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Computers did exist in the year 2000, but their capabilities were limited. The popular real estate website that rhymes with Billow did not exist back then. Instead, people had to rely on a book with printed listings to find a home. This book was only given to Realtors and real estate agents. It was the size of the Yellow Pages before Google and cell phones. It is unclear how often the book was updated, but it was the only source of information available.
There were a few options available for finding homes for sale, but all of them required patience, a full gas tank, water, and a sack lunch. The first option was to work with a Realtor or agent who could go through the book, schedule showings that fit your price range, and take you to see the homes in person. This wasn’t always the best option since photos of the house were limited (and black and white!), and not all professionals were (and still are not) good listeners when understanding what a Buyer was/is looking for.
The second option was to go through a local newspaper, drive to the home, and go from there. The third option was to drive around neighborhoods and look for “For Sale” signs. The last option was to move around the outskirts of town looking for giant balloons and flags representing new home builders. Doing any of these things was daunting, and it was even more challenging with small children.
My family and I did this every weekend for a year and a half before finally purchasing our first home in Littleton, Colorado. However, this story is not about our first home.
spoiler alert-I am the over zealous buyer
Being pregnant with my 3rd little girl, I felt my family was complete. However, everything started to shrink. My clothes, my home, my car, my bank account, my income & my patience. So, the weekends of searching for a home began again. This caravan consisted of two little ones: one mean pregnant lady and one patient feller named Bob.
We searched high and low, hoping to find a place that fits just right. But when you’re a grumpy pregnant mama with two little ones in tow, finding a home feels downright Goldilocksian.
It took us a solid six months of searching to find “the one.” Finding the home was the beginning of an un-BEAR-able experience.
I thought I had it all figured out when we found our next home.
I boldly asked the listing agent for a portion of his commission to help with closing costs. This request is illegal. Not for me to ask but for the Agent to agree. He did agree. I feel like he missed the whole day of the Ethics class…
When a Buyer is representing themselves, they have no advocate. There are no referrals of trusted inspectors or lenders to guide us through the process.
When an agent agrees to take a home listing, they also agree to look after the interest of either the Seller (a Listing Agent) or the Transaction (that is, a Transactional Agent). Sometimes, when an agent is a transactional agent, they look out for their interest and the commission check.
The Listing Agent bent the truth many times. Sneaky little fibs were told about other offers, and rumors swirled about taking the property off the market. It was like playing real estate poker with hidden cards up their sleeves!
And just when we thought we were in clear waters, lending almost didn’t go through at the final hour. Somehow, we made it work between tear-stained pillowcases and threats to picket the mortgage office.
I have learned a valuable lesson. That is to respect professionals who respect their profession. I will not try to fill my cavity or do other things I am not qualified to do. I will take the time to find true professionals.