And by fun day I mean I got to talk to real estate agents. The first call was this morning at 8:10am. I dove for my phone because an 8:10 call usually means some system at work is down and I need to get it fixed. Instead it was “Brad” from whatever company.
“Isn’t it a little early to be calling people, Brad?” “Oh, did I wake you?” “I don’t think that’s really the point, Brad.” I’d been awoken at 7:20 by a screaming kid who’d locked himself in his room. By 8:10, I was enjoying Nap One while Thomas and Gordon were having a fight with Percy, or something.
“I’m taking a survey of For Sale By Owners,” says chipper Brad. I agree to take the “survey” although I know it’s nothing but a selling tool that I’ve “taken” before.
Hey, if they’re going to call me at the crack of dawn, I’m going to waste their time as much as possible. I should note that we’re not really selling our place right now, either. I decided I didn’t want to deal with the stress of moving at this point in my life. Let’s not even get into the sinking economic indicators.
These surveys always consist of the same questions in the same order and my answers are always frustrating to the agent (who are in this case nothing but over-paid telemarketers.)
Q. One a scale of one to ten how motivated are you to sell your home?
A. A two. (This is followed by a few seconds of silence while they digest this low level of enthusiasm.)
Q. What is your time line for moving?
A: We have no time line (true, also frustrating for Motivated Agent who is Pestering Me.)
Q: Where will you be moving to?
A: Don’t know yet.
Q: How long would your place have to be on the market before you enlisted the help of an agent?
A: Well, since we have no time line, that’s not really an applicable question. Alternative answer: Indefinitely. (Silence.)
**Q: If you decide to find a place after this one, what would be the deciding factor?
A: Well, I’m waiting for the bubble correction: housing starts are down and there appears to have been an increase of 8% nationwide in home supply.
**Q: But the market is expected to grow 15% in your area next year
A: Says who? All the economic indicators, new home starts, sales of existing homes, everything is down with large drop-offs from the bubble-highs in the western US, particularly California and parts of Arizona. Even the Fed is worried enough, they stopped raising the overnight rate, halting nearly two years of straight raises. So, you’re wrong. (Silence.)
Q: How did you arrive at a selling price?
A: I looked at the comps. (Silence while they process that I know what a “comp” is.)
Q: Are you prepared to adjust your price down for a buyer?
A: Of course.
Q: If you did get an Agent, what would you expect them to do to market your place (honestly, I hate this question.)
A: I’d expect them to put it on the MLS. (I don’t care how the agent does their job. I know their main job is to list it on the MLS.)
Q: Are you familiar with the kind of marketing techniques that I employ?A: (In my head: are you serious, you think that people go around talking about the marketing techniques that Agent B uses vs. Agent C? Is that so we can put them on our Fantasy Agent team? ) No, I am not.
Now, their response to this one is usually to talk about how aggressive they are, but Brad started telling me about classes he runs called “Have Your Roommates Pay Your Mortgage.” This seems like a totally unnecessary class to me. First of all, duh. Second, and the response I gave to Brad was, that a.) I doubt that my spouse would appreciate roommates paying our mortgage and b.) Our HOA has mandated that our units are single-family only, therefore you can’t put four unrelated people in the place.” Brad’s response, "But are the bedrooms big enough that you could put two in?" Mine, “Yes, but you CAN’T.”
Q: (This is not a question) I’d like to meet you to speak with you more about selling your place and what I can DO for You. Does tonight at 7 work or is tomorrow at 6 better?
A: Neither, because we’re not really interested in selling right now and if we DID sell we’d list with David Spackman.
Me: If you bring me a buyer I will pay you 3%, plus you do all the paperwork.
Brad: Ok, thank you.
Repeat this conversation exactly nine times.
I’ve had this conversation NINE times today. Sadly, today is not done. I wonder how many more times I’ll need to give these answers and at what time they’ll actually stop calling me. At one point I accosted the agent and said, “You know, you each call me and you each ask me the EXACT same questions in the exact same order for this 'survey'.” “Well, uhm,” was his response.
Should we place bets on how many times I will repeat this conversation tomorrow?
**only two asked me these questions.