I want to grab you by the ears and shake your head until your eyes fall out and roll in different directions across the floor!

I want to beat you around the face with a rancid fish.

What do I have to do to stop you thinking the way you do?

It makes me burn inside. I want to pour nitro-glycerine into your ears and blow away that victim mentality” … I thought.

I was sitting at the dinner table enjoying a substantial Sunday dinner with a friend. Lamb stuffed with cloves of garlic, oregano and rosemary … yum!

We were discussing the sale of their house, which wasn’t exactly going as smoothly as it should (what’s new there then!). The problem was, that the buyer of his house was being awkward and this was considerably affecting my friend’s plans, not to mention those set by others trapped in the chain.

In England a deal on a house is not a deal until the purchaser has actually entered into a legal contract to buy the property and this can be weeks after an offer has been made and accepted.

When you put your house on the market you get all kinds of people viewing and poking around. Many aren’t even in a position to buy and are simply nosy and only wanting to kick the tyres. I’ve even had people who were visiting the forest on holiday looking just to see what they can get in the area when they retire in a couple of years!

Occasionally, someone will put in an offer. They do this for umpteen different reasons, bottom of the list is the fact that they actually want to buy the bloody place! It is common practice to put in several offers on different properties to hedge bets. They know and plan to let several people down. It’s a pretty shitty way of going about things but in the UK ‘that’s how things are done!’

These idiots put in an offer, you accept, take the house off the market, turn away other slightly inferior offers and wait to exchange contracts. The would-be-purchasers find a better deal or encounter a financial problem and let you know they’re pulling out of the deal through the agent.

It’s a nightmare! I had one particular property that took me eighteen months to sell. I had it off the market waiting for contracts to be signed for around fourteen of those months. After that experience I vowed never to get into that sort of scenario again, and worked out how.

You wouldn’t walk into a car showroom and point to the latest all-singing, all dancing BMW and say to the salesman: “Love it, want it, I’ll buy it. Can you put it out the back and I’ll pay you in a few weeks time, when I’ve sorted the money out!” Would you?

You’d politely told to take your ridiculous offer elsewhere! So it amazes me that people accept this situation when dealing with their most expensive asset.

I’m not sure how it works in all other countries but the point to all this has absolutely nothing to do with the purchase of property so you can relax if you’re a real estate agent and beginning to feel uncomfortable. This is about how things are done and blindly accepting the normal … IF YOU’RE A VICTIM!

I developed a strategy that would overcome the difficulties of house buying, and as it happens, I later found out is actually the law in certain other countries.

I thought I’d share my newfound pearl of wisdom with my friend and sort out his little problem … Tranty Boy comes to the rescue!

“I have an answer”, I declared. “Put together a ‘Letter of Commitment’ and get a deposit. Ask for 0.1% subject to a property survey, which is non-returnable if they back out.

In the letter, state that you agree to sell the property for ‘said amount’ and that they commit to going ahead with the sale and associated contracts. If they don’t sort out their affairs by ‘said date’ they lose their deposit.”

There, that’s what I call a deal … simple!

And you have it in writing. If they are not prepared to sign the document you know that:

(a) they are not serious, and
(b) you know where you stand.

Either way you are in a position to take whatever action is needed; you hold the control in the situation.

Then came the reply, a victim’s reply, a reply from someone who has led their entire life inside the system. A cog in the great machine.

My friend was a civil servant for many years and had always toiled away for The Machine. I knew he had problems with thinking outside the box; thinking laterally. The Machine had done such a proficient job of brainwashing and indoctrination I should have predicted his answer before I heard it.

Nevertheless, I was surprised at how extreme my reaction was. I got so angry, which I quietly regretted later.

“That’s a good idea. I think it’s the law in other countries and I can’t wait until they bring it in here.”

“What do you mean, wait until it becomes law?”
I exploded.

“What do you mean, wait until ‘they’ bring it in here? Do it — do it now!!!” I snarled.

“You want to be a victim for the rest of your life, you want to wait until some draconian institution says: ‘there you go sonny, you can go and see a lawyer now and get a letter drawn up because we, the establishment, say it’s OK to do so!’… Give me strength!”

This wasn’t the first time I had been frustrated with my friend living such a blinkered existence. He had been in the security service for many years, had retired and was now working as Chief of Security for some big tobacco corporation (no names to protect the guilty!).

As it turned out I’m not as smart as I like to think I am! Trying to change the world is not easy … Just ask Bob Geldoff!

Creating a simple contract is a good idea as it means we all know where we stand but when you’re up against the unlimited power wielded by The Machine and a thousand years of indoctrination it’s very difficult to get others to see your genius.

When I received an offer on my property I would instruct the agent to get my carefully crafted contract signed … and how do you think I got on?

Signing a contract like this wasn’t the NORMAL way of doing things, so people didn’t!

I got to thinking about the property market in general and something quite disturbing came to mind: Why I was paying the agent at all … and why was I paying on a percentage basis?

I thought about the way I’d sold homes in the past. I like to think that I always get a good deal and applied this to the agency contracts I entered into.

“How did you get on with that agent?” My friend asked

“Great,” I replied. “I’ve done a smashing deal. They were asking for 4.5% and I got them down to 3.25%. I just had to give them sole agency for three months.”

“Why on Earth did you do that?”
I began asking myself.

“Because that’s how we’ve always sold houses and that’s the way it’s done.” Echoed the answer from deep in the chambers of my head.

“Oh really, because that’s how it’s done?” … Victim mentality, start slapping him around the barnet (cockney slang for head — don’t ask!) with that old stinky mackerel!

Now, there is a point to all this and it’s certainly not to say: “look at me, I’m so smart. Na na nana na.”

That point is: I go about things differently.

Maybe it’s because I have spent so much of my adult life outside the system, I have no idea how things are supposed to be done. As a skipper you spend most of your time problem solving, often your life depends on it!

When The Machine cast it’s net, as it did with regular monotony, it always fell short of where I was standing … or sitting drinking an ice cool beer! I was never drawn in to be served up later as ‘Catch of the Day.’

And my reasons for putting all this down on paper (or into cyberspace) is that I’m trying to help you develop a mindset, to begin to open your world to the fact that there may always be an alternative way of doing things to ‘the norm’.

Yes, I do some things differently, and I am sure that what I do is not always the best way. But, my way is often better than the way I am ‘told’ things should be done. If you’re not already, then you must begin to think laterally, begin to think creatively. You need to start manipulating and orchestrating best-for-you situations.

Once you fall into the trap of thinking you should follow a particular system simply because it’s there, you’re truly thinking with victim mentality. Often those systems were developed only for to benefit the author!