Before I came into this business, my mental reference images for the home-buying process lived at two equally ridiculous extremes of a fully unrealistic spectrum. On one end were my selective memories of house hunting as a child, in which my brother and I got to run into a single, perfect house and choose our rooms (I’m pretty sure my parents had already closed escrow on the place before we got there). On the other end were scenes from that last of Richard Pryor’s PG-rated films, "Moving," where his family showed up after closing to realize that the doorknobs, sinks and even the in-ground swimming pool had been jacked up and hauled off by the sellers.

Then, I started selling real estate, in a booming seller’s market.

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