5 Reasons Why I’d Make a Lousy Real Estate Agent

by hookedonhouses on March 16, 2010

couple house huntingFor years people told me, “You should sell real estate.” If you’re into houses like I am, then I bet you’ve heard the same thing. But after spending the weekend watching a marathon of “House Hunters” episodes on HGTV, I concluded that I should steer clear of that profession. I’d make a lousy real estate agent. Here are 5 reasons why:

1. Some clients would drive me crazy, and I wouldn’t be good at hiding it.

I’m sure you’ve seen them on “House Hunters,” dismissing perfectly good houses because one room is painted a color they don’t like, or the carpet is a little worn in the family room.  In one episode, a couple wanted to see houses with  two-story family rooms but then kept complaining that the upstairs bedrooms are too small. It would be hard not to roll my eyes at them if they said this to me in person. Let’s just say I’d be biting my tongue. A lot.

agent on the phone

2. I couldn’t handle all the phone time.

Have you noticed how much time the agents spend on the phone on those shows? They’re either calling other agents or calling their clients in every other scene. As I have admitted to you before, I hate talking on the phone. Hate. It. If you call me, I will probably reply via e-mail. Or I might drive across town and knock on your door to answer in person. Anything to avoid the phone. So, yeah, real estate is not going to work for me.

Real estate billboard

3. I wouldn’t like to see my face blown up on a billboard.

Just think how giant my pores would look! Scary thought. (Photo via the hilarious Bad Billboard Project.)

4. I couldn’t sell a boulder in the basement.

Successful agents have a gift for glossing over defects. When we were house hunting, ours never saw a problem that couldn’t be fixed. There was only one bedroom and we needed four? Build a second-story addition! We didn’t like the view of the cell phone tower behind the house? Board up the windows!

Dick Van Dyke Show-rock in basement-Season 4

One of my favorite “Dick Van Dyke Show” episodes had Rob and Laura finding the house of their dreams, but there was one little problem: a boulder in the basement. Their agent cheerfully suggests that they decorate the rock and make it a focal point.

Good agents can do this with a straight face and convince their clients that nothing is a big deal to fix. They can soothe a home buyer’s fears. I could not. I’d be like, “Honey, you don’t want to live with a rock. Let’s keep looking!” And then we’d spend months (possibly years) looking at every house in the tri-state area until I found one that I thought was good enough for them. (I would also be broke.)

craftsman house exterior

5. Every time a great house came on the market, I’d want to buy it myself.

We actually had an agent who sold more real estate to herself than anyone else. A few years ago she wrote us and said she had to quit the business–it was getting too expensive for her! (You can see inside that great Craftsman bungalow here.)

So now it’s your turn, house lovers. Tell me the reasons why you would or wouldn’t make a good real estate agent! If you already are one, tell us what you love about the job, or the things about it that are tough for you. I’d love to know!

whang_househunters_240Ever wonder what happened to Suzanne Whang, the long-time host of “House Hunters,” who has been replaced by a bodiless narrator? Here’s the answer.

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LoveFeast Table March 16, 2010 at 7:41 am

1. I have definite opinions about what can be changed or improved to make a house a perfect home…not everyone like to hear it!
2. I’d be in danger of buying too many homes!
And the big reason 3. If I had access and keys to homes on the market, my house wouldn’t get cleaned, my kids neglected and I think it would become borderline obsessive! (I love me a peek into a home…that’s why I keep comin’ back here!)
~kristin
.-= LoveFeast Table´s last blog ..Peanut Butter Cookie Days =-.

Michelle March 16, 2010 at 7:48 am

I used to be an agent but only made it for a few years. I was told that I was doing a good job but I made a bad real estate agent IMO because my job came second. My family always came first and I wasn’t willing to drop my kids off somewhere at the drop of a hat because a client just had to see a house in exactly 47 minutes. It was exhausting and I couldn’t keep up. Definitely is a full time job and I wasn’t willing to put the time in. It’s not a 9-5 job, my cell phone rang at all hours.

It is hard not to roll your eyes when people complain about paint. Look at the layout, look at the number of bathrooms, location, schools, yard size, closets…..not PAINT! Argh!!
~Michelle
.-= Michelle´s last blog ..So the lion fell in love with the lamb…. =-.

Susan March 16, 2010 at 7:51 am

I totally agree. Many people have told me I should be in real estate (I compulsively check the MLS for my town) but for the same reasons you listed, I have not pursued it. I’m just not a salesperson. I enjoy your site so much – I feel like I’ve found a community of kindred spirits!

RLG March 16, 2010 at 8:10 am

The #1 reason: I lose interest when people don’t take my advice!
Though your reasons are very compelling, too. Great post! xoxo
.-= RLG´s last blog ..Where Have I Been? =-.

Lou Cinda March 16, 2010 at 8:17 am

I wouldn’t make a good one either! If I took clients to see one that was nasty inside, I would encourage them to leave with me!! Not good for sales! The upside would be the ability to go look at new homes on the market….legally. I have crawled through more than one window in my lifetime to see a house! My son and I got locked in one once and that was a hoot!! We went in through the garage and all the doors in the house that led out had deadbolt locks and of course no key! When we got ready to leave the garage door had locked and there we stood…I could just see the headlines, mother and son missing three days, car found outside empty house! After about an hour we were able to find a window open and squeezed through it and got out! Just one of our many escapades!! Note to self ~ in the fututre, just leave the garage door up until you leave….just say’in…

Love your blog!

Lou Cinda :)
.-= Lou Cinda´s last blog ..Thrift Finds =-.

Rachel March 16, 2010 at 8:28 am

I’ve thought it would be fun but I agree that I would get annoyed when they dismiss a perfectly good house because of dirty carpet or funky colors. It’s called a paint brush people! We were watching last night and we got so annoyed at this one couple who kept looking at the other people’s crummy stuff and not the awesome house that they were in.
I would also get frustrated when people buy outside their budget. House poor is a bad thing. :) Have a great day.
.-= Rachel´s last blog .. =-.

Shelley Harris March 16, 2010 at 8:29 am

Julia I was like you, obsessed with houses and floorplans and decor and homeshows. So I thought, “Why am I not a realtor.” It only seemed logical. HA!! All your reasons apply to me! Also, I am just too nice. I would ride people around for days -weeks even looking at every house, and they never bought one. I couldn’t try to talk them into something I wouldn’t buy myself. I felt I had joined a club that I didn’t believe in. The comments about the paint or that the master only has one sink or the yard only has one tree. Unbelievable at the excuses. There are so many different personalities to deal with, and each person thinks they are your only client, their psychologist, lawyer, chauffer, you name it. Believe me, people are not above irrational requests or demands is more like it. As an agent you are the middle man. People on both sides come to you with their problems. You are never off work, or off the hook for anything. It’s all in a binding contract and yes, you can be sued. I went back to being a mom and watching House Hunters and I’m much happier for it. And when I hear a realtor complaining about their job, I just want to give them a big hug because they probably need it. Hey, maybe I should start a support group for realtors. LOL

Becky @ Farmgirl Paints March 16, 2010 at 8:40 am

Too funny! We watch House Hunters all the time. And it is one of our biggest complaints…seriously paint the walls. How hard is that? It totally cracks us up.

I wouldn’t want to be a realtor because they have to be on call all the time. I would hate working nights and weekends. They tend to have to coddle or babysit their clients too. That would be exhausting.

I hate talking on the phone too. We have a lot in common Miss Julia:)
.-= Becky @ Farmgirl Paints´s last blog ..Tom =-.

Paula - Mise en scène March 16, 2010 at 8:42 am

I was a realtor. One reason I decided it wasn’t for me was the number of properties on the market in really bad shape. When every seam in the carpet is visible because the carpet is coming up, less than ideal! Realized that I was more interested in decorating the property than selling it.
BTW, I hate HGTV’s House Hunters and much prefer the Sensible Chic, Rate my Space shows that HGTV keeps cancelling.
.-= Paula – Mise en scène ´s last blog ..Go Bold or Go Home =-.

Marija March 16, 2010 at 8:52 am

I would get in way over my head – telling people how they could make renovations and changes to the existing space. And then I would start selecting colors, hooking them up with contractors, shopping for plumbing fixtures, emailing light fixtures. The list goes on. I would lose my mind for sure!

Marija
.-= Marija´s last blog ..L’Objet =-.

Katie March 16, 2010 at 8:54 am

Hahahahahaha! No. 1….haha!
.-= Katie´s last blog ..Busy Day =-.

Amy March 16, 2010 at 9:02 am

My dear husband is a full time real estate agent and has been for the last 20 years. He started at age 20 and has made it through the best and worst of it all. Oh the stories he has. He could easily write a book. Housing issues we are having now, he saw it coming.
He saw tons of people getting home loans that shouldn’t have, knowing that they wouldn’t make the payments.
. Does he miss out on kids stuff because people want to look at houses? You bet. He’s had some of the nicest people buy and sell and some that call all the time for nothing and drive me up a wall and I’m not even dealing with them.
The best perks include–details. If I want info on a house, I can easily get it. He’s been known to show a house just becasue I’m dying to see inside. Love that part.
This is his job. This is how we pay for our house and buy food. It is a job and 5 times the amount of work right now to make a sale happen. Loyal clients and the repos have kept him going.
It’s one of those jobs that’s bigger than just the love of houses.

Liz @ It's Great To Be Home March 16, 2010 at 9:08 am

I love this post! I actually left my job as a lawyer last year to open a real estate business with my husband (he’s a lawyer, too) – we’re now Realtors, flippers, the whole shebang. You are definitely right that you’re always on call and sometimes you have to accept opinions that definitely do NOT align with your own. But, on the upside, I cherish the flexibility and freedom that I have in this job (compared to my old one), and getting to work with my husband is more awesome than I imagined. All in all, a great change for me!
.-= Liz @ It’s Great To Be Home´s last blog ..Pimp Your Piping =-.

Debbie March 16, 2010 at 9:12 am

I am a RE agent who LOVES my job! There is nothing more rewarding and enjoyable than real estate. While all of the issues you point to are certainly valid, I have found that experience really helps diminish a lot of them! After a while, you don’t want to buy every house you see and you learn to refocus your clients on what they really want and most importantly, what is realistic. I don’t consider myself a “salesperson” however; that conjures up thoughts of polyester and pushy for some reason! I find that my goal is to “match” people with the perfect house and putting them in a house with a boulder in the basement isn’t the perfect solution! As a Buyer’s agent, I was taught to never sell a house to someone that you wouldn’t want to be responsible for selling later. I own my own business and my biggest source of business is referrals, not bill boards so it would be ridiculous to sell someone a house with issues; I would never have repeat business! And as a listing agent, if someone asks me to list a house with problems, I am going to tell them to lose the boulder or they are going to have a reduced sales price if they sell the property at all, as well as a limited buyer pool. And regarding the phone calls, because I tend to talk too much about everything, I tend to email my clients so I am not the one bothering them!
There is nothing more fun and satisfying than matching a client to a house and in some cases, rescuing a house. Lately, I have sold a lonely, sad house, overlooking a lake but in need of a major renovation to a wonderful family. I was able to use my love for renovating houses to help them envision the perfect home for their family that will ultimately be worth twice what they paid for it. I found a brand new condo for a first time homebuyer that needs no work while he establishes his business and best of all, I found a wonderful little cottage for my son’s first home. And by the way, I still watch all of those real estate shows on HGTV, even though you would think I would be sick of real estate, and many times I find myself thinking that an agent should do one thing or another and then I realize that if someone was following me around with a camera, I would probably be shell shocked and would forget everything!
When I was deciding to go back to work after my children were older, I read a lot about people who were successful at their jobs. The one comment that almost everyone made was that if you do something you are passionate about, then success will follow. So go get that license! If you love houses and people, then this is the job for you!

Kelli March 16, 2010 at 9:18 am

I absolutely LOVE real estate and scour the MLS just for fun. However, what I love more are my free weekends, which is why I would be a bad agent. I think I could be very organized and really act as an advocate for my clients, but I’m just too stinkin’ lazy.

janet March 16, 2010 at 9:19 am

All of the above and I have been selling Real Estate for years!

Pat March 16, 2010 at 9:23 am

Your reasons had me laughing out loud..you just described me!
I actually was a realtor in my past…I lasted a very short time, for all the reasons you mentioned plus I couldn’t take it after putting in hours of work to only have the deal fall through at the last minute. For me, the only good part was touring the houses! You don’t sell, you don’t get paid!
.-= Pat´s last blog ..Wild Child – Not =-.

Sandy March 16, 2010 at 9:23 am

I like to watch “House Hunters” on HGTV too. But, I must admit, I MISS Suzanne Whang as the host. There was something about her voice and who ever is doing it now just doesn’t have it like Suzanne did. The house hunters on the show are funny – so many young ones that want older homes to have all the current bells and whistles. They poo poo any home that doesn’t have wood floors, walk in closets, master bathrooms, granite kitchen counter tops and/or all stainless steel appliances. It is unbelievable that they expect their first home to have all these high end features at the price range they are looking at – most of the time the realtor will steer them to a condo to get what they want at their price range. I remember my Mom called our first home a cracker box (after we moved out of it). It’s also funny when they spend all their time commenting on the current home owners furniture (and their paint choices as you pointed out) rather than the “bones” of the home. Well, all I can say is Suzanne Whang come back!
.-= Sandy´s last blog ..Shamrocks =-.

Sheila March 16, 2010 at 9:24 am

I’m actually trying to decide if that’s what I should do. So many positive points.

The negatives for me? Legal paperwork. Working evenings and weekends, which would take time away from my two (young) kids and husband. Varying income. Possibly too-low income (I think I’d do pretty well, but the average real estate agent in these parts makes around $10,000. Granted, I don’t think I’m average, but what if?). I’m a decent persuader when I want to be, so I think I could help people get around weird paint schemes or old carpet. But seeing an amazing house might make me want to buy it!
.-= Sheila´s last blog ..Breath vs. breathe =-.

Kara March 16, 2010 at 9:28 am

I can NOT watch the show on HGTV with first time homebuyers. They are sooooo stupid most of the time and it drives me crazy. Along with the people who can’t imagine painting a room or changing carpet on House Hunters.

I wouldn’t be a good agent either. :)

Blakely March 16, 2010 at 9:34 am

I actually took a the class to become a Real Estate Agent. I have always been good at sales and I love houses so I thought it would be a good fit. I got in the class and all they wanted to talk about was finaces and how to get clients into a house. I hate finances! I never took the test to become an agent, but the few classes that they talked about selling real estate I loved and learned several lessons on what to look for when buying a house.
.-= Blakely´s last blog ..Fish Bowl of Ideas =-.

Bethany March 16, 2010 at 9:38 am

Totally agree with you on the phone and billboard! I couldn’t do it because some houses really, really, really creep me out. We’d an agent, love him to death, but dang if he didn’t take us to a house that had been empty for quite some time. It needed to be gutted… anyway, I could not get passed the first half dozen steps into the house. It creeped me out! I just stood there, looking like a total idiot I’m sure, but there was no way I was going in any room. Freakin’ Amityville. And, you know, I pass that house at least once a week or two and always shiver if I look over at it.
.-= Bethany´s last blog ..What? =-.

beth March 16, 2010 at 9:41 am

LOL! I loved all of your reasons for why you wouldn’t make a good agent. Those are the exact same reasons why I wouldn’t want to be an agent, too.
I’m more into the decorating and staging of houses than the selling of houses. I want to be one of those ladies that goes into houses on the market and points out all of the things that need changed, like the furniture layout, or the ugly paint color, or the garbage laying around everywhere. That being said, though, I say things all the time like “if I was the agent, I would get an SLR and take really good photos, and I would stage the houses and clean them up before I took photos, and I would list all of the houses I sell on the Internet.” So I guess I don’t want to be an agent, but I want to tell the “bad” agents how they can improve. :)
.-= beth´s last blog ..Some pics of the new wood floor =-.

Nichole March 16, 2010 at 10:01 am

I am way too frank in my opinions and I wouldn’t be able to gloss over the negatives. I also would not be able to hide my irritation with annoying clients. Great post!
.-= Nichole´s last blog ..A Dispute =-.

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger March 16, 2010 at 10:05 am

I’m with you on #5!!!! And I’d immediately start decorating in my mind…talk about total and complete distraction. : )
.-= the BLAH BLAH BLAHger´s last blog ..No Boil Noodle Lasagna =-.

Jennifer March 16, 2010 at 10:21 am

I agree with you on the wanting to buy every single house and the phone part. I am not a licensed realtor, I am a secretary in a Coldwell Banker real estate office. I could never be on the phone as much as they are. My husband cringes everytime I call him from work cause he knows, I have found another house, that happens almost daily! Great post, everything you said is absolutely right, ha!
.-= Jennifer´s last blog ..Post It Note Tuesday =-.

Struggler March 16, 2010 at 10:35 am

I’d be lousy at trying to convince buyers to close on a deal that wasn’t right for them, just so I could take home commission. Coming from the UK, it still horrifies me that as a buyer, your agent only gets paid when you cough up and buy something. That’s just wrong – how can they work in your best interest, rather than encouraging you to throw money at the first vaguely suitable house you see?
But yes, like many here, I have done my share of pondering about this as a career. I just don’t think it would work for me… I’d rather be paid a flat fee to genuinely help someone, than a commission to sell them something.
.-= Struggler´s last blog ..What Have You Done to That Wall? =-.

Struggler March 16, 2010 at 10:36 am

Oops, I just split that infinitive. Better cross ‘Journalist’ off my list of potential careers, too :)
.-= Struggler´s last blog ..What Have You Done to That Wall? =-.

black eyed susans kitchen March 16, 2010 at 11:04 am

My husband and friends begged me, year after year to get a realtor’s license. I was the one who would go out with them when they were looking for houses. I would make a terrible agent. I would walk into a house and tell them exactly what I would change…”This house is great…just remove that wall, put in new flooring and add an addition over there”..lol…I would send people running in the other direction. When we watch HouseHunters I am always yelling at the tv….mostly I think a house is charming and they are looking for generic. On this subject Julia, we are total kindred spirits.
Susan
.-= black eyed susans kitchen´s last blog ..A FAVOR PLEASE =-.

Tracy @ Comfort&Luxury March 16, 2010 at 11:12 am

Everybody and their brother is a RE agent here in Southern California and it used to be a pretty easy way to make buckets of money. I could never do it though because I would get really frustrated by the buyers being unreasonable and indecisive. I know this because my husband was an agent for several years a dozen years ago and it drove me nuts just hearing some of his stories and seeing how hard he worked to really help people (rather than just score a commission) and still he might not make the sale. He went back to the RE appraisal business he’s still in today because sales was just not the right fit for him. Now, he’s the guy who determines value and that’s the end of it. The agents and lenders and buyers are left to hassle over whether they think that value is “fair” (which, of course, it is because my husband is great at his job)
.-= Tracy @ Comfort&Luxury´s last blog ..Sunday at the Rose Bowl with Eddie =-.

Kate at Centsational Girl March 16, 2010 at 11:33 am

I am so with you on this one ! I’d make a lousy real estate agent also because I’d be obsessed with mentally redecorating everyone else’s spaces – especially when the houses aren’t showing well, cluttered or not ‘staged’. So frustrating when people think all buyers want their chartreuse walls. :-)

Kate
.-= Kate at Centsational Girl´s last blog ..Favorite Greens from ‘Our Suburban Cottage’ =-.

laney March 16, 2010 at 11:42 am

…oh no i could never ever sell houses …i would be the first one to drive down the street and say…”oh you could NEVER live here…just look at all the junk in the yard across the street”…or “your children CANNOT go to school in this district”…or “if the outside looks this bad just think what we are going to find on the INSIDE”…or “pay that?! for THIS? you have got to be kidding”…i wouldn’t make a cent and get fired the first day…but then no one would end up with a clunker with me in charge…(and i hate talking on the phone too…what do you think that is?)

Lesley @ TheDesignFile March 16, 2010 at 11:43 am

I’m way too sarcastic to ever be a real estate agent. In fact, the reason I love the real estate agent I used (and have recommended to all my friends) is because we can walk into a house together and immediately look at each other, laugh and walk out.

I don’t know how I could stand clients who didn’t appreciate my odd sense of humor.
.-= Lesley @ TheDesignFile´s last blog ..Inspiration from a modern Barcelona hotel =-.

greenie March 16, 2010 at 11:45 am

I’m with you on #1 and #5.
I get so frustrated with the same people on House Hunters (one of my favorite shows!). The ones who will find fault with everything in a house–features that can be changed etc. Are they completely lacking any imagination or do they just not like ANYTHING at all ANYWHERE?
And I don’t know if I could resist wanting to buy every great find I came across! :-)

Lori-Anne March 16, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I can relate to your list, plus add a few more – I could never be available seven days a week. I like to have a day or two for myself and family without being on call, and I think weekends are busy times for agents because that’s when their clients have days off and time free to house hunt. Or am I wrong? Also, I suck at bartering. I feel so guilty asking to have prices knocked down. I wouldn’t get many good deals for my clients!
.-= Lori-Anne´s last blog ..Lemon Tea Cup Chiffon =-.

Hip Hip Gin Gin March 16, 2010 at 12:06 pm

This is so funny! I would fail as a broker very quickly because of 1 and 2. I can’t watch House Hunters anymore because if one more person nixes a house because they can’t live with things like wall color, wall paper or the current owners furniture (because all of these are clearly permanent) I will scream!! Actually I stopped watching because when that happens I do scream. And the phone? I hate the phone so much. My husband jokes that I married him so he would call for take-out. He’s a little right.
.-= Hip Hip Gin Gin´s last blog ..Sunday Night Dinner =-.

Laura March 16, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Julia,

You make my day brighter! Do you ever watch Curb Appeal The Block on HGTV? Thanks for another great post. I think I would be like you, no honey you don’t need that rock in your house and search and search until we found one that they deserved.

Maya @ Completely Coastal March 16, 2010 at 12:30 pm

I actually did think about it at one time…., but the paper work! I would hate it…, and I haven’t even thought about all the calls…., wouldn’t like that either. And I would only be able to sell homes that I could imagine buying myself…, since my “dislikes” show up on my face!
.-= Maya @ Completely Coastal´s last blog ..HGTV Dream Homes =-.

Nathan March 16, 2010 at 12:31 pm

The main reason I couldn’t be one? I accept I’m not the best salesperson, haha. I’m in retail and can sell things in that price range, but I don’t know if I’d be able to sell a $300,000 item.
I totally agree about the first time buyers focusing TOO much on items that can be changed rather easily, and usually, quite cheaply. What I love is on Property Virgins on HGTV when the people act as though they know everything about real estate and walk in to a house and say something like “oh, those window treatments don’t work for me….I don’t like that wallpaper.” ARE YOU JOKING ME?!? lol

Jenny March 16, 2010 at 12:33 pm

I agree! I also would be too scared of creepy people! LOL!

Amanda @ Serenity Now March 16, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I’d hate the schedule. Agents have to cater to the hours that other people are off–evenings and weekends. I worked for an agent from 2001-2008. I managed her office, entered her listings in the MLS, handled contracts/listings/closings, did her website, and created all of her brochures and virtual tours. (Side note: worst job ever and I’m still not sure why I stayed) She was constantly on the go. Never off the phone. Always in the car.
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..Dressing Up My Window =-.

Sarah March 16, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Hilarious! My reasons for not being one would pretty much match yours. We are obsessed with House Hunters and always end up commenting on how annoying the buyers are :). I would not be able to stand listening to people complain about ridiculous things they don’t like (like paint color on a wall- um, you could change that…).
.-= Sarah´s last blog ..thinking spring =-.

HollyM March 16, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I’d be lousy at real estate because I’d be pointing out that my clients could not afford their dream house! “Are you kidding me? Do you know what your payments will be like? You’re going to 100% finance? OMG!”

Hubby and I watch House Hunters and simply want to knock buyers’ heads together when they say something ridiculous like, “I hate that paint! I can’t live with that color granite! Eww, carpet! There isn’t an umpteenth bedroom that we can use for an office.” Or my personal favorite, “I can’t cook on that stove; it has only four burners.”

Real estate is about two things really: location and condition. Cosmetic charm can be added, deleted, enhanced, or obscured. Minor repairs can be made. Fences can go up. But you can’t fix your neighbors, your street, or traffic.

That, and there’s no sense in paying a ridiculous sum of money for a big box of builder ho-hum. And ho-hum translates just as easily to what is popular today as what was the latest trend in the Brady Bunch era. I swore, last summer when we were buying, that if I saw one more house with a bay windowed eat-in kitchen and a half-moon breakfast bar, I would run screaming from the house. Same goes for palladian windows. Every house built between 1986 and 2002 sports them; but today’s must haves are just as destined to become tomorrow’s trite trends. . . we just don’t know it yet.

Now, if I could only show gems of houses to fully appreciative (and solvent) potential buyers, real estate would be a great job!

tina poulsen March 16, 2010 at 2:40 pm

i hear that too. i also have been really close to going for it in the past. i got a good chuckle out of your reasons!
.-= tina poulsen´s last blog ..He says it like he thinks it =-.

Jackie W. March 16, 2010 at 3:05 pm

I was an agent in Texas. To this day I HATE talking on the phone. People would call after 10pm after reading an ad & I would be in bed.

Kim March 16, 2010 at 3:08 pm

I have been told I should be a realtor, interior designer, or architect, but they’re just for me.

1. I don’t know how I would explain a house to someone. I would basically just point out what the rooms are, but that’s it. I wouldn’t have anything else to say.

2. I wouldn’t know how to answer people’s questions. Like “what were the homeowners like, that use to live here?” I don’t know and I really don’t care. Just look at the home please.

3. I would be afraid that someone would sue me if anything went wrong or the house wasn’t in the shape they wanted it to be in. Since people are suing for the dumbest reasons these days.

4. I agree with your 1st one. It drives me nuts when people complain about the dumbest things. It’s like they think the perfect home is out there, but they just haven’t come across it. What do they expect when they are shown the type of homes they want?

5. I would get annoyed if I had to show some people 10 or more different houses and they still didn’t find one they like. Or if some homeowners took me on a rollercoaster ride, looking at houses and then they decided to not sell their house after all. I would be so upset if that happened to me.

Robin March 16, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Julia,
All good reasons! My husband keeps telling me I should sell real estate, too. Reason #6 would be for me… Having to show a house in the evening when I am snuggled in with my computer and TV–hehe
Robin
.-= Robin´s last blog ..Magazine Treasures =-.

Anne March 16, 2010 at 3:34 pm

I once had a a couple call to meet me at 8pm to view one of my listings, for over an hour they kept repeating,”if this only had a basement it would be perfect” . Finally I told them, I could not dig one.
I had lost my patience.

Patty June 14, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Your comment to your clients is priceless….absolutely hilarious!

Mom in High Heels March 16, 2010 at 3:37 pm

I was a real estate agent. I loved getting to look at houses (who doesn’t) and I loved closings (because I got a paycheck), but I was on the phone all the time and even for the easiest, most straight forward sales, something always, always, ALWAYS went wrong and I’d be scrambling at the last minute to get it fixed an make sure it closed (so I could get a paycheck). It was way too stressful and there were some clients that I absolutely hated. Unless I really didn’t need a paycheck (ha), I had to deal with them. selling real estate would have been great if I didn’t have to deal with the people. :)
.-= Mom in High Heels´s last blog ..A Random Tuesday with Indy and phrases =-.

anna see March 16, 2010 at 3:47 pm

What a great post! I could relate on so many levels. My husband really, really thinks I’d be a great agent. I have helped a lot of people find houses. The part that wouldn’t do if for me?

The paperwork!!!
.-= anna see´s last blog ..Did You Know Gullible Isn’t in the Dictionary? =-.

melissa March 16, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Ditto to everything you said—esp the people on House Hunters that complain about things that are easily changed like paint. I believe this is why we scored our beautiful home. When we bought it, basically every room was painted HOT PINK. I’m not kidding. The only room spared was the kitchen –which was lovely & we left. The rest of the house was painted in white, white, white!!
Thanks for this fun post! xox MBM
.-= melissa´s last blog ..Tory on Martha Stewart–Friday!! =-.

Michelle March 16, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Hi Julia,

Both me and my husband were realtors. Even though it can be fun and rewarding, it’s very hard work. It’s not enough to have a love of houses, because it is first and foremost a business. You need an array of skills and must be able to wear many hats in order run a successful real estate business. There are also a lot of expenses related to being a realtor and the hours are long.

The Stylish House March 16, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I’ve been transfered a few times and had to find home squickly. A good agent is a blessing since the town is unfamiliar. A few times I’ve walking into dirty, smelly homes and turned around and walked out, yuck! It’s also sad to witness a family going through a messy divorce with children or people leaving their home due to financial issues or illness.
Cathy
.-= The Stylish House´s last blog ..Pottery Barn Makeover! =-.

Jano March 16, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Explaining the mortgage financing to people who often don’t understand their personal finances would drive me mad. Years ago, I worked in a mortgage loan department preparing the documentation (hey, anybody out there typed meets and bounds on a deed??), and attended my share of closings. Even among qualified buyers, I’ll bet 90% of them didn’t understand their loan package, inspite of the heroic efforts of loan officers, realtors, and attorneys who were present. Way too few buyers do the homework to educate themselves.

My work experience sure gave me a radar for the snakes in the real estate profession who smear the reputation of the majority of good agents. My biggest concern was for families who were steered into houses they absolutely could not afford, only to be legitimately turned down for a loan, then find financing elsewhere. Yes, the buyer should have the maturity to stay within a range of affordability but some are too easily manipulated. The stress of being in a house you cannot afford can be ruinous financially and emotionally.

Holly Conner March 16, 2010 at 6:57 pm

I’m watching House Hunters right now. How about the people that say, “It looks so small.” sooo annoying to me. Especially if it’s their 1st house.. and the wallpaper thing is irritating too, I guess people don’t like to put much work into anything anymore..
.-= Holly Conner´s last blog ..my boys =-.

the zhush March 16, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Ha! As a former Real Estate attorney, I have a lot to say on the matter…but will limit it to this….I was the worst at hiding my true feelings at the annoying clients, people who cried real tears over kitchen window treatments and bathtub drains….made me CRAZY, and not in a good way. So I totes get it! Loving real estate and houses and then dealing with the sale of same….two totally different things! Very amusing post!
.-= the zhush´s last blog ..Can’t Get Enough: "GREEN" =-.

angela | the painted house March 16, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Ha, you and me both! I think people get caught up in the romantic notions of selling real estate, “ooo, you get to look at pretty houses all day.” Yeah, that AND all the other hard work. That’s why we come here, Julia–and nosy people everywhere thank their lucky stars for the mls and internet!
.-= angela | the painted house´s last blog ..Six =-.

E. George March 16, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Hi Julia – you nailed it I could not keep a straight face if my life depended on it and the phone don’t get me started I worked in a job where the phone felt like it was attached to my ear for life I’de come home and tell my daughter I can’t talk anymore so I have a love hate relationship with the phone and yes if it was a nice house I would want it for myself. Do you guys remember The Money Pit? Regards Esther from Sydney.

Nita March 16, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Better a decorator. The only good part is getting in to see the houses. It’s not easy work. I’ve known two real estate women who had heart attacks over it. Then there are the clowns like the one guy who told one of my realtors it was okay to come over and show the house. Only, when she did, he was in bed having sex with someone and let them walk in on them! People are nuts.

Jessica March 16, 2010 at 8:52 pm

I love that Dick Van Dyke episode, too! We are addicted to that show. haha
.-= Jessica´s last blog ..Rocking Chair Makeover =-.

Paula Grace March 16, 2010 at 10:43 pm

I am with you on this ~ I don’t think I’d make a good one due to the hours, the negotiating, the hours, the negotiating, the hours, the negotiating…. you get my drift??!!
Paula Grace ~
.-= Paula Grace´s last blog ..The Amazing Sara Baldwin =-.

Staz March 17, 2010 at 1:00 am

I feel like I could’ve written this entry. My husband is telling me I should be a realtor all the time. He’s like “But you know the entire area so well, you know so much about houses and you take good photos!”
My response is always, “But I hate the phone, I can’t stand most people and I’m bad at math!” Around and around we go.

Kim March 17, 2010 at 2:47 am

The boulder in the basement thing is totally cracking me up! Believe it or not, one of the houses we looked at in DC during the big real estate price hike in 2006, actually had a boulder in the basement. It even had piles of dirt all around it. The rest of the basement was finished, and to cover up the large rock, the home owner duct taped a large painter’s sheet of plastic over the rock. And the house sold for above the asking price. Crazy! I wonder how happy the homeowners are about that rock now that the housing prices have crashed there. Sad really.

hello gorgeous March 17, 2010 at 8:52 am

I feel like I wrote this.
.-= hello gorgeous´s last blog ..Things I’m Watching on eBay. =-.

Nancy T - Seattle, Wa March 17, 2010 at 10:55 am

Everything you stated PLUS the fact that I have no desire to work 24/7
.-= Nancy T – Seattle, Wa´s last blog ..Rummaging … =-.

Heather March 17, 2010 at 11:02 am

I would go crazy dealing with the sellers that don’t want to stage their home. There are a lot of people out there that don’t think they should have to change anything to sell their home. The bad MLS listings you feature here on your blog is a great example of that fact. Even driving through neighborhoods and looking at the front of some houses that are on the market is shocking. Knee-high weeds, totally cluttered front porch, plant containers with the price tags still on them, paint chipping, and the list goes on.
.-= Heather´s last blog ..Libraries =-.

jodi from new jersey March 17, 2010 at 5:27 pm

This is fun. I have a couple of pet peeves with “House Hunters”, too. I want to smack the 24 year olds who are shopping for their first home and complaining that it doesn’t have granite countertops or that the bedrooms are too small. We lived with orange Brady Bunch countertops for 10 years! Goes with the whole spoiled, I want and I want it now generation. Maybe I’ m just jealous, but a starter home does have its charms. Earning what you have is a great lesson. I prefer the diy shows or curb appeal types. THanks for the fun Julia…………………………………

Kim March 17, 2010 at 6:31 pm

This made me giggle. I agree with everything you said and would feel the same, people complaining about easy fixes. When we moved into our house it was mexican restaurant yellow with purple cave art stencils all over, a lime green hallway to the downstairs and purple bathroom….nothing a few cans of primer couldn’t fix. My hubby rented us a house before I got here that had a dirt basement with a giant rock in the middle of it! I was really unimpressed,it was like a pit and I never went down there, thank god we found our house within six months.

Sarah March 17, 2010 at 7:31 pm

I agree with you 110%, and the boulder thing is making me laugh – I’ve never seen that episode! I also have a love House Hunters, but the things people say about some of the properties, and the way they make their decisions is disheartening. Declaring that a kitchen needs to be “gutted” because it doesn’t have stainless steal appliances or granite counter-tops? PA-LEASE. I’m not sure when those things became standard, but I can’t wait until the trend is o-v-e-r.
.-= Sarah´s last blog ..oh yeah… =-.

Kelly March 17, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Hi, Julia,

I love your blog! House Hunters is one of my top three favorite shows on HGTV – the others are Divine Design and Designers Challenge (do they even film those anymore???) Anyway, I have missed Suzanne so much! No offense to Colette, but it just isn’t the same. I have to fight the urge to turn HH off if it’s not a Suzanne episode! Thanks for the post about where she went!

(Completely off-topic: I’ve read your post about the Something’s Gotta Give house several times. Wn I saw that movie, I liked it, but I *loved* the house! It really made an impression!
.-= Kelly´s last blog ..Emergency =-.

Sarah @ Thriftydecorchick March 17, 2010 at 10:34 pm

HA! Love it! I cannot STAND when the clients on House Hunters stand at the back door of a house, looking a the VAST backyard and say “I really wanted a bigger yard.” I SWEAR, it happens at least once a week. DRIVES ME MAD. They’ll be on acres of land and whine “But the yard is so small!”
BTW, a few of the things you mentioned are the reasons I didn’t enjoy decorating for (live) clients like I thought I would. :)
.-= Sarah @ Thriftydecorchick´s last blog ..DIY built ins =-.

Karen March 17, 2010 at 10:37 pm

I have sold realestate for almost 15 years. It is the most rewarding experience to find the perfect property for a family or first time home owner. I work in all price ranges and have sold to all walks of life.
And oh the stories I could tell (but won’t). Someday I will write a book or start a great blog.
Thank you God for HG TV and all the decorating and home sale shows. And blogs.
It is a great dose of reality for the home owner who still thinks purple sponge paint is an up date…..different color floor coverings in every room, yeck… I will not even go into todays values…
Love your blog it makes me smile!

Beck March 18, 2010 at 7:47 am

Yea, right???? Some of those folks on House Hunters or Property Virgins make me want to grab them thru the screen and smak em! “ew, what a horrible color!” but what I really think irritates me the MOST is everyone HAS TO HAVE Granite and Stainless Steel…….sheesh……in the 70′s everyone HAD TO HAVE avocado green appliances and look at them now……..It’s a fad and a phase people……
Everytime I go to my sisters, who just spent 45,000 on updating her kitchen with all that, if I get ice from the door of the fridge, she is waiting right behind me with her polish cloth. argh.

Jessica March 18, 2010 at 10:18 pm

I am now hooked on House Hunters! Since we live in Australia, I have to watch old episodes on You Tube. But I love seeing all the home tours through American houses, and I love hearing people who talk like me. Haha ;-) It’s a good thing to watch when I’m feeling home sick for the USA….

Andrea March 18, 2010 at 10:57 pm

I am cracking up reading your post . You are too funny and so true to yourself. Thanks for the laugh.

tammyCA March 21, 2010 at 12:34 am

We have some things in common…I love houses too, but hate phones. I hate calling anyone more than answering. In this day & age of everybody having a cell phone glued to their face I guess I’m odd, but I’ve never liked talking on the phone (and, I don’t text)…email is good ‘tho.
House Hunters is a fave show…and, nobody should do it but Suzanne Whang! She has the perfect voice/tone. They had that ex-The View lady, Starr somebody and it stunk…I think I threw tomatoes at the t.v.
And, those buyers need a thump on the head complaining about stupid stuff like paint color & carpet! Sheesh, I wish that was all I had to deal with in looking for another house.

Centers And Squares March 21, 2010 at 4:06 pm

This post cracked me up! I’ve been a real estate agent for ten years and still love it every day. No question about it – lots of hard work, stress, etc. but as my equally house-obsessed coworker said the other day as we left a fabulous house “Can you believe we make a living doing this?!” I’m fortunate to live in an area – Cambridge, Mass. – with lots of very cool houses. I wouldn’t want to do this where that wasn’t the case.

One surprise for me – and a continuing challenge – is how people think so differently (different from me, than me – whatever it is) whether it’s the “oh but I don’t like that paint color” or wanting to beat up a seller on a home inspection, or whatever.

I cannot believe there’s a Dick Van Dyke episode about a rock in the cellar. We see them all the time in some nearby towns that have a lot of ledge. Doesn’t phase me one iota (back to that think differently stuff I guess).

Liz
.-= Centers And Squares´s last blog ..The Pavilion – Condos At 170 Gore St Cambridge =-.

Chrissy Runciman April 6, 2010 at 12:00 am

I am a real estate agent in New Zealand. The worst part about the job is seeing so many homes that are owned by people with no taste whatsoever, and worse – filthy and / or untidy. And when you can’t convince them that presentation is so important. I want to redecorate almost every home I list, or at least rearrange the furniture so it’s balanced. Ahhh dear!

Jenny Hanahan June 4, 2010 at 8:17 am

I am a Realtor and I naively went into it because I “loved to look at houses!” LOL! Selling real estate, I’ve found, is far more about people than houses…about both, but definitely more about people.

Amazingly, I haven’t been tempted to buy all the houses I show or see. First of all, I totally could not money wise do it even if I wanted to, but I also find I’m not looking at houses in the same way I did for me personally. I’m looking at the potential or the problems, looking out for my client. Uh…and no, I DON’T TELL people they can live with a boulder in their basement. I ASK them if the boulder bothers them and if it bothers them now, it’s always gonna bother them so. LOL They make up their own mind. :)

Papa July 27, 2010 at 9:50 am

I would end up counseling all the sellers and the buyers. Whenever I was even looking for a new house the agents started telling me their problems. Do I have a sign that says, “Dump all your problems on me. It is free.”

Christie Lane Craven March 15, 2011 at 4:44 pm

I spent the past year and a half working as an assistant for a very successful agent and now am getting licensed myself. I love it, but it is definitely not for everyone. My time spent working in restaurants years ago groomed me for dealing with all types of people. There is a lot of paperwork and the hours can be long and crazy, but it is really rewarding to help people find the home that’s perfect for them or sell their house quickly to move on to another phase of their life. I know that sounds ‘Pollyanna-ish”, but it’s true. Even as an assistant, I get hugs from a lot of our sellers at closing. Your real job is to make the process as simple, easy to understand, and worry free as possible. It’s a challenge, but I love it!

krystal April 10, 2011 at 7:36 am

My favorite is people with one or 2 kids who just CAN’T live in an 1800 sf house…they NEED 2500+ sf. AND if it doesn’t have a refrigerator, O..M..G! They’re looking at $500,000 houses and can’t afford a damn fridge??? Come ON!
Last night’s episode had a finished basement with stamped and professionally stained floors that were beautiful and the wife said that if one of the kids fell, it “wouldn’t be a ‘soft’ fall”…SERIOUSLY?

Jessica Todd June 17, 2011 at 11:28 pm

I am so happy I came across your website!!! I am a Realtor and I LOVE my job!! However, I’m the one that if I know you don’t love the house, or it doesn’t work for your needs, I am the first to say it!! I point out defects and problems I think they house may have, so it may take a little longer for my clients to find a home then others, but hey it is going to be their HOME!! Our agent (before I was an agent) was AMAZING! She worked with us for 9 months to find the perfect home. We walked into several and she would say “Oh no, this little bedroom just isn’t going to work for Miss Eva” (our daughter and I was pregnant with a boy).

I do like being on my phone. I send an average of 4,000 text a month and the same minute wise, not including the desk phone!!

One thing I HATE and I will never be THAT agent, the ones who DON’T call back! If I can’t answer my phone, I will call you between showings, or as soon as I can get to the office or home, which ever is closer, to find out what you wanted to know.

Of course I love closings, because I get paid, but the BEST part of my job is telling my clients their offer was accepted, and seeing the joy on their face, or hearing it in their voice. I can honestly say THAT is the best part of my job!!

Now I do have some complaints. I get frusterated when sellers expect me to hold their house open every weekend. I do have other listings, and I have 2 children. My children will always come first and people don’t seem to understand that. Thankfully my now ex and my mom are so supportive and help a lot!!

I wouldn’t trade my job for the world! All of my clients become friends, the only thing I would change is how much we are paid! People don’t know I don’t get that whole check and the money that goes out every month takes most of those checks!!

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