The old man and his house

An old man was sick of his house. His wife and children had died there, and all his animals had also died. He said perhaps it was his karma, or perhaps it was just that his house was very bad. Since he did not want to blame himself, the man blamed the house. He felt his house was the cause of all the miseries in his life, and he wanted to sell it. But nobody wanted to buy it because of the high price he was asking. What the man thought was reasonable, others considered too much.

Four years went by. The old man missed his children and wife and all his dear ones who had died, and he cursed the house. At the same time he had no other place to go. He was retired, and he did not have to spend much while living in the house. He had learned how to cook from his wife, who had been the best cook in the world. But still he was miserable in every way.

One day he decided to go to a real estate agency. He told the agent that he would give him a commission if he could sell his house. The agent asked what price he wanted, and he told him.

The agent said that nobody would buy it for that price. When the man said that he could not lower the price, the agent said he could not sell the house for him. Finally the man agreed to lower the price to $40,000 and the agent accepted the challenge.

The agent put an advertisement in the newspaper and a few other places. He made the house seem very beautiful. The description he gave to the house the owner could not believe. He said, “O God, all my life I wanted to have a house like this. How can my house be so beautiful and spacious in every way?” He read the advertisement again and again. Finally he went to the real estate agent and asked, “Is it true that my house is so beautiful?”

The real estate agent replied, “Am I telling lies? Yes, it is.”

The old man said, “If it is so beautiful, let us raise the selling price to $50,000.”

The real estate agent said, “You can raise the price, but then it will take much longer to sell the house.”

The man asked, “How many days will it take to sell the house if I raise the price?”

The agent replied, “If you raise the price, it will take two months.”

The man said, “Can’t you speed it up?”

The agent replied, “No, I cannot.”

The man said, “I will feel very sad if I don’t get $50,000 for such a beautiful house. All right. This is what I will do. Let me give you the $10,000 extra that I had asked you to add to the price of the house. Then you will sell it for $40,000. After it is sold, you will give me the $40,000 plus the $10,000 I am giving you now. In that way I can feel that I sold the house for $50,000.

The real estate agent exclaimed, “Of course!”

So the man gave the agent $10,000. Then the agent said, “Now that you have lowered the price to $40,000 instead of $50,000, I will make a smaller commission. Since this beautiful house is easily worth $50,000, you have to give me the commission for $50,000.

The old man agreed to give him the commission on $50,000, but on the condition that he sell the house in ten days. The real estate agent said, “If I sell it in three days, will you not give me a higher commission?”

The man replied, “I will give you $1,000 extra.”

The agent said, “It will be all sold in three days.”

The man said, “All right, I will give you $500 now and then I will give you the extra $500, plus your commission, when the house is sold.”

The real estate agent took the money, closed down shop and disappeared with $10,500.