When I placed the “FOR SALE BY OWNER” sign on the road in front of our house, I wrote with a big, fat Sharpie black marker, the cell number and “BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.” It was very bold. It couldn’t have been any bolder.
My one major pet peeve is someone showing up completely unannounced at my door. People do it to us all the time and I wonder why people are so inconsiderate.
This brings me to the second real estate agent story. When we were selling our house in Princeton three summers ago I told John if anyone disregards the sign out front that blatantly states: “BY APPOINTMENT ONLY,” send them on their way with instructions to call first.
One day, John was outside in our driveway. It was a dirt/gravel driveway visible from the busy and dangerous road. A woman in a Subaru Outback slowed down as she drove by the house with her eyes off the road and her head turned toward the driveway. John noticed the car had pulled into a driveway across the road from our house.
The woman turned her car around and then pulled into our driveway. She made a U-turn on our grass so that her car pointed toward the road. John approached her driver window. She rolled down the window. I was in the kitchen looking out the door and I could see the woman behind the wheel. She appeared to be about 60-ish. The kitchen window was open and I could hear their conversation.
I heard John say, “I’m sorry I can’t show you the house right now. You need to make an appointment.” John told her the price, square footage, how many bedrooms, property taxes, etc. I then heard him say. “I’ll tell my wife you’ll be over tomorrow at 3pm.” I saw the woman hand him a scrap piece of paper before she pulled out of the driveway.
John walked in the house. He handed me the piece of paper which had the woman’s first name (no last name) and her cell number. He said that she lives in Bucks County and she wants to move to Princeton. A red flag immediately popped up. I said, ” She lives in Bucks County and wants to move to Princeton?”
People generally don’t move from Bucks County, PA to Princeton. They move FROM Princeton to Bucks County due to many reasons but primarily because NJ property taxes are among the highest in the country; they’re out-of-sight! Princeton is not the kind of town that you move to if you’re at the age this woman appeared to be.
The following day, I cleaned the house, turned lights on and secured the dog in his crate in preparation for Ms. Subaru’s arrival.
Three o’ clock came and went. Four o’clock came and went. I called her number. Her voicemail picked up. I left a message. She never called me.
I did the same real estate agency website search as I did previously scrolling through agents’ headshots and bios. BINGO! I hit on her photo. It was the same woman who was in the driveway. Her first name was the same name she scrolled on the scrap paper. And, of course, it explained why she omitted writing her last name.