July Theme Of The Month: Great Timing!

Send You Off The Rails

| Nashville, TN, USA | Home Improvement, Liars & Scammers

(I am self-employed in the real estate appraisal business. I have made an FHA appraisal of a home that needs some minor repair. Once the repairs have been made, it will be necessary for me to re-inspect the home to make sure that the repairs have been satisfactorily completed. In this case, I have required that railings be installed around the front porch and stairway because they are several feet above the walkway. Shortly after submitting the appraisal and repair list, I received a call from the seller’s realtor.)

Realtor: “I want to talk to you about the repairs you required. Why do we have to put up stair and porch railings?”

Me: “It’s an FHA requirement. When a home sells with FHA financing, it has to meet minimum safety standards set by FHA.”

Realtor: “Well, I don’t see why they’re necessary. The house already has an FHA loan. Why weren’t the railings required when my client bought the house?”

Me: “I don’t know. Maybe the other appraiser wasn’t paying attention.”

Realtor: “Why can’t you just look the other way?”

Me: “I’m sorry. That’s not the way I do business.”

Realtor: “We’re not going to put up the railings. And that’s that.”

Me: “I understand your frustration, but it seems to be a shame that you’re going to allow this sale to be killed over a few hundred dollars.”

Realtor: *long pause* “Okay, but you can’t charge for the repair inspection.”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Realtor: “I mean if we’re going to pay for a repair that’s clearly not necessary, then the least you can do is waive your fee for the repair inspection.”

Me: “Let me call you right back. I’ll have to talk to my supervisor about this. I don’t know what he’ll say.”

Realtor: “Okay. That will be fine.”

(The realtor doesn’t know that I’m self employed. I wait ten minutes and call the realtor back.)

Realtor: “Hello?”

Me: “Hello. I just spoke to my supervisor and he got mad as h***. I argued on your behalf and he finally agreed to a 50 percent discount on the fee. This is the best I can do. He’s really upset with me.”

Realtor: “A 50 percent discount? Okay. That will be fine.”

(The realtor and seller were good to their word and quickly had the railings installed. On the invoice to the mortgage company, I charged full fee, but wrote in blue ink, ‘This fee represents a 50 percent discount.’ I later did several more appraisals for that realtor. He thought he had gotten the best of me!)

Window Pains

| MA, USA | Crazy Requests, Home Improvement

(A tenant in an office building calls the property management office. It’s autumn, and a bit chilly outside. Not every office in this building has a window, but hers does. Tenants pay more for the larger suites with windows.)

Tenant: “Ever since the heat came on last week, my office has been stifling! Can’t the maintenance do anything?”

Me: “I’m sorry, the office suites do not have individual heat controls. However, I can put in a ticket for maintenance to come and adjust your overhead vent so you don’t have as much warm air coming in.”

Tenant: “Well how long will that be? I’m dying in here!”

Me: “Maintenance is usually able to complete their tickets in a day or two.”

Tenant: “What? He can’t come today? This is completely ridiculous! How do you expect me to work, or see clients? I’m sweating!”

Me: “Well, in the meantime, you could certainly crack a window. It’s nice and cool outside.”

Tenant: “THAT’S NOT WHAT I PAY FOR!”

America’s Favorite Pastime

| Bloomington, IN, USA | School

(I’m a leasing agent for a local management company. A large percentage of our leasees are college students. I am showing a home to 5 students. On the second floor, there are two bathrooms back to back.)

Me: “Here’s the 2nd bathroom.”

Student: “Can we knock the wall down between the two bathrooms?”

Me: “Um, no. I can tell you now that the owner will not do that.”

Student: “Aww, come on. You should at least ask!”

Me: “Why do you want to knock down the wall anyway?”

Student: “So we can do GROUP POOP!”

You’d Better Throw In The Cars, Too

| Kansas City, MO, USA | Uncategorized

Me: “Thank you for calling **** Realtors, this is ****, how may I help you?”

Customer: “Hi, I’m interested in 734 **** Street. Could you tell me more information about it?”

Me: “You must mean 732 **** Street?”

Customer: “No, 734.”

Me: “Does the house have a sign in the yard that says **** Realtors?”

Customer: “No, but the one next door does. I figured I’d just call you guys since you sell houses.”

Me: “Has it occurred to you that somebody probably lives in 734 **** Street?”

Customer: “Well, yeah, but can’t you just, like…give it to me?”

Me: “You want me to call the family and tell them that they have to leave their house because I’m selling it to you?”

Customer: “Yeah, that would be good. And can I move in by Thursday? I’m all packed.”

(It took a good 15 minutes to explain to him that I couldn’t just sell random peoples’ homes.)

All Scrooged Up

| Milwaukee, WI, USA | Top

(My boss is a realtor; she has sign toppers for various occasions. This one happened to be for the Christmas season: “Home for the Holidays”.)

Customer: “I’m calling about the ‘Home for the Holidays’ house.”

Me: “Sure, what’s the address?”

(She reads it to me.)

Me: “Okay, how can I help you?”

Customer: “When can I move in?”

Me: “Excuse me? I’m sorry–do you mean you want to write an offer for the house?”

Customer: “No, it says ‘Home for the Holidays.’ I want to move in before Christmas.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry. We’re not giving the house away, we’re selling it.”

Customer: “Well I can’t afford a house!” *click*