You Don’t Get Commission If You Don’t Give Us Houses We Want!

, , , , | Working | January 22, 2021

We are looking to buy a bigger home. We know the location, the type of house we want, and our budget. As the area is very popular, it is just a matter of finding one and making an offer quickly.

We sign on with the local estate agents and I drop them a message.

Me: “We are looking for a house with three good-sized bedrooms and a garden in [Area].”

Agent: “Thanks. I will send over the properties I have that match.”

I get an email the next day. One house isn’t quite what we are looking for, one is an apartment, and one is a two-bed house without a garden.

The next day, he sends me another email.

Agent: “So, what did you think of the properties?”

Me: “To be honest, two of the three weren’t what we asked for. The first one was okay but overpriced for the condition it’s in.”

I copy our requirements again.

Agent: “Oh, okay. I will take a look and send you over some more.”

He did, and we started getting daily emails of all the properties they had. The emails were hit or miss to start with and then quickly got worse each time. In less than a week, none of the properties matched what I was looking for.

It just didn’t make sense, given the size of the area alone. We saw many For Sale signs with the agent’s name on them yet so little being sent over by email. Out of interest, I checked their website. I found dozens of houses, all of them exactly what we were looking for and all listed by the estate agent that was supposed to be helping me.

Taking a closer look, all the properties he sent did have one thing in common: they had his name as the contact on them. He had only been sending me the ones he would get a commission on and not the ones his coworkers were working on! I rang the office, confused.

I explained the issue to the agent who answered. She tried to argue with me and tell me that that wasn’t how it worked and that they wouldn’t do it, etc. I sent over the emails and she promised to come back to me.

A few days later, I got another daily email with properties on, but this time, they were far better and from someone different. A few weeks later, I happened to ask what had happened to the first guy. The agent quickly told me that he had decided to move on.

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Didn’t Listen Property Properly

, , , | Right | January 8, 2021

My roommate and I have applied to rent two different properties but prefer [Property #2] to [Property #1]. Because we put in for [Property #1] first, we have been expecting to hear back from them first.

Real Estate Agent: “Hello, this is [Real Estate Agent] from [Company]. I’m calling to let you know that you have been approved for [Property #2]. It’s yours if you still want it.”

Me: “Thank you so much! I’ll get back to you after I check with my roommate and the other rental we’re waiting to hear from. Thanks again. I’ll let you know soon.”

I speak to my roommate.

Me: “So, we’re approved for [Property #1]. I’m just going to give [Property #2]’s real estate a call to find out where they’re up to with our application.”

I call the number and the same real estate agent that I have just been speaking to answers.

Me: “Hi, this is [My Name]. I have a rental application pending with you and I was just wondering whether you could tell me if it has been processed.”

Real Estate Agent: “Um, as I just told you, you’ve been approved. That means it’s yours if you want it. Have you checked with the other real estate yet?”

Embarrassed, I pause while I hope for the ground to swallow me up.

Real Estate Agent: “You thought I was from the other real estate the first time, didn’t you?”

Me: “Yes.”

Real Estate Agent: “Do you still need to check with them or your roommate?”

Me: “No, yours was the one we wanted. We’ll definitely take it. Thank you.”

After getting off the phone:

Me: *To my roommate* “So, we got [Property #2], but I made a huge fool of myself.”

Roommate: *Excited* “We got [Property #2]?!”

Me: “I’m too mortified to be happy.”

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But Did You Keep The Neon?

, , , | Working | December 1, 2020

We nearly didn’t buy our current house. It had sat on the market for months as it was majorly overpriced. It needed some work, and it didn’t help that the owners had made very personal touches in decor.

We viewed it and the owner gave the tour, harping on about how “exclusive” her horrible kitchen was and how she was remiss, leaving the “dated and chipped” bathroom tiles. She rationalised every neon colour, as if it was the rate museum.

We made a reasonable offer and it was declined. We made another offer. It was declined.

Me: “I’m happy to just walk away from this one.

Wife: “I think we could make our money back in the restoration.”

We talked it over and I agreed, so we made an asking price offer (subject to survey).

This was eventually accepted and I instructed the survey. What I was not expecting was a major list of issues to come back with structural problems.

We talked to the agent and they talked to the owner, who was suspiciously not shocked by this major news. The agent apologised massively and asked if we wanted to withdraw the offer.

What both of them didn’t realize was that we planned to remove all of the problem wall and windows in the renovation, so we made a new offer, lower than the first. It was accepted, and within the first three months of living there, we extended and brought the house back up to standard.

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Designed For Failure

, , , , , | Working | November 16, 2020

I am looking for a photography job, and I find a job posting by a realty company for a camera operator. The description for the position involves photography, videography, and editing, which is perfect for me as I am experienced in those areas. A couple of days after applying, my husband and I are talking with a friend, who is also our realtor. I mention the job I applied for, and the realtor gives me the phone number of the realtor/owner of the company, who he personally knows.

I connect with him over text, and we exchange a few messages.

Owner: “Can you tell me about your experience with design?”

Me: “I’ve used [program] to lay out pages for magazines, newspapers, etc. But can you specify what kind of design you mean?”

“Design” could mean anything: logos, graphics, 3D animation, etc. He then lists two Adobe programs and does not clarify further. I respond that I am not a graphic designer — nor does it mention in my resume anywhere that I have experience with design, just photography and videography — and he doesn’t respond.

I re-read the job listing, thinking I must have not read it very carefully, but nowhere in the listing did it say anything about design or graphic design! If you’re hiring, be specific about what you’re looking for!

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Banking On You Being A Bank

, , | Right | September 2, 2020

We are selling our home due to moving to another state. I have bought and sold several homes in the past and I think I can do it again. I advertise on several home selling sites and I get some of the weirdest responses. 

One man contacts me saying he is interested in the home. He comes to see with his family, and  they tell me they want to buy it. I tell him that’s great and to get his bank or finance company to contact me and we will work it out. 

Prospective Buyer: “Oh, umm, well, I can’t get a loan. My credit is pretty bad.”

Me: “Then how do you expect to buy this house? Cash?”

Prospective Buyer: “I thought maybe I could work out a monthly payment plan with you.”

Me: “I only do the one-payment plan — the whole amount.”

He gets mad at me at this point.

Me: “Sir, I am not a bank nor do I wish to be. Goodbye.”

I get several calls and messages about people wanting to rent from me. I made the ad clear that I was selling the home, not renting, but the one that takes the cake is the following message:

Prospective Buyer: “I saw your ad selling your home. Can I please move in with my children? We are about to be homeless and desperately need a place to stay.”

Me: “I am selling the home, not renting. We are living here and are getting ready to move to another state. I have no desire to be a landlord.”

Prospective Buyer:Please! I need a place to live for my children! We will be homeless. Have a heart! Aren’t you a Christian?! Please let us rent your home. I will pay!”

Me: “Then my children and I will be homeless. I need the money from the sale of this home as down payment for our new home. And yes, I am a Christian, and charity begins at home.”

I blocked him at that point.

I got more requests to rent instead of buy. I made it abundantly clear that I was selling, NOT renting. I was so annoyed that I just hired a real estate agent and let her deal with it. She told me it was normal to get people like that all that time calling wanting to rent. She dealt with over a dozen people who wanted to rent the home, not buy it. I never understood it since it was clearly for sale and not in an area with a lot of rental property.

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