Tuesday, October 20, 2009

So Maybe I'm A Little Angry

But you might have guessed that from the email.

What I would like to know is, how the hell the real estate agents in this town have any self-respect left. Seriously, I have either bought or helped buy property in different parts of the state and country. I have worked with some good real estate agents. But by and large, my experience with San Francisco real estate agents has uniformly been bad.

To start with, do any of them actually listen to their clients? I realize that all of them are on commission. I realize that they make more money the more I and Mrs. Angrybell spend. But when we tell them that X is our limit, why is it that they all start with houses that are at least half million more than what we can or are willing to spend on a property.

Is it that all the real estate agents are under the impression that everyone has the ability to get 2 million dollar mortgages? Or if we can, to actually be able to afford them?

Then we get to what they actually do. Other than managing to fill out form wrong three times every time we make an offer, I'm still trying to figure it out. Most of what they traditionally do has been taken over by the internet. The San Francisco MLS seems to have every listing that is out there. At least, I have yet to be surprised with a listing by any agent that I've worked with to date.

None of them seem to have any idea of what makes a comparable. When I ask for them, I am deluged with every building in the entire city that has an equivalent number of bedrooms. Does not really matter that the city has multiple neighborhoods. From what it looks like, the only thing that I have not seen a comparable on to a mid-Sunset house is something in either North Beach or Hunters Point.

Do they even see the houses before I do? No. That's because, conveniently, brokers tours are Tuesdays. That would be after the house has first had its open house.

So let's see. The house buyer finds the house. Sees it first. And then gets next to nothing as far as guidance when it comes to making an offer. I'm sorry, thats not entirely accurate. The guidance when it comes to making an offer, in my experience, is always to bid higher. Never at the asking price. Never below the asking price (even when the place is a dump with black mold on every wall, floors that have been damaged to the point that they will have to be ripped up, and materials that are more likely than not asbestos tiles that are flaking - which if you want mesothelioma is a good thing.) Its as if there is collusion going on. Of course, I can't say that there is, because I don't have proof. But the way that they structure the bidding process makes its very interesting. Its as if they have an agreement that they will always turn everything into an auction in this town.

In addition to that, they all participate in what I would characterize as deceptive practices. Too many of the listings I've seen show the number of bedrooms as being higher than they have permits for. That's nice, because insurance companies do not exactly love unpermitted rooms. And too many of the ones I've seen have "bedrooms" that are unpermitted garage conversions that wouldn't last a second if a DBI inspector ever saw them.

That's another thing. Why isn't DBI enforcing the code? I mean the advertisements for the houses practically flaunt that they are doing illegal, unpermitted work on homes in San Francisco. And yet it does not appear that they are citing any of them. Even though the legalization process would bring in revenue for the city. Does not look like the San Francisco City Attorney is doing anything about it either. I guess he is more focused on other things.

Yeah maybe this is just sour grapes. But what I see is making me angry. I see agents just collecting a check for doing jack diddle nothing. Yes, when they sell a house they do some work. Although from what I've seen in my dealings with them on that end in this city, its not much better. A little, but not much.

Of course, they are aided in all this by a bunch of really stupid buyers. I mean, yes, people need homes. But why is it everyone is happy to pay such ridiculous prices. To take on mortgages that put them right at the edge of federal guidelines.

This whole system has learned, it seems, absolutely nothing from the housing bubble of last year.

1 comment:

Colby said...

A-effing-men. I think that to go into real estate as a profession, there must be requirements to be rude and inept. You know my situation. How many times did I have to re-sign my docs? Ugh. Hate them all.