The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

And What Have We Learned? Nothing, Apparently.

I have a tendency to be a touch overly trusting. I think it’s because most of the people I know are totally trust-worthy. I just don’t know that many Lying Liar-pants or Cheaty McScumbags. I lead a charmed life, it’s true.

Unfortunately, this desire to believe people are telling the truth and will honor what they say has occasionally kicked me in the ass in real estate. For example, I regularly get calls from random people I don’t know who want to see a house. Sometimes it’s one of my listings they are calling about and sometimes it’s when I’m manning the company phones.

When I first started out in real estate and was just a wide-eyed doe wandering around in a forest of wolves and lions and zombies, the experience would go like this approximately 75% of the time:

MeHello, this is Elizabeth with Sunshine and Light Realty (yes I just inserted a fake real estate company name because I’m still bitter at my old brokerage. I’m trusting but apparently I hold a grudge.), how can I help you?

Random GuyHey Melissa, I’d really like to see the house at 1234 S. Really Far From Where You Are St., Not Convenient At All City. Any chance you can meet me there at 3pm today? That’s really the only time in the next 3 years that I have to look at this house.

MeIt’s actually ‘Elizabeth’. And… uh, I think I can make that work (wondering how likely it is that I can pick the kids up at 2pm, drop them at my mom’s school she’s the principal of and make it to Not Convenient At All City by 3pm). So, 3pm at the house on Really Far, right?

Random GuyYes, that would be perfect. I’ve totally been wanting to buy a really expensive house and I think this one might be the perfect one. I have cash and I’d like to close in 10 days. So I’ll see you then, Alyssa.

I hang up, make 7 calls to find a friend or relative who I haven’t begged lately to drop my kids at their house at a moment’s notice, rush to pick up my kids from various schools/daycares while calling the listing to let the owner know I will be showing at 3pm and then fight traffic to Really Far, in Not Convenient At All.

At 3:25pm I’ve been sitting outside of the house for 34 minutes (because I’m compulsively early) jumping up and looking around expectantly every time a car drives around the corner. At 3:30pm I decide I hate all people and I need a cocktail.  I give up on Random Guy showing up and sheepishly knock on the front door of 1234 to tell the owners, ‘Just kidding. No one’s coming to see your house. Thanks for vacuuming and hiding all your valuables, though!

Luckily, during the remaining 25% of the time when I’ve met random people (often men) at houses (often vacant) none of them have ended up being ax murderers or rapists. I did have one guy (who was a totally nice fellow) say to me once when we were alone together upstairs in a vacant house, “Is it really a good idea for you to meet strange men out at houses alone?” To which I replied, “Well… I hadn’t ever really worried about it until like right now. So… Thanks for totally creeping me out.” And he said, “It’s good that you’re married. You need a man to take care of you.” By which I’m pretty sure he meant, “You’re kind of dumb and lucky that I’m not an ax murderer.”

If anyone who’s reading this is an ax murderer or rapist, though, and is thinking I sound like easy pickens, don’t even try it, Dude (or Dudette. Didn’t mean to be sexist there). I have a safety system now. And a huge deadly gun I carry in a secret gun holster on my person. I would whip that mother out and shoot you like a person who believes in guns and isn’t completely morally opposed to them and totally shoots bad ax murderers and rapists. No really; I so would.

Anyway, the point of all of this is: I’ve learned my lesson. I’m no longer quite as trusting as I used to be. I’ve been burned by Random Guy enough times that two days ago when I talked to Random Guy and he scheduled a showing in Scottsdale at 10am Friday I got his phone number and told him we had an appointment, but I would call him back Friday morning before I left to meet him to confirm. So this morning, when I called him at 8:30am to confirm our 10am appointment and got his voicemail, I gave him an hour to call or text me and let me know we were still meeting or I wasn’t going to show. And then when I didn’t hear from him, I didn’t waste an hour driving there and back only to be stood up like a cross-eyed blind date. Ha, jerky Random Guys, I showed you!

Except then he texted me at 10:20am to tell me he’d been waiting at the property and was so sorry, he didn’t realize he had voicemail from me until just then. And when I rescheduled and met him at noon he was the nicest and sweetest ever. So I give up. I’m going back to trusting everyone. It makes me feel less like an asshole.

5 Responses to And What Have We Learned? Nothing, Apparently.

  1. It’s just like that time I told you about the parent who emailed asking about her son’s grade and I was all poised and ready for a giant fight. And then you reminded me to consider the idea that maybe she was really just emailing to ask me about her son’s grade, not bully me and tell my principal on me and force me to change it. And then I emailed her back and she said thank you, I wasn’t getting the whole story from my son. And then I felt like a giant jerk. Same thing…except teaching and real estating and students and houses. But other than that, same thing.

  2. You’re inspirational; I should probably follow suit. But nope, no trusting for me! :) Not by a long shot.

  3. I’m not so trusting either! I don’t show homes on the same day as people call and I do carry protection!

  4. We should totally do this self defense class at Caswells Shooting Range…. I’ve been looking into doing it for over a year now. I really should push all my sisters and girlfriends out there to do it. Me thinks its better safe than sorry.

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