Monday, August 27, 2007

Buying a House in Nashville

We finally had to get rid of our old realtor (pronounced "real-tor," not "real-la-tor," as my mother pointed out to me once upon a time. I've never been able to forget it). In some ways we thought we should just buy a house without a realtor. But a couple music guys (a songwriter, a session player, and another engineer) couldn't stop insisting on their realtor.

By "get rid of our old realtor," I mean get out of our contract with her, not, as it sounds, bump her off (is that a phrase? It sounds so weird right now. Perhaps because I'm so caffeined up, my heart's got the pedal to the metal -- my arteries are about to explode) or send her to sleep with the fishes. Again, I'm not very versed in mob-talk. We don't have HBO and I've only seen the Godfather twice, and it's been awhile since I played the Xbox game.

Hopefully you get the point. Nothing happened other than a phone call between the old realtor and Stoker, wherein Stoker said, "It's just not working for us." And she said, "You WORK too much! You shouldn't be buying a house!" At least she finally told us what she was REALLY thinking.

Stoker and I are the kind of people who stay. That's one of the reasons we got married. We both found something we liked and we ran with it. I figure this correlates nicely with how we are in working relationships, friendships, and when we find the right house. We've already put two offers on houses.

As my many fans will recall, the first offer didn't pan out because the house was missing a portion of its foundation. The second offer wasn't accepted. For that we partially blame our former realtor and I could explain why and you'd agree with me. But I haven't the time and you haven't the attention span for it.

We're first time homebuyers. Part of the reason we sought a realtor was because we needed someone to hold our hands through the process.

I'm still not entirely comfortable writing about people on my blog without their consent (unless you happen to be a friend or family, in which case, bad luck, you happen to be a friend or family member). So, I'm not going to mention our old realtor's name, but I'm also not comfortable using our NEW realtor's name, even though at the moment I only have good things to say about him (those music guys were right). We've put an offer on another house already.

The new realtor is professional yet polite. When we went to look at this house we're trying to buy right now, it could have been a very awkward thing because the current owners were there. But the new realtor (a name would make this so much easier, but . . . still not comfortable) totally put both Stoker and me, AND the current owners at ease. I'm pretty sure they were at ease, though I didn't ask them. After we looked around he thanked them and asked some pretty damn pertinent questions, and he phrased them in a diplomatic way. I wouldn't have dared asked the current owners anything. I always feel awkward about that.

By the time we left it was dark, but it was still 100 degrees outside. The three of us stood on the road by our cars and talked. It was so damn hot. This new realtor had the courtesy to say, "Let's talk in my car and I'll turn on the air conditioner." !!! I couldn't believe it. Another cool thing was that he didn't put on airs about his success. He showed up at the house in a Mercedes.

Stoker and I aren't high rollers, you know. We have good credit, but we have student loans, so we're not buying a super sweet house. I know that there are salesmen out there who are very calculated about that stuff -- they don't want to appear too successful or not successful enough. Perhaps this realtor is that slimy, but so far he hasn't felt sleazy, plus he's been more willing to work for us than the realtor we stopped working with.

The house inspection is on Thursday. Both of us are nervous about it. You know, it's such a difficult process, buying a house. It helps immensely to have a realtor you like. Then you feel good about that 3% they're going to walk away with. After the crap experience with that other realtor, it's like, "3%? You should have 4%!" Ha ha. Yeah right. But you know what I mean.


Nathan Marx said...

Do you want me to shoot your old realtor? I mean with my camera.... I could get something humilating, like some ugly face or something.

Just trying to be funny. I know, my humour is a bit stupid, but that is why it is so fun. I make everyone feel so smart when they are around me.

Good luck with the house thing. Me and Anji are envious in a way. I am resigned to the fact that we need to wait to get a home. Anji is on the prowl though. She won't admit that we should wait.

Aries327 said...

Anji's on the prowl. So true, so true.

I don't have THAT much against the old realtor, that you should humiliate her with the camera. Not working with her satisfies me enough. :)

Jodie K said...

The first realtor I worked with gave up on me because what I could afford would not finance another car for her stay-at-home-hubby (snobby beotch). The second I found in the paper and she was a waste of resource (although she took her percentage).

When I sell this place, I'm planning on doing it myself with help from a lawyer friend (for the paperwork I don't get).

Good luck with lucky number three!

Aries327 said...

Thank Jodie. Stoker and I wondered what made this realtor different than the last realtor, and, amongst other things, he doesn't seem to care as much about the money. It seems to me he works under the principle of karma. Or rather, he knows that if we have a good experience with him, we'll send others his way, just as we were referred to him by satisfied customers.

If we hadn't found him, we'd be buying the house ourselves. So, I understand your position. The problem would be negotiating. He's actually doing that for us. Surprising.