No pictures. No tongue in cheek.
This is a snapshot of one client’s experience.
Working with a nice young couple. Sort of newly weds…a few years and still star gazing. We chatted on the phone and had to postpone our first meeting as their first baby was born. The baby boy is delightful and quite the trooper. He joined mom and dad in viewing a home in Keymar that was billed as move in ready.
It was move in ready, if you were in the Army and bivouacking for the night. It seems that move in ready only meant that there was a lock on the front door. Don’t bother looking for the kitchen…it, like elvis has left the building.
Onward we go.
Our next venture took us to town homea in Anne Arundel County. One in particular really looked like it would work. They called Dad in upstate New York and asked him to come down for a second look. We were told we had to be at home at 6pm sharp. Not a minute before or a minute after. We all got there a few minutes early and parked around the corner.
The clock struck 6 and we knocked. We waited. We knocked. We waited. After several tense moments, the seller opened the door and allowed us entry. Dad measured here and there, went from room to room as dads do and pronounced there was nothing wrong that a little elbow grease and spit and polish could not repair.
My office is in Olney. My clients live on Federal Hill in Baltimore. I prepared the offer and arranged to meet them at a Target in Glen Burnie. I went to one Target, my clients went to another. A five minute trip and we sat in the Starbucks and went over the offer.
I called the listing agent and advised her of the offer, made copies and hand delivered one to the listing agent, sent one along to my clients and settled in to hear a response.
One day went by. Called the listing agent and she advised that she had dropped the offer off to her client.
Two days went by. Nada
Third day I get an email. Sorry, my client has decided she does not want to sell, she is going to try and get the bank to modify her loan. Your offer is going to be used to show the bank what the property is worth.
O.K. kids, let’s go find another home. Sorry, we have to go on vacation in upstate New York. We will look when we return home. Keep in mind, the man that owns the property we are renting has put it up for sale and we HAVE TO MOVE.
They return and we hit the streets, Dundalk, Essex and Rosedale. We view every property in the $115,000 range. We visit single family homes, we visit row houses. We see them all.
Some are dumps. Really, so far from what the listing describes that the listing agent must have been on a heavy dose of mescaline. Photos that are so far removed from reality it was scary.
My clients don’t want a row house or town house…nope they want a single family with a yard for the dog. We find a nice little home and I call the listing agent to ask for disclosures. His reply, gee I am sorry, the house went under contract the other day. Scratch one. The kids decide on another.
Lourdes and I return home, do comps and get ready to write. Check email. The agent has written, just noticed that you showed my listing today. Sorry, it is under contract, I will update the mls tomorrow.
The day ends… and nothing is quite right.
We go back, through the tunnel and into Dundalk again. They settle on a nice little home. We call the agent and she says please submit an offer…anything…I will get it done…the seller is desperate.
We write the offer. We submit the offer. The agent, good ole sue, calls and says thank you, they will take it. I will get it signed and back to you tomorrow.
Tomorrow comes and at 3 o’clock we still have nothing. I call the agent. She says, I went over the offer with my client and I am going to have it signed tonight.
At 947pm I receive a text from Sue…”John, I just got back from meeting with the sellers and the only change was they can’t leave the lawn mower”‘
At 949pm I receive a text from Sue…”I just check my email and now have another offer. I how have to present it to the seller and I must tell you that it is a better offer!”
At 951pm I receive a text from Sue…”I am so sorry, but I have a duty to my seller and I must tell them about this new offer!”
At 952pm I reply to the rapid fire texts..”I thought the seller had signed off on everything but the lawnmower”
At 1008pm I received a reply from Sue…”Well we don’t have a ratified contract because its not completely signed, they want to review the new offer.
So I called my client….explained as best I could how this happens. I tried to make him believe that a home could sit on the market for 108 days and as soon as he made an offer, another one showed up, just before the agent sent over the counter offer (he would have to initial that the lawn mower did not convey).
And you wonder why we are viewed as pond scum. Hey, Sue that sells your client down the river (remember her admonition to me…they are desperate make any offer). Sue that could not get an offer to a client in a timely fashion. Sue that just happened to have another offer roll in at 10pm…hey sue..take a look in the mirror.
Yep, I will be heading through the tunnel to Dundalk again tomorrow.
UPDATE: My clients found a home. It ended up being a couple blocks from this one. About a week after they settled, this agent called me. “Hey John, that other offer fell through. Are your clients still looking?” So it goes….