Discretion is the better part of valor


"Up ahead, here on our first stop along the foreclosure tour, is a beautiful 3 bedroom, 2 bath home. The owners were a nice family and at the time I thought bidding $180,000 over asking made sense. Hindsight sure is 20/20. Okay, let move on, there’s hundreds more just like this."


So I’m sitting around our backyard grill with a group of friends after being gone for a week. Phil, a Brit who works on my British Car was in Vegas the week prior. He tells the group about the foreclosure bus tours he saw advertised there. He wanted to know what I thought of them.

I never got a chance to answer. Jose, a local architect, went for the jugular. Puffing his cigar, he called them vultures. Preying on the clients they screwed. Others chimed in.   

Then, Jose turned to me and said, "Why don’t you do something about that?"

"Wait a second" I said, "What could I do? I don’t even know them."

"Realtors", Jose chomps. "Isn’t that what you do? You work with them."

Somehow, when you have a cigar in your mouth, everything you say seems to have more authority.

"First there are 1,200,000 Realtors out there" I explain while flipping burgers. 1,199,990 of them are not driving foreclosure buses. And second, I work with their brokers, vendors and association and…"   

That painted me deeper into the corner. The conversation got heated. It wasn’t pretty, playing off their perception.

So what do I think of foreclosure bus tours? Well, I think they lack a certain air of diginity. At the end of a foreclosure is a family who was hurt by real estate. In some way. Even if they have only themselves to blame. It’s the epilogue to a tragedy. And cleaning it up for one’s benefit could be handled in a classier way. If for no other reason than to insure that the people who pick at the carcass of Realtor esteem are held at bay.

Or at least so I can have a barbecue with friends and not have to defend an industry.

"Caution is preferable to rash bravery" said Falstaff in Henry the Fourth. I think this is applicable here.