Family

A Tale of Two Cities and Three Realtors

Dealing with an uncommunicative real estate agent is a bit like having a bad boyfriend. You know he knows you are waiting to hear from him, but he just doesn’t call. Worse than that, he shuts off his phone after 9:00 PM so that he can’t be bothered by the sound of the phone ringing.

I’m in the process of buying a house in Edmonton and selling my house in Red Deer. It’s a very stressful time, and I have come to appreciate timely communications. Specifically, right now, I’m frustrated with the real estate agent who represents the person who has offered to buy my house. He doesn’t call.

For two nights now I’ve waited for this fellow to call with information. On Monday night I was waiting to hear from my own agent whether or not my counter-offer had been accepted, but the buyer’s realtor didn’t call. On Tuesday night I was waiting to hear that the buyer had received my acceptance of his counter-counter-offer. Nothing. No call.

I’m not asking for much. Just an indication of the state of play. Even if it is just to know that all is well, or that the buyer is not home this evening, or that there has been some sort of hiccup, or that the Rapture happened and I missed it. Anything. When I don’t hear, I do not assume good news. I start to imagine all sorts of possibilities and they all involve a complication in this already vexing process.

By contrast, the agent who helped me and my family find the house in Edmonton made sure that we were well-informed all the time. He would call or text with any new information, and he told us that sometimes negotiations for houses can go on into the early hours of the morning. He accepts this as a part of his job. He is polite when I call asking for information or explanations, and he will even go over things multiple times until I understand.

Similarly, the agent who is guiding me through the sale of my Red Deer house will respond to my questions speedily using emails, phone calls, and personal visits as necessary. I know she has a full schedule, but I always know she will get back to me as soon as she can, even late in the evening. You need good longsuffering qualities in your realtor.

What is it about the bad boyfriend type that makes him so stingy with his communications? Perhaps he thinks that hoarding knowledge gives him power. Maybe he is just lazy and inconsiderate. Did he delegate the task to someone unreliable? It’s possible that he has a pact with his family that prohibits late-evening calls. Perhaps he likes to keep people waiting on purpose; it amuses him. One thing I do know, and that is that I don’t want to piss him off.

There is a lot riding on keeping on the good side of this realtor whom I have never met. I don’t want anything to impede the progress of this sale, so I must tread carefully around a very tenuous relationship. I would love to tell him to smarten up, get his act together, and improve his communication skills, but I won’t. At least, not yet. I’ll wait until after the sale of my house is complete.

It’s not the “in your face” dressing down that I think is called for, but it’ll have to do. I’ll play the simpering girlfriend to his bad boy, at least for a little while. Unless, of course, he was taken in the Rapture. In that case you can expect a very different blog from now on.

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