Monday, 9 December 2013

Real Estate or In a Real State?

It must be an English Countryside thing.  London? No.  New York? No.

ONLY in England's sleepy (read dozy) idyllic and picturesque green and pleasant land can salespeople, real estate salespeople in particular, get away with such under performance.
Not much business done here, I bet

I see lots of examples of stupidity....like signs like this on the right...


It isn't difficult to spot these things, they are everywhere...


Even people behaving in a way that makes you want to bang their head against the wall...
Does she think it's an exercise bike?
Like this woman on the left...

"You can't mend Stupid!"


I have to give a special mention to a few people who work in an industry that I have trained salespeople in....an industry that we all have a need for at some point.  Unfortunately, it isn't a great mention but then, it was never going to be, as I am basing my comments on the experiences I have had for the last 2 months in and around Tunbridge Wells in East Sussex, in England.

Estate Agents, Realtors, call them what you want...the ones here are terrible.  I don't know, I cannot tell, if their incompetency is natural, or they have been trained to be mediocre.  Either way, they would be dead in a minute in a busy professional agency in London, New York, Chicago, you name it...

I am in a very fortunate position of being able to buy a property for cash.  I don't say that to impress you, I say it to impress upon you that this is a very serious position for ANY Real Estate agent because I have worked my Ass off for many years to be in this position and I KNOW from my past history that I am the ideal buyer.
 
1. I don't need a mortgage
2. I can move very fast
3. I don't need to sell my current property to purchase another.
4. I am paying CASH.

All four of those statements should, SHOULD, translate immediately in the mind of the Salesperson as 'I am going to get paid VERY quickly!'
You see,  I sold a couple of rental properties I had owned over the years and I am looking at buying a fairly substantial property for CASH.  I am a real estate salespersons dream!

Now I know that all of you real, genuine, fully trained or naturally gifted salespeople reading this will think, 'Cash?  That is KING! Wow, I would jump over anything to get a piece of that action...'
Yep, so would I.
Do you know who isn't?
Yep, you are right.

The Real Estate agents in Sussex.  Sleepy towns, sleepy salespeople.

I saw a house for sale.  I got the details.  I turn up to view.  No estate agent.  No seller at home.  Eventually the estate agent turns up, but without the keys.  He believes they are under a flower pot on the driveway.  He calls the seller who tells him the keys are under a mat in the side entrance lobby.

Before we enter he says with a smile, 'One thing I need to tell you is that the seller isn't including the garage or the lower gardens.  They intend to keep those and apply for planning permission.'

'Are they nuts?' I ask.
'I understand what you mean' he replies.
'Anyone buying this property would naturally want all of it and not just part of it that has been carved out of the original boundaries.  They will not get planning permission because of the close proximity to Ashdown Forest which has a preservation order on it and even if they DID get to the first stage of permissions it would be opposed by everyone around here, not least the new owner of this property who would not want anything built on land at the bottom of their gardens.  Nor would they want a piece of land left to rot or slide into disrepair because the owners can't be bothered any more.  It's all or nothing.'
'I take your points on board' he replied.
'Why isn't that mentioned on the details?' I asked him.
'Why isn't what mentioned?' He asked me, amazed.
'What I just mentioned to YOU!'
'I don't know, I will look into it.'

He told me that he had called the sellers and left a message. a day went by and I called him, only to hear he had not heard back and was waiting.  Waiting?  Do these people WANT to sell?  'Do YOU want to sell this property?' I asked him, 'get on the phone and chase them and get some sort of answer please.'  I am still waiting after three days.

No preparation, no quality information.

These are the same agents who arranged a viewing at a farm last Saturday for me and when I got there I was met by a teenager who works at the weekends and had never been to the property before and knew nothing about it.  A frantic phone call to her office brought someone else who HAD knowledge of the place over in 15min.  Did I need to make that happen?  Was it MY responsibility, as the potential buyer, to make that happen?  NO!  But if I hadn't, it would not have happened.

I have seen an immaculate property with stables and a two floored building in the grounds which would make an ideal office and training centre.  To me the property is ideal.  I made an offer a little under the asking price because there is some work to be done inside the property and I value the place a little less than the asking price. 

No one, I think, should EVER pay ticket price, always haggle.

I spent ages there, looking the place over and made an offer with the stipulations that it was a cash purchase, No chain, I don't need to sell, I want to complete quickly.

Next day I get a call from the agent telling me that another potential buyer has offered the same amount as me but it is dependent upon them securing a mortgage.  I asked why they were telling me because that is a dead offer compared to my cash one.  They then asked me to give them a letter from my bank to confirm I have the funds before they could present it to the seller.

I can't tell you the exact words I used in my reply for obvious reasons but I made it clear that on the many occasions I had bought a house in the past that relied on either mortgage or the sale of an existing property NOBODY asked me to prove I had a mortgage or a buyer.  Why do I need to prove I have the cash?

She couldn't answer that.


Agents in this part of England are so laid back they are horizontal!

They don't chase the seller, they don't call you to let you know what's going on, they give you details about properties but withhold facts that could make it a 'no thanks' before you have viewed.

They commit EVERY SINGLE sales crime there is to commit.  If I was in London, New York or any large city, I would have been dealt with and helped and would have been sitting in a new home by now, or near as damn it.

They have no drive, no nerve, no skills and above all, they give salespeople a bad name!
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