Maura was trying hard. Recently widowed she had to make a living. Her and her children were barely holding on. Mike had left her very little in terms of life insurance and assets.
The past few months she spent studying to write the local estate agents exams through the Professional Estate Agents Group. It was the only qualification she could study and be earning within a short period of time. And you didn’t need a degree to do it.
Maura spent hours trolling through websites to familiarize herself with house prices, the best and worst areas and the average prices of homes. Often people advertised their own homes and sold them privately. Maura disliked the concept but realized that they did hold opportunities if the owner could be convinced to work with her.
The advert read: house for sale. Blairgowrie – R650 000 – 3 bedrooms, swimming pool and double garage. Call: Blaze. Maura read it again. The house prices in that area were well over a million rand. This couldn’t be right. Maybe he left out a “1” in front of the “6”.
“Hi is this Blaze?” she asked politely, deciding to call.
“You have a house advertised on www.sellityourself.co.za correct?”
“Is that price correct?”
“Yes, it is”.
“Can I come and see the place?”
“Are you an agent?”
“I’m studying towards my exams” Maura answered truthfully.
“I’m not sure I want to list with an agent” he said a little brusquely.
“Please let me come, perhaps we can chat?”
Blaze agreed and the next day Maura found herself appraising the house. It was neat and clean in fact it was a gem. It was certainly worth well over a million rand.
“You won’t battle to sell this, when did you list it?” Maura asked.
“Only 3 days ago, I have had a lot of interest but will wait for the right buyer” he said.
“What do you mean the right buyer?”
“Someone who will love it and look after it like I have. I grew up in this house” Blaze said looking around fondly. “It means a lot to me. Both my mother and father have died and it’s too big for me now.” He looked heartbroken.
“Oh sorry” Maura said. A plan was forming in her head. She could convince him to sell the house to her and she could resell it for a fortune. Maura instinctively knew she had to pretend that her and the children would live there to convince him.
As if reading her mind Blaze asked “Are you married, children?” he looked at the ring on her finger.
“Widowed sadly but I have 2 lovely children Becky and John. I would love to buy a house for us, maybe even this one.” She chatted away about them and could see that this was convincing him. Maura was wrestling hard with her conscience. Her greed wanted to her to sign but she had been screwed over too many times in her life. She just couldn’t do it.
Resigning herself to the loss she said “Blaze, I can’t buy this house for the price. You are asking way too little. Add a million onto it and you will still sell” Maura felt relieved and a little sad at the opportunity that she had just given away. But she was honest and good and just couldn’t see herself taking advantage of this lovely man.
Blaze stared at her, making her feel uncomfortable. He surprised her by taking her hand. She looked up at him.
“Maura, I know how much this house is worth. I wanted to find 1 single honest person in this world after having 72 dishonest people through my house in the last 3 days. It’s you” he said. She stared at him as he continued. “My parents left me millions. I am moving to a luxury houseboat in Knysna.” He squeezed her hand. “If you want it – it’s yours. You can have it”.
Maura didn’t know if she could believe him she gasped and hope rose in her chest, tears spilled from her eyes.
“Really?” she whispered.
Within 2 weeks all the papers were signed and Maura and her children moved in. Blaze was invited for dinner. They didn’t have much furniture but that didn’t matter.
“Thank you” Maura said clinking her glass against his. “You have given us much more than you will ever know.”
“And you, me” Blaze said looking around with bright tears in his eyes, the memories replaying in his heart. “And you, me.”