Ask me why I throw away the end of the cucumber?


An experimenter puts 5 monkeys in a large cage. High up at the top of the cage, well beyond the reach of the monkeys, is a bunch of bananas. Underneath the bananas is a ladder.

The monkeys immediately spot the bananas and one begins to climb the ladder. As he does, however, the experimenter sprays him with a stream of cold water. Then, he proceeds to spray each of the other monkeys.

The monkey on the ladder scrambles off. And all 5 sit for a time on the floor, wet, cold, and bewildered. Soon, though, the temptation of the bananas is too great, and another monkey begins to climb the ladder. Again, the experimenter sprays the ambitious monkey with cold water and all the other monkeys as well. When a third monkey tries to climb the ladder, the other monkeys, wanting to avoid the cold spray, pull him off the ladder and beat him.

Now one monkey is removed and a new monkey is introduced to the cage. Spotting the bananas, he naively begins to climb the ladder. The other monkeys pull him off and beat him.

Here’s where it gets interesting. The experimenter removes a second one of the original monkeys from the cage and replaces him with a new monkey. Again, the new monkey begins to climb the ladder and, again, the other monkeys pull him off and beat him – including the monkey who had never been sprayed with the cold water.

By the end of the experiment, none of the original monkeys were left and yet, despite none of them ever experiencing the cold, wet, spray, they had all learned never to try and go for the bananas.

Excerpt from John Stepper’s blog. Full article here


I’m sure many of you have heard about this little experiment with the monkeys?

It made me laugh, but it was also somewhat sobering to see how this mirrors human behaviour at its finest. Does this apply to you?

When you decide “Right, it’s time to sell my property” – do you go online and type “find me an estate agent?” Well, thousands of people do, every month. Why? Because that’s how you sell your property.

Or is it?

Let’s take a quick look at why most people bite the proverbial bullet and approach a real estate agent in the first instance. What is their role in this big deal that is, selling your home? Let’s face it, it IS a big deal!

  1. I don’t know if I will get my price right.

A valid point, and as most people know, it’s difficult to be objective when putting a price on the room where your little girl grew up, or the pond that your husband dug. So it makes sense to get outside help. Logically, though, if your house is similar to Susan’s house in the same area, and she sold it for $100, then chances are, you’re going to get roughly the same for your house. Yes?

The buying public is far more educated than before and you can bet that they do a lot of online research on property prices before they come and see your home. So while your real estate agent will have seen a lot of houses and know the general price, you can go online and have access to most of the same information. Ah, don’t you just love the internet? There are many property portals out there that you can spend days browsing, but if you can target your search and look for houses similar to yours, you will get a surprisingly accurate idea of what Joe Public will pay for your house. And let’s face it, it doesn’t matter what you think your home is worth – it’s worth what a buyer is willing to pay. Estate Agents do have insight and knowledge and can guide you well – but they also want your business. So a wise seller will ask the question (or research themselves) “What else is out there?”

  1. I don’t understand the legalities

Hereby forthwith and hereunder – Good grief man. What a headache. I wonder who does speak Legalese these days. You don’t want anything unforeseen hampering your sale, and you don’t want to be caught short and lose money because you didn’t know any better. A good estate agent should guide you on the completion of the sales agreement (explaining it along the way) and ensure that any other compliance issues are addressed. Again, thanks to our friend Captain Google, you can look up anything you need to know about the legalities by simply typing in “sell my property online.” So if you want to sell your property privately, you can buy or download a sale agreement which will cover the essentials and then… you hand it over to the attorneys. If you have a jacked up conveyancing attorney then you have nothing to worry about.

The estate agents’ reach only extends to this point anyway, as these efficient people know their stuff.

  1. I’m not a peoples person and not sure how to manage viewings and show days.

A very real issue! Selling your property privately means calls and face to face meetings with many strangers. You may not have the time or inclination to handle the calls and deal with tyre kickers or pedantic prospective buyers. Estate Agents are (mostly) very good at filtering out the dross and shielding you from the bargain hunters. But really, if you treat people with respect, get back to them when you need to, and are honest and open, then this temporary discomfort will save you quite literally tens of thousands! For real.

The thought of selling privately will frighten some people, for sure. And we are not naive enough to imagine that these points are the only hurdles. We do encourage you, however, to break down the process into its components and see what you CAN do.

My mom always used to chop off the end of the cucumber and chuck it away. My whole life! One day I asked her why she does that, as it was a habit she had passed down to myself and my sister. She looked at me for a moment… and then said “You know my girl, I actually don’t know. My mom always did that so I figured…”

We have worked hard to put all the information that you need in one place so that you can be that monkey that gets those bananas on top of the ladder. Good luck with your private sale!