The House Doesn’t Win

| England, UK | Working | November 27, 2015

(I’m selling my house. When you arrange these with estate agents they are very keen to show you what houses they have to sell, as they would make more money.)

Estate Agent: “So where are you looking to buy?”

Me: “It is in [Area]. I have seen some great properties there already. We are looking for…” *I give him the house specifics*

Estate Agent: “That’s great. I think we have a house that would be suitable for you. What is your budget?”

Me: “Well, it is £190,000.”

Estate Agent: “Okay, so, is that the maximum you can pay?”

Me: *hesitantly* “Well, I suppose we could stretch to £200,000 if you found me the right house, but 190 is where we want to be. I have met with my bank and mortgage advisors, and have set budgets around this. 190 is ideal.”

Estate Agent: “Okay. I’m going to send you the details of a house. Take a look. It is slightly over budget but it looks great.”

(He later sends me the details. The house is nothing special but it is £45,000 over what I had stated. Annoyed that the agent didn’t bother to listen to me, I delete the email and forget about it. Later that week, I get another phone call.)

Estate Agent: “Hi, it’s [Estate Agent] from [Agency]. What did you think about the property I sent you?”

Me: “To be honest, it’s far too expensive. There are several properties available in the area all for less money. And I note that the owners will not take any offers.”

Estate Agent: *seemingly ignoring me* “Well, it is a great house, and if you come in and see our mortgage advisor maybe she can help you borrow more money.” *again a trick to earn them more money from a sale*

Me: “To be honest, I have already looked into this and that won’t be necessary. I know the repayments and 190 is affordable for us.”

Estate Agent: “I’m going to look at time slots for you with our advisor anyway. You might find it really helpful to speak with her, and I’m sure she can get you that extra money.

Me: “No! Thank you! I have an advisor and I don’t need the advice. 190 is our price and I would like to stick to it.”

Estate Agent: “Are you sure? The house is a great property!”

Me: “I will be perfectly clear with you. The house, in my opinion is massively overpriced. I have seen three other houses that offer more for less money. I don’t want to get into debt we cannot afford for a mediocre house!”

Estate Agent: *shocked* “Oh, okay. Well, I think you are missing out. But let me send you other properties we have.”

(I did receive details of other properties, all over budget, and very few actually met our brief. I kept getting calls about houses in the wrong area and completely unsuitable for us. I eventually found a great property that we liked marketed by someone else. When the first agent found out, they had the cheek to ask if they could contact the owner (so they could make money on that as well).)

A Real Live Christmas Tree

| MD, USA | Working | December 27, 2014

(I am an employee at this office. One day I walk in to see the receptionist taking wire cutters to an unassembled Christmas tree.)

Me: “Hey, [Receptionist]. What are you doing?”

Receptionist: “The lights burnt out so I’m cutting them off and will string some new ones on.”

Me: “Can’t you just replace the bulbs?”

Receptionist: *looking at me perplexed* “I don’t know.”

(I reach over, and pull one of the lights out of the socket and show him.)

Me: “Yup! You can!”

Receptionist: “Oh. Um… Well, I’ve already been cutting them off”

Me: “Are you going to cut and remove the power cord?”

Receptionist: “No. We want it to still turn, I think.”

Me: “That would be a fire and shock hazard to have all those open wires. What if someone touches one?”

Receptionist: “Oh… well. I’ll have to ask [Boss who knows nothing about technology].”

(Last I knew they were still going to put it up and plug it in. Here’s hoping no one touched it!)

Making A Song And Dance About Rent

| NSW, Australia | Working | September 25, 2014

(I’m a university student. I am out of town to stay with family for a few weeks, and my house that I rent was sold from a previous owner to a real estate firm, where I now need to pay my rent. Because I’ve been out of town, I didn’t get a letter from them and I was a few weeks behind on rent, so they called me.)

Realty: “Hello? Is this [My Name]?”

Me: “It certainly is! How can I help you?”

Realty: “You need to give us three weeks of rent NOW!”

Me: “Um, excuse me? I was told I’d be contacted regarding my new rent agreement…”

Realty: “Didn’t you get a letter?! We need the money now!”

(It turns out my housemate didn’t tell me about the letter either, so I was in the wrong there and agreed to pay the missing weeks plus rent for the next fortnight, which came up to over $700, almost all of my savings from my student payments. I transferred it that day to the account they gave me in an email. The next day…)

Realty: “Hello? Is this [My Name]?”

Me: “Yes it is. How can I help?”

Realty: “You still owe us over 21 days of rent! When will you be paying us?”

Me: “Now, hang on; I paid all of my rent to you yesterday. I even sent a receipt in an email as proof.”

Realty: “Well, I haven’t seen that email!”

Me: “You sent me a reply of ‘thanks.'”

Realty: “Um… well, that should be in order then.”

(And now today…)

Realty: “Hello? [My Name]?”

Me: “Yes, that’s me.”

Realty: “Your rent is still overdue! When are you going to pay us for the missing 21 days?!”

Me: “I’ve sent it to you! I sent both you and another employee that called! I don’t owe you any more money for the next fortnight!”

Realty: “Where did you pay it to?”

Me: “I sent an Internet transfer to the account YOU emailed me!”

Realty: “You mean [Account Number]?” *pauses* “Oh. I see your email. You put in the wrong number! Didn’t you check the number?! It has a two after the first digit and you left it out!”

Me: *checks her email* “There’s no two anywhere in this account number you sent me.”

(There is a silence as I assume she checks the email.)

Realty: “… I’ll mark your file as ‘not your fault.’ Make sure you pay us when the payment bounces back to you. Have a nice day.”

(Hopefully they leave me alone and I actually get that payment back! I’m moving out to a different realty next month!)

When Daleks Move Out

| USA | Working | June 2, 2014

(Though English is my native tongue, I’m also fluent in several other languages and sometimes get my words mixed up. I’m moving out of my flat and I need to find a new tenant to take over my room. This exchange happens when I try to tell the landlord about my progress.)

Me: “So, I advertised the room online and I got loads of responses!”

Landlord: “Oh wow! Good job.”

Me: “Thanks! Some of them weren’t good matches though, so I had to exterminate them.”

Landlord: “… What?”

Me: “Wait, no! I mean eliminate! You know, cross them off the list!”

(I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m a murderer now…)

Send You Off The Rails

| Nashville, TN, USA | Right | January 5, 2014

(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!)

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