Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Adventures in house hunting & how not to sell a house

Eight months ago, one of us learned that a developer was, in a year or so, going to ruin what had been a perfectly okay neighborhood, halfway house and all. The alkie neighbor who wandered into wrong houses at midnight when she needed cash? The autistic kid who would come in the back door and destroy every plastic lid in the house? The couple whose hate/hate relationship sometimes drew up to five cops at once? Character. But development? Time for some house hunting.

Having been out of the housing market a while, I set my sights on perhaps a slight upgrade.

My lender offered a few suggestions of its own.

Some needed a little work...

...but overall, househunting has been kind of fun. Over the months, I learned many things. For example:

  • The most dangerous road in the entire valley -- by far -- is Camp Williams Road in Bluffdale.

  • Layton has the worst intersection in the valley.

  • Disturbingly few people respect speed limits, even in residential areas.

  • Once I am in the roundabout, I don't have to yield to anybody.

  • Some people are not meant for sales. Consider this scenario:

    Prospective buyer rings doorbell, asks if it is okay to look at the back yard.

    Sure, Owner says; would Buyer like a tour of the house?

    "Are you sure?" Buyer asks. "I know I'm here unannounced."

    "Sure," Owner replies, pointing out, "We are trying to sell it."

    Buyer loves the house (or, more specifically, the yard and neighborhood). Buyer gets preapproval from lender, then decides to seek preapproval from a higher authority. Two days later, Buyer brings la madre to the house and rings the bell. Teenage girl answers. Her mom is not home.

    "I went through the house on Saturday," Buyer says, "and I was hoping to show it to my mother," indicating senior in question.

    Daughter makes executive decision, decides to straighten up a bit while Buyer wanders around the yard. Daughter steps outside and invites the strangers in.

    "Are you sure you won't get in trouble with your Mom?" Buyer asks.

    "No, I called her," Daughter says. "It's fine."

    Midway through the tour, Daughter hands Buyer a cell phone. "This lady wants to talk to you."

    Said lady turns out to be Owner's agent. Owner has apparently called her.

    Agent begins her interrogation. "Who are you?"

    "I'm [Buyer.]"

    "Are you an agent?"

    "No, I'm just interested in the house."

    "How did you learn about it?"


    "And did you make an appointment with me to see it before going there?"

    Screeeeeech. "Uh, no. Since I came by on Saturday and it was okay, I thought it would be all right to have another look."

    "Well, if you really saw the home on, then you would know that it says the house is to be shown by appointment only."

    Uh... "Sorry," Buyer says, "I didn't see that." Buyer has seen listings with that wording and is embarrassed to have missed it. (Buyer realizes later that the listing does not in fact say that. Clicking on this image will show a listing with quite similar wording, chosen randomly for illustrative purposes only and not at all the actual house in Draper that Buyer really wanted because it had an acre.)

    Buyer is informed that asking to see the house is inappropriate, that there are just two teenage girls in the house, that Buyer is basically scum, etc. "You know what?" Buyer says. "I don't need this." Mid-ream, Buyer hands phone to Daughter and kisses the coveted acre goodbye. House remains on the market, and Buyer, meanwhile, continues the quest for yard...


    Anonymous said...

    Tell the homeowner you'll buy her house as long as the realtor is out of the picture.

    Anonymous said...

    Yeah Can't you just buy it without the realtor?..

    Prudential said...

    That realtor is kinda's his fault it wasn't sold..

    Justin Bill said...

    One of the factors you must remember when house hunting is getting visual evidence. Take your own pictures. These are much more useful than glossy shots you see from the Internet. Another is asking a reputable mortgage or housing loan agent to prepare a list of houses on the market, and accompany you on your visits. Consulting a loan agent would guarantee you safer transactions with the seller, knowing that everything would be done legally.

    Justin Bill