Once Upon a Time in the West, an idyllic-sounding title by the film genius Sergio Leone, with an absolutely star-studded cast and the catchy and unforgettable music of Ennio Morricone....in German, the title already took away the film's blameless idyll, the flair of fairy-tale magic. 

Typical German, isn't it?

Do we Germans always take everything so seriously?

I think it's a trait that we Germans are born with (or have in our genes). 

The flair, the slightly mystical, tingling feeling that often surrounds and woos us in real estate, that makes longings and desires speak out in us, that makes us perceive things in a slightly transfigured way, is overrun by naked reality, right up to Spiel mir das Lied vom Tod.

What am I getting at?

Once upon a time there was a wedding couple, the photos and video snapshots of an expensive dream wedding tell and fairy tale "Once upon a time...."

....and a few years later the unspeakable harmonica will play us the song of death. 

And then the appraiser comes into play. The expensively acquired, perhaps newly built flat or house, expensively renovated and modernised, has to be valued. 

As long as people talk to each other and sit down at the same table, it is usually possible to find an acceptable solution for both with a joint appraisal order.

Once the train has left with a loud whistle, however, two lawyers are involved, perhaps also two experts, the avalanche of costs rolls, because once the thing goes under the hammer, there is seldom enough left over for a new start - rather the opposite, if old debts still have to be serviced long after the property has already found new occupants.

As an expert, I regularly appeal to people who are separating: As long as you can still talk, sit down at the table with me, let us do the valuation job together and come to an agreement so that a sensible way of marketing can be found without wastage here and emotional overkill there.

So the appraiser as mediator? So why not. Agreeing is always better than arguing.

(By the way, this also applies to communities of heirs...)

Let's hope that "Once Upon a Time in the West" doesn't turn into "Play Me the Song of Death".

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