Thursday, July 27, 2006

Cuisinart Metaphors or Game theory U.S.A.:

Jes and I are going to H tomorrow afternoon to look at other property. We will also be getting our official bank appraisal for the cabin etc. at some point during the day. Before we signed anything on this current deal we put an appraisal rider on the contract, so that if the bank’s appraiser didn’t value the property at or above our initial asking price offer, then we have an out on the contract. I sat in that Coldwell Banker’s office in Kirkwood at midnight a few weeks ago adding out after out like a neophyte Nolan (alliterative sports reference?).

For those of you (Brad) who are using this as a tutorial, the appraisal rider is a must in supplemental legality for standard contracts that tend to favor the seller; you want as many outs as you can get so that you don’t get stuck with shit property after you learn that it’s shitty. You bid to control the play and Vince Lombardy the field, but you also need a door frame to walk away. See, I can fake it till I make it.

Another piece of advice I might proffer is that even the people who work for you are really working for the middle, and when you’re working for the middle with a novice your best/only asset is speed. I assume you got the baseball reference earlier, but I’m less certain about your proclivity for Persian board games peppered with Buddhist analogies. Sorry, it’s a po mo world and I’m a po mo girl (Madonna filtered through Derrida, or the other way round).

We also have an out over their ridiculous counter bid. Beth is correct about their reaction, though we do still like a number of things about the property. We could have slow played them, suggesting only the repairs we really wanted, but what would be the point? Their fast reaction is both a play strategy to force the hand and logical response to our display of property knowledge. We’ve put some money on the line that we won’t get back, but we did two important things with that cash – we learned about the market and we got an inspector we can trust. The inspector is the more important of these two, though in the scale swing between trust and learning I think it can be a toss up. There’s probably a “beget” in there, were x begets y.

Our best move now is to expand the field. If you’d like to continue thinking of these deals as rounds in a poker game, and honestly they really are no different, then you should think of the official bank appraisal as the river card for this deal – it will make or break the hand. In the panoply of game theory available to us, chess seems a wiser source of strategy, especially where central board territory is concerned. It is our intent to develop at least three lines of influence before we make a move as the center is both integral and overrated. What would the OK Corral have been without both shooters and bullets.


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