I am going to recount events to the best of my ability. Some of it is still very much a blur. The human mind has a great self-preservation technique—it blocks out trauma. And this was very much traumatic. I will not use names other than those of which I speak fondly of. I do not wish to slander anyone or hurt anyone’s business reputation. I will, however, say, that if you read this and would like to know who NOT to use or associate with in real estate dealings I will inform you of that privately. Just not here.
It all began the weekend before Mothers Day 2010. My good friend Lara Jane Coffey just moved from Waco to Killeen and got her real estate license. We had listed our home 6-8 months before with little luck. We were so disenchanted with out listing agent that we cancelled our contract and took our home off the market. This agent, for whom we will call ‘Agent CS’, was the listing agent for the house we had a contingent offer on, and our selling agent. She had the potential of making double commission on the home we wished to buy, and then also on our home we wished to sell. She was in a great position to make a lot of money but she was VERY unmotivated, unreachable and ditzy.
She once drove out to the middle of nowhere to let us into a house only to realize once she got there that she didn’t have her device to open the lock box--just not a dependable agent. Our home was listed with her for 6-8 months with only THREE showings!!!! This just did not seem right to me. Lara Jane knew about this experience. She was now an agent with ERA and wished to do a referral for us. She knew we still wanted to eventually sell, and I figured why not help out a friend.
I went into the referral experience with no immediate compulsion to list. The markets were down. It was clearly a buyers market, and houses just weren’t fetching top-dollar. I wished to meet with an agent just to see what they thought our house would sell for and when they thought the best time to list would be.
Well, low and behold, we were contacted by none other than PATRICA MEADOWS!!! If that name doesn’t ring a bell for you, it should. She is the QUEEN of real estate here in Waco. Patrica founded ERA Graceland years ago. She is no-longer owner, she sold it, but she is still a top agent. Nationally she ranks among the highest selling ERA agents across the country.
This woman is AMAZING! After we removed our home from the market the first time around, Patricia Meadows contacted us by mail stating that she noticed our home was removed and unsold. She said she understood that those things usually happen for a reason and that she would like to help us. Well I was sooooo thrilled to have her on my team this time around!!!!
Via our first phone contact I told her a bit about our situation. We had been in our home for 7 years. We owed a bit over $50000 on it plus a $8000 home equity loan. The home had been COMPLETELY remodeled. New kitchen, new bath, new doors, new hinges, newly converted garage, large laundry room, indoor storage room, large closets, new metal roof, new plumbing, recessed lighting, new AC and heat, tile, hardwoods, 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath, brick veneer, large back yard, garbage disposal, dishwasher, surround sound, playground, shed, rose garden, carport, double drive etc, etc, etc. She said, “Well let me come over, take a look and I can give you my opinions”. This was HUGE.
Our first time around Agent CS basically just asked, “What do you want to sell it for?” listed it and forgot about it. Patricia was offering to look up comps, look at the house, consider the upgrades and actually counsel us. I was so very excited. She was totally professional, well organized and informative.
She gave us a realistic listing price of $89,900. We bought the home seven years before as a fixer upper for $67,000 and we felt that $89,900 was fair. We wouldn’t get all of our investment money back out of it but we were motivated to move.
We bought in Robinson years earlier as childless newlyweds. Only after we purchased the home did we realize that although the street is in Robinson, and the utilities are in Robinson, the school district was WACO!!!! Not only was the school district Waco but the city had recently purchased land at the end of our street that was once a sleepy little corn field and they had begun construction of the 4A University High School campus.
We had NOT signed up for THAT! We wanted a quiet neighborhood--something more rural—something not next to a huge high school.
So after talking to her, we decided to list right away. My oldest was turning five 10 months later and we needed to get her in a good school district or homeschooling was going to be in my near future.
We signed the contract, and just a few days later Patricia’s partner, Melissa Bogusch, stopped by to take pictures of the house. This is a great opportunity to highlight the GI-NORMOUS differences between Patricia/Melissa and Agent CS.
Well, I called it an offer. I was more like an insult. The original offer was for $12,000 less than asking. That was laughable!!!! $77,000? Really? Bawhahhahah! NO! Obviously we countered. We offered $87,000 with some help with closing costs. I guess their first attempt was just to see what they could get away with, because they accepted our counter.
I knew his type. He would answer immediately for me. My number was an unrecognized number. Because it could possibly be a new client, he would put his best foot forward in the initial meeting just to gain business. I was right. He answered on the third ring. Mind you, Patirica had tried him all morning to no avail.
The engineer came back out to verify that the repairs had been made, and signed off on the foundation.
We paid an additional $400 for yet ANOTHER appraisal. Filled out all the paper work, AGAIN, and waited.