Wednesday, July 09, 2003

My First Time with a Realtor


Actually, this story is not my first first, but me first dealings with a realtor when trying to lease an apartment.

Lets begin. His name is "Adam". I found him on craigslist, advertising himself as Mr. No Fee with apartments I might like in my price range.

I call Adam. Adam calls me. We exchange pleasantries, price ranges, neighborhoods, and set up an appointment to go look at places at 7 PM on July the 8, 2003. I call Adam again and completly switch neighborhoods on him, realizing that I was totally looking in the wrong place for my future roomates, and he agrees to show us places in the new neighborhood. He calls me to confirm this appointment Tuesday morning. He confirms my price range, my neighborhood, my name, and 7 PM meeting at the market in the square in the neighborhood we want to live in.

I reschedule an appointment for that day, sneak out of work early to go to the grocery store, and while I am in the pet aisle contemplating kitty litter, Adams calls. To confirm 7 PM, the neighborhood, the price range, probably check on the validity of what he thinks my name is, and we repeat 7 PM, yes 7 PM. He says its been a long day, and instead of thinking him incompetent, I sympathize.

At 6:56, my future roomates and I sit on a bench in front of the market in the square in the neighborhood we want to live in. By 7:10, I call Adam, automatically get his voicemail and leave a little message saying Hi here we are, surely you are on your way, see ya soon!

7:15-7:30 I call the office. Adam's not here, he left for an appointment. Yes, I am his appointment and he isn't here either. Well I will call him and then call you back. My name is "Kevin".

Kevin calls back- got Adam's voicemail too. Yes, I left a message before calling you. Well, something happened with the Landlord and he knows that the landlord is running late, so maybe Adam is also running late with him etc. I'm sure he'll be there any time.

7:45, I call the office, can I speak to Kevin? Kevin has left for the day. Okay, I had an appointment with Adam at 7pm and he is still not here. You've been waiting this long? Yes. Its 20 to 8! I know. Ok, I will call Kevin and see what happened and get back to you.

Kevin tells this guy (James? Tim? I'm really confused at this point) that the landlord went to a funeral, family immergency, and rescheduled with Adam for 8 PM. Adam asked someone in the office to call me, let me know it was 8 PM and not 7 PM. I did not receive this call. I am sure of it because the only number Adam has for me is my cell phone and every single incoming call is accounted for on my cell, whether it goes through to voicemail or I miss it. And I am not told the name of this "someone".

We all agree to wait til 8 PM and around 7:55, Adam calls, apologizes, in a whinny sickening way I personally don't care for, and says he'll show us one place at the top of our price range to "get a feel for what you are looking for, the style, etc."

I reply, "No. I don't care about style or anything. Just show us everything you have in this neighborhood for our range." And he shows up, apologizes some more, says he'll give us anything we want, including "$100 gift certificates to your favorite stores, anything" and I look him in the eye and say, "you know this means rent is negociable".

Agreed.

Where does he take us first? To an apartment wherein 15 minutes after our viewing, 3 other clients show up for their SECOND viewing, to meet the landlord, and probably write checks right there and then. We spoke amongst ourselves while waiting for Adam to finish helping other clients get the apartment he just showed us, and all agreed that we did not understand why in the hell he showed us that apartment. It was off-market within 15 minutes of us seeing it, without any notice to us that we only had 15 minutes to decide.

We go to the second apartment, where Adam explains that he hopes someone is home to let us in, and we are the first people to view it since it came on market. No, thats right, Adam did not make an appointment for viewing and does not have keys to actually have a viewing should no one be home. However, a friendly guy opens the door and answers all of our questions about the apartment (Adam is strangely silent for a man trying to sell something...) There is also an available apartment on the third floor, so we take a look, and lucky us again, because someone in his PJs watching tv and hanging out in his home at 9PM, like any normal poerson, is there to let us poke around. We love the third floor.

We take our leave of Adam, saying we will call later that night or tomorrow morning with our answers and all decide that the third floor is for us.

We go to my apartment, fill out paperwork, write checks, and I give old Adam a call to tell him we want to take the place. Great, great, put it in an envelope, slide it under the door, I'll get it first thing in the morning. And then I ask, this is a no fee apartment right? Omniously, Adam says he has to look this up and call us back.

He calls us back. Its half fee.

I say, well considering what happened tonight, do you think that should be reconsidered?

He begins to huff and puff "blah blah nothing to do with that, its a deal with the landlord and the company, can't get out of that, etc"

I say, "Then, is it possible, considering what happened tonight, the hour long wait, you showing us an apartment basically off-market, not having appointments to view the others, that we pay the fee to another realtor?"

Adam has a hissy fit. "OHMIGOD I have never been told something like that, why would you want to do something like that, I can't believe you said that, how could you say that, I have never been so personally offended, I apologized to you about what happened, what else am I, jesus I can't believe you SAID that, this is how the realty market is, I showed you the only 3 bedroom under 1900 in the whole area, GAWD, someone was supposed to call you, I apologized, I have never.."

And I say, "Yes, I understand that you apologized and we accept that apology. It was unfortunate that it happened. But this is business, and what happened tonight was bad business."

Hissy fit continues, he retells the entire story, along with more about his level of personal offense.

And I say, "I understand and we accept your apology, but this IS the realty market and I'm playing hardball Adam. You did bad business tonight."

Eventually he gives up arguing with me, and I repeat that I sincerely want this apartment, that we will be dropping off the checks, that we hope he talks to the landlord about either lowering the rent like he promised, or paying his half of the fee, etc.

We drop off the checks and applications and all go to bed. I light a candle to Virgen of Guadalupe that Adam realizes this is business and does not try to fuck me.

July 9, 2003. No Adam phone calls. Various exchanged emails about lack of calling.

Example:

"My thoughts are that Adam hasn't gotten back to you because he went home to cry to his mother like the little girl he is because his feelings are hurt. I never thought he'd make it in the big city anyway. Anyway, I can give him a call in a little while, just send me his number. I'll just say you were stressed out, but we're working through this anger thing in therapy. Seriously though, you are right, this is business, and this is how HE earns a living, and if he isn't doing it properly, someone should say something. If you think about it, if we pay his half fee, he is earning about about
$825 an hour -- and we're paying him! So if I'm shelling out that kind of money for one hour of his time, he needs to shape up, kiss my ass, and be
professional. You know?"

The future roomate decides to call because it has been agreed someone needs to play good cop and Adam says,

well we also have another application for the apartment that went through and now its up in the air whether you can get it, I just don't know, but the landlord did say s/he favors you, as women tenants over the other 3 guys, but at $1700.

Not the $1650 Adam told us was the rent, not negociable on fee, not not not anything he said before. And, how in the hell did someone else's application get through and shown to the landlord TODAY if we were the first to view it LAST NIGHT and also slide the payment under the door so it would be there, FIRST THING IN THE MORNING?

Yes thats right, Adam tried to fuck us, the vindicitive little asshole.

We are taking the apartment anyways. We can easily redistribute the rent amongst the three of us so that all is fair and even. I explain that I should not be the one to deal with Adam from this point forward because I will probably try my hardest to make him piss his pants.

Most recent email:

"I'll call him right now. And I'm glad you're not talking to him, because I don't want to go and sign a lease with him if he has just peed all over himself. Like the little girly he is."

And once my signature is on that lease, that fucker is going to pay. Oh yes, the Better Business Bureau, the Attorney General of my state's Office, perhaps my congresswo/man, my mom, maybe the President, definitely his boss, and the landlord he did business with. And I will not stop until Justice Has Been Done- because the Constitution directly states "don't you dare try to fuck me when I am right and you know it, asshole" and this is the American Way.