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The Customers Flipped, Not The Houses

, , , , , | Right | June 12, 2022

I get an appointment set for me to show a new property to a prospective buyer. I get to the house a little early, just to check that everything is in order and familiarise myself with the layout.

I don’t get long as I can see the couple walk up to the house. I don’t recognise the man, but the woman is certainly very familiar. I can’t put my finger on it, until she starts complaining… about everything.

Then, I remember: I showed both of them a number of properties a while back, and she complained about each and every one of them. It was about stupid things, like the owner’s pictures not “suiting the room.”

I put on a smile and show them around. The woman starts complaining immediately. Great.

As I’m doing my best to sell the property, I realise that, actually, it really is a great house with lots of potential. It needs some work, but any money spent on it would dramatically increase the value. You could flip this for a lot of money and in a market with a massive target customer base.

I point all this out to them. The woman sneers and tells me it’s “not worth it” or “too much work.”

They go away to think about it, but they tell me, “This isn’t the one for them,” and, “It’s way overpriced.”

I think about it the next week and check with my boss if I can put in an offer myself. 

There are some hurdles to jump through, but yes, I can! But I wouldn’t be able show the house anymore. If that meant I didn’t have to deal with that couple again, fine by me!

My offer goes in at the asking price and my coworker takes over the house.

Later, my coworker tells me the couple did put an offer in, way below asking. They were told that another offer at asking price was received. They would go away and come back with a little extra, only to be told that, no, an asking price offer had been received. 

Eventually, they put in an offer £1,000 above asking. My coworker diligently calls the owners to let them know.

I’m a little worried about getting into a bidding war, but to my surprise, they say no. They have a buyer and don’t want to accept and lose me.

My coworker lets the couple know and they lose it. They start going off how it’s overpriced and how the owners should just accept their offer and it should be accepted automatically as it’s the highest. They are reminded that it isn’t their house yet, and the current owners get to decide who buys their house.

Thankfully, they don’t come back. I buy the house.

I have been living here for nine months now. I plan to do the improvements over the next few years and hopefully sell without attracting any more potential buyers like the couple!

Lots To Unpack Here

, , , , | Working | April 14, 2022

I have just purchased and moved into my first home. I’m working on unpacking boxes when there is a knock at the door. I am a young-looking female. Most people guess my age to be about five years younger than I actually am.

Salesman: “Good afternoon! Is your mother home?”

Me: “Probably not, but she lives in another state, so I’m not certain. Is there something I can help you with?”

Salesman: “Ah. Is the homeowner around?”

Me: “Yes, I am the homeowner. How can I help you?”

Salesman: “Oh! Uh… well, I’m a real estate agent, and I’ve got several wonderful homes on the market!” *Hands me a flyer* “If you want to stop renting, I can help you purchase a home!”

Me: “Actually, I just purchased this home. I’m not renting.”

I gesture to the stacks of boxes behind me, indicating that I have just moved in.

Salesman: “Oh! Wonderful! Er, congratulations! Well, do you have any friends in the area looking to buy a home?” 

Once again, I gesture to the boxes behind me.

Me: “I literally just moved in, sir. I don’t know anyone yet.”

Salesman: “Oh. Right. Well, if you meet anyone looking to buy a home, could you pass that flyer along?”

Me: “Er… sure… Have a good day, sir.”

I’d wager he went on a break after that. Hopefully, he stops making assumptions about people.

Unable To Mort-Gauge How The Process Works

, , , , | Right | April 11, 2022

I’m showing someone around my house, which is up for sale. We get around 90% of the property. Now we’re just chatting informally about the area, how long we’ve lived here, what they are looking for in a property, etc. They turn around to ask me:

Viewer: “How much is it a month?”

Me: “You mean like the mortgage?”

Viewer: “Mortgage, rent, whatever.”

Me: “Well, it’s not available for rent, and the mortgage depends on how much you borrow.”

Viewer: “Well, how much would it be for the full price?”

Me: “That would depend on your deposit and what deal you could get, I guess. You should probably talk to a bank or the estate agent to get a price.”

Viewer: “Hmm, maybe.”

I show them the rest of the house. As we are finishing:

Viewer: “So, what’s the deal with the furniture?”

Me: “Sorry?”

Viewer: “Does it come fully furnished? I’m renting at the moment and don’t have any furniture.”

Me: “I could be persuaded to leave a few items. But that would have to be on an offer at asking price.”

They seem to think about it a bit and leave.

I catch up with the estate agent.

Estate Agent: “The viewer is keen, but we can’t put forward any of the offers they’ve made.”

Me: “That’s weird; I always thought you were obliged to.”

Estate Agent: “Yes, but they keep trying to offer monthly amounts. We explained that wasn’t how you buy a house, but they kept coming back offering slightly more.”

After a few weeks, I got a nasty note through the door from the viewer, complaining about messing them around!

Always Confirm The Rumors First

, , , , | Working | April 9, 2022

From when I was four until I was about thirteen, my father worked for a non-profit religious organization. This wasn’t the usual “famous preacher”-type organization, and employees weren’t paid all that much, nor did the organization have a ton of money for property. But they did get a significant donation allowing them to move out of their office building (which was on the verge of needing to be condemned) and into a defunct Catholic seminary in rural Missouri.

We were living in Florida at the time and my parents were asked to work at the new headquarters, so my family became the “lead” to go scout out the area for housing.

My father found a realtor and answered the usual question about price ranges for a house. Then, he started showing us places. I remember one really trashy house that had a dirt basement. The main floor in the house was so warped that it was like there was a hill in the middle of the house. The asking price was that of a well-kept modern five-bedroom house. Everything we looked at was overpriced by three or four times what you could get a house for elsewhere. 

My parents tried a different realtor. We walked into the office and my dad asked about their listings.

Agent: “Yes! We have a listing!”

One. One listing for a real estate office. I was only about twelve and even I knew this was ridiculous. And there were several more agencies just like this one.

Lest this seem like an episode of “The Twilight Zone” with property values gone mad, here’s the reason: rumor went around the town that a major corporation took over the seminary and rich executives were going to be paid to relocate. Based only on the rumor, people opened real estate offices and homeowners jacked prices to insane levels.

My parents cancelled relocating there and we returned to Grand Rapids. It would be well over a year before the actual move happened, and by then, my father had taken a different job. My dad’s best friend became the head of the organization and, in the end, his was the only family to make the move. I guess they just hired people who already lived nearby.

Congratulations! Now You Won’t Sell Me ANYTHING!

, , , , , | Working | April 8, 2022

A few years ago, we decided to bite the bullet and start paying a mortgage instead of someone else’s mortgage. We contacted a few reputable estate companies with a long list of our requirements. This would be our first time buying and we’d been planning what we wanted our dream house to look like.

One company’s agent requested we send her a text message and supplied her number, and then she told me I should resend our list of requirements as a WhatsApp message since it was so long.

The next communication I received from her was being added to a group with a few hundred other people, and she started spamming the group with several MLM pitches. She was involved with everything from Tupperware to Avon.

I was pissed off. I am very conscious of my privacy. I absolutely hate bulk emails where my email address was being shared with that person’s entire phonebook, as I know a lot of data mining happens and these details get sold off to spammers and less reputable companies.

I was considering simply leaving the group and blocking the estate agent, but the longer I thought about it, the more I thought about how it reflected badly on the company. She was creating the impression that being an estate agent for this company obviously didn’t pay enough to survive on, but she was also abusing the information given to her by people assumed to be financially secure enough to want to buy a house. I sent an email to head office explaining how she poisoned my perception of their company, but I didn’t expect a reply.

Instead, I received a call from the manager, not of that branch, but the top of the management chain, who apologised and said this wasn’t the image they wanted to create. The manager told me the estate agent would be reprimanded.

Soon after that, I was suddenly removed from the MLM shilling group and blocked by the agent. I received a lackluster not-even-an-apology email from her manager who just said they didn’t know how they could find us a home without any requirements.

I was done with this by then and just never responded.