Apparently sellers of Pilsen real estate investment properties have no idea what real estate agents are doing to them - or in the case of banks selling their repossessed buildings maybe they don't care. We show (or try to show) a lot of investment properties in Pilsen for our investor clients and we've seen it all. It's really abysmal how the real estate business is being conducted there and in all fairness it may actually be more related to the fact that there are still a lot of distressed properties there than the fact that it's just Pilsen. In general the way real estate agents handle distressed properties all over Chicago really sucks.
Let me share with you some of the greatest hits of real estate agents behaving badly - and we just happen to have a lot more of these experiences in Pilsen than anywhere else. And you will be shocked at how many things a real estate agent can do wrong:
- No interior photos, though they might have 5 shots of the front of the building from different angles (I'm not exaggerating). I don't care how bad the property looks on the inside if you don't have interior photos the buyer may assume the worst or you will be unnecessarily inconveniencing the tenants to show the property to a buyer that has no interest.
- Property is on a lockbox so there is no one there to answer questions or point out features or explain problems to the buyer.
- Because the property is on a lockbox some of the buyer's agents steal the keys to keep other buyers out of the bidding process. We've found empty lockboxes on the first day a property is listed. If you're going to use a lockbox the least you can do is use a Sentrilock, which keeps track of who showed the property when so that you can figure out who stole the key.
- When a key is stolen the listing agent doesn't care and doesn't bother to replace it because they already have an offer from the agent who stole the key.
- The reason the agent stole the key is because the property is underpriced. Why would you do that to your client? If you are going to underprice the property the least you can do is make sure that you conduct a competitive bidding process.
- The showing instructions only list a main office number that is only answered Monday - Friday from 9 - 5. What kind of real estate agent works an 8 x 5 schedule?
- The office people don't know anything about the property. After 3 days you MIGHT get a cell phone number for the listing agent to call them directly.
- The listing agent passes you off to the property manager who is hard to get hold of. When they do show up they are drunk (I am not making this up).
- If the agent or property manager conducts the showings they don't show up.
- When you show a 12 unit building you can only get in to see 1 unit.
- Each time you call the listing agent you wake them up from a deep sleep. They show up 30 minutes late because they were hungry and stopped off at a Greek restaurant first. The listing agent's white, pointy, cowboy boots do not reinforce a professional image. Your client is so amused that they snap a photo of the boots.
I personally believe that it's hard for a real estate agent to make a huge positive impact on the ultimate sales price of a property. There are only so many buttons you can push so the best approach is to make sure that you push all the right buttons. In these cases, where the real estate agents are discouraging or limiting showings, they are absolutely doing lots of things wrong. This can only lead to lower prices for sellers.
So the real question is why in the heck do sellers use agents like this? It's one of the greatest mysteries of the universe - right next to What are Fermi bubbles? Using friends and family members? Using someone who "knows the neighborhood"? See their signs all over the place? In the case of banks selling repossessed properties I think you have a long term entrenched relationship and the bank officer managing the relationship is just too lazy to shop around for a better arrangement. No one will ever know that they are selling off their inventory at below market prices.
#Pilsen #RealEstateInvestment #ChicagoRealEstate
If you want to keep up to date on the Chicago real estate market, get an insider's view of the seamy underbelly of the real estate industry, or you just think I'm the next Kurt Vonnegut you can Subscribe to Getting Real by Email. Please be sure to verify your email address when you receive the verification notice.