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Commiserating about real estate agents

Veloise

Cyburbian
Messages
5,615
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29
I am convinced that anyone could produce better photos than your average real estate agent. With the watermarked name in a lovely font yet.



Okay, I added more. (Spotted the FS sign as I pedaled past, and looked it up. I have an aversion to nonsense...)



VV This is in the kitchen. THE DRYER IS IN THE BASEMENT


One of the most boneheaded stove treatments I've ever seen.
 
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Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
11,959
Points
38
Real estate agent called yesterday wanting to know which set of rules the potential home owners had to abide by - zoning ordinance or deed restrictions because they were different.

I had to explain the difference and who enforces what. She had ZERO clue. Then I suggested she talk to the Broker she works for/associated with, which she said she did and that's who said to call me. So not only is the agent clueless, so is the broker!

I shouldn't be stunned, but I am.
 

luckless pedestrian

Super Moderator
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41
Real estate agent called yesterday wanting to know which set of rules the potential home owners had to abide by - zoning ordinance or deed restrictions because they were different.

I had to explain the difference and who enforces what. She had ZERO clue. Then I suggested she talk to the Broker she works for/associated with, which she said she did and that's who said to call me. So not only is the agent clueless, so is the broker!

I shouldn't be stunned, but I am.

omg.every.damn.day
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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Real estate agent called yesterday wanting to know which set of rules the potential home owners had to abide by - zoning ordinance or deed restrictions because they were different.
(Planit, after laughing for 35 seconds)

Both, ma'am. Both
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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17,844
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59
I am convinced that anyone could produce better photos than your average real estate agent
Real estate photography around these parts is awful. Really, really bad. I’ll post some examples when I get to a laptop, but for the most part:

  • Lots of wide angle fakery.
  • Closeups of plants and flowers — I guess they think it’ll appeal to the area’s garden lady demographic or something. If there’s more photos of flora than of the house itself, run away.
  • Closeups of irrelevant objects - door knobs, water heaters, etc.
  • Corners of unidentified rooms.
  • Staging is non-existent here, but the opposite is common - just cluttered rooms and junky yards, with a description of the “rustic” or “quirky” character of the house.
  • When in doubt, it’s a “Colonial”. Gabled ell farmhouse? Colonial. Folk Victorian? Colonial. Ranch with a second floor addition? Colonial. The only style agents seem to get right is Greek Revival.
  • One local agent puts her dog in at least one photo in her listings. It’s a cute dog, so she gets a pass.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
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27,352
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64
Moderator note:

split from RTDNTOTO

My #1 beef with realtors is how some hold themselves out to be experts concerning land use law. What makes you an authority?
 

kjel

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12,225
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37
Most realtors are crappy and are int to to make a buck fast with minimal work.

Some listings I look at and wonder if they are really trying to sell a property or just repel potential buyers.

Thankfully in my role I rarely deal with them.
 

luckless pedestrian

Super Moderator
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Moderator note:

split from RTDNTOTO

My #1 beef with realtors is how some hold themselves out to be experts concerning land use law. What makes you an authority?
I wouldn't care if that was the case but they don't understand the difference between the comp plan and zoning, what permits someone needs, what's a variance, how to read the freakin use table even - omg

I have been able to, by practically begging, get a few realtors to JUST CALL ME when they get a new listing and I will tell them everything
 

Salmissra

Cyburbian
Messages
5,677
Points
28
Thankfully in this position I don't have to deal with realtors. But I've had a few encounters in other jobs that were painful.

1) Realtor calls the wrong department to ask about zoning, pitches a fit when they can't help her and ignores the person trying to give her the correct department's contact info. She storms into City Hall looking for a fight, and ends up pissing off everyone before she even gets to me. I ask her for the details, and the address she gives me doesn't exist in our files/database. I confirm the spelling and direction, and it still isn't there. While she's yelling (in the lobby), I google the address. It's a vacant lot two towns over. When I point out this to her, she tells me I'm wrong and she's positive that's she's in the right place. I called the other town, confirmed that the lot is in their jurisdiction, and gave her the name, number, and address of the person she needs to talk to. Security, which had been hovering in the background, finally steps in to escort her to her car.

2) Realtor comes in to ask about variances and her new listing, "which is grandfathered". Spent over an hour with her. I remember that she was new to the profession, so that might explain some her . . . lack of knowledge, but she really was in over her head. The listing was a hairy dog of a case, and she ended up dropping it because she couldn't "guarantee" that the potential owners would get a variance. She seemed to think that because the house was old, it was grandfathered.

3) Realtor called wanting info on several properties. I asked him to send me an email with the addresses, and the information requested on each one. He refused to put it in writing. He was trying to avoid paying for a zoning verification letter for each address. I told him that if he sent me the email, I would send him info. So he sent me a list of addresses, but no specific details (confirm zoning? permits? plat/subdivision?). I sent him a link to the online GIS database that the city maintained. Hope he found what he was looking for . . .
 

dw914er

Cyburbian
Messages
1,373
Points
18
Moderator note:

split from RTDNTOTO

My #1 beef with realtors is how some hold themselves out to be experts concerning land use law. What makes you an authority?
"My realtor said that this project will reduce my property value by 23%!!!! It is illegal for you to approve that!"
 

Bubba

Cyburbian
Messages
4,912
Points
29
  • When in doubt, it’s a “Colonial”. Gabled ell farmhouse? Colonial. Folk Victorian? Colonial. Ranch with a second floor addition? Colonial. The only style agents seem to get right is Greek Revival.
The agent we used ~20 years ago when we bought our first house flat out hated me by the end of it - we looked at maybe a dozen houses with her, and I corrected her attempts to describe the house type and style on every single one of them.
 

luckless pedestrian

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41
anytime a new resident starts out with the phrase "well my realtor told me..." I know I ma in for cluster

...but my realtor told me nothing could ever be built there - this is the classic imho

and yes, those super wide shots with the almost cartoon filter taken in a room lit up by airfield lights has got to stop (though the creepily underlit ones are not better)

now, one of my best friends retired from planning and is now a realtor but she's a good realtor because she knows her land laws!

I have offered to do workshops for board of realtors meetings but only have been taken up on it twice - it's too bad
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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59
Welcome to the quirks of real estate listings in my fair city.

This wide angle shit is everywhere. Many of the houses in the region are quite old, folk Victorians and gabled ells with small rooms and choppy layouts make up a good part of the housing stock, and open floorplans aren't common, so I get why it happens. Still, it's deceptive. A lot of houses here have very low ceilings (6.5' - 7' on the first floor is common), which only exaggerates the stretchy effect.

wide_angle_3.jpg

wide_angle_2.jpg

The obligatory closeup flora shot.

flora.jpg

It's practically a local tradition. These two are from the listing for the house we bought.

flora_2.jpg

flora_3.jpg

Nobody stages here, but often folks don't even clean up. "Whatever, man. It's a seller's market, and buyers want authenticity."

mess_1.jpg

Nice plunger. And DAMN PORTRAIT MODE!

plunger.jpg

LOTS of online listings in the area start with the back of the house, for some reason.

back.jpg

Pointless photos. Why even bother?

pointless.jpg

hallway_to_nowhere.jpg

Pointless, and more PORTRAIT MODE! At least hold your iPhone sideways,

portrait_mode.jpg

What are they growing in there?

growing.jpg

Found the dog! :)

dog.jpg

Nothing wrong with this photo. It's just a quarter mil cabin in the woods that's perhaps the most RUGGED! house on the market now.

manly.jpg
 
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DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
13,875
Points
41
My favorite realtor stories are:

1. The young new realtor that saw a commercial listing and wanted to know what it would take to put X on the property so he could inform his client. It was basic stuff, but I ran down the list of site plans and building permits and hiring engineers and architects. By the time I was done his wide eyed enthusiasm (read $$$ on commission) was gone. I ended by telling him to talk to the office commercial broker, not the regular broker, go find the right guy and get advice.

2. The lady who told me the property was zoned commercial because her broker said so and she took a class on zoning and knows how it works. I had to start with the line of that's nice, I have a degree in zoning and what the city says is the final answer and since I'm the city here's the answer. I also referred her back to her broker to take some more classes in zoning.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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Nothing wrong with this photo. It's just a quarter mil cabin in the woods that's perhaps the most RUGGED! house on the market now.

View attachment 46968
Ur mer gerd!

Unfinished plywood interior walls?

If there's an interior fire in this house (especially with a wood burning stove in the middle of the room), this place is gone about 10 minutes.

WHOOSH!
 
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Maister

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Ur mer gerd!

Unfinished plywood interior walls?

If there's an interior fire in this house (especially with a wood burning stove in the middle of the room), this place is gone about 10 minutes.

WHOOSH!
What part of "rugged" do you not get?
 
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Gedunker

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We get more Google-juice than our Doppelganger cities in Ohio and Mississippi so I often get emails from realtors requesting zoning verification for parcels that are, let's say, somewhat out of my jurisdiction. The temptation to verify some exotic zoning designation is great, but hasn't overcome me. Yet.

Property assessment here is a county function and their property cards include use classes, such as RESIDENTIAL and COMMERCIAL, which as y'all know can have nothing to do with zoning. This tends to cause realtors no end of angst when they contact us for zoning verification. "The property card says "COMMERCIAL" right there! What do you mean it is zoned residential? Are you some kind of idjot? Can't read your own reports?"
 

Whose Yur Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
10,725
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34
We get more Google-juice than our Doppelganger cities in Ohio and Mississippi so I often get emails from realtors requesting zoning verification for parcels that are, let's say, somewhat out of my jurisdiction. The temptation to verify some exotic zoning designation is great, but hasn't overcome me. Yet.

Property assessment here is a county function and their property cards include use classes, such as RESIDENTIAL and COMMERCIAL, which as y'all know can have nothing to do with zoning. This tends to cause realtors no end of angst when they contact us for zoning verification. "The property card says "COMMERCIAL" right there! What do you mean it is zoned residential? Are you some kind of idjot? Can't read your own reports?"
I get that all the time with multifamily. Real Estate agent/developer/builder/appraiser calls it commercial because people are making money from it. My office says it's residential because people are living there. :r: When I lived in farm county, I used to get into long discussions about what constituted agricultural.
 

Maister

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I get that all the time with multifamily. Real Estate agent/developer/builder/appraiser calls it commercial because people are making money from it. My office says it's residential because people are living there. :r: When I lived in farm county, I used to get into long discussions about what constituted agricultural.
If I had a dollar for every conversation I ever had with realtors about the difference between a 'tax classification' and 'zoning' I could have retired years ago.:r:
 

ChairmanMeow

Cyburbian
Messages
90
Points
3
I have a freelance client that I write the content for his real estate ads. He doesn't usually even bother to get new pictures and just uses the ones already out there, though he does ask my opinion or just lets me choose the ones to use. I do what I can with what I'm given. Occasionally I manage to find a better street view and send it along.

My aunt was a realtor for many years and I did the social media management for her company, and I have to say that their pics weren't so bad.
 

Planit

Cyburbian
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11,959
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38
REA: Hi I'm a real estate agent in the area and want to know if you can put a trailer or manufactured home on a property.
Me: What's the address?
REA: 1234 That Street.
Me: That is not in our jurisdiction. It's in the County's area. Would you like their number?
REA: But it's got the city address.
Me: Yes, but doesn't always mean the properties are in the city's jurisdiction.
REA: So can I put a trailer on the property?
Me: You'll have to consult with them. What company are you with?
RES: That doesn't matter. I thought you would help me.
Me: No, you'll have to ask the county. Have a good day.
 

Planit

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I really wanted to call her out that she was not a real estate agent, but I decided to be 'nice' instead.
 

Maister

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I really wanted to call her out that she was not a real estate agent, but I decided to be 'nice' instead.
Nine out of ten times I will take the high road and be 'nice' by providing helpful answers to realtors who are plainly asking the 'wrong' questions, but I still get the occasional REA who calls up and is plainly clueless but clearly also has a chip on their shoulder when it comes to planning. For such individuals I reserve the "I'm going to answer the actual question you're asking, as opposed to the one I know you would really want to ask if you knew what you were doing" treatment.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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For such individuals I reserve the "I'm going to answer the actual question you're asking, as opposed to the one I know you would really want to ask if you knew what you were doing" treatment.
It's the little joys that make life bearable.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
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13,875
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41
I call that my bureaucrat mode. I become highly efficient and short with my answers. It's reserved for special people.
 

Doohickie

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28
I really wanted to call her out that she was not a real estate agent, but I decided to be 'nice' instead.
You should have said it you'd have to look it up and it would be an hour or two until you could get to it, then ask her for her card so you could call her back.
 

AG74683

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6,169
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27
Good one today. Real estate agent emails because she is upset that her property has been "rezoned" to our R-1 district and she was never notified. We haven't rezoned any property to that district in over 19 years. It's our most restrictive district. She bought it in 2017, and it was definitely zoned as R-1 at that point. She never bothered to confirm the district when she bought it, she just assumed it allowed manufactured homes because there were others around it. They're modulars too....
 

AG74683

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Not quite following what you're saying here.
She assumed the homes around it were single/double wides. They aren't, they are all modular homes. There's a difference, but they look similar. Basically she failed to do her own due diligence when buying the property several years ago. She was selling it to a mobile home company.
 

Bridie1962

Member
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13
Points
1
There is a realtor in my city and she seems to think that the city is responsible to assist her with making her listings more marketable. For example, she often suggests that we amend the permitted uses in a particular zone to include new uses. I have suggested a number of times that she's free to make an application to amend the zoning.

She also doesn't like the fact that I tell people I can't give them definitive answers because I don't have all the information. I need a survey to tell them how much of the site is non-conforming as it relates to bluff and shoreline regulations. The seller will not get a survey done even though it's been on the market for over five years and the price has now been reduced by $50,000.

I file her emails in a folder called 'annoying'
 

luckless pedestrian

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My state contact for our historic preservation stuff wants me to do a preservation 101 for real estate agents ugh
 

Doohickie

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She assumed the homes around it were single/double wides. They aren't, they are all modular homes. There's a difference, but they look similar. Basically she failed to do her own due diligence when buying the property several years ago. She was selling it to a mobile home company.
Thanks. In my lingo, modular homes would be a subset of manufactured homes, but apparently that is not the case. I think what you call manufactured homes would be just what I call "mobile homes". My in-laws started with a very small (8' wide) mobile home, then upgraded to a double-wide, then had a modular home put on a full basement... then upgraded and expanded it. You wouldn't look at it now and think it came on two trailers.
 

AG74683

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Thanks. In my lingo, modular homes would be a subset of manufactured homes, but apparently that is not the case. I think what you call manufactured homes would be just what I call "mobile homes". My in-laws started with a very small (8' wide) mobile home, then upgraded to a double-wide, then had a modular home put on a full basement... then upgraded and expanded it. You wouldn't look at it now and think it came on two trailers.
I've tried to get away from calling the standard HUD certified manufactured homes as "mobile homes" just because there's still a negative connotation to them and I'm trying to get away from that. Modular homes here are built to state building code in a factory approved by NC. They are pretty similar to a stick built house, just delivered as completed pieces rather than constructed on site.
 

Doohickie

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In my in-laws' case, the modular home was in between manufactured home and stick-built home in quality and design. Some walls, especially closet walls, were built with 2x3 instead of 2x4 lumber. The doors and windows were low quality (they eventually upgraded all that stuff). It feels reasonably solid, but not quite as solid as a stick-built home. They've had it nearly 50 years, though, so I guess you could say it's been durable.
 

MD Planner

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My state contact for our historic preservation stuff wants me to do a preservation 101 for real estate agents ugh
At the last gig my preservation staff put together a similar program. It was actually worthwhile and helped in the long run by making some of the agents that dealt rather exclusively in the downtown much more knowledgeable and heading off some problems before they occurred.
 

zman

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9,221
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31
Since starting my new job, I received the city's real estate program from the Deputy CM after he retired. It has been easy, we have a realtor on contract to help us out. For the last week, I have been getting calls from a citizen about property for sale. I talked to her today:

Citizen: Is the lot of * Blvd for sale? It is listed at $127k.
Me: What is the address? Cross street?
C: I dont know... its near the junk yard.
Me: Oh! That one is under contract
C: Anything else for sale on **** Blvd?
Me: A couple, but they are all under contract currently. Are you a realtor? You may want to contact our city realtor as he has the latest info.
C: I'm not a realtor. My realtor called yours and he told her they were under contract. My realtor didn't believe him and said I should call you.
Me: :r:
 

Faust_Motel

Cyburbian
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387
Points
16
Just keep spelling "realtor" without the capital 'R" they demand. It really gets under their skin.

Had a property on the market a couple years back with good subdivision potential, but a cranky owner who kept hiring and firing partners in the development and treating the minor push back in our regs to his proposal as a personal affront- basically none of the professional developers would work with him because he kept withdrawing his applications in anger after hearings- which would mean he had to go back to the sketch plan stage of review again.

Anyway, once he'd made all the decent developers mad, in comes the husband and wife realtor "team" from a much more rural part of the state- they've seen this development stuff happen where they are and really, how hard could it be? I wasted 2 hours in a meeting with them trying to go over the very, very basics of residential subdivision and they just did. not. get. it. Worse, one of them would not get it at a time and then the one who was getting it would fight with the one who wasn't= all through the meeting. Oh- and they had business cards with both an eagle, an American Flag, and the little Jesus fish on them- classy. Thank goodness they never pursued the application. I'm sure they fired up the tony Robbins tapes in the minivan on their way back to their office though.

Too bad about the cantankerous property owner though- it's a cream puff of a property, level, nice rectangular parcel shape, no wetlands, direct access to a state highway on a brand-new signalized intersection, municipal water and sewer at their doorstep...
 

mendelman

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Too bad about the cantankerous property owner though- it's a cream puff of a property, level, nice rectangular parcel shape, no wetlands, direct access to a state highway on a brand-new signalized intersection, municipal water and sewer at their doorstep...
I know, right?

meme_plannerleadstotreasure.jpg
(meme from Planning Peeps)
 
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zman

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Someone sent me a random title report... Am I supposed to look up the legal description myself? What am I, a planner?
 

mendelman

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Someone sent me a random title report... Am I supposed to look up the legal description myself? What am I, a planner?
Well, you were, once...in a galaxy far away.

You can do it!
 
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