Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Home-buyers journal, take one…

So, Josh and I have been good children. We spent five years aggressively paying off our debt and saving money. And we got pre-approved for a mortgage. So, one would think real-estate agents would call me back considering:
1. I want to buy a house and said in my message that I was already pre-approved
2. I want to look aggressively.
3. The Wall Street Journal says no one is buying, but everyone wants to sell what I want, an existing home.

It’s my day off. I called four agents that I had leads for and left messages. Then I went to run some errands for a few hours, ate lunch, took a long nap, and realized, hey, no one has called me back. What’s the story? (See above points.) I had two missions this weekend: buy a farewell gift on behalf of our office to a colleague who is leaving for better opportunities and set up a meeting with a real-estate agent.

There is a logical way to handle such a situation (note to real-estate agents, it is a buyers market, and if someone really wants to buy, they will find someone who really wants to sell). Most real-estate companies have handy-dandy search property functions on their sites. And Josh and I, as part of our research process, have been looking to see what is out there. So, I went through, found listing agents of houses we were kind of interested in at least looking at, and the first agent with multiple listings (meaning someone who does this for a full-time job) to answer their phone won.

You’re saying, “Um, Liz, listing agents?” Sure. A motivated seller of homes is going to be really happy to point you in the direction of someone who helps out buyers. Within five minute of a phone conversation with a listing agent, I was on the phone with an agent who is a buyer’s agent. And we meet with someone on Thursday evening for a consultation.

Maybe I’m just too used to good customer service. My insurance agent calls me within an hour when I call him. We had slight problems reaching the person we took our mortgage from, but his voice mail greeting said there was a death in the family, and we were pre-approved that week.

Lesson: if you are selling a home in the south Minneapolis suburbs, you might want to check in with your listing agent to see if they promptly return calls from people who really want to buy their first home.


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