I got really close to making an offer on a house last week, but then I didn’t–the house still had the original 1939 knob and tube wiring and a fuse box.
In the course of finding out about the wiring, my awesome agent forwarded me the emails she got from the seller’s agent, in which I (the buyer) was always referred to “he.” For example: “If the buyer wants to call the guy who inspected the wiring, he can reach that guy* at…” and “If the buyer wants a house with updated wiring, he might need to look at new construction.” (That one’s an actual quote.)**
My realtor is a woman so I haven’t had to deal with any of the “Buying a house all by yourself, little lady?” attitude that you get in a conservative state. I just thought it was interesting that the default for the (male) seller’s agent was “he.”
So the house hunt continues, even though I am not a man.
*That guy was described as an “Army electrician and jack of most trades.” Um, shouldn’t that job description have been “licensed electrician”?
**For the love of god. I don’t need NEW wiring; just wiring that isn’t a fire hazard.
Aaah, your house could burn down at any minute, Jason!!
Just kidding. Mostly. 😉
If there were a chance of the realtor even knowing that “he” was more old-fashionedly correct than “they,” I would have been happy. But judging from his prose in the emails, I would say that’s impossible. I love that you tried to put a positive spin on things with grammar, though.
Ahem. My house still has 1930s-vintage knob-and-tube wiring and a fuse box. Well, half of it does, anyhow. Dad always replaced systems as they failed, not as The Man told him it was time to update… 🙂
Seriously, though, the male pronoun thing is pretty off-putting. Maybe the person sending those emails is simply practicing the old-fashioned generic rule? Which is sexist, too, but maybe not quite as objectionable as the “little lady buying a big old house by herself?!” thing. Maybe. Or maybe not.
I’ll shut up now…
I’m glad to hear that the house hunt is going well and that you’ve got a good realtor. And seriously, why not just say “If the buyer has questions about wiring, *they* should contact such-and-such”?
Seriously! I mean, it’s 2010. “Ladies can do stuff now and you’re just going to have to deal with it.”
You’re not alone. The first time I bought a house the realtor (man) kept answering my questions by talking to my mom instead of me. The next time we bought a house and went the closing the attorney handed everything to sign to my hubby, who slid it over the table to me. Sheesh!
A woman? Buying a house? On her own? What is the world coming to?