With Terry Story, 28-year veteran Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker in Boca Raton, FL
Home Buyer’s Remorse
Steve starts Real Estate Roundup by asking Terry if she’s ever been in a situation where someone felt they’d bought the wrong house right after they bought it. Terry says it’s not uncommon to see buyer’s remorse kick-in as a delayed reaction when it sinks in that they’ve committed to spending a lot of money, but what she really tries to gauge is how serious that buyer’s remorse is.
Check Out The Neighborhood
She gives the example of someone who absolutely fell in love with a house and bought it without giving enough thought to whether that neighborhood and location met their needs. A year later, they realized that this wasn’t the right neighborhood for them because their kids just weren’t happy that their friends lived all the way across town. So, they ended up selling the house and buying a house in a neighborhood that was more suited to them, closer to their friends. While this worked out really well for Terry because she sold the house multiple times, this home buyer’s remorse could have been avoided if they had just paid attention to the broader needs beyond the house itself.
Emotions also clouded their judgment because there were five other offers on the house and they wanted to win the bidding war. So, Steve’s advice is to pay close attention to the neighborhood by visiting the house at different times of day and getting a feel for the area, for traffic, road noise, safety, unsavory activity, etc.
Steve narrates another case where a single young man in his 30s bought a ranch style home in the suburbs even though he really did not want to. He soon found that this was a terrible mistake because he was still actively dating and living in a suburban neighborhood didn’t do much for his social life. So, a couple of years later, he sold the house and made a bit of a profit on it because the market was good but continued to have home buyer’s remorse because he felt he wasted two years of his life living there.
Terry Quoted In Reader’s Digest For Bizarre Home Showing Experiences
Next, Steve congratulates Terry because Real Estate Roundup and Terry were quoted in a Reader’s Digest article titled “The Ten Most Hilarious Bizarre Awkward Moments Realtors Have Had While Showing Their Home”. So, Steve asks Terry to replay some of her more bizarre experiences.
Terry says her most bizarre experience was with a young family from out-of-state with a fascination for alligators and wanted to see one. Luckily, they were driving in a newer subdivision and spotted an alligator swimming in a lake. So, she pulled over to the side of the road so the family and the kids could see the alligator but wasn’t prepared for what happened next. A little white dog was barking at the alligator and, to everyone’s surprise, the alligator leaped 15 yards out of the water and made a quick meal of the puppy. Everyone, including the little kids who were with her, saw this happen and said, “Mommy, what happened to the dog?”
After getting over her shock, Terry found the owner and told her what happened. And though the kids might have forgotten, Terry says she’s still scarred by it 25 years later.
Terry also has had other bizarre “Sixth Sense” experiences such as sensing ghosts or movement in empty houses, only to find out later that there had been suicides in some of those homes, which freaked her out.
And while she’s never faced total nudity when she unlocked a house, she has had people coming out of their bedrooms totally hung over or high on drugs, not knowing who she was or why she was even there. So, if your house is for sale, realize that people might show up when you’re not expecting them, leave all doors open, and don’t pull any surprises.
Terry also recommends keeping the home free of odors from cooking, frying, pets, etc., by consciously minimizing odor-causing activities and airing the home out before you put it up for sale.
Disclosure: The opinions expressed are those of the interviewee and not necessarily United Capital. Interviewee is not a representative of United Capital. Investing involves risk and investors should carefully consider their own investment objectives and never rely on any single chart, graph or marketing piece to make decisions. Content provided is intended for informational purposes only, is not a recommendation to buy or sell any securities, and should not be considered tax, legal, investment advice. Please contact your tax, legal, financial professional with questions about your specific needs and circumstances. The information contained herein was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, however their accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. All data are driven from publicly available information and has not been independently verified by United Capital.
Steve Pomeranz: It’s time for Real Estate Round-up. This is the time every single week we get together with noted real estate agent Terry Story. Terry’s a 28-year veteran with Coldwell Banker, located in sunny Boca Raton, Florida. Welcome back to the show, Terry.
Terry Story: Thanks for having me, Steve.
Steve Pomeranz: Hey, have you ever been in a situation where someone has actually felt that they bought the wrong house right after they bought it?
Terry Story: It’s usually a delayed reaction. You always have buyer’s remorse where they’re like, “Oh my gosh. What did I just do?” When you’re spending a lot of money, that happens often.
Steve Pomeranz: Yeah. That happens all the time.
Terry Story: Exactly. But it is not uncommon for buyers to have buyer’s remorse, but what you really have to question is how serious is the buyer’s remorse?
So, I’ll give you an example. I had somebody recently, they bought a home. They absolutely fell in love with the house, but they didn’t really check out the neighborhood. They fell in love with all the appointments; it was all renovated, absolutely fell in love with it. They bought it. A year later, they realized this isn’t the right neighborhood for them. Their kids weren’t happy. Their kids’ friends lived all the way on the other side of town, and they were having to drive across town everyday to bring their small kids to play with their friends. So, they ended up selling the house and buying a house in a neighborhood that was more suited for them that was closer to their friends. Worked out really well for me because I sold the house three times. But it could’ve been avoided if they had really paid attention to what their needs were more so than falling in love with a beautiful updated house.
Steve Pomeranz: Just the house, yeah.
Terry Story: And what got them too was the competition. There were five other offers on this house.
Steve Pomeranz: Oh, I see, yeah.
Terry Story: So, when you get involved in that bidding war, when you’re caught up in it, you got your emotions in it. You don’t want to lose. You want to win. We see-
Steve Pomeranz: The lesson there is it’s not only the house, it’s the neighborhood. You may be right in the path of the airport or something like that. So, you better hang out in the neighborhood a little bit. Come in the late afternoon. Come in the early evening. Really check out because it’s just not about the house. There’s a story here about a single man in his 30s who bought a ranch-style house in the suburbs. He didn’t really want to do it, but he turned out to be, for whatever reason, he ended up doing it. It was a terrible pick because basically, he was still dating, and he was in this suburban neighborhood, and it just really didn’t make sense for him. So, he eventually, a couple of years later, sold it, and because the market was good, he was able to make his money back plus, but he’s unhappy because he wasted two years of his life, and I can truly understand that.
Terry Story: Yeah. And having to move. That’s a lot of work.
Steve Pomeranz: I want to congratulate you, by the way. You were quoted in Reader’s Digest. The show was quoted and you specifically about a story about…really the title of the story was “The Ten Most Hilarious Bizarre Awkward Moments Realtors Have Had While Showing Their Home”. And yours, I remember this segment too, when we did it about pet owners, that you’re quoted saying 89% of pet owners would walk away from a home purchase if the property had a restriction against pets. So, that was something, but you’ve had a couple of experiences, bizarre experiences when you go in to sell a house. Tell us about those.
Terry Story: Oh, absolutely. Every realtor can write a book about their bizarre experiences. For me, my most bizarre experience was taking a young family who came in from out of state wanting to, had this fascination with alligators, and honestly, when was the last time you saw an alligator? Never. You don’t see alligators. So, I’m in a newer subdivision with a lake, and sure enough, there’s an alligator swimming in the lake. So, I pulled over to the side of the road to show the family and the kids the alligator swimming. But I didn’t really realize there was a little white dog barking at the alligator, and the alligator, I didn’t know that they can like fly out of the air. It just, from 15 yards, flew up out of the water and gulped the little puppy out of the air, off the ground, in one swoop there goes the dog.
Steve Pomeranz: And there’s the kids watching, right?
Terry Story: And I’ve got the kids like, “Mommy, what happened to the dog?” And I’m like, “Oh, my gosh.” So, of course, now we’ve witnessed it, and now we got to see, the proper thing to do is find the owner. So, we went to the house where we thought the owner was and knocked on the door, and sure enough it was her dog. It was sad. I’m still scarred by it. This was 25 years ago.
Steve Pomeranz: Yeah, I’m sure the kids got over it, but you’re still scarred.
Terry Story: Yeah. Then some of the other bizarre things have been in houses where you have this sixth sense that there’s somebody in the house, and it’s empty. This heebie-jeebie feeling. I’ve had it happen twice on showings, and I’ve called the agents afterward to say, “What’s up with the house?” And in both cases, there were suicides, and I really felt the presence of a ghost in the house. Really, really bizarre.
Steve Pomeranz: Yeah. I mean you felt some kind of physical, I mean, what was that feeling like? How would we identify something like that?
Terry Story: Just a creep …not necessarily a bad feeling. Just a sensation going through your body that something’s not quite right. I don’t know really how to describe it unless you’ve had it before, but-
Steve Pomeranz: Well, did you ever have a situation where you knocked on the door, there was no answer. You use your key, you go in, you go in carefully, and then someone comes walking down the stairs totally naked?
Terry Story: I haven’t seen total nudity, but I’ve had people coming out of their bedroom that have been totally hung over or high on drugs, not knowing who I was or why I was there. Recently I had a case where I was expected, I was going on a listing appointment, and he just came out of the shower wrapped in a towel. Like, really? What do you do?
Steve Pomeranz: What do you do?
Terry Story: Very awkward. So, if your house is for sale, realize that people do show up, and sometimes you might not be expecting them, but be a little prepared for people.
Steve Pomeranz: Just a little, yeah. You’re allowed to go in, walk into a house-
Terry Story: Sure. We knock on doors, and what’s even harder is when you walk in a house and the bedroom doors are shut, and, oh man, I’ll knock on the bedroom door and … Are they in the bathroom? Do I open the door?
Steve Pomeranz: Oh, I know.
Terry Story: It’s so awkward.
Steve Pomeranz: Oh, my God.
Terry Story: So again, if you’re a seller, when you leave your house, please keep the bedroom doors open so we know that they’re clear.
Steve Pomeranz: What about odors in the house? Have you ever walked into a house where maybe they were thinking they were baking cookies, but they were baking something else or, I don’t know, you know?
Terry Story: Yeah. You have to watch the odors with cooking. You run into that a lot. Like fried fish or…fried food is not good in the house, or at least air it out.
Steve Pomeranz: Strong spices like curry and things.
Terry Story: Yes, yes, absolutely. And then pet odors.
Steve Pomeranz: Yeah.
Terry Story: That’s really bad.
Steve Pomeranz: Don’t go to McDonald’s right before you do a showing.
Terry Story: Yeah, and leave all the McDonald bags out on the countertop.
Steve Pomeranz: Burger King, that’s got a pretty powerful smell. All right.
Terry Story: You want happy smells. Chocolate chip cookies.
Steve Pomeranz: Exactly. Right. We’re discussing all things real estate here, of course with Terry Story. Terry’s a 28-year veteran with Coldwell Banker, located in Boca Raton, and can be found at terrystory.com. Thanks, Terry.
Terry Story: Thanks for having me, Steve.