Monday, September 18, 2006

Today was a Fun Day

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.
Brad: Oh
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.


~j. said...

Okay, you should put one of those pre-emptive message thingeys on your phone with EXACTLY WHAT YOUR VOICEMAIL SAYS: "No Agents, Please."

I was getting daily phonecalls from a no-speak-a telemarketer at 7:50 a.m., and I started to ignore them, until one morning I answered and asked, "Where are you calling from?" The answer? "INDIA." To which I replied, "Okay, well over here in Mountain, it's not even 8:a.m., so...". And I was never called by them again.

What makes these fools call you on the same day???

Azúcar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Azúcar said...

Some "free" online website where I listed my place notified me that unless I logged into their system to update the listing it would expire late last Friday.

I suppose that these agents got my info from that website and since Monday is the first business day after the listing expired, it's the day that all these different realtor offices decided to call. Real Estate Agents: Thy Name is Subtlety.

Anonymous said...

Honey, just wake me up to speak with these people. I live for justifiable opportunities to abuse people, and I'd really like to try my hand at making a real estate agent cry over the phone.


Lorien said...

This is marvelous. I just love your answers.

My favorite was when a telemarketer called my father-in-law and after they gave their little spiel and asked if he was interested, he said, "No, but I have something you might be interested in," and proceded to tell them about some money-making scheme he'd just learned about. The best part? He was completely serious.

lisa v. clark said...

We sold our condo (I just typed condom) FOR SALE BY OWNER--oh, you bring back such ugly, familiar memories! I said the same thing at the end: bring me a buyer and I'll give you 3%--see ya! Good luck with the calls and try to have something to see to them next time. . .Good times, good times!

La Yen said...

Tell them you would love to meet them between 6 and 7 at Carrabas, and then don't show. Then when they call you back tell them that you don't understand--a man met you in the lobby and talked about real estate and was so convincing you signed with him on the spot. Sorry that he was not that man.

reva said...

A week after we put our house on the market this summer, all the news peoples started freaking out about how the housing market sucks and no one should sell a house. That was back in June - it's September and we're in Brazil with a house just sitting around in Georgia. GAHHHHHHHH dang real estate market and moving and gaahhhhh I need some chocolate. You have WAY more patience than I have:)

LuckyRedHen said...

I agree with la yen but I say GO TO CARRABBA'S (because it's the BOMB) and watch the guy show up and look around for you. Of course you would've told him you're 6'1 with long blonde hair so there's no way he'd figure it out --- heeheehee.

BTW: is that yo' man posing as a shifty realtor?

Azúcar said...

Nope, some picture from Uncle Google. That was my guy with the anonymous threat to lend justifiable abuse.

Lorien said...

mmmm. Carrabba's chicken bryan. mmmm.