Replying Is Not Safe As Houses

| Working | November 16, 2016

(I call an estate agent about a property I’d like to view. Note that it’s Tuesday afternoon.)

Agent: “So what times could you view the property?”

Me: “Weekend is best for me.”

Agent: “Would 9:30 am on Saturday be okay?”

Me: “Yep, that’s perfect.”

Agent: “Great. I’ll send you a confirmatory email now and I will see you at 9:30 am on Saturday.”

Me: “Okay, great. See you then.”

(I see an email later that day and skim through it, noting the time, date, and address but – rather stupidly – not really reading it in detail. Fast forward to Saturday morning. At about 9:25 am, just as I’m coming up the road to the property, the estate agent calls me.)

Agent: “Hello. Just to check if you are going to the viewing of [Address] today?”

Me: “Yep. In fact, I’m nearly at the front of the property.”

Agent: “Oh, wait. You are?”

Me: “Yes.”

Agent: “Oh. I didn’t think you were coming.”

Me: “Sorry?”

Agent: “You didn’t reply to the email to confirm you were coming.”

Me: “Oh. Sorry. My fault; I obviously didn’t read it properly. But, uh, we agreed the time and date on the phone and you said the email was confirmatory so I didn’t think to see if you were expecting a reply… Um, so is there a viewing? I mean, I’m kind of here now.”

Agent: “Well, I didn’t think you were going so I can’t make it.”

Me: “Uh… then why did you phone to ask if I was coming?”

Agent: “Just in case you were.”

Me: “But if you can’t make it and didn’t think I was coming, why did you wait until five minutes before the viewing to phone?”

Agent: “Well, just in case you were coming.”

Me: “Okay, but, uh, if you’re not going to show me the property then is there a viewing at all?”

Agent: “Well, we told the current tenants you might turn up. They can show you around.”

Me: “Um, okay. If they don’t mind then that’s fine. Thanks.”

(I ring the doorbell and a woman answers.)

Me: “Hi. Uh, [Estate Agent] said she told you I was coming to view the property.”

Tenant: “Oh. No, she didn’t. We’ve not heard of any viewings today. Is she around?”

Me: “No. She didn’t think I was coming for some reason but she rang me just now to ask me if I was and told me she’d told you I might be coming. Don’t worry. I think there’s been a lot of crossed wires and I don’t want to put you out.”

Tenant: “No, it’s all right. Come on up. You’ve come all this way so you might as well have a look. I’ll speak to her and the landlord later about notifying us of people coming for viewings.”

(It turned out to be for the best that the tenants showed me around as they told me the rather interesting tidbit of the fact that the property leaked at least once a year. To be fair to the estate agent, I re-read the email later and true to her word, there was a line at the end of it asking me to confirm my attendance. I still don’t understand why she phoned me five minutes before the viewing or why she told me she’d notified the tenants when she hadn’t, but maybe I’m missing something.)

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Tourist Un-attraction

| Working | November 6, 2014

(I am viewing properties in an area I will be moving to for work. I am currently looking at a character stone cottage just off the High Street of a very tourist-ey town. I will be managing a tourist attraction so I’m looking for somewhere quiet and out-of-the way as I will want to relax out of work.)

Estate Agent: “So, as you can see, this is off the main thoroughfare, and it’s quiet.”

Me: “Yep. So far, so good.”

(Suddenly there is a flash through the window from outside. I go over to look and notice two well-heeled tourists – clutching brochures for the nearby castle – snapping pictures of the cottages, including the one I’m viewing. They notice me looking and wave apologetically, and mouth ‘sorry’ before continuing down the street, taking close-ups of house names, hanging baskets, window beds etc.)

Estate Agent: “Yeah, you’ll get a lot of that come the summer.”

Me: “So, it’s not out of the way at all?”

Estate Agent: “Well, it isn’t on the high street. Anyway it adds a certain prestige, don’t you think?”

Me: “Er, no.”

Estate Agent: “Wouldn’t you be proud to live in such a well-regarded street?”

Me: “Um, well-regarded is good, but since I’ll be working in a tourist attraction I don’t really think I want to live in one, too. If people come down here just to look in the summer, it’d be like being a goldfish in a bowl.”

Estate Agent: “Well, I think you’re mad. You’d have to be a f****** looney not to put an offer in at the price!”

Me: “Thanks for that. I think I’m done here.”

Estate Agent: “So, you want to make an offer then?”

Me: “Not really.”

Estate Agent: “Great! I’ll wait for you to get in touch with the office!”

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