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Conversation With An Estate Agent

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Just - today in fact - had a chat with an estate agent. She was talking up a house that has been on the market for 9 months with no interest (not the UK, btw, USA on business). I had a wander round - it was an open house I happened to be going past and had ten minutes spare in my day. On at 499k USD.

She "so - interested"

me "well, it's a nice house, but the damp in the basement is going to cost about 50k to fix, and the forest in the neighbours garden means that the rear garden gets no sun all day, and will be permanently in shadow, which adds to the wet/damp challenge. I reckon it's about 100k overpriced for that alone".

She :"it's got a lot of potential, but you are right, it's all about the price. and for the damp, you are right it got flooded during the hurricanes last year but the owners already got a company to fix the damp and it came with a 12 month guarantee"

me: "Ah - so no guarantee past the next storm then! If it's not selling, its too high for the market. anything sells at a dollar"

she "you're so right. still, have a cookie.

Quite refreshing to meet an agent who admits a price is too high. She wasn't defensive at all - just sort of resigned at (I guess) the owner having delusions. and she had nice chocolate cookies to hand.

Very fit as well. just sayin'. what a difference from UK agents I have dealt with in the past

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Not really that different; if she was so honest why not mention all of this without waiting for you bring it up? EAs do this all the time in the UK. I viewed a house in 2013 that had been flooded, could tell by the smell of the place, EA was forthcoming with the details but only after i asked. I suppose I'm expecting too much.

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Pet peev is building regs. Fed up with looking at badly built, overpriced and uninsurable houses. Indemnity insurance won't help when the roof's fallen in or a family member is trapped in a blazing house.

I'd like EAs to be liable for the safety of the product they sell. Nothing fancy, they just should only take on houses with correct planning permission and building regs.

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