The Rent Isn’t The Only Thing That Will Be High

| Working | January 6, 2016

(I’m showing a high-end inner city commercial space with an outside area to potential renters, both solemn businessmen in their 50s or 60s.)

Me: “This is the garden. For a restaurant, this could become an herb garden or the perfect pool party bar place. Or for a museum or art gallery, an exciting garden of sculptures. And if you want to use the inside premises just as offices, you could grow your own hemp plantation here to be able to afford the rent.”

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Doesn’t Elevate Your Chances Of Finding A Place

| Working | December 9, 2015

(We are using a relocation company as we are moving from America to France. We visit France for a week to look at apartments after giving explicit details two months ago about what we are looking for, including an elevator and for the location to be in center city. We are already upset because they only scheduled four appointments for the whole week, as this is the only week we can view places until we move here next month.)

Realtor: “Okay, the first apartment we are going to see is on the third floor with no lift.”

Me: “There’s no elevator? We requested an elevator.”

Realtor: “No, but it is only the third floor.”

Me: “Our dog can’t climb stairs. We need an elevator.”

Realtor: “What? I wish you would have told me!”

Fiancé: “We told you in the forms we filled out that we needed an elevator.”

Realtor: “Yes, but you didn’t give a reason! I just thought you wanted an elevator because it’s the American way but I figured you are both young and can walk.”

(The next apartment had stairs as well and the fourth was 20 minutes from the city center so we spent a whole week in France to see one apartment. Now my fiancé, I, my dog, and my cat will have to live in a tiny hotel room and we will have to pay the shipping company extra to hold onto our stuff until we can find a suitable place.)

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The House Doesn’t Win

| 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).)

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Needs A Realty Check

| Working | June 20, 2015

(We are looking to move house. As I’ve dealt with some pretty crappy estate agents in the past, I decide to keep things real simple, and mass-email estate agents to get on their books. The idea is that they will show you the most relevant properties as soon as they come to market.)

Me: “We are looking for a house in the [Name] area. It must have three bedrooms, detached, and the price range is £X price for a fixer-upper and £Y price for a ready to move in property.”

Estate Agent #1: “Hi, [My Name], take a look at this property. It is new to the market.”

Me: “Looks great, although really out of budget. Will they take low offers?”

Estate Agent #1: “No this is an accurate price. Don’t you have savings to make up the difference?”

(I stopped reading her emails after that.)

Estate Agent #2: “Hi, [My Name], we have had this one on the market for a while. Great house, a bargain!”

Me: “This isn’t in the area we are looking for. Please only send information on properties in [Name] area.”

Estate Agent #2: “Are you sure? It’s a great price!”

(It was a great price because it was the roughest area of the city!)

Estate Agent #3: “Hi [My Name Spelt Wrongly]! I have sent you some property details below.”

(The guy had sent EVERYTHING they had in that area: two- and three-bedroom houses, one-bed flats; no help whatsoever. After this I stopped responding and found a nice house on my own. We are due to move in before Christmas!)

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Bringing Down The House

| Working | May 19, 2015

(We are looking for a new property. Rather than get sent everything on the estate agent’s books, I write an email detailing my exact expectations. My phone rings.)

Estate Agent: “Hi, is this [My Name]?”

Me: “Yes.”

Estate Agent: “Okay, great, how are you doing? So, I’ve got a property you might be interested in.”

Me: “Okay, well—”

Estate Agent: “—It’s in the popular area of [Area], two bedrooms, and a terraced house. How does that sound? When would you like me to set up a viewing? I have Tuesday or Thursday.”

Me: “Wait, wait, wait. Firstly, I asked to only be contacted outside office hours, and—”

Estate Agent: “—Well, you know you do have to jump on these opportunities or you will miss them.”

Me: “I also asked to only be contacted about [Area on the other side of the City], and for a completely different price range.”

Estate Agent: “Well, there is no harm taking a look at this one. How about that viewing?”

Me: “What do you think? Don’t bother calling me again.”

(I thought the matter was resolved until I got a call from the same office, a man this time, asking why I was no longer looking for property and why I was so ‘angry for no reason.’ I explained my side of the story and he couldn’t apologise enough. He didn’t quite hang up in time for me not to hear him shout at the woman who served me first.)

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