A Tale of Two Realtors

June 29, 2011


When the big house across the street from me went on the market in late 2008, it was priced at $399,000. It seemed like a fair price at the time and was listed by Rockland’s top realtor, Dan, at Realty Choice. The months rolled past and the old split level wasn’t showing very often or well. It was in need of some cosmetic surgery and a landscape makeover,  not to mention a buyer looking for a new compound. The months turned into a year as great homes flooded the market, leaving the 2800 square foot, six bedroom, two bath – that abuts  100 acres of conservation land – slightly picked over. Add in the fact  it was in the dead of winter and the worst time for  real estate sales, and before long the Realty Choice contract quietly expired. A slick out-of-town realtor, who makes his living jumping on expired  contracts,  made his move on the 82-year-old home owner . He was fast and loose with the facts, and quick with the pen, as he convinced her  to list with him for $269,000, with a whopping 6 % commission. The woman’s family was up in arms at such a dramatic cut in price and huge fee; but it was too late, the deal was done.

Kelly McLaughlin, The Rockvegas Realtor

At this point, the action on the house began to heat up. At that price, it was sure to sell and sell fast. It just so happened to be exactly what I needed in a house. I decided it was time to buy. I knew the house for many years and was certain it was a perfect fit for my expanding family. One day, I called the number on the sign. A fast-talking, hot- shot realtor answered the phone; and  I asked if there had been any action on the house. He responded with, “Oh yeah, there has been a lot of F…king action.”  I was a bit  taken aback by this  free use of profanity the first time we spoke and I ended the conversation. A few days later, after much discussion and some new lookers at the house,  I called him again. I said “I would like to put an offer on the house.”  This is when things got scary. He got very excited and blurted out, “Well the first thing I need to do is get inside your house and see what it is worth.”  This was before he asked my name or the amount of the offer or anything else. My “creep-o-meter” went off the deep end for the next several minutes. I felt like a teenage girl on the first date – and he was booking a hotel room. He even managed to insult me in the process and became even more aggressive as I backed off. Again, I hung up the phone.

My wife then reminded me we had already agreed to use an up-and-coming real estate star, and family friend, named Kelly McLaughlin from Rockland. One call to Kelly and things really started to go our way. She made the offer for us  and we bought the house. She was able to collect half the commission  and ended up taking “Mr. Sold” to real estate school at every turn in the process. Kelly was smart, tireless, polite, friendly and fun the entire time. In fact, she was so good, we hired her to sell our house. In a real estate climate where houses average over a year on the market, Kelly had our house under agreement in less than thirty days. Kelly touched base everyday via email, texting, Facebook and cell phone. She was way out in front of every issue and handled everything for us. She also collected three new clients in the process with her professionalism. On the other hand, the hot shot’s  clients complained endlessly about unresponsive, lackadaisical service from their realtor.  In fact, at the time of the home inspection, the woman who owned the home was entertaining her grandchildren and had no idea of the appointment. The fast talking, slick realtor never followed up. The family became so irate with this realtor that they took his sign down and put it out back of the house until after the closing. It was there for over six weeks and he never once even drove past the property.  He couldn’t even be bothered to stay for the closing, as he left early after eating Chinese food while the other parties waited at the deeds office.

Don’t deal with the fast talking, fly-by-night, out-of-town, hot shots when it comes to buying or selling a home. Call Kelly McLaughlin, whether you are buying, selling, renting or just want to talk to someone who knows the real estate market.

Kelly Mclaughlin, Making Rockland A Great Place to Buy and Sell.