Real Estate Agents Are Ridiculous

Holy smokes in a cat-herding┬áhand-basket of spaghetti. What a joke this “buying new home” process has been. We have laughed a LOT over the last month… with the understanding that this is a kind of dark humor born of the depths of weird doublespeak and fundamentally shady standards.

{The feature image for this post is so smarmy that I just had to include it. SNARF SNARF.}

My first draft of this post was SO LONG, mainly to try to explain the mental gymnastics one has to go through to even understand U.S. home-buying real estate.

The super-short, very pared down version is this: we didn’t use a real estate agent to buy or sell the house we’re currently in. We live in such a small, rural area that word of mouth and a local real estate attorney was all we needed to get the contract and lending obligations done. In fact, this house never even went on the real estate market – when we bought it was because we heard it was available through a friend and when it was time to sell we had four different people interested before we were even done cleaning!

under contract

Contrast this with our new location – a┬álarge city and a robust real estate market and hundreds of homes for sale. Any time we saw a house the selling agent would do a double take in shock and awe when we said we weren’t working with a buyer’s agent. They just couldn’t wrap their heads around it.

What that means, now that we’re only two weeks away from moving in to a new house, is that we tend to get ignored when we have questions or document needs. Title companies, other agents, inspectors, even the lender (to some extent) are used to working with agents. They are NOT used to fielding calls and answering questions directly from the buyer. So the responses have been mostly surprised and sometimes strangely dumb.

I actually had one guy call and scold me for not using an agent. And the seller’s agent called and told me our lender (a major bank) was a “terrible decision” and that I should go with “their guy” who could get the whole loan processed in three weeks or less.

the most interesting realtor in the world

Seems to me that the assumption is that we are stupid, or foolish. Going against the flow so dramatically (I had no idea…) as to not even HAVE an agent at all kind of marks us as weirdos in a major real estate market.

The plus side to all this is that I have control over the timeline. No one is lagging on sending documents to our lender. Nothing we say is getting lost in translation as it passes through two or three middle men. I have a solid idea of where the listing agency is in their “to dos” for this sale. Mostly, I’m not having to rely on one person for all my information. Worth it.

If all continues to go “well” we will be done with the Real Estate Agent Circus and in our new home in two weeks. That’s pretty cool, and also scary! MAJOR change, and one that is not a sure thing until all the paperwork is signed. I never realized how big a deal it was to pack up your life and head to a new place without a sure spot to land! We’ve always had a rental or apartment lined up. This is kind of a “pack up and hope for the best” situation!


David Bowie Ch-ch-ch-CHANGES