plumber

A plumber fixing a sink.

Having been married to a plumber for over a year now (please hold the applause), I’ve learned a few things about the trade. Don’t get me wrong — I know nothing about how to auger out a drain (I’m not even sure if that is the proper terminology for it), but I do know that I should never attempt to rebuild a shower head myself. Neither should anyone else. Unless they are an actual plumber.

Just a few days ago, my plumber husband (as opposed to my hunter husband, who is currently somewhere in the mountains playing with his friends and pretending to hunt) came home frustrated because, once again, he had spent a good amount of time assessing a plumbing problem and bidding it out only to be told that this person’s brother-in-law would be willing to do it for $50 and a six-pack.

Of course, he knows what happens next. It’s almost formulaic. Said bro-in-law screws up the plumbing and plumber husband must, not only fix the initial problem, but also fix the screw up, which ends up costing the customer more than it would have initially cost had he just used an experienced, licensed professional to begin with. In this case, I guess you get what you pay for.

Another interesting trend I have noticed while driving down the freeway on various occasions is the “rebate” offer for real estate buyers. Interesting. Let’s apply this, just for fun, to my plumber husband’s profession. If he bid out a job to install a new water pressure regulator valve at $250 and then agreed to rebate his customer $175 of that $200, assuming the part was $50, then he is making $25 for three hours of his time. That ends up being about $8.33 an hour. If he is willing to work for this, he must not be a professional. But he’s not willing to work for that kind of pay because he is trained, licensed and experienced. I bet my niece’s boyfriend, who is just starting college would take $8.33 an hour, though. He hasn’t had much experience, but he can YouTube it, and he needs the gas money. Later, when the homeowner’s pipes burst due to too much water pressure, there is really nothing to be done about it, since my niece has since broken up with her boyfriend and he is on to his next job taking orders at Big Ben’s Drive Thru Burgers.

Last night I walked through a listing that one of my colleagues has. I was reciprocating what she had done for me. Each of us has a sincere desire to help our individual clients sell their homes. We wanted honest feedback about what, if anything, needed to change to get it sold. We each made lists of a few things that may be helpful. One of them was replacing hardware on doors and cabinets. This is something the Realtor is going to do. The client has already moved out of state and it would not be convenient for her to fly back just to change out the hardware. After spending many a late night rearranging furniture, wiping off fingerprints on the stainless appliances, and bringing in my plumber husband to fix a leaking faucet, we are both ready to get these listings sold. I’m confident it will happen now. These are not services that your “Rebate Realtor” would provide.

In retrospect, no wonder my plumber husband is now my hunter husband. Last week he not only fixed the leaking faucet, but he also helped me move a client’s fridge and hook up another client’s washer and dryer. In my defense, I warned him before we got hitched what he was getting into. He said he was fine with it … as long as he could go “hunting.”

Jen Kirchhoefer is an associate broker and Realtor. She can be reached at 801-645-2134 orjenkirchh@gmail.com

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