REALTOR Wanted: Must Do Windows

By on 12 August, 2016 in Real Estate, Sandra Nickel with 1 Comment

woman washing windowsIn my 35 years in the residential real estate business, I’ve realized that some folks have a really jaded view of us REALTORS. Misunderstandings are common. We spend all day driving around in big fancy cars. We get to keep all of the commission that the seller pays. We are salaried and our broker pays all our expenses. The list goes on and on.

Granted, a successful REALTOR earns a very good living. And were we ever to calculate our true hourly rate, it might not seem such a good living after all. Since we are businesspeople, the public expects us to be available normal working hours, Monday through Friday. And because they work those business hours themselves, our clients and customers also are inclined to want to see us nights, weekends and holidays. So we basically work 24/7/365 or thereabouts!

No one thinks about the Sunday afternoon I arrived at one of our properties to hold open house only to find the marble foyer absolutely filthy! Picture a woman in a suit and hat down on her knees frantically scrubbing! Or the “short sale” I worked on for months and months, only to leave the closing with a big fat check for $77.13 because I gave up the rest to get my elderly seller out of the house that had become a huge burden. That check hangs on the wall in my office!

And I’m hardly the only real estate professional with horror stories. Just for fun, I asked some of my peers in other cities to share theirs. Here’s just a sample:

  • Asheville NC: To win his very first seller client, the agent cleaned out a home’s gutters.
  • Aurora IL: Painted seller’s kitchen to save a sale.
  • Dillon CO: So that sellers could accommodate a buyer by closing early and living in a “no pets allowed” rental unit, an agent kept clients’ dogs for two weeks. One was old, sick, and ruined the carpet!
  • Westfield NJ: While sellers were vacationing at the beach, wet-vacuumed their flooded basement at home.
  • San Diego CA: Agent and spouse hauled 2 truckloads of stuff out of a home because their seller’s truck had filled up and they left behind whatever would not fit.
  • Chapel Hill NC: When buyers’ clothes dryer quit on the first day of their occupancy, buyer agent retrieved their wet laundry and took it home with her.
  • Denver CO: Sellers went away, left teen-aged son at home. To facilitate a showing, agent had to collect garbage, cigarette butts and vodka bottles AND roust son and his girlfriend out of bed!
  • Frisco CO: In the dead of winter, dug through several feet of snow to find a well head for an inspection, then again to locate propane gauge so that it could be read the day of closing.

Former Hat Team member Steve Luker may have said it best: “The public perceives real estate as easy money and copious free time. If only they knew….!”

Sandra Nickel has been listing and selling residential real estate for over 30 years, most with an intense focus on Montgomery’s Midtown neighborhoods. Sandra serves on the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless, the Cloverdale Business Coalition, Historic Southview, the Volunteer and Information Center, Landmarks Foundation and her own neighborhood Garden District Preservation Association.

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  1. Perfect examples of our job descriptions Sandra. Of course, running ahead to pick up dirty clothes and make beds because the seller left without doing so is likely my easiest “fix” in order to sell a home. I’ve been a pooper scooper, folded laundry, loaded dishwashers, hauled off appliances, shooed off cows, scaled fences, and crawled through open windows for clients. It’s a dirty job sometimes. I’m glad it’s mine!

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