Some People Just Play House

, , , , , | Working | September 22, 2017

(My husband and I have bought a house. It is a show-home, and because of this, the builder has to keep it “on display” for six weeks after we close the deal. This happens on the day that we finally move in. We’ve been unpacking all day, and have decided to take a lunch break in the driveway. A car pulls up outside, a lady gets out, and she walks briskly past us up to the front door.)

Me: “Hello! Can we help you?”

Realtor: *stopping dead and staring at us* “What are you doing here?”

Me: “Having lunch.”

Realtor: “You can’t be here! Please leave.”

Husband: “Why would we do that?”

Realtor: “Well, for one thing, you’re trespassing. For another, I’m about to show this house to a client.”

Me: “I don’t think so.”

Realtor: “What do you mean?”

Me: “This is our house.”

Realtor: “EXCUSE me?”

Me: “This is OUR house. As in, we bought it, and we’re moving in today.”

Realtor: “WHAT? Nobody told me! I made arrangements several days ago for today’s showing!”

Husband: “Well, we signed the paperwork six weeks ago, so…”

Realtor: “This can’t be right. Are you sure you’re at the right place?”

Me: “Um, yes.”

Realtor: “…can I still show the house to my client?”

Husband: “What? Of course not!”

Realtor: “FINE!”

(She drove off in a very bad mood.)

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Their Business Is Flat-Lining

, , , | Working | September 18, 2017

(I’m a newly graduated university student looking for my own place to live so I don’t have to move back to my hometown. I go to one of the local letting agencies, all of which are within a minute walk of each other. The first place has a young woman there to talk to; she already looks disinterested in me.)

Worker: “How can I help?”

Me: “I’m looking for a place to rent. My budget is allowing for between £250-350 a month for the rent alone. I don’t really mind about the place itself or how many rooms or anything, just so long as it can fit within that budget.”

Worker: *scoffs* “Okay, well I’ll look up those details for you now.”

(She looks up the information…)

Worker: “Right, so, I’ve found a flat that’s £500 a month. This looks pretty decent right?”

Me: “I guess it does, but like I said, my budget would only allow a maximum of £350. I couldn’t afford that right now.”

Worker: “Okay, well, here’s a place that is £350.” *gives info on it*

Me: “Yeah, that seems okay; when would I be able to view it?”

Worker: “We can book you in for a viewing next Monday at 11:30 am. Would that be okay?”

Me: “Yeah, that’ll be fine.”

Worker: “You’ll need to phone us on that day, a half hour before, to confirm that you can make the appointment.”

Me: “Oh… Um, sorry, but that will be a little awkward for me. I’m on a PAYG phone and have no credit at the minute, and I’m not paid until the end of the month. Would no one here be able to phone me instead?”

Worker: *scoffs again* “Um, no, we don’t do that here. If you can’t phone us to confirm, then we can’t book a viewing for you.”

(I just left, choosing not to call her some choice words. I walked literally down the road to the next agency, and I was welcomed quite warmly by a nice elderly lady who actually listens to my price limit at the start. She made a point of only looking in the “nice area of town,” because I certainly look like a “nice lad.” I know it was kind of cheap flattery, but it wasn’t a swindle, it was honestly further into the less rough areas of town. She even made a point of calling the landlord right then and organising a viewing just two hours after my meeting with her. A week later, and I was all signed up at a studio flat at £285 a month, well within my budget. Honestly, it was no wonder that the first place I went to was empty, but the second place with the nice lady already had two couples talking to other advisers.)

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Should Have Checked

, , , | Right | August 18, 2017

(A vendor had requested a rush check cut and sent overnight. The check hasn’t arrived and he calls me, clearly looking for a fight.)

Vendor: *on the phone* “We never received the check today. We specifically requested the check be rushed and sent overnight so we would receive it by Thursday! I don’t know what you do sitting at that desk all day! Did you even cut the check?”

Me: *ignoring that and using my cheery customer service voice* “Let me look up the tracking number. Okay, it says your package is at the facility that had the shooting yesterday.”

(The San Francisco UPS facility had an employee shoot and kill three people and himself.)

Me: “It’s been delayed one day.”

Vendor: *silence*

Me: “So, it looks like we got that sorted. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

(The kicker is he had the tracking number. He could have looked up and seen the reason without looking like an a**.)

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Moving Out Of This House Will Be A Christmas Miracle

| Working | December 23, 2016

(We are in the process of selling a house. The buyers got a great deal and seem really enthusiastic. It quickly turns into a pain when they take forever to action anything, and keep asking stupid question. Their solicitor is no better. I am copied in on these emails.)

Buyer Solicitor: “Hi, could we have a copy of the water bill?”

My Solicitor: “These were sent over a month ago.”

Buyer Solicitor: “No, the actual paper copy.”

My Solicitor: “As explained in the email, no paper bills are received, only online. That was what we provided, last month.”

Buyer Solicitor: “Hmm, well, ok. We need the warranty pack.”

My Solicitor: “Again, last month, we explained that there is no paper copy. Please ring [number] and they will provide one for you.”

Buyer Solicitor: “Okay, thanks.”

(Two weeks later, we are running out of time.)

Buyer Solicitor: “Hi, I’m going to need the warranty pack.”

My Solicitor: “As explained two weeks ago and six weeks ago, the paper version is no longer available. Please ring [number] and request one.”

Buyer Solicitor: “No, that will cost my clients [small amount of money]. You will have to pay.”

My Solicitor: “Fine, there will be money set aside for you on exchange.”

(Another week later, and now the sale is hanging by a thread.)

Buyer Solicitor: “We need the warranty pack.”

My Solicitor: “This has all been covered. We are running out of time! What exactly is wrong with the information provided?”

(Three days later.)

Buyer Solicitor: “Oh, we want it before we sign.”

(Everything is going wrong. The people we are working for have been patient, but are threatening to pull out. This constant change of request means we have only a few days left. I rush around and get the pack. It took all of a few minutes to do, something they could have done easily. Quickly, I send it over.)

My Solicitor: “We have provided everything you asked for. Will you now sign?”

(A whole day later and several emails.)

Buyer Solicitor: “No, my clients have said that the whole process has taken too long, and they are pulling out.”

(Months of waiting…. Because of them, four families with Christmas ruined, living in boxes. And they complained that it took too long! )

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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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