When we decided it was time to put the house up for sale I did what I thought was the natural thing to do. I contacted the realtor we bought the house from three years ago. We’ll call her Polly. I remembered she was a little flaky but she sold the house once before, and I was familiar with her. Working with her would eliminate the discomfort and anxiety of interviewing multiple people and deciding among them.
I sent Polly an email, and the next day she not only replied to the email but also dropped a note and her card in my mailbox. The day after that she came by to look at the house and go over the paperwork. She told me she was recently divorced and living right down the street with her mother. Not exactly professional conversation, but that tends to happen in small town Louisiana.
We still had the RV sitting in the front yard, so we were not ready for pictures. Polly told me to let her know when it was gone and she would come back to take pictures. Two days later the RV was moved to storage, and I sent her a text asking when she was available. She said she was out of town for the weekend and would come over Monday morning.
Things seemed to be moving along quickly, just as I wanted.
Monday morning I sent a text asking when Polly would be coming over. Monday evening she finally responded saying that she couldn’t make it and would be over the following morning. That was a little annoying, but I could let it slide this once.
Tuesday came and went with no word from Polly. No call, no text, no show. I didn’t contact her. It’s not my job to hunt down the realtor and make her do her job. I simply took note of what was happening and waited.
Being a female with an admittedly hot head, I have grown a longer fuse over time. Like many women, my negative or upset emotions have often been skated over by the world with “Are you on your period?” or “It must be that time of the month.” Or some other irrational rationality that dismisses my real legit emotions. So now, I wait and tally the reasons I’m bothered until they add up to a sufficient amount to justify my negative emotions. 1.) Missed Monday and didn’t respond until late in the afternoon. 2.) No call, no text, no show.
Wednesday I received a text from Polly asking if the termite contractor had been out to give me a quote and treat the property (we don’t have termites; this was preventive treatment). I told her no, they hadn’t been over, and I didn’t even know they were supposed to be coming. That hadn’t been discussed. She said ok and a few minutes later the contractor called to set up a day and time. Polly didn’t mention her no call, no show from the previous day. She didn’t say when she would be coming by to take pictures. 3.) That “OK” on Wednesday was the last I heard from her until the following Monday.
4.) From Thursday to Sunday I tried calling, texting, emailing, and Facebook messenger to try to get ahold of her and find out when she was coming to take pictures. I have three kids, three cats, two dogs, and a rabbit. Keeping the house picture perfect ready for a week straight is no easy task. This was moving beyond unprofessional and inconsiderate.
The following Monday morning when I hadn’t received a single word from Polly, I started looking for a new agent. As I was texting a friend at 8am to get a recommendation, Polly text me saying she’d be over in an hour to take pictures. I guess her ears were burning.
This should have been my moment to break it off. I should have told her right then that it was too little, too late. I needed someone reliable, someone who shows up when they say they will, someone who doesn’t take five days to track down. But I didn’t. I just wanted to get this shit done.
Polly showed up just as I was cleaning up the kitchen from breakfast. She took some photos on her phone. She told me she would send me the listing and put the lock box on the front door that afternoon and left. To no one’s surprise she didn’t send the listing that afternoon and didn’t put the lock box on the door.
But I am a clever girl. I looked up the listing myself.
In our first meeting this woman told me that the listing gets the most exposure the first three days it’s up. She told me it is illegal to use old photos of the house. She repeated these things to me several times to really drive it home. I am not a realtor. I have never sold a house. I don’t know if these things are true. Imagine my astonishment when I found the listing she posted was the old one from when we bought it three years prior with no pictures attached. We put a new roof on this house and completely remodeled the kitchen. 5.) This woman listed my house with outdated and straight up wrong information.
Tuesday evening I checked the listing again. Still all the old information, but she added one picture of the front yard. One. Picture. No pictures of the freshly painted rooms, no pictures of the gazebo with swings in the back yard, no pictures of the awesome new kitchen and appliances, no pictures of the fruit trees, just one of the plain front yard.
I never did get an email from her with the listing, and it was easy to see why. This time I didn’t waste my time trying to contact her. It is her job to list the house with correct information and updated photos. I gave her until Friday to correct the listing and add the pictures, but (6) there were no changes to the listing since the photo was added Tuesday. 7.) And she never came to put the lock box on the front door.
Polly told me the first day she came over that she was recently divorced and living with her mother right on our street. We thought she must be going through a hard time, so we tried to be nice in firing her. My husband called her and told her we decided we aren’t ready to list and need to cancel. No need to hurt feelings. She said she would call me and come by that afternoon with the key and contract-release form. Luke and I decided to give her twenty-four hours from the time he talked to her before calling her broker.
Do I really have to tell you she didn’t call me or come by that day?
Saturday morning I called her broker. We’ll say her name is Luna. I started at the beginning and told Luna about the no call/no show on appointments, the severe lack of communication, the outdated information in the listing, and now, here we are trying to get our key back and get the contract-release. Luna apologized, said she was utterly disgusted by her agent’s behavior, and said she would call Polly right away.
A few minutes later, Polly called. 8.) She tried to say she told my husband she was coming by today, not yesterday. Oh no she didn’t. Oh yes, she did. When I asked her what time she would bring the key by that day she said, “I don’t know; I’ll let you know.”
“Today,” I said, and 9.) she hung up on me. Tally reached. I immediately called Luna back and told her what happened. Luna assured me that she was going to handle this, and if Polly didn’t get it done that day then she would personally bring me the key and release form the next day (Sunday) by noon. It wasn’t a satisfactory answer for me at that point, but there was little I could do.
Do I really need to tell you Polly didn’t call or come by that day?
Luna offered an excessive amount of info on Polly’s personal life and so kindly informed me the key was sitting at Polly’s mother’s house. Well, slap me silly and call me pinky; the key is waiting for me on my street. I waited until nearly 6pm Saturday evening. No word from Polly since she hung up on me that morning.
When I called Luna she, once again, expressed how embarrassed and horrified she was at her agent’s behavior. She went on to say that Polly was upset and confused because she thought we were friends. Whoa, whoa, whoa! Back the fuck up.
“I bought this house from her three years ago and didn’t see or speak to her again until I was ready to sell,” I told her, releasing my inner Southern bitch. “We ain’t friends,” I said. “Never have been. This is and always has been a professional relationship. On my end, at least.”
Luna then had a few choice words about her agent, yet still managed to excuse her for not bringing the key by that day because “she has a surprise party tonight for her mother.”
“Her mother lives on my street! You’re telling me that in the last 36 hours she couldn’t take an extra two minutes of her time to drive to the end of the street and drop my shit in the mailbox?” Luna’s horror was renewed at this information.
“I’m going to call her mother right now!” Luna said.
I stopped pacing the driveway and looked around as if to say, “Did you hear that? Did she just say what I think she said? Did she really just tell me she is going to call this thirty-six-year-old woman’s mother to have words about her daughter’s behavior?” Yep, that’s what she said.
Sunday morning I woke up and could not shake the anxiety of everything that happened. I sent Luna a text saying I really didn’t think I should have to wait until noon, that we both knew Polly wasn’t going to deliver. Luna said she was on her way to a meeting and would come by as soon as it was over.
Around 10:30am Polly sent me a text saying she was on her way to my house. Over an hour later it wasn’t Polly who showed up. I knew it was Luna before she pulled up. I’d been waiting outside for Polly since receiving the text. I saw a car parked with the lights on down the street in front of Polly’s mother’s house. They met there, and Polly gave Luna the key and release form. Polly wasn’t going to do her own dirty work, which was no surprise considering she didn’t even do the clean work. Luna apologized again. She tried to offer other agents in her office but understood that we would not be going that route.
A few hours later I received another text from Polly saying that she was sorry her other obligations got in the way and delayed her. I replied saying if she had so many obligations that she was comfortable being a no call/no show to appointments and only had two minutes per week to dedicate to a client and had to use old listings with inaccurate information then she should not have taken our listing.
I felt like somewhere along the way I stepped into the Twilight Zone and couldn’t get out until I had the key and release form in hand. I’ve had some weird misadventures in this town, but this one takes the cake and eats it, too.