Roaring sirens alert those within miles that someone is in danger. Police arrive on the scene. Onlookers create a scene of their own by peering and loitering and whispering, waiting and watching to catch a glimpse of the destruction; a view of someone else’s heartache. There’s an undeniable urge, a pull, to come out into the cold, dark night to see what we can.
When a shark clamps down on its prey, it releases the undeniable scent of blood that draws others from the ocean depths. Predators arrive to take advantage of the kill. They circle. They splash. They push competitors away, showing their strength, their girth, their teeth.
It’s not just agents who are publicly criticizing buyers who were “stupid” enough to get into a subprime loan. A recent contribution by the Bag Lady drew critical, scathing comments by readers who were on the self-righteous slam-wagon.
Those buyers had help; a lot of it. They had professional advice and encouragement to make those decisions. It’s ridiculous to critically now say, in hindsight, that these buyers made horrific decisions. It’s shameful for those in our profession to judge the unknowing victims of such dire circumstances. We need to remind ourselves that these people are losing their homes, their shelter, their dreams, and a hell of a lot of money. Where’s the compassion and empathy that another human being deserves?
Last week at an open house, a looker came. She asked,
“When is this house going into foreclosure?”
“How much are they willing to lower the price?”
“If you’re asking if these people are in dire straights and are going to die without an offer, they’re not.” She turned and walked right out of the house.
Buyers want blood. I want a foreclosure. I want a deal. How can I buy REO’s? What about probates? Are they justified? I don’t know. I’m not questioning that. I’m wondering why it’s acceptable to so many to ridicule and humiliate people who are in the fight of their financial lives? I was immensely pleased to talk with a buyer today who said, “I don’t want to take advantage of anyone’s pain. I just want to buy a house.” I woke up from a dark and stormy nightmare.