I was sorta wondering when this was going to happen but dang it caught me by surprise today!
We went to look at a listing on Gibbons drive today. When we walked into the house the listing agent told us that the owner of the house specifically requested that we not be allowed access!?!?! Holy Fricken Moly we've been banned! Or barred I guess you could say.
I should of known something was up when there was a sign posted at the entryway declaring that taking pictures of the house was not allowed! Never seen that before....
The listing agent who is also the listing agent on 1417 Central was VERY unhappy with my review of the Central Ave house.... It looks like we're, me, my wife AND my baby are not going to be allowed into any listings by Alain Pinel realty company. Even after I told the agent that we were just looking and that I wasn't going to 'review' the house we where still not let in.
I go back and forth about this where I feel cowed and just want to give up the reviewing to getting my Irish full up and wanting to do something ridiculous in response....what I did tell the Realtor was that first thing Monday morning I would go down to the permit office and check the permit record and redo the review if any new information changed my opinion of the house.
Now, at this point I was going to go into a detailed dissection of the rather heated conversation we had on the front door step of the rather well attended open house but I'm not. I don't want to get into a pointless he said, she said kinda thing but the showing realtor seemed to be mostly upset with two things. 1. That I misquoted our conversation and 2. that I was representing my opinion as fact.
On the misquoting of the conversation thing. I'm just going to say this. I've been employed for the last several years as what can best be described as an investigative journalist. I'm very good at getting interview subjects to drop their guard and answer questions honestly. After our conversation I immediately went home and wrote up my notes. So yeah, I guess its possible that I could of miss-remembered our conversation. Lets just say that he and I remember having a very different conversation and leave it at that.
I thought that it was pretty clear that these 'knifecatching reviews' that I've been doing are just my opinion and only my opinion. In fact the review of 1417 Central Ave starts off with what I thought was a pretty straight forward disclaimer.
Read This: The following review is just my opinion and only my opinion I am not a professional house appraiser or inspector and I am not a structural engineer. You should probably regard this as just the incoherent babbling of an unbalanced mind....
That seems pretty straight forward to me, no? Maybe I should have a 'write a disclaimer' contest. Everybody can write what they think would be a good disclaimer in the comments section and I'll pick the best one and use it on my reviews from here on out.
In the spirit of fairness I'm going to go back through all my knifecatching reviews and add the following disclaimer.
Read This:The following review is just my opinion and only my opinion I am not a professional house appraiser or inspector and I am not a structural engineer. The opinions expressed in this review are based on my own inspection of the property, the publicly available facts from aggregator sites such as Redfin and Zillow and the online permit database for the city of Alameda. I am not responsible for incorrect or missing data that appears in these sources. In fact, its probably best that you just ignore everything you read here as the lunatic ravings of an unbalanced mind.
There, what more could the Realtor want? I basically say that I'm a know-nothing moron who should really just be ignored.
Why Do I Do These Reviews?
Why not? In our modern society you can find impartial reviews online for any kind of techo-gadget at cnet. Cycleworld and Road and Track do reviews of new vehicles, but where's the impartial reviews of houses? Our houses, as people say, the biggest chunk of our net worth, most peoples largest asset, yet where are the impartial reviews? The selling Realtor isn't going to say anything that could sour a deal. The buyers Realtor has the same motivation. The house appraiser knows that he will lose business if his reports cause too many escrows to be broken, same with the appraiser...all these people have a vested interest in you (the buyer) staying ignorant. Who's really on the side of the buyer? It just seems like the deck is stacked against buyers. Which seems crazy to me as this is the single biggest purchase people ever make.
The Genesis Of My House Reviews.
Really, this just started off as a way for us to keep it straight in our heads which houses had which features and to help us evaluate the houses. We would do the thing where we would confuse the features of one house with another, so we started taking pictures to keep them all straight in our heads. Then we would sit down and after looking at the reports figure out what the house needs and estimate what that's going to cost. Then we back calculate what we are willing to pay for the house so as to not end up putting way, way more money into a house than it will ever be worth. Isn't that basically what everyone does who's looking at buying a house?
Is it my fault that a lot of the houses do not appear to be priced to their condition?
I want to be clear on something. We are not looky-loo's. We are seriously looking for a 'finished' old house to buy in Alameda in the right neighborhood with features that meet our perhaps unique requirements. We have a big ole hunk of cash saved up for either a down payment on a new house or to remodel our current house. We are officially pre-approved for a loan that's so large it literally scares me. We are serious buyers and as a part of our process we check the permit records and the 'public facts' of any house we are interested in.
Now, vague threats of legal action aside...the Realtors at Alain Pinel have figured out a way to censor me. If all the Realtors on the island decide that I will not be allowed into any more open houses then well, I can't really review them can I? But of course they are also turning down a serious buyer.
One Final Note
It will always be my first, second and third take that someone who doesn't want an impartial review of their house has something to hide. The cockroaches and rats gather where the sun doesn't shine. If, in a parallel dimension, I was a realtor when I did an open house I'd have front and center the complete termite report, the complete house inspection AND the complete certified permit record. I would know all there was to know about the house and represent and price it accordingly. I would have nothing to fear from an impartial review.
I figure that if the sellers think I'm the anti-Christ and buyers think I'm the second coming then I must be doing something right.
And that's the way I see it.