Scottsdale, AZ – Real Estate agents have long utilized tour groups to expose their listing inventory to the local home selling community. A forum that allows agents to promote new and upcoming property listings to a group of fellow active area Realtors, the Real Estate tour group fosters the kind of behind-the-scenes marketing that many insist is greatly responsible for their success.
Or their gigantic backsides, at least.
In a stunning development, local Realtor Rich Anful claims that the four hour Tuesday morning boondoggles have added value to exactly one thing: his ass.
“Sure, it’s nice to meet and mingle with my colleagues every week to discuss our new business,” Anful stated when reached for comment at the Golden Corral. “But we’re really here for the waffles.”
Response to Anful’s bombshell was swift. Well, as swift as one could expect from this lumbering community of sauropods.
“Rich doesn’t speak for all of us,” fellow agent Abel Twerkins assured this reporter. “Most of us are here to actually work on behalf of our clients. Maybe his sales numbers would outpace his caloric intake if he put down the blueberry compote long enough to actually do some networking.”
Anful laughed off the criticism, insisting that his colleagues were simply protecting their golden goose.
“Look, all I’m saying is that we wouldn’t be having this conversation if these meetings were held at LA Fitness,” he assured, gesturing at his fellow agents. “Do I look like the only one here who brushes his teeth with a pork chop?”
“It’s glandular,” Twerkins responded, looking down into has own plate of smothered hash browns.
While none of the respondents polled could produce any tangible documentation that demonstrated a clear correlation between the weekly sales meetings and increased production, many assured this reporter that they had put together numerous off market deals as a direct result.
“Yes, I like the danish,” Bridget Waggles admitted, licking her fork. “I like the vendor raffles, too. More than that, though, I like to see the inventory firsthand. I also like to be the first to know about a new listing that might be coming up for one of my buyers.”
“Bridget hasn’t had a buyer in her car in three years,” Anful countered, looking out the window at a pink Mazda Miata. “Good thing, too.”
Reached for comment, National Association of Realtors spokeswoman Iris Knacks stated, “Om nom nom er gah” around a mouthful of jelly donuts supplied by a local title company.
– Paul Slaybaugh, BSRE NEWS
June 20, 2012
Scottsdale, AZ – As anyone who has attempted to buy or sell a home over the past seven years can attest, the Real Estate market has proven unstable at best. New findings released by the Phoenix-based American Behavioral Coalition this morning may explain why.
“The Scottsdale Real Estate Market suffers from Schizoaffective Disorder,” Dr. Angela Merkins of the ABC claims.
You mean it’s mental?
“Well, it suffers from a personality disorder anyway,” Dr. Merkins affirmed. “Comparing the peaks and valleys of the past decade to the market’s baseline history, we can only conclude that an acute trauma, brought on by a specific event, caused a psychotic break with consciousness that has yet to be fully repaired.”
Dr. Merkins expanded when pressed on the nature of said event.
“Could have been anything,” Dr. Merkins explained. “A chance encounter with a cash-poor investor triggering a suppressed memory from the 1980s, an episode of delusional paranoia spurred by an influx of Californian speculators, who knows? All that is clear is that the Scottsdale Real Estate Market went bugshit crazy on February 14th, 2005.”
From high-rolling night-owl that snorts Alka Seltzer off the bare stomachs of $5000 a night showgirls, to indigent transient that smells of four day old cat food and sour milk, the Scottsdale Real Estate Market has seen more ups and downs in recent years than a Mount Everest sherpa. Until recently, the market had been under the care and supervision of the mental health staff at ABC, but its current whereabouts are unknown after budget cutbacks mandated its transfer to a less secure facility.
“I’m worried about it,” Dr. Merkins confirmed, acknowledging that the patient, disguised as JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, recently checked itself out of a halfway house. “After a long period of clinical depression, the market was finally coming around. But now, all that progress hangs in the balance.”
This is often the most dangerous point for a psychiatric patient.
“The concern is that the patient will feel the medication and therapy that has brought him or her back to a point of normalcy is no longer necessary, especially if the pull to experience the rush of a manic phase is too strong to resist. They think they can just go back on their medication once they’ve experienced the exhilaration of the high and avoid the low, but it doesn’t work like that.”
Asked if she saw any particular danger of that occurring in this instance, Dr. Merkins was blunt.
“Look at what’s going on out there,” she lamented. “Multiple offers, bidding wars, pictures on the internet of the market passed out at a frat party with a lampshade on its head … the only thing missing is stated income financing for jobless meth addicts.”
When asked if she had had any communications with her former patient, Dr. Merkins blushed.
“It left me a message at two AM this morning,” Dr. Merkins confessed, holding up her cell phone as evidence. “Mostly slurred speech to the point of being incomprehensible, but I distinctly heard the phrase Colombian bath salts.”
So what does this mean for Scottsdale home buyers and sellers?
“Buckle up and keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times,” Dr. Merkins cautioned. “And don’t take any open beverages from a stranger. Trust me on this.”
– Paul Slaybaugh, BSRE News ©2012
Max Welling sipped from the “Denny’s” emblazoned ceramic mug, gritting his teeth against the watered-down confection masquerading as coffee within, the inviting aroma nothing more than a ruse. A useful diversion as he mentally composed his argument, the swill was nonetheless an affront to his connoisseur’s sensibilities.
“Good, huh,” his smug companion inquired, seeking less an opinion than an acknowledgement of the self-evident truth.
“You were right,” Max agreed, nodding at the moon-faced young man as he set the mug down on the Ms. Pacman coaster on the metal table between them. “Definitely not the usual.”
Greyson “Graze” Mays smirked as he swiveled away from Max on his chrome bar stool, only to jolt back a moment later, arresting his indulgent spin with a pair of green Converse One Stars. He steepled his fingers under his chin as he redirected the conversation back to the matter at hand.
“So in light of recent developments,” Graze began, indicating not the half-inch thick ream of subdivision data that the Realtor had spent the previous hour belaboring, but newspaper clippings from various periodicals that were haphazardly spread about the table. “This is clearly a seller’s market, and buyers will pay a premium for a unique home such as this one.”
Max looked about the three bedroom ranch, thinking the shade of formica on the kitchen counter tops might have been slightly different in the home of the same model that sold down the street in January for eighty five thousand less than his erstwhile companion had in mind.
“It’s true that the market has turned,” Max allowed. “However, there has to be some basis for-“
“I showed you the new crown molding in the master bedroom, right,” Graze interrupted.
“You did,” Max affirmed. “It’s lovely.”
“And the chandelier I added in the dining room?”
“Beautiful choice,” Max replied, craning his neck to take in the garish atrocity that was the self-styled hipster’s attempt at retro ironic.
“Look,” Max began, changing the arc. “You have a great house, and it will likely sell above recent comps due to the work you’ve done and the lack of competition in the market, but within reason. We can’t jump comps by the better part of a hundred grand and realistically expect to find a buyer.”
“There’s no way my house is worth less than I paid for it,” Graze objected, adjusting his black, horn-rimmed glasses. “All these articles say prices are up twenty percent!”
“Three things,” Max said, holding up three well-tanned, corresponding fingers. “First, you have to remember that you bought the home in oh eight. Unfortunately, the market experienced three straight years of heavy losses before this recent resurgence.”
“Second,” Max interrupted, returning the favor. “You can’t directly apply general market trends and percentages to any one specific property. Yes, the median sales price for the Valley is up approximately twenty percent in the last twelve months, but we can’t throw out the most recent neighborhood-specific sales in favor of such broad generalities to determine current market value.”
“The people down the street-“
“Are smoking crack,” Max finished over Graze again. “Just because they are asking an egregiously stupid price for their home, doesn’t mean we have to hop in the idiot bus to clambake with them. People can ask whatever they want for something. It’s irrelevant to value until they get it.”
“Third,” Graze challenged.
“Third is the inconvenient matter of the appraisal,” Max obliged. “Even if we luck into a buyer who just fell off the turnip truck, it means nothing if the home doesn’t appraise. And you can bet your bippy that an appraiser will review the very same sales I’m looking at when I tell you that the house is justifiably worth no more than two ten, max.”
“Great Scott,” Graze moaned, removing his spectacles and face-palming himself. A prematurely receding hairline did nothing to mitigate the fact that he looked all of thirteen years old without his glasses.
“The good news is that prices are finally heading in the right direction,” Max volunteered. “Another year or two at this rate and we’ll be able to break you out of here.”
“But by then I won’t be able to afford the new house I want to buy,” Graze lamented.
“That’s the rub,” Max ceded. “But there’s more than one way to skin a Kardashian.”
“I’m listening,” Blaze allowed, smiling despite himself at his elder counterpart’s clumsy attempt to bridge the generational divide through pop culture.
“You might consider renting the house out for the next year or two,” Max obliged. “As long as you qualify to carry both loans, you can lock in a new place at today’s prices while someone else pays the rent on this place until it gets to a point where we can sell it.”
“Not real keen on being a landlord,” Graze worried, taking a sip of his own iced coffee through a purple twisty straw. “Can’t bear to think of a tenant on the new shag carpet. You sure you can’t sell it for two ninety?”
“I’m good, but I’m not that good,” Max assured him. He stood and gathered his things. “I’ll run some rental figures this evening and let you know how they look. In the meantime, why don’t you call this guy.”
Max placed a business card on the table.
“My go-to lender. He should be able to tell you whether or not it’s feasible to buy without having to sell just yet.”
Graze looked at the card, but made no move to retrieve it.
“No offense, but I think I’m going to get a second opinion,” he informed the agent. “There’s a Realtor that specializes in this neighborhood. I get her flyers and mailings all the time.”
“By all means,” Max welcomed. “If she really knows the neighborhood, she’ll give it to you straight.”
“Well, thank you so much for the good news and enthusiasm,” Graze muttered, straightening his Napoleon Dynamite t-shirt as he walked Max to the door. “Want to kick my dog on the way out?”
“Nah, I like dogs,” Max grinned, reaching down to pet the yipping, over-sized rodent that joined them in the foyer. “But your coffee tastes like shit.”
Taken aback by the affront, a slight gurgle emanated from the younger man’s fleshy gullet.
Judas, his watery brown eyes hissed.
Max shrugged, hardened into the role of executioner by the last half decade.
“Call me when your listing with the neighborhood expert expires.”
“Why is his skin all splotchy?”
Chip Donaghue stared at the pathetic, grey man on the gurney. Tubes ran in and out of his crystallized body, connecting him to a bank of beeping machines and monitors.
“Sublimation is typical,” the humorless doctor beside him announced.
“Freezer burn,” the doctor clarified, his high-pitched voice at odds with its gravelly undertones. He struck Chip as a man who had spent considerable time exploring the outer edges of life’s spectrum.
The beeping intensified moments before the patient sat straight up.
“He’s awake,” Chip shouted, taking a step toward the bed before being restrained by a vice-like grip.
He looked back to find the doctor’s skeletal hand clamped to his meaty shoulder.
How can he be that strong? Chip wondered.
“Keep your distance,” the doctor rasped. “He’s not lucid.”
“Like hell,” Chip argued, struggling in vain to free himself. “Look at him!”
“That’s just gas,” the doctor informed him.
“Gas,” Chip protested, incredulous. “He’s sitting up for crissakes!”
“The cells in the core are the first to awaken,” the doctor assured him. “They expand as they release CO2. Get too close during the herky-jerky and you’re apt to get clipped by an errant limb.”
The patient’s mouth remained a frozen “oh” as his sightless grey-brown eyes stared into the infinity. His right arm suddenly shot straight up.
“Pow, right in the kisser,” the doctor whispered. Sensing resignation, he relaxed his grip on Chip’s shoulder.
The two men watched in silence as random body parts took turns flailing about over the course of the next few minutes. Chip was reminded of a fish flopping around on dry land, desperate for breath. The room took on a gamey odor as life returned to long-dormant flesh.
The chaotic symphony reached the patient’s face.
“Now remember,” the doctor reminded Chip. “He’s not going to recognize you. Not at first, and maybe not at all.”
Chip sighed. He’d been waiting for this moment for six years. Now that it was finally here, he wasn’t sure he was ready for it.
The patient’s left eyelid spasmed. Then the right. His nose twitched.
This is it, Chip gulped. Please … oh, please …
The patient did not respond to the doctor’s query.
“Mr. Niedelman,” the doctor tried again, in a stronger voice. “Can you hear me?”
Ed Niedelman broke six years of silence by barking like a dog.
“This happens sometimes,” the doctor assured Chip. “The synapses of the brain are especially prone to bursting and misfire upon rapid thaw. Give it a minute for the connections to reestablish themselves.”
“No,” Chip said shaking his head as the woofing continued unabated. “It worked! By God, it worked!”
The doctor raised a quizzical white eyebrow.
“This is how Ed celebrates a big sale,” Chip explained. “If you remember, we had him frozen at the closing table for the Meyers transaction. We had no more leads to feed him, so figured we’d put him on the shelf while we rode out the storm. Wanted his last memory to be a good one. Bless his heart, he still thinks it’s 2006!”
“Welcome back, big dog,” Chip, the managing broker at Prickly Pear Properties, gushed as he approached his sales associate. “You ready to eat?”
Niedelman jumped out of the bed, howling. He nearly lost his footing as he landed in a pool of water on the polished concrete floor.
“Outstanding,” Chip bellowed, clapping his underling on the back as he helped free him from the wires and tubes that bound him. “Let’s go wake up Peterson.”
The doctor attended to the vacated station as the awkward pair lumbered over to the next cryogenic chamber.
“One second, gentlemen,” he sighed, eyeing the half-naked, born-again charlatan and his Svengali with despair.
He had lost nearly fifty percent of his clients to reanimation since January first. The recovering Real Estate market was exciting news to everyone but him it seemed.
Time to start farming for new clientele.
But who? As Realtors began their rise from the ashes, which demographic was ready to take its place at the precipice of a great unknown … and in his freezer?
A thin smile spread across his narrow face as it came to him.
Of course, he thought. Moderate Republicans.
Scottsdale, AZ – In a turn of events that only the most astute amateur psychologist could have seen coming, a longtime Phoenix area home shopper has split with her Real Estate agent of four years.
Sources indicate that Haley Cosmo had become frustrated in recent months with the lack of attention she was being paid by her professional significant other.
“It started somewhere around the two hundredth house we looked at,” Cosmo confirmed. “A cute, little bank-owned Victorian that would have been perfect if the medicine cabinet in the guest bath had a third shelf.”
According to Cosmo, her agent’s behavior became erratic shortly after that fateful August showing.
“He started chasing me off the phone after an hour, right in the middle of a sentence, with some cockamamie excuse like he had to get the kids dressed for school or go present a contract,” Cosmo complained. “I’d text him at 12 AM about the house I should have bought last year and wouldn’t get a response for like twenty minutes! Twenty!”
Noting that Real Estate is a service industry and that her agent <name withheld> stands to gross almost $2800 before taxes when she ultimately purchases a home, Cosmo believes the deterioration in the relationship can be attributed to nothing more than misplaced priorities.
“It wasn’t always this way,” she lamented. “In the beginning, we used to talk. I mean really talk. Now it just seems like we are always going in different directions.”
“Besides,” she added. “He already taught me everything he knows about the area and the market. Not like he’s bringing anything new to our weekly tours at this point.”
“Not all agent-client relationships are a good fit,” Arizona Association of Realtors spokesperson Aru Cereous admitted when reached for comment. “Especially when one party is a bugshit crazy person with boundary issues who has no genuine interest in ever completing a home purchase.”
“He kept pushing me away, telling me he had to see other people,” Cosmo added. “Now I may be a modern woman, but I am not ready for an open relationship with my Realtor.”
“I think I need an agent more in tune with my needs.”
Or a dog, as it turns out.
Having given up the house hunt for the time being, Cosmo claims to be happier than she’s ever been with the new addition to the studio apartment she’s renting while she waits for her condo in Blythe to sell.
“Griswald never has a scheduling conflict,” Cosmo noted, patting the Springer Spaniel as she retrieved a piece of waste with a plastic bag.
“Maybe I’ll see if I can get him licensed when the time comes to try again.”
Asked whether she felt any remorse for divorcing her agent on the grounds of irreconcilable differences before he could be compensated for the time, effort and expense spent over the course of their relationship, Cosmo’s response was succinct.
– Paul Slaybaugh, BSRE News ©2011