Any realtors out there? LONG, sorry :/ — The Bump
June 2015 Moms

Any realtors out there? LONG, sorry :/

Hi ladies,

It's been a couple of months since I've been on the board so please don't hate me for asking for advice before contributing first BUT! I've got a little bit of a real estate annoyance and am in need of some advice/input from either other realtors on here or just mama's with experience. Some background so that this all has context: 

1. Our family runs on the same schedule every day as far as naps and meals, with our "free time" existing in the same hours of the day, every day.
2. My only window to complete errands/work/outside-of-home-tasks is the "free time" of just under 3 hours in between nap times. If I miss that window, I have to reschedule everything to be done on a different day. 
3. I do a lot for my parents as well, so there are always extra things being added to my to do list.
4. We live in a great part of town but there are some people who live around us that make a lock box a very unattractive option.

My husband and I have been renting our condo for the last 4 years and the owner has recently put it on the market for sale. So for the past 10 weeks we've been adjusting our schedule as needed to accommodate showings and inspections. In all honesty I have no idea how this is supposed to go, but I try to be as flexible as possible in making sure I'm home or leaving a key for my land lady's realtor if I can't be home for some reason with the exception of my daughter's nap times, which the realtor is always understanding of. Lately though it's getting to be a little much. We get requests for various times of day, multiple times a day, almost every day. I am constantly having to cancel plans, reschedule work tasks, or put off errands and then rush to get everything done at the end of the week. On days where I try to say no to a request because I have too much going on that day and wont have time to clean the condo, the realtor requests to be there herself to have the showing. I appreciate her willingness to come herself, but that means that instead of leaving the housework to later that day so I can do what I need to do, I have to again put off my own schedule so I can clean up and make things presentable, thus causing me to have to rush through whatever I have to do so I can make it home in time for my daughter's nap time, which inevitably means having to push some things to another day. On the one day a week my husband is off, we're never able to have a relaxed day at home. Last week for example, we planned to relax together in the morning and then go out in between nap times. Instead, we got a showing request. So we spent the morning cleaning/struggling to keep it that way (I'm sure I don't have to explain that one to you mamas) and the realtor ended up being insanely late for the showing, so we didn't get to go out at all. My husband works 13 hour days, 6 days a week so that one really frustrated us. I've noticed also that she's started pushing the boundaries I originally put in place when the condo first went up for sale. Originally, she (my land lady's realtor) would give me a pretty exact time for the showing. But gradually that time frame has become more general. Today's showing was scheduled for "sometime between 2-3pm." I cannot block off that much time of our day for a showing; I really feel that isn't respectful of someone with a toddler who's made it clear numerous times that she has a busy schedule.  

Alllllll of that being said, my question here is this: Would I be out of line if I requested a more predictable schedule from her for these showings? For example "On Tuesday-Friday from the hours of 1:30-2:45pm I'll have the place clean, show-ready, and I'll make sure I'm out of the house so clients don't feel awkward while they look around. You just have to be here to let them in." Is that an unheard of arrangement in the real estate world? Like I said, I don't have any prior experience here. Any advice would be so appreciated. If I could see a light at the end of this tunnel, it wouldn't be as stressful as it is. But because we've had 10 weeks of unfruitful showings and inspections that fall through, I need to do something for my sanity. Thank you guys :)  

Re: Any realtors out there? LONG, sorry :/

  • I had a friend in a similar situation and eventually they had an agreement with the owners and realtors on set times each week. So yes, I think you can ask.

    However, since you are just a renter, the owner can really do whatever they want, so don't ask for unreasonable accommodations.

    In my state, showings need 24 hours notice. Not sure if you have a similar law. You also shouldn't feel obliged to clean for every showing. That's not your responsibility to the owner.

    Lastlt, consider that the more open you are now, the quicker they may sell, so it's probably worth inconvenience in the short term to get it over with.
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  • Welcome to the world of selling a house. It sucks and is very inconvenient. I don't think there is anything wrong with your requesting those times, but the realtors general request of 2-3 pm is not unreasonable. Sometimes potential buyers are seeing multiple listings at a time and may fall behind. That being said, does your daughter have to nap at home? Could you run errands while she sleeps in the car/stroller/baby carrier? This way you could kill 2 birds with one stone. 
  • Yup, house selling sucks.  We wanted to sell our house before having the baby so we were pretty motivated and spent HOURS sitting in the car around the block with the drooling dogs in the back seat, waiting for the realtor to show the house. Once we waited a full 60 minutes and the realtor never actually showed up. Yes, I think their "2-3pm" window is totally reasonable and standard, people go look at a bunch of houses in a row and sometimes get held up at one. 

    But, having watched plenty of Judge Judy, you are still paying rent so the owner can't demand that you vacate anytime and every time. Sellers have to put up with that crap cause they have a vested interest but you do not and probably didn't want to have to move in the first place. Since you said the showings were initially reasonable, try to have a conversation about how the current situation is really disrupting things and it's hard with the baby and remind her you're currently paying rent to live there. And because people want to see houses at all hours of the day, I'd pick 2 weekdays plus maybe a weekend day where you're making the house available for showing 11am-6pm, a nice big chunk of time. And in turn, absolutely no showings on the off days. It's not that hard for the realtor to push the showing off by a day, if the buyer is interested they'll be back.

    In sum, you're still paying rent so you are within your rights to say everyone can't just come whenever they want. When we were looking a buying our house we saw PLENTY of houses where the current renters said "f*ck it" and just sat there while we looked at the house. It's the worst. If I were your landlord I'd be SO THANKFUL that you were actually trying to work with me and get out of the house and keep it clean for showings! And if the realtor started encroaching on your off days I'd make sure I just went about my daily routine while they showed the house. They'll get the message.
  • @HoosOnFirst That's helpful, thank you. I didn't know if A. It was possible to even have such an arrangement and B. If that example was reasonable. Thanks for your input :)  Also, your username makes me chuckle every time I see it :)
  • @7425cait She used to nap just fine outside of her crib/various places but as she's gotten older, she's become less flexible. One of the inspections that fell through got scheduled during her afternoon nap and we figured we'd walk around and let her sleep in the stroller, basically your go. It was a freakin disaster. She's routine-driven like her mama. I can't really blame her  :#

    @klirwin82 Oh gosh that sounds paint a good word picture lol. I'm going to sit down with my husband and try to work out a fair schedule to suggest to her. I'm also going to give her our spare key since she keeps failing to come by and make a copy. As it is, I have to be here when the showings occur unless I specifically ask her to come (it's never her showing the condo; always the client and their realtor) in which case I have to leave our key under the mat, which I don't feel safe doing. It's been an automatic assumption on her part, and therefore mine, that I will arrange to be home during those times so she doesn't have to be. Like you said, it is always so incredibly awkward for everyone involved!

    @delujm0 Our lease is in place until March 22, 2017. There aren't any stipulations in the lease regarding this situation. We have plans to begin aggressively house hunting at the beginning of the year, so that plan is still super in place. Praying that it goes smoothly as it will be our first time home buying instead of renting. We had originally planned on taking our time and really trying to find the right place before moving; we were totally fine with renewing our lease here if we hadn't found a home by March. But since the owner is selling it, everything is up in the air. I'm trying to emotionally prepare myself to have to move into a temporary living situation in the mean time. Can you tell I hate moving?  :D

  • Wow, you should be getting a hefty discount on rent or some kind of incrntive if they are expecting you as the tenant to be cleaning up and showing the place!
  • When we were renting and the house was for sale we had a strict 24 hour notice policy. Someone showed up at the door to show it without notice and we wouldn't let them in. You are still renting it!! Since it's not my house, I would care less what if looked like for showings. For real. What's it to you if it sells....bitchy, I know, but seriously. You are bending over backwards for this and rearranging your schedule and I'd be really really pissed off. If the realtor wants to show it and your not there, put away your valuables and run an errand and not clean or stay in the house. Do you have to leave for showings? So sorry you're having to deal with this. But I would not be rearranging my schedule for this as much as you are. And start looking for another place. 
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