Lesson #26 – Buyers….and Sellers…BEWARE!

for saleHonestly, I can say I have never met a realtor I have really liked.  I probably should say I have never worked with a realtor I have really liked.   Realtors are a breed unto themselves.  They just are.  I may get strong feedback from this blog.

We have dealt with quite a few realtors over the years.  My husband and I have moved a lot. Once within Florida, then to North Carolina, to Phoenix, to Georgia, to jolly old England, back to Georgia, to North Carolina and we are presently planning a move back to Georgia!  Whew!  Oops….let’s not forget our South Carolina digs.  We have been represented by realtors for each of our moves on both sides of the aisle….buying and selling.

Some realtors are better than others of course but in different ways. Generally speaking now, I just don’t get along with realtors.  I’m sure they haven’t liked me either because I expect a lot from realtors.  I expect them to actually do what they promise they will do in that ‘getting to know me’ talk they like to have to sell their services and to tell the prospective client how they excel above all other realtors.  After that interview, realtors change drastically. What’s up with that?

They sell you and everything always sounds peachy but when you get down and dirty, they  have always fallen short for us.

Case in point. Take, for instance, the selling of our Marietta home. Our realtor went on vacation to the beach with her family. Sounds like fun doesn’t it? Well, as luck would have it, we received an offer while our realtor was soaking up the sun! (Hasn’t anyone told her you can get skin cancer later in life if you soak up the sun??) Anyway, we called her substitute who didn’t seem up to snuff with our details and we asked to speak to our ‘real’ realtor! Nope! Can’t! E x c u s e me????? You say, ‘we can’t’??? We were in the middle of negotiations and she, apparently, was in the middle of preparing her skin for cancer. She had left word that she was not to be disturbed. No phone calls PERIOD. Needless to say we were not happy with our realtor. That’s not really accurate. We were going to !#^*<“:/ her.

Realtors tend to leave out important information. We always sign them up to have our very own realtor. We feel so secure having our own buyer’s agent. A cozy feeling. Like having a boyfriend when you are 16. Nice. Silly us. For example, a bit of information for all those home buyers out there contemplating moving to Arizona….you should not buy a home with a flat roof. Not a good idea! Hot, sun, sun, hot! What did we buy? A home with a flat roof! No wonder we got a terrific buy on that house. Our realtor neglected to let us in on that little secret.

Also, there was the time back when when we bought our home in Greensboro. Our realtor didn’t share with us that the man who owned the house actually committed suicide in the master bedroom. It was apparently quite messy but this house was all repainted, new roof, floors all refinished. Well, no wonder! We found out the day we were moving out that this poor man had decided to end his life in MY bedroom. So sad really but this would have been nice to know. Not sure if it would have changed our mind to buy it but it would have caused us to think about it all. Maybe everyone in the hood was playing a joke on us! By the way, interestingly, the character of Captain Quig played by Bogart (The Caine Mutiny) was actually based on this fellow’s experiences in the Navy! The author of that book, Herman Wouk, apparently served under this man. Sad right? My thoughts when we learned about this sad occurrence included that this house was now a happier one having had my family live in it.

Another thing. Realtors always, always, always want to list our houses lower than I think we should list them. I look at comps and compare homes in a ‘buyer frame of mind’ and I have always come up with a price higher than our realtor’s. By the way, we have always sold our homes very very quickly and close to asking price. I don’t get this. You would think realtors would want a higher asking price and, therefore, would end up with more money in their pocket. Nope. Faster selling and more homes sold is the way ‘my’ realtors have played the game. I guess I see their point but come on! One realtor told us we should lower the price after two weeks if we hadn’t gotten an offer. No, I don’t think so.

We had a realtor that jumped the gun at every turn. If we decided to put the ‘Coming Soon’ sign out front on Day 14….oops….on Day 4 there it was out front planted deep for all to see including my husband who was working on the front lawn planting, mulching, and generally fixing up. A bit awkward to have neighbors and drivers by gawking at a lawn that may not have been up to snuff.
Really? The realtor gave no apology but just mumbled that it was a ‘silly’ mistake and not to worry! GRRRRRRR. Easy for her to say. Our house was ‘coming’ for about a month. Talk about long time coming.

Have you ever had a realtor that just doesn’t seem in tune? Maybe I should ask in a different way. Have you ever had a realtor that isn’t ‘quick’ and you think that maybe, just maybe, they became a realtor to avoid the draft? Wait, wrong career and completely wrong era. The problem with this is that I don’t get angry or annoyed as much as I feel disbelief. I will admit here that we have always worked with the female realtor and once with a male realtor. I feel like shaking the out of tune realtor and yell ‘get a grip’! ‘Get on the ball, get with the program’, or just a ‘H E L L O…..anyone there????’ Is this unkind? I think not when we end up doing what we thought would be done by our realtor. I am feeling a bit sheepish now having written this. Sometimes the truth from my perspective hurts. I don’t want to be unkind but my husband worked in customer service for most of his working life and it just is astounding how little people are concerned about cs nowadays. I don’t think we expect too much from people. We just expect what they sold us on that first day. That’s all. Nothing more.

A realtor helps people buy and sell ‘real’ property vs. ‘fake’ property. We appreciate what they do but hey you realtors out there. You happen to have a bad rap or is it rep? If you don’t like young children in your nice new van, maybe, just maybe, you shouldn’t be selling real estate (yep this happened to us too when my children were youngins and we had the necessary Cheerios to keep everyone happy!) I still remember that realtor telling us that she didn’t ‘allow’ food in her car!

Perhaps, too, realtors should put more thought into purchasing that ‘thank you’ gift they bring you after they get the closing check. Consider if you wish to bring a gift for our children, two small gifts is better than one larger one that they can argue over. Maybe flowers or a gift certificate for a local restaurant or even nothing at all. Do realtors still bring gifts to the new homeowner? Probably not. I may be showing my age. My memory is from eons ago.

We will continue to use realtors and keep signing up our own buyer agents in hopes they will truly give us some morsel of insights and the low down on the sellers or the property. I have to mention here my daughter and SIL just sold their house ‘by owner’ and did quite well not hiring a realtor. They did agree to pay the 3 percent to agents who brought sellers which ended up being the case. But I guess 3 is better than six no doubt. With all the sites that are set up to sell real estate it’s a wonder realtors make any money at all. It’s more important than ever to step up their game. I say this with all due respect.

In spite of all of the above, I have always wanted to work on getting my real estate license. I heard it wasn’t easy. My father got his license in Florida and even he (having been a member of MENSA) failed it the first time out. The problem is if I were to get my real estate license, I would have to work. I just don’t have time to work!! Seriously, no time at all.


P.S. A note to my realtor friends and family:   There are exceptions to every rule!

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