Have you ever wondered who sets the customs or rules that we all live by? Most of them don’t make sense, but we never stop and question why we have them. We never wonder even who and how they got started. Just to name a few:
· Try explaining how our school gets off fair week and deer season.
· Most all our banks close at noon on Wednesday.
· Why do we put up lights on our homes at Christmas?
· Self-checkouts. We now work there, too?
· Steering wheel covers, why?
· Round pizza comes in a square box????
In our local real estate market, customs also exist. The first one that comes to mind is when you sell your home, you have 30 days to move out after the closing date. Another one is that it’s very normal for the seller to pay the buyer’s closing costs that are implemented by the lender. Not sure how that one ever got started? Also, the buyer doing a final walk through the day of closing. Now, at first thought, these can all be good things, but really they make no sense at all.
As for me, I guess, change makes me cringe most times. I just don’t like it. A few years ago, I came home from going to several stores looking for the shoes I wanted. Being very frustrated, I explained to my wife, Mary Jean, how all the stores were out of earth shoes. I just couldn’t find them. Now, (as any wife would seize the opportunity) she jumped at the chance to set me straight. I learned the reason was they had been out of style for several years and that is probably why the stores are not carrying them.
We have many new families that come to our area. This is fantastic. But along with them may be an out of town realtor and their customs. These new customs can be just what we need here, but often they are difficult to accept. Good or bad, they are just different from the norm. The old saying goes, “That is the way we have always done it.” That’s not a good reason to resist, but I am sure you can understand.
To me, the one that stands out the most in our area that most other areas don’t observe is the 30-day possession after closing custom. In most areas, the buyer gets the keys at the closing. And really, why shouldn’t they? In our current custom, someone else is living in the home for free for 30 days. There are pros and cons to both buyer and seller, but it has worked in the past. On the flip side of that, what if the closing doesn’t happen and the seller has already moved out?
Another custom is the final walk-through. The new buyers will take a final look in their new home just before the closing. This can be a very exciting time for them. Family members or friends may also attend. It’s to make sure the home still looks like it did when the contract was signed. But, how beneficial can it be if the sellers of the home will still be living there until about the time the first payment is due?
As a child, a favorite custom was to come to town on Friday or Saturday evening and sit in the car on Main Street for an hour or two. Yes, just sit there. Folks would go shopping and walk down the street. You would see many people that you knew. The walkers would stop and visit at your car. Again, I’m not sure how that one started or even when it stopped, but it was a big deal at the time.
Maybe we should all examine the customs we hold onto for dear life. Are they for the good, or are they just ones we have observed forever? Shouldn’t we also be more accepting of the new ones? It might just be the change we didn’t know we needed.
Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.