Wrong Number, Wrong Agent, Wrong Property Manager…

by Steven Karbank on June 10, 2011

Numerous times in the past five or six months, I’ve driven past a commercial building that has a real estate sign in the front yard.  Each time the building and grounds have looked more and more dilapidated and untended.

Out of curiosity, a few weeks ago I called the telephone number on the real estate sign.  The number was not in service.  Puzzled, I called 411 and asked for the telephone number of the real estate company.  It turns out that the sign had the wrong area code.  It was astonishing that neither the agent, whose name was on the sign, nor anyone else from his company (a franchise of a national real estate company), realized that the sign had the wrong telephone number.

I called the agent whose name was on the sign.  He agreed to meet me at the building a few days later.

When we met, he was 20 minutes late.  He had no brochures on the property, no plans, no tax information.  He looked like he had spent the last few days fixing an oil leak under his car.

As bad as the property looked on the outside, it looked a lot worse on the inside.  The place was filthy.  Apparently the heat hadn’t been on all winter.  There were squatters living in the basement.  The agent, who was also serving as the property manager, looked dumfounded, as if he hadn’t been in the building in a long, long time (and he probably hadn’t been).

It turns out that the owner of the property was an out of town financial institution that had foreclosed on the property last year.  Unfortunately, they hired the wrong agent (with the wrong number) and the wrong property manager.

The owner deserves better.  The property deserves better.

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