View Full Version : Realtors: Worst Things About Job

06-11-2007, 03:45 AM
Any Realtors, estate agents or spouses of? What are the worst things about the job? Hours, clients, loan process, open houses, paperwork...?
Any funny or horrible stories about your job?

06-11-2007, 08:08 PM
I'm not a realtor, nor am I the spouse of a realtor, but what would worry me is meeting someone you have never met at a house that is isolated (or during the evening).

06-11-2007, 08:31 PM
'Buyers are liers and sellers are yellers....'

I was an active agent starting in 1977. (Boy am I old.)

Loved the work for many years. Always stayed 'aware' of my surroundings and never had a problem.

In one of my books I have used real estate agents as victims, just a perfect set up for a bad guy. In all the years I only remember one time where a warning was put out in Tucson and it dealth with being robbed.
Phoenix has had some killed, but not just because they were real estate agents.

The amount of hours and the time of day that one works is truly a good set up for being hit. We were told that if a male called to see homes and you were female.....ask another agent to go along with you. Many female agents left word with the office sec. on when and where they were going, and was told that some offices even had a single male to have his drivers lic. copied at the office before going out with an agent. None in my office ever did that.

Was told by one female agent that upon going to a vacant house and using the back door to enter...she saw dirty footprints leading into the house and across the floor. She was suppose to meet a male there and getting spooked she retreated, locked the house back up, and came back to her car and waited for the man to show up. After an hour she came back to the office...he never showed up. So....who knows?

06-11-2007, 09:30 PM
All I know is I have to typeset those damn real estate ads in our newspaper where they try to fit a bible onto a two-inch square of space. I'm surprised anyone can possibly decipher the acronyms and short forms.

Cosy 3 bdrm. bung. set on quiet st. 2 pc. ens. in mstr., eat in kit., fenced yd. & 2 car gar. Mn. flr. laund.

As far as a premise goes, I know of two real estate murder mysteries - Point of Departure by Laurie Breton and one called Open House where a Classified ad taker lures single women to open houses and KILLS 'EM!

We had a real case here in Toronto when an agent met someone at a showing and was murdered. Still unsolved, apparently.

06-11-2007, 10:21 PM
Good points- never thought about the idea of meeting/being alone at an empty house. Creepy.

Cosy 3 bdrm. bung. set on quiet st. 2 pc. ens. in mstr., eat in kit., fenced yd. & 2 car gar. Mn. flr. laund. - That's great! Is it weird that I can understand it? Almost reads like text messaging!

06-11-2007, 11:11 PM
Good points- never thought about the idea of meeting/being alone at an empty house. Creepy.

Cosy 3 bdrm. bung. set on quiet st. 2 pc. ens. in mstr., eat in kit., fenced yd. & 2 car gar. Mn. flr. laund. - That's great! Is it weird that I can understand it? Almost reads like text messaging!
Try typing like that for seven hours. Ick. "Crap, doesn't fit. Must shorten more words because real estate agent is too stubborn to take out a few features or buy a bigger ad."

With apologies to all real estate agents on this board...

06-13-2007, 09:54 PM
I handled real estate closings for many years. However, my ex was a successful Broker who specialized in listings and had many a story about open houses. This one is about another realtor when she was pretty much a greenhorn.

- Seller called in sick to work. She had forgotten it was open house day. The realtor was running late and had potential buyers waiting at the front door when she arrived at the house. She opened the house and let them in, and then went back outside to set up her open house signs. The seller, who had been asleep in bed, heard people walking about and thought the house had been broken into and called the police. The buyers tried to get into the master bedroom and freaked when the seller started screaming from behind her locked door. Two police cars screeched to a halt in front of the home, didn't see the open house signs, and told the realtor to "put 'em up!" The buyers fled the house, froze when they saw the cops, and started screaming for their lives. Moments later the realtor was able to explain to the police that she was holding an open house, the buyers fled promising to sue and the seller cancelled the listing agreement.

This same realtor also sat an open house on a Saturday for another realtor and couldn't understand why she didn't get but one potential buyer walk through. Near the end of the open house period, she received a call from the listing agent. He was furious because he was at the house she was suppose to sit for him and it was all locked up. She had sat the wrong house for four hours and never realized it.

A professional real estate career is a 24/7 job. In the beginning, there are the pressures of making money to pay your bills. As you become more proficient at your job, there are the pressures of not having enough time in the day to do all that needs to be done. Answer calls, set up appointments, show houses, attend classes to maintain your license, etc.

Most realtors specialize in either representing buyers or sellers. They figure out what they are most comfortable doing and stick to one or the other. Each has its own pressures and problems. I'd recommend you determine which type of realtor your MC is, and then you'll have a better idea of what kinds of problems and pressures that MC will likely face.

06-13-2007, 10:25 PM
One of my sister's got her real estate license about a year ago. When she first took the courses, she thought it'd be great once she became a real estate agent. She'd make her own hours. She'd be able to go to her nine-year-old daughter's school or after school functions. Wrong. She has missed several school functions. She's also had to cancel several family trips due to clients wanting their house closings on that particular day. Or only being the area at that time to look at houses. The commissions in the beginning isn't great, and she's barely met the cost of the courses, gas used to drive her car all over the place, business cards, ads, etc. in the first year.

07-04-2007, 10:21 PM
I used to be a Realtor, and I could go on for hours about the drawbacks. It's fairly low paid -- the average full time RE agent in the US earns less than $40,000 per year. You work mostly nights and weekends. Cash flow is sporadic (like writing) but unlike writing, you need to dress for success. and drive a nice car. And, you have hefty advertising costs.

By the way, only members of the National Association of Realtors can legally call themselves Realtors, so your character might be a real estate agent, but not a Realtor. Just FYI.

If you'd like more info, contact me by PM and I'll be happy to go on forever.

07-04-2007, 10:39 PM
Sellers who blame the agent for not being able to sell, when in reality the house is a dump and the sellers refuse to spend the money to clean up their act.

07-05-2007, 03:21 AM
Sellers who want to base the value of their house on the "asking" price of similar homes, not the actual selling price. And, sellers who can always think of a reason why their home is worth $20,000 more than any other house in the area, even though the others have more bedrooms, yada yada yada...

Buyers who want to offer $85,000 on a house worth $125,000. Or, "Lookey Lous" who want you to spend all day Saturday driving them around to look at new houses, when in reality they have no intention of buying. It's just free entertainment to them.

Unrealistic buyers and sellers. Come to think of it, that's pretty much all buyers and sellers. (Now you know why I got out of that biz!)

07-05-2007, 06:20 PM
I'm not in real estate, but I have a friend online who is, or was.

She says she's never had a career which jerked her around so much. It didn't matter what was going on in her real life, if the chance to sell a property came up, real life had to wait. She's shown houses on the Christmas Eve night and on Christmas Day, too, and two days after surgery (putting on the pantyhose was pretty bad), and while she was in the early stages of labor. I'm sure birthdays, wedding anniversaries, etc. were also deferred at times.

She also laughed about it being the only time she looked decent pretty much every day, and that her car was always clean outside and free of clutter inside.

Maryn, sure there are much worse horror stories

07-05-2007, 07:26 PM
Any Realtors, estate agents or spouses of? What are the worst things about the job? Hours, clients, loan process, open houses, paperwork...?

I'm related to a realtor. The worst things:

(1) The insecurity of it; you might work 250 hours in a month and not get paid a dime. You might spend 30 hours of your life driving one couple around to 50 different houses and have them decide not to buy anything.

(2) People's unreasonableness. Sellers who think their grotesque ranch house that hasn't been updated since 1978 is worth $200,000 more than it's actually worth. Buyers who wouldn't recognize a great deal if it bit them in the ass. Buyers who want the impossible or don't know what the hell they want--the wife likes frame houses decorated in country casual, the husband likes industrial lofts in brick warehouses, and they go shopping just assuming that somehow a house they both like will magically materialize.

(3) People who fail to appreciate what it is that a realtor does for them. "Why am I paying you 6%?" Um, because you don't know the first thing about real estate law, contracts, mortgages, inspections, negotiations, and so on. You're paying the realtor to handle the ENTIRE legal and administrative side of the transaction so that every detail is in accordance with state law, AND to point you towards other help you need (e.g. recommending a good home inspector, mortgage broker, title insurer, etc.), AND to explain arcane issues to you ("the title says the neighbor has an easement, which means they can walk across your back yard..."; "the fence is grandfathered in, which means it's ok for now but if it fell down you couldn't legally rebuild it...") AND to advise you on negotiations (should you insist that the seller fix XYZ, should you reject the buyer's first offer, should you raise your offer by $20k or $40k...).

07-06-2007, 09:04 PM
We have a very good friend that's a real estate agent, his two biggest complaints are:

1) buyers that have no idea what they want and

2) buyers that shop & shop & shop and then after finally finding the property they want they disappear. Then you find out that they bought the property, you helped them locate, using their brother-in-law or cousin or next door neighbor or ???? to close the deal thereby snaking you for the commission.

07-06-2007, 10:12 PM
This is from the other end of the stick, but my family has sold several houses through real estate agencies. The worst thing about having that "for sale" sign up is that weirdoes take this as a signal that it's okay to come and walk all over your lawn and climb into your back yard and inspect everything. I'm not kidding. Once as a kid I was home alone and this man was crawling all around outside our house, checking everything. I thought he was trying to break in.

Another time, one of the agents showed our house to someone while none of us were home. And then left the door wide open. Hours later, I come home from school to find our front door hanging open and nobody home. I was so paranoid I went through every room of the house and checked all closets just to make sure nobody was there. Fortunately nobody took the opportunity to steal anything.

08-22-2007, 11:42 PM
The other Realtors and brokers. Its a great profession but not when you have to deal with the other slime balls who are Realtors/brokers as they make all of us not want to say we are a Realtor or a broker. Simply stated I am a Realtor who doesn't like to say I am a Realtor because of my colleagues they are unscrupulous most of them and no different than a used car salesman.