Listen to this article as read by the author.
The real estate agent told me not to bother cleaning the house. All the serious buyers would be developers, he said: they’d only knock it down. They’d cut down the row of feijoas and the Japanese maple and build all the way to the fence on three sides. And they’d go up, of course, to take advantage of the views. A corner block on the highest hill in the inner east? Tell your dad he’s laughing.
He was trying to be kind, this real estate agent. He said developers would see past the fuzz-covered cereal bowls that were cemented onto the benchtops, and the sodden carpet and the caved-in ceiling. The stench wouldn’t put them off, either. I should give myself a break, he said. Don’t kill yourself cleaning. Just get rid of the rubbish and make sure it’s safe for potential buyers to walk around.