"Thank you for your patience. We are experiencing a high volume of calls. Please hold . . . Thank you for your patience. We are experiencing a high volume of calls. Please hold. Thank you for your patience. We are experiencing a high volume of calls. Please hold. Thank you for . . ." Were they kidding? I'd been on hold for forty-five minutes and I was feeling anything but patient. In fact, I was feeling downright irritated. Had it not been a call for jury service (and a speaker phone) I would have hung up forty minutes ago. Last night I had been able to check my status online, but today I was required to "phone in." "Thank you for your patience . . ." UGh, with this kind of inefficiency, I wondered how the county seats twelve willing jurists at all - or ever?
Ring, ring, ring, CLICK! "Your number has been selected for jury duty. Report to the Hayward Courthouse at 1pm." (That's how.)
Don't get me wrong, I think jury duty is one's civic responsibility. Moreover, jury trials are a unique instrument for distributing justice, enjoyed by few other systems throughout the world. "Only the United States and Canada make routine use of jury trials in a wide variety of non-criminal cases . . . while true civil jury trials are almost entirely absent elsewhere in the world." (Wikipedia 5/22/11). Cool, but I fail to understand why the process is so utterly time-consuming (or why I'm selected on an annual basis?)!
"Fill out this form, drop it in the box and wait over there," the bored clerk instructed me. Scanning the room, I made my way to an unoccupied seat among a sea of strangers - all of whom were waiting to see if their names would be called for voir dire (and hoping that it wouldn't) . . . tick, tick, tick. (Okay, my patience was being stretched thin . . .). Finally, the court clerk began: "Adams, Anderson, Cotton, Delano, Fredrickson . . . Hobson, Jackson . . . The rest of you are excused." (Whew, Thank you!) Grabbing my briefcase, I nearly sprinted out of the Hayward courthouse before they changed their minds; a sense of relief flooded through me and my patience was quickly restored. Ahhh . . . .
Patience is a difficult topic to discuss with buyers or sellers, when I strain to practice it myself. Were it my choice alone, I would have every single buyer I represent in their dream home within a few weeks, and likewise, every listing sold within 14 days.
Alas, it's rarely ever up to me! Aside from buyers or sellers being totally primed, prepped and ready for a sale, circumstances and timing are the "intangibles" few of us ever get to control. In short, the market is the market and it works in its own time and fashion - regardless of what one wants or needs.
The simple truth is, your buyer may or may NOT be in the market presently, OR your future home may not yet have hit, OR your budget and your desires don't align, OR your asking price and the market realities don't intersect. Try to be patient. IF your expectations are realistic, there's a realistic result waiting to happen. Now that inventory is finally offering more choices and buyers have arrived in force, I believe your time is coming. Let's get to work!
"Thank you for your patience, we are experiencing a high volume of demand . . . " .
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 15 years and has published more than 600 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.