I’ve had a lot of experiences in the property market, worked a number of jobs and filled a lot of different roles. I’ve seen prices rise, fall, rise, rise some more and then rise again. I used to sell houses to Baby Boomers before they were actually called that, back in my real estate days. When I realised that Melbourne’s conveyancing lawyers needed some manpower, I switched careers to keep things fresh.
Still, in all my years, I’ve never seen anyone who seems terrified at finally owning a home. The handing over of the keys is always an important moment, as you’d expect. It sort of completes the whole process, without paperwork. We do all the conveyancing, everything is set in order, the house is cleaned up and ready to go (not by us, of course) and the only thing left to do is hand over the keys. Everyone else I’ve ever been through this process with has been overjoyed. Some show it less, but even the grumpiest, most un-emotional people seem to have a bit of new life when they get those little shiny objects that mean they no longer have to rent, and an entire house is theirs.
Well, all except this family. There were four of them, parents and two older children. I had three sets, and it took a bit of prodding from the others before the father would even come forward. I offered the other sets to the rest of them, but they seemed to shrink and didn’t take them. The father took the rest like they were about to explode. I asked if something was wrong, and he attempted a laugh as he explained that it was a huge responsibility, owning keys. Anything could happen. They knew the conveyancing process involved this, but perhaps they weren’t ready.
Eventually I got them out the door, after which I realised that he’d dropped a pair in the car park on the way out. And now, I’m worried. Conveyancing solicitors can’t really do much for people locked out in the rain.