What is Your Funniest Moment as a Realtor?

I bet all of us have more than our fair share of angst and anxieties than humor and funny moments in our dealings in the real estate world. Despite the travails in trekking the profession we choose, there should be at least some funny and enjoyable times worth remembering. 

Allow me to share mine.

Having only been transplanted here in the Land of Opportuniy for fourteen years now, the twangs and slangs of the people I interact with personally do not possess the potent effect to transform my enunciation or pronunciation of syllables and words. The biggest challenge for me are singular syllabic words with double ees and eas.

Because my very first listing was a lakefront property, I have developed a deep compassion for this type of properties. Hence, over the course of years, I assumed the title “Lakefront Specialist.” 

In one of our showings, I have already gathered the information about the quality, restrictions, depth and presence of invasive plants but the beach. So, my clients and I traversed the road where the lakefront home we looked at was situated and scout around for a friendly face.

Luckily, we found a nice man walking leisurely towards our direction as if powdering his shoes with dust was his mission for the day. When our faces met closely,—enough to engage in a quick hello—, I tried to give my most amicable smile and said, “Good afternoon. Is there a beach on this lake?”

Somehow, my BEACH sounded thunderously as BIT*H. His auditory sense registered the whole sentence as “Is there a B**** on this lake?” because of the weird look on his face. My clients, who knew me so well, tried to compose themselves to hold their guffaws. 

I turned my head quickly away from my clients after realizing the big 

and told the amused or shocked man that I was referring to a public beeeeech. I tried immensely to enunciate the beach carefully, keeping the eee syllable to sound longer to avoid the pejorative word. I was relieved when his lips parted to exert a smirk rather than a smile. I would take that anytime. 

After getting the direction from him, my clients and I could not stop from blurting a big laugh non-stop for at least three minutes. The amiable teasing from them did not stop there. It became a good conversation piece during the pursuit of their perfect getaway. When they finally found it, they retrospected our adventures together. To them, the “beach” incident was classic. Indeed, it was a classic example of a very unforgettable humorous but enjoyable moment.

Perhaps, you can tell now why I would refuse to say the word “sheet.” 


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Classic Example of How Government Kills Small Business

The Coventry Regional Farmer’s Market was rejoicing for being cited  as Connecticut’s Best Farmer’s Market by Yankee Magazine, Boston Magazine and American Farmland Trust. CRFM offers farmer’s produce, freshly baked pies, assortment of preserves in sparkling jars, handmade goods and fiddlers. 

The Coventry Regional Farmers Market is the largest hub of local commerce in the entire state of Connecticut drawing in over 65,000 visitors each season and infusing a minimum of $20,000 of local monies directly into local food and agriculture businesses each week.”

The feature on the magazines was not only the reason for jubilation. CRFM was awarded the “BARN give away” by the American Farm Trust worth $80000. After winning this coveted BARN, the Connecticut Landmarks,  which operates the Nathan Hale Homestead where CRFM was housed, was seeking to charge rental fee for the barn on top of the new proposed lease terms. The new costs would smother CRFM’s feability and viability.

To rescue CRFM from this dilemma, “a supporter has offered a spectacular piece of land for a new market location.”  Now, here is where the biggest and ridiculous problem lies. According to CRFM, “Because plans drawn for the Planning & Zoning process include more than 200 parking spaces, the State of Connecticut State Traffic Commission will need to determine the impact of the market’s relocation on highway traffic. This requires a $25,000 traffic study and an expected 6 months processing time before a permit for use can be obtained.” 

$25,000 for traffic study and six months processing time for the permit. 

Hartford Courant reported that according to Winter Caplanson, executive director of the nonprofit that manages the Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market, “Vendor applications for farmers would typically have been sent out already and would be due back in February. The market’s committee would have already planned the summer’s events and partnered with other organizations. None of that has been worked on yet for 2012.”

This means that the six-month processing time and the traffic study cost are retarding the CFRM’s 2012 business strategy and plan. I intentionally use the word retard because the zoning’s policy is regressing and arresting development. What a shame. 

Show support to the local small businesses by signing the PETITION online to expedite the ridiculous processing time and cut the red tape for once. Thousands of people have already shown their support. Make your voice count. 

For more information about the CFRM’s operations, visit their Facebook Business Page.

 

 

NO PAIN, NO GAIN!!!

The closing of nine Friendly’s in Connecticut has bolted me to lament the lugubrious moments engulfing not only our state but the nation as a whole. Indeed, the crash of the once mighty restaurant chain is the most recent stark display of the dismal sign of the times. Imagine the number of employees displaced by the failed business operations.

The economy is dwindling further and this is not helping the real estate industry. The chain reaction of unemployment has adverse effects on the homeowners. No income coming in equates to no money for mortgage payment. Thus, more short sales and foreclosures in the horizon.

The homeowners who are affected opted for the inevitable: Short sale or foreclosure. As home prices continually drop, more homeowners will be forced to short sell.  And the buyers see this an opportunity for a great investment.

There is nothing wrong with gaining from somebody else’s loss. Ces’t la vie. And this opportunity can creep into the vertiginious greed of some human beings. Buyers in particular. And even if you are on the other side of the fence, ergo, buyer’s representative, it still pains to see the homeowners who will eventually fail to stay buoyant in the sinking housing market. 

Nonetheless, our fiduciary duties as buyers’ agents should remain intact and unwavering despite the angst and pinch unfolding in our midst.

Real Estate is not for the Faint of Heart

Because my first two real estate transactions from six years ago were like the first harvest in spring wherein smiles beamed flawlessly from east and west, I thought that my new venture would remain a breeze. But…. gusty winds and tempest weather were invoked on my third transaction. Here is what happened.

As soon as the mortgage contingency date was over, my sellers sold their personal items at cheap prices through a garage sale to facilitate relocation to the warmer state. I felt vicariously the excitement and their could-not-wait-to-move out  frame of mind. 

But the delight eclipsed slowly when I could not get the commitment letter from the buyer’s agent after several attempts. We had five thousand in escrow which should cover the liquidated damages. But my greenhorn self could not sleep over the fact that my sellers have to postpone their plan and that we have to start the process all over again. I was also hard on myself for failing to advise them not to dispose of anything yet until I the commitment letter was in my possession.

Their huge frustration over the deal which was ready to fall like the sword of Damocles dangling over our heads affected me immensely that I would write an e-mail to the buyer’s agent in the wee hour of the night to make a follow up for the umpteenth time hoping that I would wake up the next morning with a commitment letter attachment in my inbox.

Adding woes to the sellers’ misery was the filing of suit at the small claims court to get the five thousand deposit as their recourse. They waited six months to be heard at the court. The judge ruled in their favor. But the buyer’s lawyer, who was also acting as the trustee for the buyer—yes, the same person who signed the contract on buyer’s behalf—-filed a motion. A motion for ????. Hey, I am not a lawyer.

Hah.. Indeed, the “who you know” phrase worked. A different judge reopened the case and changed the ruling. How did it happen? I remembered hearing that all decisions made at the small claims court by the presiding judge would be final.

After months of anticipation, my sellers received a letter signed by the second judge granting them $1200 as liquidated damages instead of $5000. This specific manipulation of the system made me question the validity and strength of a contract which should be deemed binding and enforceable in the court of law. But I am not going that far and digress because my disappoinment is about to percolate.

The whole experience gave me anxiety-filled and sleepless nights months. My emotional attachment to the sellers muddled my professional responsibility. As years pass by, I get better in keeping my emotions in check lest be drained–mentally and emotionally. 

Every transaction is unique and the worse part is there are things and factors involved which are completely beyond our control: Home Inspection, Appraisal,Titles, Personal Incidences, Final Walk-Throughs, etc. There could be an instance when a check evades your waiting hands right there at the closing table. This would be the moment which can precipitate an emotional breakdown. 

Our job requires great labor coupled with uncertainty as our compensation remains in limbo until the check shows as an available balance in our account. Hence, we realtors, should hold our heads high for our resolve and undaunted perseverance. For our heart is filled with compassion but strong enough to resist surrender despite the odds.  For the job we chose is not for the faint hearted.