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Serial origamist
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Picture of pianojuggler
posted
Grrrr. I just got a voicemail followed by four text messages from some realtor claiming to represent a "qualified buyer" and asking if I am interested in an offer on my house.

Ummm... No. I told him in no uncertain terms that I am not interested and not to contact me again.

I looked this guy up. Apparently, his firm does this. Their clients are looking for a specific neighborhood or house or property, then they find out who owns the houses and contact them. It's apparently called "whisper realty". They use some service to get the personal phone number for the owner listed in the property records (even though there is a clear statement on the county web site that says that property ownership information may not be used for commercial purposes).

I think it should be illegal. At best it's a bloody nuisance. And an invasion of privacy.

Apparently, they also arrange "exterior tours". I think that's also called "trespassing".

I have no idea why anyone would sell a house this way. You want maximum exposure. You want people lined up to bid. You want people having a fist-fight in your driveway to outbid each other. Not someone sneaking up behind you with a "whisper" offer. Give me a break.


For at least 10 years I have gotten unsolicited letters from realtors and brokers and builders offering to buy my house. Some of them are just annoying. Some of them are out and out offensive -- suggesting that old people like me (I'm not old) on fixed incomes (I'm not on a fixed income) can't afford to live in this area. I've had people knock on the door. I came home to some twit who parked his BMW in my driveway so I couldn't get in... then when he moved it into the street (parked illegally) had a gall to come back to the door and hound me as I was trying to take groceries inside.

Oh, and usually, these scum say they want to buy my "property". Ummm... it's not my "property", it's my "home". So, [urinate] off.


The absolute scummiest was a few days after my mother died... I inherited the house from her... one of these scum left a message on my answering machine saying "hi, [mother's name] (mother hasn't lived here since 1981 and never had this phone number) it's Scummy Scumbag from Scumbag and Scumbag Realty... I'm returning your call... you called me about selling your property at [address] (mother spent the previous week and a half in the hospital dying and not calling realtors)... give me a call back..." What an absolute lowlife bottom-feeding scum.


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pj, citizen-poster, unless specifically noted otherwise.

mod-in-training.

pj@ermosworld∙com

When a door closes, a can of worms opens.

 
Posts: 28109 | Registered: 27 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Some realtors call the pallbearers after a funeral looking for openings to listings.
No doubt some also call the newly widowed.


--------------------------------
My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened.” – Michel de Montaigne



 
Posts: 22709 | Location: Still living at 9000 feet in the High Rockies of Colorado | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gadfly
Picture of Lisa
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That does suck....there is no reason to treat people like that.

But to offer another perspective, I will say that we are in the process of selling my inlaws' house and I guess you would call it a "whisper" deal. My MIL has been in a memory care home for a year and my FIL passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly in May. The house is a big newish townhouse in an over 55 community and it is full of a lifetime's worth of stuff. Both Mr. Lisa and his sister have full time jobs and they are still processing their dad's death so going through the house to empty it has been slow going. We made a few small repairs as we went, but if we were to list it on the market, it would need more extensive work (complete interior repainting and carpet stretching, which involves moving every stitch of furniture.) We were figuring it was too late to get our act together and list it this season so we'd take our time and list it in the spring.

But a couple weeks ago, we had someone approach us - their client is looking to buy into that community, there's no inventory, and they heard ours might be coming available. Apparently their clients are friends of people who currently live in the neighborhood and they heard because the community is full of busybodies who know everybody else's business --- it's not like the realtors were combing the obituaries or anything. Anyhow, we cleaned up the clutter but otherwise did nothing special to prepare for the showing and got a good offer.

Could we have gotten more or gotten a bidding war? I suppose, but we are already at a pretty high price due to the booming market and are somewhat worried the house won't appraise for the offer price. And if we sat on it, we would have had to spend a lot of money/time/effort on prepping it plus the cost of carrying it until spring (HOA dues plus heat over the winter is $$$). And who knows -- with the virus and the election, the economy and housing market could be totally different in the spring. So we are taking their offer --the home inspection is today and if all goes well, we will be spending a few weeks around Thanksgiving packing up and moving everything out. So there's one "seller" perspective to the whisper deal....our families are overwhelmed enough processing grief and just trying to deal with all the things and their associated memories....so the whisper offer saving us the step of having to prep the house to perfection (not to mention setting a firm deadline for dealing with the house vs. just procrastinating it forever) is a relief in a way.
 
Posts: 4058 | Location: Suburban Philly, PA | Registered: 30 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Lisa, I think you are doing the right thing by selling now. Agree that getting it sold will be a relief.

I hope I die before I have to make my place spiffy enough to get the best price.


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My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened.” – Michel de Montaigne



 
Posts: 22709 | Location: Still living at 9000 feet in the High Rockies of Colorado | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lord Emperor Mom
Minor Deity
Picture of Mary Anna
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That's a few steps further beyond the pale, but I get multiple calls daily and occasional snail mail from people who somehow got my name as a person with surplus houses.

They're rental houses, y'all. No, I do not want to sell them, and if I did, I would not tell a robocaller, "Heck, yeah, person-I-do-not-know. I believe I'll entrust two of my largest investments to you!"

Now I don't answer my phone if I don't recognize the number and this is a major inconvenience that's keeping me from fully using an important service that I pay for. It's not as bad as what you're describing, pj, but it's extremely annoying.


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Mary Anna Evans
http://www.maryannaevans.com
MaryAnna@ermosworld.com

 
Posts: 14641 | Location: Florida | Registered: 22 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I actually get the odd call, now and then, for the rental property in Norman that is in Mary Anna's name. It's only a minor irritation to me. It isn't that hard to say "Not interested" and hang up.

Occasionally, I daydream about wasting their time on the phone ... "sure, tell me all about your offer, how much, is it all cash, what contingencies, can you show me your market research, can you please send me a snapshot of your bank balance," etc. But, ultimately, I'm too lazy.
 
Posts: 44424 | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Serial origamist
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Zillow says my hovel is worth about $1.3M -- as a teardown! I have thought about telling these parasites that I just got an offer for $2.3M and if they can top that, I'll listen.

My neighborhood was built up in the late 40s and early 50s. My house was built in 1952 and has never had a remodel, update, or addition, so it's a very basic 3 bedroom 1.5 bathroom suburban crackerbox. It is on a large (for this neighborhood) corner lot. By now, well over half of the original houses within a three block radius of me (probably much wider) have been torn down and replaced with butt ugly mcmansions. Nobody would buy this house to live in it. They want the lot, not the house. I won't have to clean it out or spiff it up. I won't even have to take out the kitchen garbage. They're gonna scrape the house off the lot and toss it in the landfill.

I have no idea how many houses around me are actually on the market. I have only seen three sell in the last five years that weren't immediately knocked down, and those had extensive renovation.

I am about a mile and a half from where Amazon is moving their headquarters. And 3/4 mile from the new light rail station that will open in two years. Values here are going nowhere but up. When Mrs pj and I are both retired, I'll sell the house and buy a nicer house in a less "desirable" market for about a third of the sale price of this one.

But until then, I would really be happier if the vultures would just leave me alone.


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pj, citizen-poster, unless specifically noted otherwise.

mod-in-training.

pj@ermosworld∙com

When a door closes, a can of worms opens.

 
Posts: 28109 | Registered: 27 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Serial origamist
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Lisa, I can see your perspective. At least in your case, the word was out among the neighborhood busybodies that you might be looking to sell.

Around here, there are realtors who figure out whether the homeowners are over a certain age, then go knock on the door and start giving them a pitch about rising values, rising property tax (which is pretty high here since we don't have an income tax), wouldn't you be happier in a nice retirement apartment with no lawn to mow, and people on a fixed income, and rising property taxes, and you have so much equity you should sell your home and take a nice trip, and there are lovely retirement apartments just a few miles from here, and blah, blah, blah. One of these guys tried to convince me that he was doing old people a great service buy showing them life after home-ownership. I said, "oh, so you prey on the elderly." After a few expletives, he walked away. I think I also waved my lawnmower at him when he got uncomfortably close to me.

If a house is not for sale, it's not for sale. It's not like one of these guys is going to plant an idea in my head and suddenly I'm going to say... by gum, I hadn't thought of selling my home... but why, sure! I'll grab a few things, and you can have it!

Sheesh.


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pj, citizen-poster, unless specifically noted otherwise.

mod-in-training.

pj@ermosworld∙com

When a door closes, a can of worms opens.

 
Posts: 28109 | Registered: 27 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Does This Avatar Make My Butt Look Big?

Minor Deity
Picture of Cindysphinx
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I never get these calls.

Or perhaps more accurately, I never answer these calls. If you're not in my contacts, I don't pick up.

And when I get a text that is just an attachment, I delete those unread.

Now get off my lawn.
 
Posts: 19085 | Location: A cluttered house in Metro D.C. | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Serial origamist
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..and another thing...

One neighbor that I was chummy with did succumb to the schtick. I grew up with her kids. She had been thinking of moving to a smaller place in a lower tax base.

One developer who has been very aggressive in the area made her an offer that was a bit higher than the others. She said that when it was all said and done, her net proceeds were a good ten percent less than the offer... there were brokerage fees, document fees, title search fees, transfer fees, assessment fees, permit fees, and fees and some more fees after that.

She said that if and when I do get ready to sell, demand a bottom line cash-in-hand quote, in writing, and hold them to it.


Full disclosure: I have never bought or sold a house. I have never bought or sold anything more expensive than a new motorcycle. I live in a house that my parents bought when I was in sixth grade and that I inherited free-and-clear.

I was lied to, discriminated against, and ripped off by realtors when a group of us young adults rented houses when we were in college. I have never had a really positive experience with a realtor.


--------------------------------
pj, citizen-poster, unless specifically noted otherwise.

mod-in-training.

pj@ermosworld∙com

When a door closes, a can of worms opens.

 
Posts: 28109 | Registered: 27 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When my ex-wife and I bought our flat in San Francisco (a long and very lucky story), we remodeled it very extensively. When we got divorced not too long after, we sold the place ... the buyer was a dot.com gazillionaire who was after the views. The first thing he did? Tear it out and start all over again.
 
Posts: 44424 | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My experience as a realtor left me with a skin-crawling feeling I get whenever a realtor is near.
That lovely personality they present vanishes the instant it is no longer needed.


--------------------------------
My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened.” – Michel de Montaigne



 
Posts: 22709 | Location: Still living at 9000 feet in the High Rockies of Colorado | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by pianojuggler:
I have never had a really positive experience with a realtor.


There is a certain personality, but I have had positive experiences.

My experience with the real estate agent who sold my flat in San Francisco ... terrific. And our real estate agent here in Oklahoma is a great guy who always gives us good recommendations for service providers, years after we bought the house.

But there have been some duds along the way, too.
 
Posts: 44424 | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Pinta & the Santa Maria
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quote:
Originally posted by QuirtEvans:
When my ex-wife and I bought our flat in San Francisco (a long and very lucky story), we remodeled it very extensively. When we got divorced not too long after, we sold the place ... the buyer was a dot.com gazillionaire who was after the views. The first thing he did? Tear it out and start all over again.


That happened to us as well! (Not the divorce part...)

My experience with our PDX realtor has been different, but he may well be the exception that proves the rule.

I have another perspective. When we bought our house in Arizona (the one we lived in longest, where the kids grew up), we talked to a realtor and gave him our (very narrow) list of requirements, and asked her to let us know if anything that seemed like what we wanted was coming onto the market. She called us about 6 weeks later and said someone was interested selling their house for $X if we were interested. We were, and we bought it for $X. It never went "on the market" officially (I'm not sure if it was ever even listed on the MLS), but we were able to negotiate reduced realtor costs and, most importantly, avoid it going on the market and getting locked into a likely bidding war. The sellers were glad to avoid the whole open house thing, needing to keep the house clean and get out whenever a potential buyer wanted to see it, etc. It was a great house for us, and I never regretted buying it for one instant.

I don't know how she knew that they were interested, but it's her job to know people who might be interested in both buying and selling. We often got postcards from realtors while living there saying, "I just sold your neighbor's house for $X, are you interested in selling yours"? I figured it was just a way to drum up business. There are people who are mulling over whether to sell, or trying to sell during a seller's market, and this was generally what the realtors were dealing with. So I absolutely can imagine someone thinking, "OK, I think it's time we sell this place and move to La Boca Vista...."

It's a far cry from preying on the elderly, strong-arming, or ambulance chasing, though.
 
Posts: 33660 | Location: West: North and South! | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Serial origamist
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*sigh*

I got my 2021 property tax assessment in the mail yesterday. The assessment went up 41%. The tax will go up a similar amount.

A couple years ago, there was a pronounced bump, though not nearly this big. I looked at the assessments and tax for all the houses nearby. The lower the previous valuation, the higher the percentage increase. The increase seemed very regressive. It was as if the gummint was trying to tax people out of their modest homes.

Still, my tax this year was $6500. My neighbor in his 5000 square foot McMansion paid more than four times that much.


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pj, citizen-poster, unless specifically noted otherwise.

mod-in-training.

pj@ermosworld∙com

When a door closes, a can of worms opens.

 
Posts: 28109 | Registered: 27 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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