Another weekend of househunting has come and gone. Some people, including the people at the seminar we attended last weekend, tried to convince me that this is a fun process and I should enjoy it. I am not buying it. This is a disappointing, disheartening and at time sickening process. Let’s take it from the top.
I picked out six houses I wanted to see this weekend and gave the numbers to my agent. I asked in an e-mail if we could please start at house A in Kent, and gave her the address, and then we would work our way down through the other houses, ending with the house out in Brown’s Point, the one I really, really, really wanted to see and was convinced I would buy. She called me back to confirm everything and spit out the address in Kent where we would meet. I jotted it down since I didn’t have my information in front of me, and came to find later that it was the wrong house. I wanted to start at the house I’d picked because it was furthest north and we wouldn’t have to retrace our steps. But retrace our steps we did. When we met up at the first house in the morning, she told me that the house I wanted in Brown’s Point sold the night before, and the other one we were set to see in the same area had been rented out. So I only got to see four houses yesterday. The fourth one we saw was in Auburn and my fiance and I both really liked it. We were all set to bid on it in fact, although I was concerned about that first rule in real estate: Location. It was just a few block behind the Muckleshoot Casino. In fact, there wasn’t much in the area at all. Still the house itself seemed to be in a nice enough neighborhood. The real estate agent went back to her office to write up the offer but called me to let me know that because the house was new on the market the sellers wouldn’t accept anything less than a full price offer and wouldn’t pay closing costs, which was the only thing I wanted. I told her I’d have to think about making a different offer and she told me to call her back in five, count ’em five minutes. That’s not really what I’d consider good thinkin’ time. I did call her back and told her I just couldn’t make the decision right now, and spent at least another five minutes listening to her lectures about house someone else could buy the house if we didn’t tie it up and she didn’t want me to be disappointed because she would be disappointed too. She told me she had meetings but to call her back at 6, which was about 3 hours of thinkin’ time to tell her what I had come up with.
I wanted not only to think about the situation myself and oh I dunno, maybe sleep on it, but I also like to talk about these big decisions with family. They tend to think of the things Shaun and I don’t think of because we’re new to the whole buying a house game. Talk with my family I did, and my father pointed out that being just a few blocks behind a casino might mean the house was on an Indian Reservation, and that came with complications like no government services like police and fire. My father was absolutely right. I researched the house and it was smack dab in the middle of Muckleshoot Indian Reservation land, and the Sherriff’s office considers the policing of the area a “joint venture” with the tribe. So even though we’d found maybe the perfect house, it was in the wrong location.
At no time did my real estate agent mention that this house might be on the reservation, but I am convinced she knew or was thinking about it, because she mentioned it a while back for another house I found in Auburn. She didn’t say it was a bad thing because of course she wouldn’t want to cost herself a potential sale, but at least she mentioned it. We even had a copy of the full disclosure statement from the seller this time, and no where does it mention it’s on a reservation that I can see. It just seems like something that should be disclosed.
So now I’m more than a bit annoyed with this agent. She doesn’t listen, she’s putting too much pressure on me and on top of everything she’s not disclosing potential problems. I guess that’s pretty much the name of the game. Buyer beware. I know in terms of agents I could do worse and maybe I can’t do any better – maybe just different – but I’m thinking of trying. I didn’t call her back last night and I haven’t heard from her today. She’ll probably call again and I’ll probably have to have it out with her, which I hate because I’m not a confrontational person. Which is why it’s so hard on me to feel all that pressure coming from a sales agent, but I suppose that’s what you want I think of Alec Baldwin’s character on “30 Rock” and the episode last week where he renegotiated an agent’s contract. I should take a cue from him and be a winner, not a loser!
Further bulletins as events warrant and as always,