96 Morning Glory

The days when R.M. had to be a fount of information offset other days when nobody wanted to know, when everybody already knew everything, according to them. When crunch time did come they asked, not quite so sure with their own money on the line. Sebastian had asked about painting a unit prior to closing, clearly a question that applied to private arrangements he was making with Hans.Chapter 96 Morning Glory He’d answered, then reminded Sebastian about the brokers’ open scheduled for several hours this coming Tuesday.

This was an opportunity, early on in the listing, to introduce it to the broker and agent community, to invite them to visit it during the course of their weekly tour of properties, and to gather and to report back to the seller any input they might offer as to its presentation and pricing. It was an important marketing tool, designed to bring in potential buyers already working with other agents. It was up to Sebastian to put some spit and polish into the unit, to be ready for company – no socks allowed.

This listing was beginning to seem like the good old days of real estate with two showings the first week, even before the brokers’ open. He was lately unaccustomed to good luck – not that he was unappreciative when it shone round – and hard work was his usual metier. There were so many properties languishing in this market with not a single showing no matter how well presented, or well priced. Buyers were phantoms; here today, gone today.

The Thornes came ready to like the location and the unit, too, although R.M. would soon be taking them through other properties, as their schedule permitted. A two cat family themselves, they waived R.M. sequestering Bona and Vista. They took a long look out the windows, then expressed to him a wish for more lake in their lake views, asking if there were anything else available, or coming on the market, in the building. Not that he was aware of but he suggested, as he had with the Shells, that they take in the view from the solarium, see how it really was from that angle.

As they exited the elevator on that floor, a commotion assailed them; it turned out to be a spirited game of ping-pong in progress between two of a small party of teenagers. Lee Karon, seated, waved to R.M. and he went over, dodging the wayward balls, to greet her.

“How are you coming along?” R.M. didn’t really know Lee but realized who she was. She knew of him from Happy Families, at least.

“Oh, it’s better but still a total pain. Daddy said I could invite over some friends to play up here. Are we in your way? The partitions aren’t up yet.”

“Not at all. Just showing some buyers the lay of the land. Hope to see you playing soon, too.”

“Is that little boy Keki?” The girls had talked about him. R.M. smiled his answer to Lee, as the Thornes beckoned him back across the room.

“Now, this is perfect,” Mrs. Thorne enthused. “With sheers and louvers to manage the sunshine, this would be lovely. The rest of the world would melt away. I could be anywhere I imagined.” R.M. chuckled. It was a good thing for his business that people wanted such different things.

Down in the lobby on their way out, R.M. and the Thornes bumped into Mrs. James and the girls, just returning from the library. R.M. was about to do introductions when it became clear that everyone, except for Sue, had already met. As the adults chatted, Poppy and Pansy called Keki over to share their bountiful selection of picture books now liberated from the confines of their bags. This was all to the good that the Thornes felt comfortable with others in the building. From this happy reunion R.M. excused himself and phoned up to Greg.

“Come to the 7th floor and I’ll meet you,” Greg invited.

Lake Michigan, a wide and deep Great Lake and impossible to see to the other side, reminds some of an ocean.

Lake Michigan, a wide and deep Great Lake and impossible to see to the other side, reminds some of an ocean.

Greg’s unit was a 2 BR/2 BA, facing east and south toward the water and the marina, taking in the curve of the lake away toward Bayview and downtown from its many windows, sliding patio doors, and the wraparound, somewhat recessed balcony. From the foyer, there was a utility/laundry room, plus access to the kitchen and a bathroom. The view from the kitchen sink – an important ingredient, in the estimation of R.M. and countless cooks alike – was a wide open vista, past the dining and living areas in the south-east corner, and out over the ocean. He’d had customers proclaim Lake Michigan an ocean – because they couldn’t see to the opposite shore – and since then it was difficult for him to regard it as merely a lake, even a Great one.

The master bedroom and spa-like bath formed a separate suite. Greg, as many people did, had sectioned off a corner of the large living area and rigged up a small office. For those working at home full time, another small room was more desirable, especially to separate work from home. Aside from the clutter of the room Poppy and Pansy shared, the place was clean and neat, and the decorating neutral and minimal, so the overall effect was of a bright, large, and open space, complete with oceanfront panorama. He wished he could rush down to the lobby and bring the Thornes back up to see it at once, so much did it have their name on it, not to mention the Shell’s.

“So. What do you think?” Greg hadn’t shadowed him but waited until R.M. was done.

“You’ll be in great shape, when the time comes. I think I could show it today to two couples who would be very interested, based on what they’ve said they’re looking for, and I rarely get a chance to say that to a seller these days.”

“Well that’s good to know, anyway. Maybe I should start thinking about it. What about that new development, though? Where’ll that be, do you know?”

“From what I heard, it would be positioned a little to your north and potentially east, so if you imagine it built out there, I expect that you’d have some blocking of your summer morning light, so quite a minimal change for you, especially as you have south-east corner light to offset that. Difficulty comes if all the listing prices on more impacted sides start to tumble so that yours, in relation to those, might fall somewhat, too. That’s not a certainty and in a more normal market values also rise, or are stable at least, in a building of this caliber, or in a neighborhood of high caliber buildings. As much as I’d like to sell it for you, I wouldn’t necessarily advise you to cut your losses and run. I’ll get back to you in a day or so with comparables, or comps, as we call them.”

“What’ll those tell us?”

“What’s sold in similar properties in the last year.”

After R.M. had left, Greg reflected about light, or lack of it. Falling asleep in his master bedroom was easy enough; it was totally dark over the lake at night. For a late sleeper, as he often needed to be after game nights, all these glorious mornings required room darkening shades. He fondly recalled his north facing bedroom at the home he’d shared with Georgia, and the morning glory of rolling over in the dark of that dawn to find her willingly there beside him.