Real Estate is Full of Fuckwits

Sorry to keep filling my blog with laments and protestations, but I swear the world is stuffed full of bastards.

For example, I just got screwed on my second short sale offer in one week.

Way back in April, I made an offer on a beautiful condo in the Monterey Hills. It was what they call a short sale. I figured, yeah, it’ll probably take a few months before they let me know if they’ve accepted my offer, but it’s worth a shot. Meanwhile, I’ll keep looking at other properties in case things don’t work out.

I was pretty sure, too, that I had this in the bag. The agent was a lunatic. He was nearly impossible to get ahold of. When Agent Gal finally got ahold of him, he claimed he didn’t have a key to the condo building, despite the fact that the lock box was on the condo door. He told Agent Gal that she’d have to “piggy back” on someone going into the building. (If you live in any gated building, you know how well that goes over with the residents.) Agent Gal, being awesome, managed to sneak into the condo complex and call me from the inside so that I could meet her. The place had been on the MLS for 118 days — and for good reason. No one could freaking get in!

I made an offer at asking price, figuring I was a shoe-in because the chances of someone else being so bothered were slim, seeing as how there were slightly more expensive but more accessible condos being offered in that same mega complex. As soon as we submitted the offer, the agent told Agent Gal that he submitted the offer to the bank.

I continued looking. Being open to short sales helped alleviate the heaviness of foraging through foreclosures, which are often totally depressing to look at. Agent Gal continued to call and email the Monterey Hills agent every week. Then, one day last week, I was searching a short sale/foreclosure database and not only found my property still listed, but the price had raised $10k. I told Agent Gal who called and emailed the guy with a loud WTF.

He responded with one sentence in email. “Sorry, but this property has gone to foreclosure.”

Translation: The agent was an incompetent, dishonest douchebag who either never submitted my offer or never told us it had been rejected.

Because I love the property and the agent’s right to show had expired, Agent Gal is continuing to forage for details to see if we can’t get our foot in the door on the foreclosure side. It’s a long shot, but it’s worth it.

Meanwhile, two weeks ago, I put in another offer on a condo, this time a short sale in Van Nuys. Agent Gal just spoke to the agent a few days ago, and he said that the offer was currently being considered by the bank — a very good sign that things were moving along.

Or so we thought.

Today, Agent Gal and I went to the same condo complex to see another condo — an REO (that is, a foreclosure) — and possibly check out the condo I already had an offer on. At the time I’d seen it and made the offer, it was still occupied, but the residents were doing terrific things to the interior. I wanted to see how they’d left it. Agent Gal couldn’t get ahold of the agent, so we figured we’d show up and see what was going on.

When we arrived, there was a note on the door, instructing delivery men to deliver packages not on July 15, but on the 16th. The note included a phone number. There was no lock box. Agent Gal called the number on the note, and the guy who answered — the owner, as it turns out — yelled at her. “Why am I still getting calls? I told that agent I’m not doing this anymore!” he said, among other things.

Translation: His agent had lied to us a few days ago. The seller no longer wanted to sell.*

I’ve been at this hunt since March. It’s been a long, tiresome journey, where I’m learning how the banks, who got bailouts, have figured out how to screw us buyers on every front possible. I’ve also enjoyed first-hand experiences with real estate agents who are either insane or enormous twats.

It’s not been fun.

Agent Gal sounded bummed out because I’m never excited about anything I see. The only things I get excited about are way too expensive for me. So, I don’t bother working up the energy. Besides, the idea is to get my foot in the market now and take advantage of Obama’s tax credit. Sure, I’d love my own place. But honestly I’m just tired of all the shenanigans.

I’ll just have to keep pressing forward.

*While it’s possible he suddenly came into a large amount of money and no longer wanted to give up his condo, it’s more likely that he’s one of those people who are in denial and would rather go into foreclosure than short sale their property. Go figure.

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