From Scott Carlberg

Spring home selling season is cranking up. There is a corollary with the Santee Cooper sale and selling a home.

Hear me out.

People who have been through the home selling process can relate to the different ways people view the same property. A potential buyer will look at all homes for sale with the same checklist. The seller sees just the one house in all its glory.

A Lake Wobegon Effect? All the men are good looking, children are above average, and all homes get top dollar.

The South Carolina Legislature has the prettiest utility in the U.S., they may believe. It should go for a premium price even if it needs a new roof, new plumbing, foundation work, and remodeled bathrooms.

It’s FOMO. Fear of missing out. A fear that a buyer might not pay what the property is worth in the owner’s eyes. The psychology: No one can appreciate us like, well, us.

Regarding the value of Santee Cooper, one of its executives said this to Senator Setzler in early March, “What it’s worth is what somebody would pay for it.”

Here is a perspective that adds to that: There are more than 150 investor-owned utilities in the U.S. Any or all of them could have bid on Santee Cooper. Two bid. One was gone fairly quick.

Any of those U.S. utilities could have bid. Maybe even the many non-U.S. utilities could have bid. Hmm.

If a buyer does not complete the transaction, the State of South Carolina gets to see what is in Santee Cooper’s walls and closets, to see that those “bones” need expert repair. History says Santee Cooper, and frankly, the State of South Carolina, lack the tools for that repair job.

Slap on the tool belts, policymakers. This house needs decades of work.