The Great House Hunt: An Almost-Brawl Ensues

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In my Introductory Blog Post, I left you with a bit of cliffhanger and mentioned that we were scheduled to see a 3 Bedroom, 2 1/2 Bath, expanded cape yesterday that I had a good feeling about.  Well, not only was it not The One, but we almost didn’t get to see it at all because our Realtor and the Listing Agent got into a huge fight and the whole situation was  just crazypants. 

Here’s how it all went down:

We were originally scheduled to see this house last Saturday (it was one of three we were seeing that day), but on the way to the first property, our Realtor called the Listing Agent to confirm the time we’d be there to see it.  The Listing Agent (let’s call her Crazy Lisa) responds saying that she was expecting his call earlier and she didn’t think she’d be able to make it out to open up the house for us (since it’s currently vacant).  Our Realtor said, “My clients drove a while to get here to see the house, is there any way we can make this work?  She said, “No, let’s reschedule.  But you can take them to see the outside of the property if you want.”  Our Realtor wasn’t happy, but he agreed to reschedule our appointment.  

 

None of the houses we saw that day were of real interest, so we decided to go take a look at the (outside of) the property.  We really liked the yard – it was spacious and had a great half-inground pool with a nice deck that we thought we’d get a lot of use out of (even though a pool isn’t on our must-have list).  

We tried peeking in some windows and liked what we could see through the cracks in the curtains and blinds, so we asked our Realtor to schedule another appointment to see the inside of the house.  He agreed to shuffle around a few things in his schedule and try to get us into the house to see it as soon as the following day.  This is when things started to get a little nuts.

He called Crazy Lisa and tried to reschedule for the following day.  

Her response, “Can’t do tomorrow.”  He said, “Okay, how about Monday?  My clients are willing to come see the house during a weeknight, but they’d have to take time off from work to do so.”  Her response, “Can’t do Monday.”  Our Realtor (more annoyed than ever) asks, “Which day would work for you best then?”  Crazy Lisa responds, “How about Tuesday?  But I can only show it at 4:30”

When our Realtor called to update us on this sequence of events, I was more skeptical than ever.  This house had been listed since DECEMBER of 2012 and had no price decreases (and it was already overpriced to begin with) in a market that has been pretty active otherwise.  Crazy Lisa was not acting like someone who wanted to sell a house – she was acting like an obstruction.

Even though weeknights are tough for us to see houses, we really wanted to take a look at this one, so we BOTH got out of work early (for me it was a half day) and left our house to sit in rush hour traffic to go see this house at a time that was most convenient for Crazy Lisa.  On our way, we realized the traffic was worse than we had anticipated, so we called our Realtor to tell him we were running a little late.  He said, “Don’t worry – take your time.  The Agent called me to tell me that she’s ALSO running very late and likely won’t get there until 4:50 or 5:00.  So, take your time.”  We arrived at the house at 4:50 exactly and no one was there. Not our Realtor and not Crazy Lisa.  We thought this was strange, so I called our Realtor and he didn’t answer, which was also odd (he always picks up his phone).  About 15 minutes later, our Realtor pulls up and just by the way he got out of his car, I could tell there was a problem.  I said, “Uh-oh, what’s going on?”  He says, “Guys, I don’t even know what to say.  She called me and basically told me she wasn’t able to come and we got into a fight over the phone.  I had to pull over to talk to her, because I was so angry.”  I said, “What do you mean she’s not coming?  He said, “She called me to tell me it was no longer convenient for her to come and that she just wanted to ‘forget it’ and reschedule for another time.”  He said that he told her, “We can’t just forget it.  My clients took time off from work and drove in from the City to come see this house when it was most convenient for you and now you’re cancelling… AGAIN?!  You can’t do this.”  She said, “Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do!” And hung up on him.

So, now we’re standing outside of this house (that we’ve already seen the outside of) waiting for Crazy Lisa to come and let us in – and now she’s not coming.  Now, at this point, I would normally say “Forget it” myself and just walk away.  But we had taken time off from work (which I will never again do, by the way) and drove all that way.  It couldn’t be for no reason.  

Our Realtor said he had already been in touch with his VP to report her and his VP called Crazy Lisa’s boss to find out what the deal was.  We kind of thought there might have been something else going on and that, she didn’t want to really show the house at all.  But we didn’t really have any way of knowing.

A few minutes later, Crazy Lisa sends a text message to our Realtor saying, “I’m coming, but I will have someone to accompany me as you have made me feel unsafe with the way you yelled at me over the phone.  I’ll be there at 5:45.”  

So, now Crazy Lisa is coming with a bodyguard to show us the house.  Great. 

But my real concern was, what if we actually liked this house?  What if we wanted to put in an offer?  How could our Realtor realistically negotiate on our behalf with Crazy Lisa?  It was looking more and more like this wasn’t the house for us.

We sat on the front stoop for another 20 minutes waiting for Crazy Lisa and her Bodyguard and she finally shows up.  She gets out of the car with the cell phone to her ear and aside from the fact that she looks like she stepped straight out of an episode of Jersey Shore, she basically ignores all three of us waiting on the front stoop and lets herself into the house.  She comes back out and says, “Okay, you can come in and take a look.”  

To say that it was awkward would be the understatement of the year.  She never once hung up her phone the entire time we were there – so as to avoid having to interact with us, I’m sure.  

But anyway, back to the house.  The first thing I noticed when we walked in was that every single room had some sort of air freshener in it.  Whether it was a bag of potpourri or a candle – each room smelled strongly of artificial fragrance – which is usually a red flag that they’re trying to cover up some other kind of smell (ie: musk, mold, mildew).  I know it was an old house (built in 1950), but mold and mildew are usually a bad sign.  Nonetheless, we did a full walk-through.  We noticed the hardwood flooring in the Living Room wasn’t level and there was a significant dip near a wall and that although it looked like it had been recently refinished, it wasn’t in the best condition with lots of spaces between the planks near the edges of the room.  

Down in the basement, we noticed a significant dip in one portion of the room on the floor, which is never a good sign as far as foundations are concerned.  If we were to pursue this house, we would surely need an inspector to check it out for us.  But soon we realized we would not be pursuing this house any further.

The deal-breaker for us was really the layout.  That there were three bedrooms, but one was on the main floor, while two were upstairs – and the Master was one of the upstairs rooms.  To us, this isn’t an ideal layout, because when we have young kids in the future, we don’t really want to be split up between floors.  We even considered switching the Master to be the downstairs bedroom, but it simply wasn’t big enough.  So, we both agreed it wasn’t The One.

Looking back, I think the writing was on the wall, because it took an exhaustive amount of effort just to get the Listing Agent to commit to a time to show us the inside of the property.  The whole thing was a crazy experience, but I’ve learned a couple of things:  It’s rare that I would leave work early again to see a house on a Listing Agent’s schedule (if they really want to sell a house – they might pick a time that’s more convenient for the Buyers) and secondly, I don’t know if ANY house is worth that much trouble.  Our Realtor said that in all his years, he’s never dealt with something like that.  It figures, when the Duffy’s go house-shopping, you can’t expect it to go off without a hitch!  

We’re scheduled to see some more houses this weekend, so here’s hoping we find The One soon!

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