2014 Mar 18th

A Typical Real Estate Sunday in Hoboken

It was a another typical weekend in the Hoboken real estate market.  It’s always amusing what I see from my perspective.  This is a small sampling:

Took a client to a property listed as a 1 bedroom plus den – is was actually a true 2 bedroom.  Makes me wonder if the listing agent bothered to check the listing or was even ever at the property.  Bathroom had one of those horrendous 1980’s Hollywood light fixtures  with 5 bulbs.  Three of the bulbs weren’t working and none matched.

Much more common – took another client to a property listed as a 2 bedroom.  The second “bedroom” would not fit a bed.  These half-rooms are found in older Hoboken buildings but competent agents mention in the remarks something like “small second br perfect for baby’s room or home office”.  Nothing like managing the buyer’s expectations.

Took clients to an open house.  Listing didn’t bother to mention that building had a common yard.  Hosting agent didn’t know which parking space came with unit.  Basic information you think a seller might want buyers to know.

Had the usual cluster f**k over keys.  One property had three keys that all look identical and are not labeled.  All three fit into the lock on the front door of the buildings.  None open it immediately.  It took about 15 minutes of guessing which key to jiggle and just how to jiggle it before one finally worked.  Really?  Is it that hard to label a set of keys?

Later incident – listing agent didn’t bother to make multiple sets, didn’t put a lockbox on the property, the receptionist gave them to agent A who gave them to agent B, who gave them to “someone but I don’t know who it was”, etc., etc.  These are the keys to a home.  You think the sellers are happy that they were handed off to any old stranger?

My favorite was the open house that was advertised from 1 to 3pm.  I showed up with my clients at about 1:10.  The host was outside futzing with taping a flyer to the door.  I said “Good morning. We are here for the open house!”.  We’d never met before so she had no idea that I was an also an agent.

Agent:  “I’m not ready yet”

Me, after looking at my watch to confirm time:  “It’s after 1pm, no?”

Agent:  “Well, parking in this town is always a problem”.

Way to sell a property in Hoboken!  Did your sales coach teach you that technique?  Especially because this is a unit in a building which has deeded parking but this particular unit does not come with a spot.  But they do advertise rental parking in a municipal lot a block away, where she easily could have parked.  When she finally finished grumbling, she let us in but didn’t bother to turn on the lights.  It’s always nice to sell a space in the dark.  Oh, and Hoboken is a city, not a town.


I also had at least two calls from agents trying to open the lockbox at my listings.  Yes, all the properties we list for sale have lockboxes.  If buyers can’t see it you can’t sell it.  Basic premise of real estate sales.  They couldn’t figure out how to turn the number tumbler and open the box.  We decided that as part of the (pathetically inadequate) real estate licensing exam, they ought to distribute the 3 basic types of lockboxes and if a wanna-be agent can’t open them, they don’t get their license.

  1. Theresamarie10

    Ugh, Lori! How frustrating. You’d think that in this insanely tight market we’d be able to weed out these idiot brokers! No doubt, when my husband and I are ready to sell, we’ll be calling you.

  2. JC

    Its the sellers who hire these idiot brokers. If all sellers were educated on the selling process and proper protocol they would question these poor quality agents and NOT hire them. But they are not educated or they dont care, or they have personal relationships with them. So, as long as the uneducated/apathetic seller exists there will also exist crappy agents. Lori, what % of agents in this town have second jobs? Its must be high, and not that there is anything wrong with that, but that would be a good question to ask. If they are not 100% full time real estate agent that might be a red flag.

  3. Lori Turoff

    I have no idea but it is pretty high because if you are not a good agent you can’t make a living doing this. Then there are the agents whose spouse has a job and supports them. Or the agents who last less than a year and there are lots of those. Or the agents who don’t actually live in the place where they sell real estate. That to me is an enormous red flag. I don’t have a problem with part timers. I have a problem with laziness and incompetence. It brings the bar down for all the rest of us and make my job so much harder to do and less enjoyable.

  4. JC

    Thanks. I’m sure its frustrating, especially since you are paid by commission and you cant earn with out some assistance from the other agent. That being said, I bet every person in every industry can sight examples of their associates/bosses who are lazy and incompetent.

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