So before I found the realtor I’m working with now, I previously hired and fired a different realtor in a day. I think the story of how it happened definitely bears mentioning here.
This realtor, let’s call her Bella, was referred to me by my cousin who was hunting for his first house. He spoke so highly of her that I decided to contact her when I was told I needed a realtor to process the Vassar short sale. She was very friendly and took the time to explain the entire house-buying process in detail. I didn’t really ask for the lesson but it was comforting that she was willing to invest that kind of time. She hadn’t done a short sale before but knew it in theory. Hmmm. I decided to go forward with her anyway. She asked me to send her everything from the short sale so she could review. The next day I sent her the contract.
This is where it gets interesting. Shortly after I sent her the contract, I missed a call from her. When I listened to the message I could overhear her speaking to someone else in the car. It was very faint initially but after about the three minute mark I could understand her clearly.
Now I fully understand that nearly everyone recounts stories of conversations a little differently than how they actually transpired; so I could give her the benefit of the doubt that her report of our conversation to her passenger was just innocently flawed. It’s also possible that I may not have come off as a very sophisticated house buyer, since I was a bit distracted during our conversation. This is why eyewitness testimony in court does not necessarily constitute a nail in the coffin for the defendant. People misunderstand, misinterpret, and just plain get it wrong.
With all that said, what I heard at that three minute mark astounded me. Her comforting little country voice that, the night before, was so very patient and kind, now turned to that of a gossiping high school girl showing off for her friends. Without the trouble of typing the entire transcript here, suffice it to say that she spoke of me and my plan as a mother who recounts watching her child trying to fit a square block in a round hole. She portrayed me as someone who is in way over his head and who should be grateful for her mercy in showing me the error of my ways. (Nevermind the fact that the only thing I needed from her was her name and license number for the file since I had already done everything else to Citi’s satisfaction). She and her passenger laughed as she reported how I prepared my own contract, negotiated the sales price, and estimated the property value. Apparently I was just too naive to understand the complexities of buying a house without a realtor. Suddenly, in the middle of her rant, she says “Oh!” as if she burned herself on a hot stove, and then hung up.
I immediately sent her a polite email just stating that I no longer needed her services. She called a few times after that but left no message.
Now maybe she was just trying to impress her passenger. I considered that before sending my email; but I once heard a wise saying that you are who you really are when you think no one is looking. She definitely assumed no one was listening in this instance and there’s no doubt she would not have said such things if she knew her trusty cell phone was betraying her at that moment. Again, maybe she was just puffing herself up for her colleague but to me it simply means that she doesn’t take me seriously and I need someone who does.
Most realtors have a very absolute concept of the house buying process according to what they have been taught. For this reason, most of them do not understand or even like real estate investors. This is to what I attribute Bella’s error. She thinks because I did it differently, I did it wrong, and I should be thankful that she has shown me the true path to real estate righteousness. A few realtors are gems however and understand that the process can be simplified and that there are other, simpler, ways to make an omelet. Fortunately I think I found my gem with my most recent realtor, but only time will tell.