Share your funny/bizarre/infuriating stories about "Realtors"

I quoted and capitalized Realtor because apparently it’s a trademark, and I find it funny.

In another thread complaining about care salesmen someone mentioned they never got irritating sales pitches from real estate agents and someone else came back with “Lucky you.” I agree. We just went through the process of buying and selling a house and boy, did we meet some winners.

I have a lot of stories to share but probably #1 was the agent from the Pink House. The inside of the house was pink and dusty rose throughout, and not well done at that. It was so ugly it hurt my feelings. If you were going to redecorate it you’d be well off to start with a flamethrower. You could tell the agent knew it wasn’t sellable.

I was nice to her at the open house and said straight up the house was completely unsuitable and that we didn’t have the $30,000 it would need to make it less blindingly hideous.

Apparently she thoguht we still might be sold, though, because she called me three times. Even though I had not given my number. How did she find my number, you ask? She went through 411 to find me. Well, not that big a deal, you say?

  1. I live in a city with 170,000 people in it.
  2. My last name is Jones.

She had to call five wrong numbers before she found me. She actually told me this. Realtor-Stalker!

What’s your funny or horrible real estate agent story?

I don’t even know where to begin. I have had the usual low-grade sleaze that renters in NYC come to expect when dealing with Realtors. This comes with the territory and it is years in the past.

Most recently, my wife and I sold our apartment to move to a different unit in the same building. Our realtor, supposedly agent for the seller, was our best friend and neighbor.

It was an unmitigated disaster. We lost a best friend, about twenty thousand unforced dollars, and several months of our lives. It has been a full year and I still do not want to unfold the entire story.

It will be a cold day in hell before I try to sell this apartment. I do not want to go through that process again. Ever.

My next-door neighbor is in late-stage Alzheimer’s and has other ailments. I feel sorry for him, but he was always exceedingly creepy. He had a real estate license because he worked acquiring property for a local utility.

When my dad died, his wife (now deceased) came over and asked if I was going to keep the house. I replied that I didn’t know if I could afford it, but I hoped to be able to stay. She said “Well, if you decide you want to sell, [husband] can sell it for you.” My instant realization that if I agreed to let him sell the house for me, I would have to let him inside the house was pretty much my main impetus for keeping the house.

I told her I was probably going to stay. She leaned close and whispered, “Well, whatever you do, please don’t sell to black people!

Well. After my initial impulse to run out and find a nice black family to sell my house to wore off (why would I want to inflict them on a nice black family), I kept the house. It was tough, but I still live here, now with my husband. She died about 10 years ago, and her husband is still hanging on. Her son puts him outside in his wheelchair sometimes and I bring my dogs over so he can pet them. He has no idea who I am.

There used to be a local realtor who liked the word "pretentious. “The most pretentious house on the block!,” she’d boast in her ads.

Oh lord.

We started shopping for a house in earnest a couple of months ago. A lady at the office recommended her daughter-in-law, so I called her. Right off on the phone, I could tell that this wasn’t the realtor for us; she was very aggressive and a hard-seller. She insisted that she had the house for us, and we had to come see it right away.

So even though Junior is a day-sleeper, we rearranged slightly to go look at the house. And she didn’t even show up - she sent her husband to show it to us. We did like it, so the next day, I called her to ask how one goes about making an offer. I wanted information, since we’d never bought a used house before; I was definitely not committing to an offer over the phone.

She called up our finance lady, who happens to be a long-time friend of the family, and started laying it on really thick, about how it was already a done deal that we were offering on that house, and how she knew us so very well, we were like family to her. Mind you, I still hadn’t met her in person.

When our finance lady related the conversation to me, I had had enough. Besides being way too pushy, now she’s lying about us. So I called her office (she wasn’t there) and left a message that we would no longer be requiring her services. I left that message as a courtesy so she wouldn’t have to continue doing any work on our behalf.

Not an hour later, I got a call from our finance lady again. Seems the realtor had called her to chew her out about losing us as clients, accusing her of poaching us (she’s not even a realtor) and threatening her.

I was furious. I had totally made the right call in cutting her loose - and mind you, we didn’t even have a verbal contract. We hadn’t met in person and she’d delegated showing us one house.

I found another realtor, and we went back to make an offer on that same house, after she explained to us the process. While we were sitting in the office doing that, the first one called back and started screaming at me so loudly that everyone there could hear over my cell phone. Since I couldn’t get a word in edgewise, I just talked over her and firmly stated that I was busy, this was not the time, and we could talk about it another time, and hung up.

Then came the voice mails, so I eventually had to excuse myself and step outside to handle it. This time, she was screaming at me for hanging up on her (nevermind that she just hadn’t shut up long enough to hear me tell her I was done with the conversation) and she started threatening to come down to my office to “talk shit about me.” I stated that any further contact from her would be considered harrassment, and hung up again.

I had to alert my office not to let her know where I was - which was tricky, since I still don’t know what she looks like. The office promised to have her thrown out if she showed up. And I tried to get a complaint form from the Board of Realtors, but just realized that it never showed up. She finally started leaving me alone.

Even though that original offer on that house fell through and we spent months looking at other ones, that one recently went back on the market. We’re buying it; we close escrow in less than 30 days. No thanks to that bitch.

We were going through selling our house several years ago,usual routine, listed with local agent,make appointment before showing, etc. Knock on the door, local realtor standing outside with two women, asking if they could see the house AT 11:30 AT NIGHT!!! :eek: Wonder what they would have done if they had known I had a pistol held out of sight? :smiley:

Do it! Do it!

We contacted the 2 most successful agents in the area when we sold my moms house. I see how they became volume sellers. They wanted to cut the price way down to move it fast. !0 k does not translate to much money for them. They wanted to move it as fast as possible and go on to the next one. They actually downgraded it to me so I would be convinced to sell it cheaper. I got a new agent and sold it for the original price I wanted in 2 weeks.

When my in laws were looking at the house my MIL is still living in (my FIL died about four years ago) the owners were completely charmed by my then 16 year old SIL. They exchanged phone numbers with my in laws.

My in laws went to make an offer, but were told by the realtor someone had already made an offer. My MIL called the owner, to ask if something could be worked out.

The owner was floored. No one else had made another offer, but since my in laws had put in an offer lower than the asking price, the realtor had 1)not forwarded it to the owners and 2)lied to my in laws that the house was off the market.

The owners were motivated to sell, and the asking price wasn’t that much lower than the selling price. My in laws and the owners bypassed the agent to make the sale, and I believe a complaint was filed with the realtor.

According to this, you’re supposed to type it as REALTOR.

Mine’s more of an infuriation story. When we bought our house from a builder 4-5 years ago, we were introduced to the realtor who handled the transactions for them. We were told by the realtor that all communication with the builder had to go through her - things like color selections, change orders, questions, etc. As you can imagine, this caused endless headache - I’d fax the realtor a list, she’d in her own sweet time get it to the builder, I’d get a reply a few days later and have some followup questions, etc, etc. At the closing, when I was talking to the builder’s office manager, she said something like “Why didn’t you ever call me with all those questions? Things would have gone a lot faster if you had.” Turns out the requirement to submit questions via the realtor was the realtor’s requirement, not the builders, and the builder’s office manager had in fact told the realtor to tell us to call her directly several times. The realtor didn’t want any communication that didn’t go through her. All we can figure is she wanted to make sure she got her 4% commission on the $200 change order for nicer doorknobs and the like.

The thing that infuriates me the most is when people pronounce it “real-a-ter.” Drives me nuts, especially when a realtor does it, which the majority of them seem to do.

Anyway, this thread has made me thank the stars that my wife’s mother is a realtor.

Wow; these stories are really making me look forward to putting our house on the market in spring. :smiley:

My realtor story doesn’t even compare with these, but it is uncomfortable. My brother-in-law is a real estate agent (I don’t know if he’s a REALTOR!!!1!!) who handled our buying our first house. We found the house, all he did was open the doors and let us walk around in it, and do the paperwork. He botched the paperwork (I caught his mistakes), and he freaked out when there was a glitch in the sale (there are always glitches in sales - again, I calmed him down). We have no intention of using him for our next sale and purchase because on top of being incompetent, we just don’t like him much, but he’s FAMILY, so I think there will be an expectation that we will engage his services. It has the potential to make for some uncomfortable family get-togethers in the future. We’re planning on not telling him what we’re doing, and presenting it as a fait accompli. We’ll see how that goes.

We just sold our house (after 8.5 grueling months) using a flat fee lister. That guy gave us all the data we needed, put the shack on the market, handled the paperwork while we did all the work on our end (scheduled showings etc). Saved between $5K and $10K doing it that way. The real horror stories came from the morons trying to see it. From the twat who all but demanded we hold an open house for the area realtors (and of course provide free food and drinks) to the one who told me because of my imposing physical presence that I shouldn’t be at the house when the looky-loos were there (riiight). Then there was the realtor (recommended by a friend) who said in effect, OK, lower the price of your house by $8K, pay me $9.5K to sell it. You’ll bring $4K of your own money to closing and you’ll help the buyer with the points. He was lucky I didn’t want to get blood on the new carpet.

Realtors, by and large, IMO, are riddled with this misplaced sense of entitlement to make shitloads of cash for doing what amounts to secretarial scut work and driving around.
If it weren’t for the laws and whatnot, realtors would be the next buggywhip makers.

Good lord I hate them.

I’ve got two stories. One is a warning. When I sold my house a few years ago I asked a friend of mine to go to the open house just to see how the property looked from an outsider’s perspective. She and her financee went and poked around and asked a few questions. The realtor who was hosting the open house took it upon herself to tell them that I’d be happy to drop the price and would negotiate for all sorts of stuff (things we never discussed before). I did drop something…but it wasn’t the price.
So the warning is - get a spy to go to your open house and see what your realtor is telling folks when you’re away. It might surprise you.

Just recently I was involved in the sale of a property owned by my church. The realtor had figured in a 8% commission. That is higher than the standard rate (6%) in this area. I question the higher percent, and was told that she would earn it because it was such an unusual property and hard to market. As near as I could tell, she marketed it like any other property, it sat on the market for over a year (admittedly not her fault, the market sucks right now), and we finally sold it for 40K less than it was originally listed. As a “goodwill gesture” she lowered her commission to 6%. My guess is that she felt a pang for ripping off a church.

I’ve got a couple.

My wife and I bought our house almost three years ago. We went to an open house, liked it and wanted to buy it. A friend of a friend was a Realtor so we called her up. The only thing she had to do was bring the paperwork. She found us an inspector, who I didn’t much like as he was in and out in an hour or so. We were going on vacation right after closing and the people wanted to stay in the house while we were gone. That was fine with us since we weren’t going to be there anyway. When we did our final walk through everything looked good. When my father-in-law did the walk through when they had moved out, since we were away, he was appalled. They had left huge holes in the walls in every room, left junk all in the basement, twenty or so cans of half used paint all over, and a bunch of other stuff as well. She told our father-in-law that’s the way everyone does it and they weren’t going to do anything about it. We ended up paying hundreds of bucks just to have all the junk removed. We don’t talk to her any more, not like we did anyway.

Recently we’ve gotten some money and will be able to afford a larger house. My wife was talking to someone at an open house. This company will sell your house for free* if you also buy with them. She liked the guy and I didn’t think he was bad so we decided to go with them. Because we just had a baby we didn’t want to rush into anything. This guy understood, sent us some emails, would talk to us every once and awhile. Then he stopped answering emails just as we found a few houses we wanted to really look at. Turns out he had left the company, no one told us but they sent us another agent. This guy was always late, when we found a house we really liked as we talked it over he was always on his blackberry. He made the offer, but I don’t know how much he went to bat for us as the owners of the house didn’t budge even though we had made a list of reasons why we made the offer. Fucker didn’t get back to us for days and it took him a week to send our earnest check back. We sent him an email saying we wouldn’t be working for him any more.

We have a Realtor coming over tonight, one that I’ve worked with before. I hope he actually works with us better then the last few have.

*Turns out that you have to pay $700 to have them as your buyers agent and $700 as a sellers agent. They kept insisting that there were no extra fees involved.

Think about this every time your agent wants to cut the price on your house!

There’s a standard 6% commission. It’s split between the buyer’s and seller’s agents. Your agent splits the 3% share with the broker in the office. That means the agent’s individual profit drops by $150 when the price of the house drops by $10,000. It matters a lot to you, but not much to the agent.

The thing I hate about the system is that when I’m the buyer, my agent is punished for negotiating the price down for me. I want my agent to make money by saving me money, not make money by getting me to spend more.

Don’t bother, at least if you live in Florida. I filed a complaint against a realtor who fraduently changed the seller’s disclosure agreement after we had signed the contract to reflect the home inspector’s findings (which the sellers, when we were going over them together, stupidly admitted to knowing about but either failing to disclose them because they forgot, or “didn’t think were a big deal”). This was major stuff, too - extensive termite damage, a ceiling about to cave in, un-licensed electrical work and leaky house additions that did not conform to code, etc.

It was plainly evident in the documentation I submitted to the board as we had been faxing the form back and forth up to that point, and she had inked it in without our initials. They claimed to not have enough evidence to pursue a sanction, even though we had a third party present who was able to substantiate the fraud (by chance, we had unknowingly been in a bidding war with someone we knew, and they also had the original copy).

We lost half our escrow to get out - would certainly have had a legal claim, but were required to first go through an arbitration process funded by our escrow.

Sorry, no interesting or amusing stories here. Just that when we started looking for our first house, the realtor assumed that as first-time buyers, he could unload an otherwise unsellable dump on us. After he showed us four houses, none of which matched any of the things we requested for location, condition, or price range, we told him his services were no longer required. He called again about a week later to tell us about a house that was in foreclosure. Against my better judgment, we drove out to see it.

I did some back-of-the-envelope calculations on all the things we would need to do to make the house acceptable (like replace the appliances, which were not included, replace the dead bushes and resod the lawn, some other stuff) and told the realtor to make an offer that was lower than asking price by that amount. He tried to tell me that no one ever dickers like that.

I heard later that the bank foreclosed. By that time, we had bought another house thru another realtor.


I had a great REALTOR. I think what made her great is that her husband is loaded so she does the REALTOR thing simply because she enjoys it–there was no pressure to buy a particular house and she didn’t try to upsell. In fact, she made a point (this was five years ago) of telling me not to waste my time thinking about an unconventional mortgage. I wasn’t considering it but I thought it said a lot about her integrity, compared to what I’ve heard about other REALTORS.

My father dealt with a good real estate agent. It was the office manager, the head realtor, that was a jackass.

Part of the process of transfering the title, when dad sold his house, involved my dad having to provide about $2000, something about differences in loan rates. No problem, my dad indicates that when the time comes he’ll write a personal check. The manager doesn’t want to take it, insists on a certified check. My dad is insulted, and the manager changes his tune and says that if the agents cosigns the check, he’ll accept it. My dad is still upset, and says if he isn’t trustworthy, the manager shouldn’t put the agent at risk by making her cosign. I can also include that the agent said the manager was disliked by all the other agents in the office for his high handed and snotty attitudes.

My dad retreats to think long and hostile thoughts. His solution was to go to the bank and withdraw $2000 in mostly one dollar bills, with a couple hundred in fives thrown in. He removed all the paper wrappers and tossed the bills like salad. On the day he was to meet with the manager and the agent, they get to the point where my dad has to provide the money. He dumps the bills out on the desk and says “There it is!” Dad said the guy’s face turned purple and he actually stamped his feet like a child having a tantrum and said “I’m not taking that!” He made the agent help him count it. What dad says he should have done when the guy made his statement is to have taken the cash back, because legally speaking the completely legal tender, offered in good faith, had been refused.

Not too long after this the manager was removed from his job by higher ups in the realty corporation. According to my dad’s agent he’d pissed off someone at the corporate level. Some folks are just too irritable for their own good.

Two stories, on either end of buying and selling my house.


For some god-unknown reason, I was pointed at some old woman realtor who either had sold some other relatives house or was a relative of someone. Don’t remember anymore. This was 1991, and I had a very firm upper limit of $72,000. I simply could not swing more than that, period.

I’ll be damned if she showed me a single house in my budget, over the course of almost two months. Every goddamned house we pulled up to was in the 75-85k range, with her constant jabbering about how I could negotiate the downward when I remarked on it and suggested that she show me houses IN MY RANGE. Yeah, but see, I’m trying to stay UNDER $72k, so ideally, I’d rather see houses for $65k than houses for $80k.

Finally got up the nerve to drop her like a bad habit. Picked one neighborhood and spent several weekends going to every open house I could fit in - doing 13 in one day on the weekend before I found the house I bought - for $65k.

Selling (Same house, 11 years later):

A house kitty corner behind me sold in 3 days, so I figured the guy must be good. I contacted him and signed a 120 day contract. I was not living in the house at the time, having moved into my then fiance’s house. So he can pretty much come and go as he wants, show it any time.

First weekend, he wants to run an ad and an open house. The ad appears in the wrong geographic area in the paper. I didn’t check on the open house. The second weekend, no ad, no signs, no open house. The third weekend, proper ad, signs up in front of the house, but he never showed up. And on and on. Keeps recommending that I lower the price, which I did three times. Never called me, not once. Every time I wanted to know what was going on, I had to call him and leave messages several times before he’d get back to me, sometimes more than a week after my first message.

Never sold the house. Contract expired on a Thursday in December. I made no effort to contact him. He calls me on Sunday and asks me what I want to do, suggesting that I drop the price by a large margin. No dice, I’m done with you, goodbye.

I turn around and call another agent that very day. A guy who lived in the neighborhood and had been selling houses there for 20 years. Sign the contract Monday morning. Accepted an offer Thursday evening. Sold. For $152,000 (the very house I’d bought for $65k eleven years earlier.)

Like I say;

**Professionals work for you.
If they don’t work for you, find another.

This applies to every profession you hire.**