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Occupational Hazard: The Dark Side of Real Estate

Property Lines, The Contra Costa Times' real estate blog, just posted "Real Estate Agents Take On New Roles," a report on the dark side of some unfortunate real estate agents' professional lives. Author Barbara Hernandez quotes an article in today's Wall Street Jounal:

Jim Perry, an agent in St. Helena, Calif., spent most of an afternoon vacuuming up thousands of flies from one client's guest house...[To] help Sandra Le Buhn sell her $1.2 million, four-bedroom home in Mill Valley, Calif., Mr. Marks agreed to board her nine-year-old daughter's cherished brown-and-white rats, Zack and Cody, who had been living in a cage in the bathtub. Agents, sound familiar? Yesterday's Los Angeles Times delivered another ego blow with a diatribe detailing the increase in homeowners' complaints against agents. Some mistakes—an agent's failure to list on the MLS for the first seventeen days of contract, for instance—have resulted in major financial loss for sellers (here, $40K). In market such as this one, we can see how desperation might begin to color the agent/seller relationship. To be both fair—and moreover, accurate—we've witnessed homeowners buck against agents' suggestions, refusing to drop the cash on staging or choosing taxicab yellow as a "neutral" color when following an agent's suggestion to repaint the master bedroom. Chauffeur services to colonoscopy appointments, retrieval of false teeth, scrubbing of toilets: While The Wall Street Journal vividly illustrates the plights of individual agents, we want more from all involved parties. Agents, sellers, buyers—let's laugh in the face of adversity: dish up your horror stories below. Stay anonymous if you'd like, and be civil now, shall we? We're thinking comedic catharsis here, not civil war.
· Real Estate Agents Take On New Roles [Property Lines]
· Real-Estate Agents Who Clean Your House and Run [The Wall Street Journal]
· The pressure's on [LA Times]