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Monday, December 22, 2008

Yes, I do have to work for a living...

OK, I don't normally blog about my job, but I'm not in a good mood so here it is...

Yes I sell houses for a living. I'm a Real Estate Broker. and I primarily sell real estate in Marin and San Francisco. (Realtors don't seem to have very good reputations, so hopefully you've gotten to know the real me and know that I normally LOVE what I do, as I get to make people happy). My clients often give me gifts after I help them close escrow. That makes me feel really good, to know that I've made a difference in their lives.

In the last 3 days, I found out that 2 friends purchased homes with other agents. Expensive houses! One of them was a really, really expensive home. If I had been their Realtor that income could have made a HUGE difference to my family. HUGE.

A few months ago another client didn't relist their house with me because I "just had a baby" even though I closed 3 other escrows within 2 months of having Quinn. I had received an offer in on their house for $50,000 MORE than the relisted the house for a year later, saying to me after they listed it that they "didn't want to bother me as I just had a baby", and this was after they give me a baby gift! Ugggghhh.

With having to be on bedrest again, having a new baby, and the market downturn, things are a bit tough financially at the moment for us. If I had closed those additional 3 houses this year, it would have made a big difference in our life. I never really push the fact of what I do for a living....maybe I should more? I'm not the pushy, salesy type.

We purchased our house when I was pregnant with twins, desperate for a place to live as our landlord didn't give us much notice. We bought it at the height of the market (7 offers on my house) and it's now worth less than what we paid for it. Our loan resets in a bit over a year. We can't refinance due to the amount of equity in the house. My husband's salary as a fireman doesn't cover our mortgage as it is today, let alone once the loan resets. Our house is too small for 2 children. We love our neighborhood, but hate our house. We are at a loss as to what we should do.

I'm really letting it all out there saying this publicly, but you know what? Life's tough at the moment, and hearing that I could have made some decent money was really quite upsetting. It burns a hole in my heart.

Then on top of it, a client of mine, a first time home buyer that I had in escrow (which has kept me running around the last 2 weeks (and all weekend) right before Christmas) decided to cancel his escrow last night. So I could have been doing my Christmas cards, I could have done a million things, but instead I did a ton of work for naught (granted that's my job which is OK, BUT the hearing the other sales that I didn't get has just set me over the edge).

How can you help? Yes you can help me!

So, to all those blog readers out there, especially the ones that live in the Bay Area....please if you know of anyone looking to buy or sell a house PLEASE, PLEASE think of me! I'm good at what I do. really! You KNOW me personally because of my blog, but if you want to know how I "work", here's a link to what my clients say about their experiences in working with me: What Liz's Client's say.

And if you don't live in the Bay Area, did you know that I can refer agents to help you anywhere in the country and I get a referral fee? Please let me help you find an agent wherever you live! It would mean a lot to me. Please email me here or visit my Marin Real Estate website.

Here's a Realtor Christmas video that I just came across that at least fit exactly how I've felt all weekend long:

16 comments:

Kristina said...

I'm sorry, Liz. There are several Realtors in my family, and I know just how tough your job is.

This may or may not make you feel better, but it's possible your friends felt uncomfortable working with you on a business transaction. Maybe they worried about hurting their personal relationship with you if something went a way they didn't like. (NOT implying you're not a great Realtor...but we all know not every transaction goes smoothly.) Anyway, the thought, for what it's worth...

edbteach said...

((((Liz)))) that sucks about your friends. Hope things turn around for you soon.

Jennifer said...

Not sure if this is any consolation, but this happens to us with friends, too. EVEN CLIENTS! We have a computer business and when my husband shows up to fix a computer and he sees a new Dell computer sitting there, he asks why they bought it from them. They seriously ask "you sell computers?" WHAT!??!?!?! It's incredible. So, I can TOTALLY relate to what you are feeling. While having your own business has its ups, it also has its downs and things like what you are going through can really just make you crazy. I hope things improve for you, you've been through so much and deserve a break! If I loved closer to you, I'd let you sell my house. We've been in the process forEVER, but the market stinks and we need a new septic system, so that kinda kills it!

Anonymous said...

Liz, I'm sorry, this SUCKS for you. It's a really awful time to be a realtor, and then to find out that you've missed out on good opportunities just SUCKS. I hope things pick up for you, and that your recent clients refer their friends to you!

Elise.

Amy said...

My husband runs a Ford store, and it peeves him when our friends buy a Ford from another place because he absolutely bends over backwards to help friends/acquaintances with the cost, financing, everything. One thing that I've learned: if a friend has bad/less than stellar credit, they sometimes don't want to deal with someone they know. Probably not the case with yours if they bought a really expensive home.

Anonymous said...

I think you are looking at this the wrong way. You should not measure someone's friendship by the amount of cash they throw your way. So they're not your "friends" unless they finance your lavish lifestyle? That is really disgusting. As a realtor, maybe you should have followed the market closer so that you could have seen that these prices and lending practices are not sustainable. The best advice I can give you is to just walk away. CA is a nonrecourse state and you can start over. As you probably know by now, this market is going to get worse...much worse. I would prepare accordingly. Better to get out now than to keep throwing cash down the drain! Chalk it up as a lesson learned.

Anonymous said...

I came across your blog today while I was looking for a support group for preemie's (actually I am a grandmother who would like to chat with other families). If you get a chance, please look at my granddaughter's blog....she was born at 25 weeks weighing 1 lb. 12 oz.
www.morgankatherine.blogspot.com
Merry Christmas - Kathy from SC

Anonymous said...

I know it must hurt, but I agree with a previous poster. I can see myself not choosing a friend to be a realtor because of the classic lesson to not mix friends/family and business. Try not to take it personally. :(

Anonymous said...

Is this offensive person who hides behind their anonymity the same person who writes mean comments on this blog other times? It seems there's always one mean anonymous comment, and I wonder if it's the same person. Liz, feeling hurt that your friends didn't use you as an agent is not disgusting, it's totally normal. (Although the writer's other comment, that the market is likely to get a lot worse, is probably a good point.) I hope that mean-spirited person didn't get you down, you don't deserve it.

Tehiya

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you are going through a rough time, I know many families that are, including my own. I'm sure you are a wonderful realtor, but quite honestly, we worked with a friend and I wouldn't do it again. It is often very difficult to mix business and friendship. Next time we buy a house we'll chose a stranger.

Anonymous said...

I often read your blog and have not commented before. I agree with those commenters who say that many people prefer to not mix business with friendship. Your friends have every right to choose the realtor they think is best for such an important decision as buying a house. They do not owe you.

By your post, you do not seem to be a very knowledgeable realtor, but rather one of the many who jumped in during the run up of the real estate market. Your own house buying decisions reflect your lack of knowledge of real estate and economic cycles. When I purchased my house, I actually hired the husband of a friend from work. But he had been a realtor for close to 50 years and gave me some very sage advice.

I hope things get better for you guys, but please look at your own decisions, rather than blame friends for your economic woes.

liz.mccarthy said...

sheesh! Guess this is why I don't often honestly tell how I'm feeling....

"you do not seem to be very knowledgeable Realtor"?

I'm basically too pissed to really comment on that statement at the moment. That's so much more involved than you'll ever know, school districts, our specific market, our situation when we bought ....how do you know how knowledgeable I am?....

Friends don't 'owe' me? Sheesh! I never indicated that they did. Guess you don't know me very well.

All I said was I was really bummed out and was putting it out there that that I missed out on some income that could have made a very big difference to my family. Guess I can't be honest any more.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that people are such jerks. You have every right to vent, and to have any feelings you want about losing out on this income. It's a shame that some people can't resist being nasty.

Aidan's mom said...

Liz,

Perhaps you should turn off anon comments on your blog for a while. I can't remember if blogger can make somebody enter an email address or not?

Yikes. Sorry things are not going so swimmingly financially. It is rough out there. If I come across anybody looking in your area, I will send them your way.

The Microblogologist said...

I don't think anyone who actually reads your blog would leave such horrid comments and I have to agree with the suggestion of perhaps turning off anonymous comments for a bit. Or maybe turning on the comment moderation option, though really I think you have enough going on right now and reading nastiness does not help anyone. You already mentioned that you were in a desperate situation when you bought the current house, did the one idiot not read... You definitely have the right to vent on your own blog, hell I write way worse on mine when I am pissed off, I guess I am lucky to not have caught the attention of the trolls yet.

I am generally one that if I know a friend is in a business I will at least consult them on the subject (if they had a baby I would at least ask them about whatever, if they were on leave they could say so), if they are local see if they can do it if they are not then see if they can help me find what I need. Generally if I can I will go with a friend over a stranger, I like to help my friends when I can and feel I can trust them and not have to worry about being screwed. Currently I think you are the closest I have to a friend in the real estate business so while I probably won't be in the market to buy a place for a few years but when the time comes I'll keep you in mind.

I plan to move back to the Chicagoland area after I graduate some year but will likely rent for a few years before buying. If I get an awesome paying job (unlikely since I am leaning towards being a small college teacher), then my Realtor will likely have their work cut out for my crazy dreams to become a reality.

I'll end my novel of a comment with this, I really and truly hope that things start looking up for you and your family soon. You all have overcome so much in such a short time, it sucks that you have to go through all this as well. I don't think the economy has bottomed out quite yet but hopefully it will soon so that we can rebuild it.

Best,
Karen

Molly said...

Hi, i just found your blog from the growyour baby website, and I spent a whole day reading it, what an amazing story ! I just wanted to tell you that it's happening to me too. Im pregnant and we're adopting a baby from china at the same time, so I set up fundraising stores. All my friends know, that I knit cute accessories, and i do scrapbook laouts and minibooks. They do buy things from other friends making craft, but when they need mittens they buy them online elsewhere ! My things are not expensive as they are small items but every little helps. One friend even told me that she would feel awkward buying (and giving me money ) for what she'd buy since we are friends. She though doesnt mind buying ceramics from another friend of ours and mittens made from used sweaters, where the person doesnt spend time close to what i spend making them yet she sells them for more. This friend particularly stated that she wanted to help her out. So I do feel your pain.