work you're getting a great deal. I hope it all works out for you!

  3. Thanks, Shannon! Your comments are so sweet. :)

    Megan, big kudos to you and your sis for toughing it out. It sounds like we're on the same timeline. Here's hoping we both get our homes.

  4. When we bought our house last year (yes, not the best time!) we waited on a short sale for 5 months--it was grueling (much like querying), and eventually we went with a different house.

    I totally get the comparison though--both are long, hard processes.

    Good luck with your house!