Michelle Dee had a rough upbringing as a military child and has happily recovered and now hikes 5-8 miles every weekend in the mountains.
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The following information is not meant to be a negative bash against Realtors in general. I know there are some really good ones out there. I just haven’t met any. Yet. It is to point out these are the types of people you deal with when trying to sell property. I do not know if it’s just in the Southeast area of the USA where this industry seems to attract really unprofessional, flaky, greedy, lazy people, or if this behavior is common throughout the real estate industry in the entire United States.
The best thing you can do to find a really good Realtor is to ask for referrals from other people you know. Send out an email to everybody you personally know if they have dealt with a really good Realtor that they would recommend. Get a few names and don’t hesitate to interview each and every one of them. They should come over and present themselves and what they and their broker can offer.
When the word “you” is used in this Hub, it is if I am talking to the lazy flaky Realtor, not you personally who I am honored is reading this Hub. These are real and true situations but no real names will be mentioned.
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The only hard work I see you do is the “staging” process before property went on market. I let you know several times I can’t stand the black lampshades you insist putting on my living room lamps. I can’t stand that little dinky piece of crap tiny bright-white carpet you insist on using on my master bathroom floor, a stupid little piece of blankity-blank carpet that makes my bathroom floor look dingy and dirty. You tell me the rugs currently in my bathroom are not the same color. Is this stupid little piece of crap white carpet the same color? I can’t believe you insisted this little white carpet be placed outside the shower area. Well that only worked for 1 night and I stashed it away and got my own rugs back out.
On your next staging visit sure enough you ask where is the white carpet you brought. I say it didn’t work. I’m not breaking my neck getting out of the shower. So you proceed to move your precious little crap bright-white carpet to the other side of the bathroom. This is my home and I have to live here. Needless to say this little blankity-blank carpet that made my floor look dingy and dirty went back into the closet.
The black lampshades didn’t last long either. I informed you several times that I need bright light when my lamps are turned on. These black lampshades did not provide the light I needed and they may not work, but it went through one ear and out the other of that head of yours. Again, I removed them and put my original lampshades back on the lamps and they were just gorgeous. I still got a lot of compliments from the showings how nice the place looked, even without the black lampshades. You come over to visit and notice they are gone, and ask what was wrong with your black lampshades? Does this Realtor have a listening / hearing problem?
I am starting to get the impression you are more concerned with how the place looks rather than bringing in more showings / potential buyers, in spite of the fact that the feedback has been very positive and everyone thinks the place looks great. Even though you stated you don’t have any money for advertising, even though that’s your job as a Realtor.
Tardiness Drama Meltdown
Once again, during the “staging” process, it took you three weeks to do this process and you were a few hours late each time. All of our appointments you were always late. My time is valuable so I email you to please be on time when taking the final photos for MLS because the sunlight does not last much after the scheduled appointment time. You reply okay no problem.
So you show up and immediately received a phone call on your iPhone. Once that conversation was done you hang up and then proceed to have a meltdown in my dining room about how it is impossible for anyone to be on time in this real estate business. Your clients are the most important thing to you and it’s just not possible for anyone to be on time in this business. Really? If your clients are so important to you, you should be apologizing to me for always being late and should not be having a meltdown. I just don’t buy it. I think you are a flake and unorganized and darn it all just before the MLS photos are being taken you have to act like this. Why didn’t you act like this at the first meeting before I spent too much of my time? See Termination Drama about her excuse for being late. (Refer to 2nd paragraph under Termination Drama).
I would like to mention at this point that after I fired this Realtor and hired the next one, the new Realtor and myself had a total of 4 appointments regarding this property and each and every time he was on time, not late, and made no excuses.
Tobacco Odor Drama
In the very beginning, there was an issue with a strong tobacco smoke odor in this property (as some Hubbers may already know, I am an Ex-Smoker). You being a smoker yourself try to tell me you have the nose of a bloodhound and didn’t smell any odor in the condo. I find this hard to believe and tell you the first time a potential buyer complains about tobacco odor, I am getting an Ozone machine running in the place and that means people, plants, and animals must vacate the property because ozone is toxic to organic matter. I tell you this several times and voice my concern over tobacco odor and you brush it off because your smoker self has the nose of a bloodhound and you don’t smell anything.
Sure enough the first Buyer / showing complained about a very strong tobacco odor. I immediately set up appointment to run ozone and email you to take it off market for 2 days. You reply you don’t think we can afford to take it off the market for 2 days. Does this Realtor have a listening / hearing problem? I reply you must take it off the market because it’s toxic to organic matter and no one is to enter the premises while the ozone is running.
Five weeks goes by and nobody complains about the odor. All of a sudden a buyer complains about smelling tobacco. I email you to find out if just the buyer smelled it, or did the Showing Agent smell it to? This was really important to me. Two days go by and no reply from you, so I take it upon myself to call the Showing Agent. This Showing Agent happens to be a good buddy of yours so I let them know you didn’t respond to my question two days ago, and I sure hope they didn’t mind me calling them myself to find out my answer. He didn’t seem to happy that you are such a slacker.
After the Ozone treatment you come over to the property and your Smoker-With-The-Nose-Of-A-Bloodhound Self tells me you can now smell tobacco odor.
The brochures you had printed for the property were so hideously blurry that nobody could actually read them. They are extremely poor quality and I tell you these do not look good. Your response is brochures don’t matter and you don’t have the money to print more, and the printer messed them up. I deal with printer companies myself and find it hard to believe any reputable printer would allow sloppy work like that leave their office. That is when I start to wonder in the back of my head if this good Christian Realtor is trying to make herself look good.
A few showings later, I let you know that I only had 2 brochures left and needed more. You informed me a second time that brochures were not important. Then two weeks after you informed me that brochures were not that important, you email me that a good buddy Realtor of yours is going to show my place to a client, and that you sure hope there are some brochures left over. Do I have any brochures left over, you sure hope so! Once again, does this Realtor have a hearing / listening problem?
Not Responding Drama
Once the property hit the MLS, the first showing was one week later. I had to contact the MLS people myself to get my Seller Login and password to the www.showings.com website so I could Login and see the feedback from the Showing Agents. You forgot to give me that info before you went on vacation to the Dominican Republic. When you got back from vacation you informed me you “need” to get the Login info to me, but never followed up. Instead of asking you for it again and again, I asked the MLS people and they emailed me the info right away. You never did get that info to me like you said you would.
I email you about concerns I have about the property, mainly the fireplace which is covered / sealed with plastic to keep the draft out. I voice my concern to you that this may turn off potential buyers and could you please make a note for Showing Agents why it is covered in plastic. Your response was you had a death in the family and you can’t deal with this right now and you will respond in a few days after the funeral. Three weeks go by and I still haven’t gotten a response from your lazy self.
I email you and tell you to drop the price to what other properties in this neighborhood are selling for so I can get it moved and sell it. You absolutely refuse to drop the price. You have this property listed about $25K more than the going price, but you refuse to drop the price because you believe the “right” buyer will come along and at least pay a break-even price so I don’t have to short sale. In hindsight, what Kool-aid was she drinking? I look up some of your other listings and do some research and discover you are doing this over-inflated pricing for your listings in other neighborhoods as well, and these properties are still on the market as of today.
Loan Mod Drama
Your Short-Sale-Expert-Specialist Self tells me to try for a Loan Modification because it will show the Bank at least I tried everything. So I go through all the loops and hoops and Red Tape and faxing 25 pages of paperwork to the Loan Mod people and they didn’t receive my fax and never told me until I called them weeks later, and then had to go through it all over again. I was on the phone with them at least 6 times trying to get an update, and each call I made to them I was put on hold and then spoke with 4 different people asking me who was I holding for, then I had to explain my situation why I was holding.
Finally someone called me to get more information and I asked how does everything look so far – will I be eligible for a Loan Modification? This person proceeds to tell me that, no it doesn’t look good because I have to be in default before approved for a Loan Mod and since I am not in default, my Loan Mod application will be denied. I was so spitting mad!! So I inform your Short-Sale-Expert-Specialist Self that I was denied a Loan Mod because I am not in default. Well, there you go again up in arms saying well that’s just not right, that’s incorrect, you don’t have to be in default, blah, blah, blah. One week later your Short-Sale-Expert-Specialist Self said you will call my bank and see about a Refi instead. I guess you found out the truth that yes you must be in default to be considered for a loan mod. A few days later you proceeded to let me know that it was not a short-time wait that you were put through in order to speak to someone at my bank. Did I mention that I think there is a special place in Hell for 90% of the Realtors out there?
When I get my very first offer from a Buyer, you talk me out of selling because a Short Sale will hurt my credit and I worked so hard to have a really good credit score and you don’t want to see me ruin it. Huh? Didn’t we discuss all of this with your Expert Short Sale self at the very beginning and I knew what I was getting into? What Realtor talks someone out of selling their property? That’s when I decided to call your Broker and ask for a Termination Agreement.
When you show up with a Termination Contract to take this listing off the MLS, tell me you don’t know how to take the Lockbox off the pole outside because you don’t have the combination. You are used to using Supras and not lockboxes. Even though you had a 5-day notice in advance that you were coming over with the Termination Contract. I didn’t even think about asking you to at least take my keys out of the lockbox, but I’m not the Realtor here. It’s your job to at least know to give me my keys out of the lockbox. You drive off and my keys are still in the lockbox, which is still located on the property. Three days later I have to call and remind you to come get your lockbox.
As I am signing the Termination Contract, you tell me you were late because you fell asleep and then sat there and laughed about it. I am looking at her and thinking Thank God this is all over. See Tardiness Drama Meltdown 2nd paragraph).
On the 5th day you left me several voicemails to see if I could meet you at the property so you can give me my keys from the lockbox because you were stopping by. Well, I happen to be real busy at work and didn’t get a chance to check my voicemails. I finally catch up with you and you are slightly annoyed because I didn’t get your voicemails in time and now you have my keys and you have to drop them off at my office tomorrow. You act as though this is such a great inconvenience to you and it’s my fault you have to take the time to drop off the keys at my office, even though you should have known better and should have given me the keys at the time of Termination.
AFTER ALL THE DRAMA IS OVER......(just when I thought it was safe to go back into the water)
Five months later I have my property listed with another Agency. The property is listed on the MLS for all to see. Lo and behold I get an email from you, telling me now is the time to list the property at $xxx because 2 other properties have sold at $xxx and I should give you a call so we can get the property listed again.
If you were on top of your game 1) you would have seen I am already listed with someone else. In the real estate world in this state, you are not supposed to contact people who are already listed with someone else. But I know what a flake you are so I let it go; 2) You are not taking into consideration the other two properties listed at $xxx have more square footage, are newer properties, and have more bells and whistles than mine. Besides that, during the six months you had this listing I asked you two times to drop the price where it would be comparable to other sales and you wouldn't do it. You had my property overpriced and that's why you couldn't sell it. You wasted six months of my time.
I never do respond to you and hopefully you will get the message and not contact me again, especially once you realize I'm way ahead of you and already have it listed!!!!
As mentioned earlier, the best thing you can do to find a really good Realtor is to ask for referrals from other people you know. Send out an email to everybody you personally know if they have dealt with a really good Realtor that they would recommend. Get a few names and don’t hesitate to interview each and every one of them. They should come over and present themselves and what they and their broker can offer. See if you click with them. Be sure to ask the following questions:
- Do you work on weekends? You may be surprised how many Realtors will not work on weekends. I sure was surprised but didn't find out until after I signed with them.
- Who covers for you when you go on vacation?
- What happens if you are on vacation and I get an offer?
The last two bad Realtors I dealt with took a vacation for a week EVERY MONTH.
Even in this market, if they balk about anything less than a 1-year listing, move on. Especially if you are doing a short-sale you don’t need 1-year listing, because your agent will most likely drop the price way down just to move it quickly. A 1-year listing provides Realtors an excuse to become apathetic and lazy.
The Realtor above in this hub balked about anything less than a 1-year listing. Once I fired her and hired another Realtor, this 2nd Realtor only wanted to do a 3-month listing, which is more appropriate. A good Realtor will have references to provide. If they don’t want to provide references then move on.
Good luck to everyone out there trying to sell property, and thank you for reading this article.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Michelle Dee
Michelle Dee (author) from Charlotte, NC on February 06, 2013:
Express10 - thank you for reading and commenting. These are real life stories and unfortunately the Realtor in question had all these fancy initials and Realtor/Broker as their title. It seems difficult to find the real ones.
H C Palting from East Coast on February 05, 2013:
This is a good hub that describes typical problems from bad agents. I can guarantee you these types are not Realtors. There is a big difference and the non-professional agents are likely too unprofessional, juggling other jobs, or may be simply too flaky to get that far.
Michelle Dee (author) from Charlotte, NC on December 28, 2012:
Hello billybuc -- Ah yes....the car salesmen. Or the weasle-like financial people at those car dealerships....I've seen some good ones and some bad ones.
But I'm still baffled by the low quality of ethics that real estate seems to attract?
The great thing about renting is you don't have to do the repairs, or worry about paying the taxes. The only thing I worry about in renting a property versus owning it is the fact the landlord can jack up the rent if they wanted to, versus a fixed mortgage is a steady payment until one is fortunate enough to pay it off - woo hoo then no mortgage or rent!!
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Happy New Year!!
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 28, 2012:
"I just haven't met any yet".....that was so funny and so true!
I have owned twelve homes during my lifetime...I will not own another...and so I no longer have to worry about this. However, every single thing you wrote about I have seen.
Next let's move on to car salesmen...I can really get worked up into a lather over that subject. :)