“Now that buyers are sought after, they can play hard to get”– LA Times, Sunday, Aug. 27

Sunday morning. 8:36 AM. Flipping through the news channels. Dick Cheney is on “Meet the Press”. I keep it on there for a few moments (still a bit sleep-dazed), until I realize I hate Dick Cheney. Flip to “Face the Nation”. Guest is Condoleeza Rice. Oh.

Here’s an interesting article from an LA Times of a few Sundays ago. “With the price of sales slowing and the inventory of unsold homes rising, buyers are in a better position now to bargain than at any time in this decade.”

There follows a list of instructions for buyers. As I read down the list, it amuses me to imagine these applying to writers as well. For instance, to those writers who might find themselves in the unenviable position of pitching a first novel to a skeptical agent, literary editor, or publisher. To wit:

(1) Buyers, don’t expect miracles (ha ha ha ha!).
(2) Remain stoic at all times (further ha ha ha ha ha!). Apart from a little small talk, stay away from the listing agent, using your agent as a buffer to insulate yourself from more than minor contact.
(3) Adopt a poker face. From the minute you meet real estate agents or sellers, be approachable but not overly engaging. Resist extensive conversations. (buwah-ha-ha-ha-ha)
(4) If you are going to engage in a little chit-chat, use the conversation to your advantage.
(5) When touring a house, even if you like the place, don’t linger. The longer you roam around or stand in a particular room, the more the seller and his agent can see your wheels turning. Limit picture taking too.
(6) If you return to a house more than twice, you risk tipping your hand.

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