My friend Sam at Dwell & Cultivate recently wrote this thought-provoking post about a buying and selling lesson he remembered from his father. And it reminded me of a buying and selling lesson I once learned myself.
After Daddy died, Mama made the decision to go ahead with the move to a senior citizens complex that they had been planning. So, Hubby and I helped her clean out the house that she and Daddy had lived in for many years. As we sorted through things it surprised me when I realized that she had continued to store many things from my childhood that I had no idea were still around … like my last pair of tap dancing shoes, that would have been about 30 years old?! (I talked her into throwing those away!)
But, she had also saved most of my dolls. She would have given them to me, but at that time I had absolutely no place to store them, and frankly, I wasn’t that interested in saving them because I had already taken the ones that meant the most to me and given them to DD. I told Mama I’d rather see her have the money, so we looked for someone to buy them.
I don’t remember how we found the Doll Buyer, I just remember her coming to Mama’s house to look at the dolls. But, when we first sat down with her, before she even saw the dolls, she told us about her fair prayer for buying dolls. She said that each time she was going to look at a doll collection to buy, she first prayed that she would be fair with the person who was selling the dolls, but also that the deal would be fair to her.
What a sense of peace it gave Mama and me to be dealing with someone who had that philosophy. And, we did feel that she was very fair in what she ultimately paid Mama for the dolls.
A few years later, Hubby and I were preparing to move to the farm, so we were selling our house, and we were doing it ourselves. (A much “kinder” housing market then, so even though we’d never done it before, we were sure we could do it.)
A month or so after beginning to advertise the house for sale, we had had lots of people come through the house, but there had been no offers and we were beginning to get a little nervous. It was getting down to crunch time, when we needed to have that house sold so that we could make the move. And, besides, we (and our two teenagers) were getting reallllly tired of having to keep the house in “show at any minute” condition!
Then, I happened to remember the prayer that the Doll Buyer had told Mama and me about when she was buying my dolls a few years earlier. It suddenly struck me that that was the right prayer to say about our house too. Instead of the “Please God, let this house sell.” I had been saying, I now said a prayer that asked God to bring us a buyer for whom our house was the perfect one, and then that we would negotiate a price with that buyer that was fair to both of us.
The next couple who looked at our house said they wanted to buy it! A few days later, I remember the four of us sitting down at our kitchen table to negotiate a price … but first I told them about my fair prayer that I had learned from the Doll Buyer. None of us knew much about negotiating a price, but we quickly arrived at a price that felt fair to us all.
And, those people still live in that house 25 years later, so I guess it was the perfect house for them!