C Tann-Starr's Outside Blog


Murphy's Law Can Be A Real B Sometimes... Got pets? Put the pets in the remarks section. Seriously...

Carolyn Tann-Starr 2010

Murphy's Law Can Be A Real B Sometimes... Got pets? Put the pets in the remarks section. Seriously...

Stephen, the Minion Blur will walk up to a 200 pound dog and get nose to nose to smile in its face. Noah, the Net Geek is the exact opposite and runs from barking puppies (LOL).

Took my boys to work today and as luck would have it the 2 family home I was waiting to show (in 18 degree weather) had tenants with dogs. Barking dogs... Hmm...

It would have been nice if the listing agent had made a note to "beware of dogs on the premises" in the remarks section as (1) there is no indication on the property that they exist, (2) some people are allergic and (3) in Noah's case afraid, but I digress and need to set up the rest of the picture of my Murphy-Day for you so you can get where I am coming from this evening. :-)

Have you heard of Murphy's Law? In sum and substance: Anything that can go wrong will... Wikipedia is building an interesting page on it and you can spoof around here for more info:  http://www.murphys-laws.com

I am happy to report that Murphy's Law is alive and well regarding my industry and ML managed to infiltrate my day in spades (LOL).

We can start with the fact that I had to make this appointment a week in advance because the tenants are not thrilled with having to move if the house sells. They have restricted access to their apartments to one hour a week once a week (only on Saturdays). Picking Saturday means my Jewish buyers and my 7th Day Adventists will never get to see this property. Ever. Psssst... Listing Brokers you may want to think about that. Seriously... When people give me the once a week crap I always pick Wednesdays because no religious group has national dibs on that day that I am aware of. :-)

I habitually confirm my appointments before I go because I have kids in tow and hate dragging them out if I do not have to. Family time matters to me so when I am walking out the door for my 1PM and you tell me I am not in your appointment book after your firm denied my out of state buyer access last week because you needed that one week notice and explained the restrictions very carefully to me, I freaked out over the phone because the idea of me having to explain why I didn't merit a jot in your appointment book set my teeth on edge. I apologize for raising my voice a few octaves. That happens when I get upset on behalf of a buyer being pushed through hoops and dissed when we go to great lengths to comply with your firm's rules based upon the sellers instructions and you still forget about me and my people.

It's a short sale, so tenants making it difficult for the landlord to show the property can be a real B when you are an owner going back and forth to court trying to stop a foreclosure with a modified loan and/or a short sale. Brokerage firms not putting Buyer's Broker appointments in their systems compound that bit of stress for owners who have to respond to the scene because of tenant drama. Buyers traveling great distances to view can be out of train/plane tickets when yours is the only property they want to see because they like the outside and work out their hypothetical offers in advance.

I was blessed to be squeezed into today's 2-3pm line up and expressed my gratitude and appreciation for being granted hypothetical access because I treat my buyers the same. 1100 miles or around the corner, my job is to get you in to view, crunch the numbers, do the comps and help you make an informed decision.

I sent a text to the buyer that our schedule had changed, canceled where we should have been at 2pm, fed my kids and took off to get lost in the streets until it was time to show the property. To amuse my boys since I killed their 2 pm playdate, I handed them cameras and let them shoot out the car windows. Guess what we saw?

Carolyn Tann-Starr 2010

Isn't it gorgeous? We love fire engines and had no idea how it would affect our appointment to view today. We can start with the mild gripe that the people who promised to be there between 2 and 3 pm left while I was parking my car three doors down from the house. We saw them pull off in two vehicles but had no idea it was them until we read the house numbers. Hmm...

I knocked, I rang, but no one answered. My 8 year old became upset because he loves exploring houses and thinks being a mini-Realtor-in-training is mad cool. He had an expectation to be greeted warmly and peek into how the other half lives but instead was left shivering on a stoop that needed minor repairs. He saw the people leave just as I had so of course the echolalic speech started with him repeating there was "no one home, lets go home." Being anal retentive and always determined to engage him in conversation, no matter how brief, I had to keep explaining that we can't leave our buyer, we have to wait.

Back to the car we go to call the Listing Broker's firm and inform her/them no one was home. She says she'll call me right back. Cool. I sit in my car with the shorties while we watch three cars arrive and six people walk into this home. I call my buyer wanting to know where she is. She's lost. No problem. I have time for her to catch up with me because people are arriving and leaving. I see another broker showing the property. Listing  Broker calls back and says the owner is parked around the corner in the drive. Knock and ring on the front and side entrances. Someone will let me in. Cool...

While having this brief conversation a fire truck pulls up. My kids get real excited. Lights are flashing. Firemen are streaming out. We're wondering where are they going while we snap a few pictures. They enter the listing. Oh crap. I let the broker know a half dozen fire fighters have just entered her listing. We're both incredulous... We have no idea what is happening.

People pour out of the house. Hmm... More fire trucks materialize... I'm thinking, I could be watching Netflix, hugging a blankie with my kids instead of wondering if the place wll burn down before my buyer sees this house. I am praying that this is not going to result in serious damage or someone being hurt. The suspense is stressing me out to no end. I realize I may have to shred the binder sitting on my dashboard (LOL).

Carolyn Tann-Starr 2010 Carolyn Tann-Starr 2010

It doesn't burn down ten minutes later. Yay! The hoses never come out. Doing the snoopy dance! I'm excited because my buyer really likes the outside and has been speculating with me as to the condition of the inside of this property. We can't wait to see it but don't want to go near it while fire fighters are inside. The wee people and I wait, and wait, and wait... What the heck are they doing in there? Are they using extinguishers? I start to freak out again (LOL). Eventually, the fire fighters trickle out. We watch the fire trucks slowly roll away. I suddenly realize my buyer is missing in action (LOL).

We get out of the car and immediately regret not being warm and toasty. We march up to the front door to ring the bell and knock. The top floor gentleman lets us in and promptly locks his apartment door never to be seen or heard from again by us. Noah is bummed out because we can't get in. He's not used to having a door closed in his face unless it's Stephen slamming the bathroom door during the toilet wars (LOL). We do hear a TV and a dog barking behind the door, so Noah decides it is definitely time to go home because he realizes we're being ignored in a strange hall.

I talk my 8 year old into giving me five minutes to show my buyer the first floor apartment. We knock. The landlord opens the door and Stephen strolls in and starts exploring the living room while Noah executes a backwards broad jump back into the hall upon noting another dog.

Being in a cage does not matter. It's a dog. It is barking. Barking means threat. He has clamped onto the banister and I can't pry his fingers off. Little Dude is stronger than I am when he gets upset (LOL). My buyer goes to tour the place with Stephen and the landlord. The landlord and tenant have a conversation that gets heated while we are all there that triggers my buyers making a hasty retreat. Visions of evictions and landlord/tenant court are materializing in our heads... Bummer... I need a two family delivered vacant. I need a two family that provides unrestricted access to view. I feel bad because it didn't work out even though this place is minutes from the highway on a quiet street, has a lot of potential and is a corner property.

Who knew one argument, a MIA tenant, two dogs and a half dozen fire fighters could blow optimism right out the window.  My buyer has kids. I have kids. Watching a child negatively react to a jumping, barking dog can make parents go into protective mode and not feel safe because we zone into how they feel about a home.

Got pets? Put the pets in the remarks section so we know who needs to be left at home and who should not see your house to begin with. Seriously... I have buyers who can't stand cigarette smoke too so you might not want to dismiss this little ditty too quick out of hand. Smells and noise affect some people in the most peculiar ways...



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Comment balloon 31 commentsC Tann-Starr • January 30 2010 07:31PM
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