unsubstantiated theories

February 22, 2012

i should probably mark this as “unsubstantiated theory no. 1”, as i’m sure i have a few bubbling away in my brain.

anyways, here’s this one…

our lovely neighbours have sold their house.  and i have a bad feeling about it.  congrats to them on doing so of course.  they were pulling the plug when an offer came in that was acceptable and both parties signed up.  well done too on negotiating with the agent to pay no commission!  how does that happen?!

but back to my bad feeling.  lovely neighbour told me that the purchaser is a guy buying solely in his name and his wife/partner/girlfriend hasn’t see the place.  why should this trigger doubts for me?  well, because i wonder who will be living next door to us.  we already have absolute shits on the other side, i really like having lovely, nice, sane, rational, friendly, chatty people on one side.  i don’t want to lose that.

who might move in next door?  perhaps it is to be an investment and some other lovely family will rent it, hence the partner doesn’t really need to see it.  but my concern is that, given women account for 80% of the buying decision, particularly for the family home, what woman hands over this big decision entirely to her partner?  is she a beaten, subjugated, worn, silent observer?  (take that as literally or as figuratively as you like)  does that make the guy an arsehole?  on the other hand perhaps she’s overseas and he’s taken her thru electronically via his smart phone.  i shouldn’t tend towards the negative.  i just don’t want to be at home most of the time and have idiots on either side.

additionally, when we come to extend and renovate our house, shit neighbours are going to make it hell, please, please, don’t let that hell get doubled.

i suppose we’ll find out in six weeks when the settlement happens who the new neighbours are.  no point fretting before then.  except i can’t shake my trepidation.  oh well.

and finally, how do i tell percy and tally their dear friends s and j are moving away??  hopefully not too far away but there’s nothing closer than hollering over the fence and running back and forth between yards to play with each other.  i predict tears (perhaps from all of us.)

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three weeks of real estate

February 1, 2012

some thoughts on my experiences working as a sales assistant in a real estate office…

(these days it’s common for sales agents to have an assistant, or two, or even more!  the assistant does much the same job as the agent but for a set salary rather than a commission on sales made.  the progression is usually after 18-24 months the assistant becomes an agent in their own right.)

it probably won’t come as a surprise to you but every agent is it in for the money.  i imagine i was still being naive, however i thought sales agents were interested in the back story too.  you know- who the seller is, why they are selling, what motivates them, what do they want to achieve in life? and likewise for the buyers.  but they’re not.  and maybe that is a good thing because the relationship should be a professional one, not a personal one. 

i did think some personal connection would be created tho.  some caring, some out-of-hours thought.  not so.  if you think the sales person selling your home cares about you, it’s just pitch.  they’ve practiced this and polished it and it’s working a charm on you.  believe me the agent doesn’t give a flying fig about you.  you are just a walking wallet to them.  sure they’ll remember you for a while and say hi in the street for a year or so, they’ll send you a christmas card every year ’til you move address or die.  but they don’t care one bit.

i asked my ex-boss, when he said to me “it’s the best job in the world”; “why?”  because it’s easy money, and lots of it, he replied.  yes, easy money i suppose it is, particularly for a high school drop-out.  i then asked, “aside from the money, why is it the best job?”  he hedged and fudged and um’d and didn’t have an answer.  tellingly, he’s not alone.  every sales agent i’ve spoken to since, particularly potential employers, emphasise the uncapped income.  i realise none of them are interested in the person.  you could have deaf-mute, disabled twin toddlers to house and all they see is you’ll pay more to get a house that suits your needs.  what are those needs?  who cares!!  so long as you’ll pay thru the nose, and they can skim off a nice commission, when you buy one of their listings.

another observation… total and complete lack of respect.  if you don’t list your house with a particular agent you are a fucking idiot.  if you do, you are an unrealistic fucking idiot.  if you have questions about buying a property you are a deranged fucking idiot.  need i go on?   i will summarise a little story for you…  one of my colleagues and i were talking… about sending our kids to school next year.  my colleague has chosen a catholic education as they feel better discipline, respect, authority and morals are to be achieved in this way.  they then took a phone call from a possible buyer of a listing they held.  after a short conversation about strata fees the call ended and my colleague took to swearing and abusing the buyer, for no fair reason.  hope that catholic education works out, ’cause they sure aren’t going to learn those things at home.  this is not an isolated case.

final point.  if you have bought a property and now need to sell your current place, don’t use the same agent you bought thru.  don’t, don’t, don’t!  that agent now knows exactly how stretched for cash you are and will squeeze you and squeeze you until you accept any price for your old place.  it doesn’t make that much difference to them.  $8k commission isn’t much different from $11k.  but not getting any commission from a non-sale is a big deal.  they will “condition” you every day of the week until you drop the price enough to secure a sale- the faster the better.  don’t get suckered into thinking this person cares about you, they really don’t.  even if it is your uncle jack.