21st August 2019

Blind Man’s Bluff


Several years ago, I took a call and was asked by an interested purchaser to come and see them at their workplace in the heartland of old school inner industrial Melbourne. I had never met the prospective purchaser or shown them the property I was trying to sell. The instructions were clear – ‘Don’t bother coming without the full contract of sale’. Here we go was my immediate thought.

I arrived at the factory and a roller door was half up and there was very little activity otherwise. I snuck under the roller door and entered what appeared some years earlier had been a thriving manufacturing plant. Machinery was gathering dust but still in place. An old man came out from an office and greeted me. A shake of the hand, no small talk and we walked into his office.

A nice thin layer of dust covered 100% of everything. In a gentle voice the old man asked me ‘can you read the critical components of the Section 32 to me as I can no longer read’. Sure, was my reply.  Off I went reading aloud until I came across the detail regarding the airport overlay affecting the property. I paused momentarily realising that it was this very overlay that had turned every purchaser off the property thus far. I stated, “you should listen very clearly to this” and read the information aloud. I think I even chipped in with “the planes fly over so low you can read their engine numbers”!

Fast forward 20 minutes and the reading was done, and the next request was ‘how much money will buy it “followed by “where do I sign”. As I handed him a pen to sign an unconditional offer at the asking price, I noticed he flicked through the contract to the signing page and signed. I immediately thought what happened to the issue of not being able to read.

The property sold to this man and too this day I firmly believe I was being tested on whether I would read the component of the contract concerning the airport overlay to him.

Honesty is always the best policy.

Have a great week