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Letters From the Home Front

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"Make money while you sleep!" promised the nice spammy-man in my inbox this morning. Not only can I make money in my sleep, it seems, but I can also be socking it away in the old retirement account while I'm on vacation or even out shopping. Except, he's wrong. That was 2003. Ah, 2003 -- and 2004, and 2005. Those were the wonderful "tweens." Back in the glory days, taking a listing triggered a very predictable chain of events. Order the yard sign, enter the particulars in the MLS, and schedule the automatic bill pay for 45 days out. Simply making eye contact with a would-be buyer meant a trip to the Lexus dealer was imminent. A home in escrow was a futures contract with virtually no risk. They all closed. During the peak, we ran into a fellow agent at an open house. "It's almost too easy," he confessed. "I feel guilty." He wasn't bragging, and he wasn't joking. He was making a statement of fact, and I remember thinking then that he ha...