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A new social phenomenon in an intense housing market: 'Are you interested in selling?'

Nicole Brodeur, The Seattle Times on

Published in Home and Consumer News

SEATTLE -- Bring me your ghosts and ghouls, your Wonder Women and White Walkers. Bring Pennywise and Eleven, Fake Melania and Harvey Weinstein in a bathrobe.

Nothing this Halloween will scare me as much as The People Who Want My House.

Three times in the last few weeks, someone has asked, point-blank and apropos of nothing, if I was interested in selling the little farmhouse I've owned for 12 years.

It started a few weeks ago when friends came for dinner, and I realized that what they were really hungry for were the keys to my crib.

For most of the meal, they told me of their struggle to buy a house in the Wild West town that the Seattle housing market has become. The money they had scraped together but that didn't feel like enough. The roaming hordes of buyers they encountered at every Open House. The bidding wars. The disappointment. The starting over.

I nodded sympathetically and kept their wine glasses full.

Then the wife drained her glass, set it down and looked me square in the eye: "Are you interested in selling your house?"

Uh ... no, I told her. But can I offer you some dessert?

A week later at Benaroya Hall, I struck up a conversation with a woman who had just moved here from Minnesota. She asked me where I lived, how long I had been in Seattle and then, without missing a beat:

"Are you interested in selling your house?"

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