It would be presumptuous and probably sacrilegious to try to ascribe to Jesus traits that were not expressly indicated in the Bible, however, one could respectfully surmise from Biblical principles what HE might do. A few steps that Jesus might take if HE were a real estate home seller:
Sometimes there is little choice about selling a house, one MUST. Change of job or circumstance forces prudent action. But as Jesus said, “not my will, but Thine be done” – one should always seek God’s will for such monumental decisions.
There is a Biblical concept that is used quite frequently by folks, often referred to as the “Golden Rule” – that is, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. This principle can be applied to many different things but at minimum applies to someone selling their home. (Luke 6:31) What are the implications for a home seller to live out the “Golden Rule”?
- Honesty – in most states one must complete a Sellers Disclosure (document) that lists the various known features and problems with a house. The ‘rubber meets the road’ for the Seller, as related to honesty, integrity, and responsibility when this document is completed. (Proverbs 19:5) One might ponder – if I have to be totally honest then how can I make a profit? Or how can I possibly provide all the information that I know about the house? Yes, this a hard decision to make but it becomes easier when we consider the Golden Rule – if you were the Buyer what would you want the Seller to tell you about the house? That complete and transparent information should be stated. Jesus would certainly make right the wrongs and represent in complete honesty the homes’ problems.
- A fair price – certainly the ‘market’ establishes prices, and a good Realtor® should assist the Seller to understand
what value to price the house. Certainly the Seller has the right to sell the house for whatever the market will bear;
however, selling a house at huge profit when the condition is misrepresented is not what Jesus would do. (Proverbs 28:8)
- Would not defraud the mortgage company – personal responsibility is a tenant of Biblical principle. When one makes a commitment to purchase a house they should fulfill their commitment, no matter the circumstance or outcome. (Psalms 37:21; Eccl. 5:4,5) Personal integrity is more valuable. (Proverbs 10:9; Proverbs 11:3) One might ask, why? Why should I take a loss on a bad investment? Because ultimately we will give an account to the holy, righteous God. In the scheme of eternity, the losses of a house (or other investments) are minutia (II Corinthians 5:10). HOWEVER, there are valid criteria by-which a party may request Short-Sale (see Qualifying for Short Sales). Assuming one does not deceive or defraud in order to obtain a short sale then we must conclude that it becomes an “agreement” of the parties and an honest attempt to fulfill ones obligations.
- ‘What goes around comes around’ – this saying is also, ultimately, a Biblical concept as stated in Galatians 6:7. It is closely related to the “Golden Rule” discussed previously and it implies that ultimately there is a just judgment made upon our actions.
The Bible has much to say about work and debt; a combination of these concepts provides understanding treatment of lenders:
The Bible often refers to investing and making wise use of one’s money.
The Bible has much to say about treating people with respect, dignity, and fairness.
- Dealing in complete honesty (Proverbs 12:22)
The Bible is very clear about honesty and speaking in truth. It was one of the ten commandments!
- Rejoice in a win-win situation (Psalms 20:4,5)
God is sovereign over the affairs of all men, not one against another. One should not exploit others.
The Bible talks about making commitments and keeping them.
The Bible talks about being content whether rich or poor. The purchase of a new home is the time to be grateful and content.