Monday, August 07, 2006

West Orange Seller Takes On Weichert

This one comes to us from Jake Freivald, a homeowner selling his home in West Orange. I thought it was interesting enough to post up, simply because we seldom see the "other side" of the transaction on this blog.

Why Weichert Sucks .com

Because people at Weichert Realtors tried to bully us, and we're sick of it.

John Geaney, the manager of the Upper Montclair office, was coercive and unethical. He tried to blackmail us.

We escalated to Larry Mueller, a VP at corporate. He didn't listen to us, he was belligerent, and he tried to stonewall us.

Jim Weichert, President of Weichert Realtors, ignored us.

Some Background:

We bought a new house in November, 2005, before selling our old one. Risky business, we know, but we have a large family; if we sold the Gregory Ave house first, we might not have been able to find a place that would fit all eight of us.

We initially listed the house for $409,000, in October 2005. We reduced it fairly rapidly to $389,900. All of this took place in 2005. We didn't expect the house to move quickly, if at all, because it was wintertime -- but it was the lowest-priced house in a desirable section of West Orange.
January, R (our realtor) called to see if we'd be able to talk to John Geaney, the manager of her office. We agreed -- why not listen to a market expert? -- and the four of us (me, my wife, John, and R) sat around a table and discussed the market.
In a nutshell, John told us that we should reduce our price by $40,000, but he didn't have a lot to back it up.

After he left, it became clear that he had hit his realtor out of the blue. She said that she knew her markets, and that the current price seemed reasonable to her.


Blogger grim said...

From the AP:

Consumer Borrowing Rises Sharply in June

Americans increased their borrowing in June at a much faster pace than expected, with the rise led by higher credit card debt.

The Federal Reserve reported Monday that consumer borrowing rose at an annual rate of 5.7 percent in June, up sharply from a 3.3 percent increase in May.

The June advance reflected a rise in consumer debt of $10.27 billion at an annual rate, much larger than the $3.7 billion increase economists had been expecting.
For June, borrowing on revolving credit -- the category that includes credit card debt -- rose at an annual rate of 9.8 percent, following an even bigger 11 percent gain in May.
The increase in borrowing in June pushed total consumer credit to a record annual rate of $2.19 trillion. The Fed's measure of consumer credit does not include mortgages or other loans that are secured by real estate.

8/07/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Can you not have multiple agents?
If one doesn't work, make a contract with another.

8/07/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...


I skimmed this story and have 2 reactions.

1. The office manager is trying to generate sales/revenue so he is pushing the seller to drop the price in order to move the transaction along. He was probably frustrated in general and took it out on the seller [and, giving him the benefit of the doubt, is likely a sleaze].

2. The seller doesn't want to hear that he should expect to net 15% less in the gross sales price than expected.

I think everyone is wrong here, but ultimately, the website author/seller is misguided and is having a difficult time hearing the truth. By the way, when you sign a contract, you should read the fine print. I guess "shoot the messenger" is the philosophy [rudeness aside].

8/07/2006 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger Math, like gravity, is law. said...

$340k for that dump? And he's complaining about Weichert! He'll thank em in 24 months when it sells again for $210k

8/07/2006 03:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is actually a response to a post from a thread last Friday night. Unfortunately, my computer was having problems, not allowing me to post. The question posed was; has anybody acted on their feelings about this market or is this just plain talk/bs.

If you feel this is better suited for an upcoming topic, fell free to delete and add later. I thought if I posted under the past topic it would just be lost.

I have owned various properties since 1985. I sold in August 2005 and now rent. This was not an impulse decision to sell but actually a decision that was based on eight years of events, sorry it is a bit lenghtly;

Back in the late 1990's and into early 2000, I could not believe what was occurring in the bubble. Individuals were quitting their full time jobs to trade. They felt that they became overnight traders, making more $ in the market than their full time job. There was no sense of valuations, just get me in on ANY IPO, I don't care what the company does as long as the company has a . com name. These individuals were flipping stocks like it was a game. I couldn't believe when I heard that Barbara Streisand was day trading. As a matter of fact, Donna Karan was so impressed with her ability to make $, that she gave B.S. $1 mil of her own $ to trade. At this point, I got out of this market. Everywhere you turned all anybody talked about was the $ they were making trading. Around this time an old, wise, very successful trader told me a couple of things that I never forgot;
1) No market rings the bell to tell you the move is over and it's time to get out.
2) If your position causes you to lose sleep at night, it is obvious that your position is too big.
3) Don't ever think your exposure is only small. The monkey taking a pee over the cliff said it's amazing how a little goes a long way.

Well after the dot com crashed, I thought I would never see another market like this again. Boy was I wrong!!!!!!!!!
-Houses that were priced at 10X annual rents were now selling at 25X annual rent. Like the dot com the industry was selling at ridiculous price valuations; the bells were ringing
-Long term interest rates were at historic lows, yet the majority of loans in 03-05 were adjustable, sold to the sub-prime market; the bells were ringing
-Individuals were buying properties like buying boxes of doughnuts, flipping just like a dot com stock; the bells were ringing.
-Economist magazine was calling this the biggest bubble in our history, not only RE history but the history of all our markets; the bells were ringing.

I can go on and on, you get the point. The bells were ringing so loud it was giving me a damn migraine. The only way this would have been more obvious, to me, would have been if Paul Revere rode down my street yelling "the sellers are coming", "the sellers are coming". When I started to lose sleep thinking of the long term ramifications of this absurdity, I knew it was time to do something. When I asked my wife if we would pay what similar houses were selling for, we both said no way. When prospective buyers got into a bidding war, I knew we were doing the right thing.

I know some of you will say well this is different than a stock. There is sentimental value. You are damn right this is different than a stock. It is the biggest lifetime investment you will ever make. Doesn't it make anybody cringe when you read your mortgage commitment and see what you will be paying the bank over the lifetime of the loan. We had the opportunity to create a lifetime of savings in one fell swoop, so we monetized our paper profits and took it. As far as sentimental value, to me, a house does not make a home. The individuals living under the roof make it a home. We took whatever was sentimental to us with us to the apartment.

Believe me, it was no stroke of genius. I never bought any property with the foresight that this would happen. I would have never thought that we would be out of real estate at this time. The market created this not me. I just saw the utterly foolishness and absurdity of the whole thing and reacted. I learned a while ago when the masses of the assess are all on one side of a lopsided trade, in which the underlying fundamentals of the market do not in any manner support it, I will take the other side of that trade any day of the week. Remember the markets giveth and the markets taketh. The market gave and we took.

By the way, we pay $1,500 a month to rent a beautiful new 2 bedroom apt in southern B.C.. This is a home to us at this time. All our pictures are on the wall and our sentimental items are with us. Our interest from what we made pays our rent and more, that is pre-tax. If I lose my job, we can pay all our living expenses off our interest. If I am wrong about this market my downside is that I am left with a bagful of cash, note: not as big of a bag as SAS but large enough. If you disagree and feel that it is the right time to buy or are looking to sell and holding out for "your" price what is your downside if you are wrong???? It all comes down to risk/reward. I don't lose sleep thinking about my investment. However, I do lose sleep thinking of the long term implications of this mania.

I hope the anon who asked the question actually sees this.

BC Bob

8/07/2006 03:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whew, this situation with Weichert should've never started.

That really "terrific" agent R("you buy the people") sounds like she's a nice person who doesn't cover contract details. She didn't do her job. Either that, or they do good cop, bad cop there.

I'd rather deal with a smelly, chain-smoking guy in dentures and a light blue leisure long as I get the facts.

Maybe it IS time for the perfume chicks to hit the road, now that the selling is getting tough.

8/07/2006 03:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


8/07/2006 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

My only opinion on the story is that it serves an indicator of the tension/pressure that currently exists in the market, from both sides.


8/07/2006 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

my dealings with weichert have been nothing but negative on both the buying and selling agent side. terms like pushy, arrogant, pompous, deceptive and liars are just some of the terms that come to mind. they're snakes plain and simple. i won't deal with a property that uses weichert to sell as it's against my ethical standing. burgdorff is not far behind them.

8/07/2006 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...


Using my 35" gut-o-meter....

The Fed SHOULD tighten tomorrow, but if they don't, they are only going to create a deeper future [and inevitable] recession with greater staglation.

Please, please, please show some guts, and scare the living heck out of everyone. You would be doing us all a big favor with the "tough love" approach...

8/07/2006 04:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That couple are customers and don't deserve treatment of that kind. Regardless of your feelings on the value of the property, no customer should be treated in this manner. I know there are 2 sides to every story, but this is a family with a lot of kids. They are not "professionals" in the business. Then again, from the sounds of it, neither is Weichert.

8/07/2006 04:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OT: Consumer Credit surges on Revolving credit card usage.

Looks like everyone is switching from HELOC's to Credit Cards.

How do people do it?? Especially with triple digit electric bills & $3.25 gas..

This decade really should be the decade of the consumer espeically generation Y & the Echo Kids who will carry more consumer debt than any other group in the history of this country.

Most of this debt is for frivolous stuff -- $2,000 clothing shopping sprees every weekend, new cars every year, vacations every month.

With credit cards there is no 'rich or poor. People are judged by how many possesions they have and what they can display to others.

On Long Island & North Jersey, this is more apparant than ever..

8/07/2006 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger BergenBuyer said...

BC Bob,

Thank you for sharing, you've shown a perfect example of risk/reward and I feel that too many people miss the risk of buying (and even just owning) now.

I'm assuming you owned your home for a few years and probably didn't face the possibility of being upside down on the house like so many that bought in 2003-2005 will be.

When do you think you'll be back as an owner?

I sold my home earlier this year and am currently 90% sure I'm going to rent my next home even if I can get a discount of 25% off 2005 prices today. My biggest fear is missing the return of the market and not seeing the bottom as early as others, or seeing a false bottom before further decreases.

How do you and others plan to deal with the market once it does begin to truly fall (which I don't believe it has yet).



8/07/2006 05:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You pose an interesting question, specifically, "when will I know what the bottom is?". I can't claim to know, but I have a few thoughts on this issue.

How did any of us know when the top of the market was? For me specifically, when I walked into a place and saw people lining up to buy a place that had been through a fire with water damage to the basement (asking price was over 600k) in Middlesex County. At that point, I said, okay, this is not happening for me right now. I think the zenith and valley of a market dawns on each person given their own experiences, ability to withstand risk, etc. There is no "market bell" when the bottom has been reached or as we have learned when the top has been reached. Even on this blog, it feels like there was a discernable shift in folks' psychology(this is buyers I am talking about; sellers yet to happen) that we hit the top (last year!) only when the major media started some jabber this month.

I think your own sense of "fair" ness will tell you if you are close to the bottom. I mean don't we all think that 700k is totally over the top for a cape? But is 500k a close enough bottom? Or does it have to go down to 300k before we get in? That no one can answer but I do think waiting maybe the best policy if you are not sure. As they say, once things sink, they will more than likely coast for a while before things heat up again. Why not wait and see? The most you will lose is a couple of months/years of homeownership versus your hard-earned money.

Thoughts, comments?

8/07/2006 05:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would disagree, my dealings with Weichert, in general, have been fairly positive. As a buyer, my broker insisted I offer lower than what I had originally intended to - worked out well for me in the end.
It probably depends on what office you are working with.

The seller, in this particular case, is at fault. Peoples expectations have just become unrealistic.
Yeah, you're neighbor got a great price on his place 2 months ago.
Well TOUGH! You aren't getting that price, so accept what you are getting.
Price isn't determined by what your neighbors place sold for - price is determined by what buyers are willing to pay for your place, and that's it.

8/07/2006 05:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OT, but I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying the show Property Ladder this season! It's totally different than last year when those CA flippers were making so much money on their cr@ppy work. I just watched the most recent on on Tivo & they didn't sell it by the time the show aired (a first). All of the offers were "too low."
Talk about reality TV!

8/07/2006 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

For those interested in seeking nirvana through charting..



8/07/2006 06:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm quite surprised they weren't let out of the listing.

I think one of the words they use on their site is ill-advised.

Shows that every dollar of reduction is a real dollar to the seller whether they have a little or loads of equity.

8/07/2006 06:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Excellent work on the charts!!!!!!!! I especially like Robert Schiller's chart. The parabolic move that shows home prices at 1.8X the inflation rate is what scared the hell out of me. We all better pay attention to these type of moves in an irrational market. It looks a lot like a blow off top to me. Moves like this usually come down just as hard if not harder.

BC Bob

8/07/2006 07:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am familiar with the house in question.

1.) The house was over priced to begin with--much better homes off the main street at $445K
2.) House in on a main street--heavy track. Always expect less!
3.) If you don't update your house, then how can you compete? The panelling is what? 1950s?
4.) Neustral colors work for everyone--buy a gallon of paint! what a novel idea!

The house is probably worth $285.

Has is sold? I believe it has been on the market forever!

8/07/2006 07:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow I'm really amazed that the manager can get away with such things. I'm not a lawyer but I think by having that site up, they're opening themselves up for a lawsuit.

8/07/2006 08:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bergen Buyer,

At this point that is an impossible question to answer. It took 7 years of info/data for me to decide to sell. I have no idea how long it will take to buy. I think this will be a long drawn out process. There is so much excess that has to be flushed out of the market. Once this is done, it usually takes times to build confidence back. Who knows how long this will be. Can we be another Japan??? Can we go through a prolonged period like we did from 1920-1940??? I think this will be like Chinese water tortue. There are just too many variables to look at to give you an educated guess. Some items I will be watching:
-I will be looking at all the charts, see Grim's previous post regarding this. It is amazing what they tell us. I look very carefully at the return of RE in relation to inflation. Historically we are at 1-1, RE keeping pace with inflation. We have now topped out at an all time high of 1.8X the inflation rate. I will not start to look until we get back to our historical norm. This tells me that we have at least a 40% decline.
-Pay attention to when everybody starts saying they wish they never heard of RE, maybe when there is no opposite point of view. That may be a sign that the market has capitulated.
-When 85% of the realtors are doing something else is also a start.
-I will not buy any property if my total montly expenses exceed 40%. Know what you are comfortable with.
-When all the flippers are chasing some other market (gold??)may also be a sign.

I feel that this market will really start to untangle in the fall of 2008. I can just hear the spin next spring from the realtors/nar, they'll be telling us that the spring/summer of 2006 was just what the market needed, it is now more strongly balanced, etc,etc.... If this period is like this year, I think it will be worse, then everybody will get it. There will be no more spin. We are not there yet. Listening to these cheerleaders is like asking a pig if it likes to play in a pile of s*it!!!!!!!!!

Concentrate on saving now. Cash will be king. It may be harder to get a 250k mortgage in 2008 than it was to get a 500k mortgage in 2004. If the market gets hit with foreclosures, the individuals with the cash position will be in a position to benefit by this. In times of chaos and distress enormous opportunities become present. Everybody that is upside down will not be able to participate in this. Sorry I could not be more specific at this time.


BC Bob

8/07/2006 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Those charts aren't from my site, I'm not sure who owns that site..


8/07/2006 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

For those interested, we had our best Sunday traffic yet yesterday.

Today is shaping up to be one of our highest traffic Mondays. If the pace doesn't drop off too much before midnight we'll end the day with 6,000-6,500 hits (the number doesn't include hits to the comment pages).

Given those numbers, my best guess puts the daily readership at somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 people.


8/07/2006 08:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bergen Buyer,

I meant to say fall of 2007. Also, remember you don't have to buy. The sellers are not in that position. You are dealing from a position of strength, let them come to you. If not shake their hand and say good luck. By the way, I called a realtor back in 2003 with a question about a property. He never go back to me at that time. Can you believe he called me this weekend. I told him to call me on Feb 7, 2009. How desperate can he be digging up leads from 2003!!!!!!!

BC Bob

8/07/2006 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

my favorite two

Household debt as a % of GDP

% Foreign Holdings of UST

8/07/2006 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

check out this little sneak "killing the comps" in my building - I am speculating on what happened - don't take my comment as verified fact

8/07/2006 08:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Keep a chart of # of hits. You can compare this to a chart of the # of realtors leaving the industry. You'll see a parobolic move up in 2-3 years. You may be able to come up with an unscientific method of measuring extreme market sentiment, kind of like an overbought,oversold indicator. Very useful stuff!!!!!!!

BC Bob

8/07/2006 08:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chicago Finance,

I agree with the % of foreign holders of our treasuries. Everybody is all concerned with whether the fed moves 1/4 or not. To me it is a mute point. The fed only controls the FFR, the market controls the 10 year. When the housing slowdown hits our economy will slow and our dollar will suffer. Foreigners will demand higher rates to compensate for their currency risk. What about the scenario of the fed stopping, our economy slowing and the long end of the yield curve going up?? It will be a double whammy.

BC Bob

8/07/2006 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

Hi all,

I'm Jake of I want to thank you for your interest in the situation, whether you're pro or con me personally, and to answer some of the questions that have been asked here.

I've broken this into sections.

1. The nature of the grievance.

Some people seem to think that I put up the site because I didn't get the price I wanted for my house. That's not really the case.

As I detail here:
...the branch manager threatened to reject the reduction that we and our realtor agreed to; and then refuse to run open houses or market it because at that price it wouldn't sell, so it wouldn't be worth it to him.

Nobody's happy to see a house go for less than they wanted, but I knew in November that I had just bought a house at a high price, and that I was going to sell my old one at a low price. If that had been all that happened, we wouldn't be discussing this.

2. Price

I'm not a real estate pro, and I didn't really even watch the market until I had a house to sell. I have only one indicator at my disposal to determine what "the right price" is: what the market bears. For most of the time that it has been listed, this house has been the lowest-priced house in its area.

The anonymous poster who claimed familiarity with my house was most aggressive, so lets start with his/her post.

> 1.) The house was over priced to begin with--much better
> homes off the main street at $445K

That's $85,000 more than we were asking, and we are accepting an even lower price. It's true that you can get much better if you're willing to pay 23% more, but I'm not sure how that's relevant.

> 2.) House in on a main street--heavy track. Always expect
> less!

This house has been priced less than anything surrounding it for months, often much lower.

The house across the street from ours just went a few months ago for just under $500K, at a time when we were asking $380K. There are differences, of course -- that house was updated, and its driveway is on the side street -- but the point remains that we already expected less for a variety of reasons.

> 3.) If you don't update your house, then how can you
> compete? The panelling is what? 1950s?
> 4.) Neustral colors work for everyone--buy a gallon of
> paint! what a novel idea!

1970's, probably :) and the pictures are out of date. That upstairs section has been fully repainted for several months. I actually think it looks less warm, but to each his own.

The real question, though, is "compete with what"? The price was always the lowest in a fairly large radius, and we've gotten offers well above what we're getting now; they've just fallen through.

> The house is probably worth $285.

I can only accept this if you're working on some esoteric formula for "worth" that differs from "what the market will bear." If you really think that the house should only _get_ $285K, then, with all due respect, you clearly don't know this market.

> Has is sold? I believe it has been on the market forever!

We went under contract (again) this evening. We had an offer for $370 in March, one for $365, one for $355, and the most recent one. (I don't know the rules -- am I allowed to disclose that price yet?) Each has fallen through for one reason or another, but the fact remains that these are the prices that the market was bearing at the time. I'm not sure what else I should go by: on what other basis should I rationally adjust my pricing?

Anyway, yes, we listed it in November because we had just closed on our new house in October. (Remember that we have a big family, and we couldn't risk selling the old place without having a spot to park us and our six kids.) The listing was "refreshed" in March. During the spring it was definitely underexposed, and you can't sell anything if people aren't brought to it.

3. My attitude

A different anonymous poster said:

> I would disagree, my dealings with Weichert, in general,
> have been fairly positive. ... It probably depends on what
> office you are working with.

My motto is "it's all about the guy" -- the specific person you're working with can make all the difference in the world.

As things start to escalate, though, people higher up should be able to solve more problems, not cause them. John Geaney of the Upper Montclair office was the unethical party; Larry Mueller, the regional VP, didn't help solve the problem and instead was a jerk to my wife, and Jim Weichert just doesn't care. The latter two faults are less egregious than John's, but they still aren't good business practices.

> The seller, in this particular case, is at fault. Peoples
> expectations have just become unrealistic. Yeah, you're
> neighbor got a great price on his place 2 months ago.
> Well TOUGH! You aren't getting that price, so accept what
> you are getting.

I would accept this if we weren't already the lowest priced house in a sizeable radius, but it's still not the nature of the grievance. If this were just about price, I wouldn't have a Web site up.

Someone else said:

> 2. The seller doesn't want to hear that he should expect
> to net 15% less in the gross sales price than expected.

It's true that I don't want to hear this, but I have tried to be reasonable about what the market was bearing at the time. I suggested a reduction to my realtor first, for instance.

Weichert's not innocent in that, because they underexposed my house in the Spring. There were mitigating personal circumstances with my realtor that cause me to not harbor a grudge against her, but things could have been much better.

But that's not the point of the site: its point is that John Geaney threatened me with the loss of thousands in mortgage payments, and his regional VP rudely stonewalled us when we tried to complain.

4. Contracts

> By the way, when you sign a contract, you should read the
> fine print.

This is the thing I kick myself most for, and also one of the reasons I'm most upset with our realtor. We trusted her, and she didn't make it clear that this was an extension to our exclusivity. I doubt that she intended it, but that's the way it was anyway. As someone said:

> That really "terrific" agent R("you buy the people")
> sounds like she's a nice person who doesn't cover contract
> details. She didn't do her job. Either that, or they do
> good cop, bad cop there.

I'm usually a stickler for contracts, too, but we were in a hurry, and haste makes waste and all that. I've got nobody to blame but myself for that one.

> I'm quite surprised they weren't let out of the listing.

So was I. I think it made better business sense for them to cut their advertising losses if they thought I was a crazy client who overvalued his house. Even if the end up quashing me like a little bug, their legal fees alone will cost them more.

I seriously wonder whether it's not a power trip, but I don't know these people well enough to say.

> I think one of the words they use on their site is ill-
> advised.

Which word is that? I'll happily change things if I'm saying something the wrong way.

5. Miscellaneous

> Can you not have multiple agents? If one doesn't work,
> make a contract with another.

I spoke to another agent, and they said they were bound ethically and legally not to work with us while we were under contract with Weichert.

> 1. The office manager is trying to generate sales/revenue
> so he is pushing the seller to drop the price in order to
> move the transaction along.

Several people have commented that the office manager and I have different goals. I agree, and acknowledge that any business transaction is a compromise between parties with different goals.

I don't object to his desire for a lower price. I object to his use strongarm tactics to force me to agree.


This is probably a lot longer than anyone really wants, but there it is. I'll also post this to the so that everyone can benefit, and if anyone has other specific questions or comments I'll answer them as best I can.


8/07/2006 09:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the Fed supposed to decide on a rate hike tomorrow? Thanks.

8/07/2006 09:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yup shytown, for a MBA grad, not too bad with the posts ;)

I read that Weichert thing pretty good. I feel sorry for that guy, he obviously doesn't know what to do, and doesn't know anything about business transactions (now I don't mean that in a harsh way about the poor gentlemen, he is really in a pickle.), but hey...isn't that the purpose of RE agents to be helpful and knowledgeable?...yeah right. This shows RE agents are bums, taking advantage of people.
Yes, indeed, this is the start of some serious tensions.

I think all need to learn some lessons here from one misfortunes. Thats why I always liked seeing some else go through the mud, made me feel like I could learn from it, besides, it makes me feel better about myself ;)

Anyway, lessons learned is
#1- When a RE agent opens mouth, out comes anything but the truth.

#2-Know what you are getting yourself into, always read contracts, take time to read contracts. Believe me, I have, I have signed a million contracts of all sorts in my era. I always bring my own black pen. Always bring your own pen and take your time to read, ask questions, don't be a sissy. People will always rush you along, I would tell them, just shut up and wait a minute. (Unless your dealing with middle easterns, then you gotta kiss them on the cheeks and be polite about it).

#3- Anything verbal doesn't mean shit (unless its black ops, but I won't go there on this blog, can't give away all my secrets). If someones says something, always...always..get it in writing, even if its just on a scratch piece of paper. If one refuses to put it in writing,thats a red flag and tell them to piss up a rope (thats what I always say, works like a charm), and walk from the deal because something ain't right.

oh, gotta run, perhaps I will point out more later , wife is calling me.

Still waiting on return phone call from my pipeline connection in Alaska....


PS- yes, I am whipped, and if your wife was half your age like mine, you would go running too. I may be old, but I am by no means dead.

8/07/2006 09:58:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

Jake, what's the purpose of your website? Do you want something from Weichert?

I don't think the website, or posting details about your offer(s) in a public forum (here) will help sell your house (likely the opposite), but that's just me.

8/07/2006 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

Unrealtor said:

> Jake, what's the purpose of your > website? Do you want something
> from Weichert?

Not anymore. Larry has said explicitly that nothing we do or say will change his position on our contract or anything else. (I had wanted out of my contract with them, but it's too late for that.)

The Web site's purpose is (a) to expose what we went through (and are going through), (b) to show Weichert Realtors (and Larry specifically) that he doesn't completely control us, and (c) to ensure that people who are interested in working with Weichert know what they're getting into. I've learned a lot from this experience, and although I'm somewhat bitter about it, I think they're useful lessons.

> I don't think the website, or
> posting details about your offer
> (s) in a public forum (here)
> will help sell your house
> (likely the opposite), but
> that's just me.

I agree. We accepted an offer today, so that's a moot point as long as this one goes through. I'm not trying to get better exposure for the house: that ship has sailed.


8/07/2006 10:40:00 PM  
Anonymous huhu said...

BC Bob,

Great ideas! Well thought-out and valuable suggestions!
Thanks a lot.

8/07/2006 11:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This flipper wants to make 125K (33% return) in 8 months

List price 425 K

comp 12/2005 290k

8/08/2006 05:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

poor jake, needs to learn more about
business. what a waste of time.

8/08/2006 06:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey flipper tracker--uopi're showing two different addresses on Chariot Court. (72/59). Just sayin'....

8/08/2006 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger patient homebuyer said...

ot but related

my in laws have 2bdrm 2bth condo in freehold. it is beautiful with new bathrooms, new kithcen (granite stainless steel etc) they just decided to sell. it is completely paid for and they are not dependent on the money for their
retirement (they both have pensions and savigs as well)
i told them now is not a good time

any way the realtors came and absolutely loved the place, problem is there are no buyers (as said by the realtors) my mother in law said to my wife why would anyone buy everytime i turn on the tv it is bubble this or not a good time to buy etc etc

i think now they believe me when i say i am holding out until things settle a bit
if they can get near their asking price they will sell bu tthat is unlikely imo

8/08/2006 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger skep-tic said...

this Weichert scenario shows why qualified buyers are in charge now. realtors and sellers at each other's throats. realtors willing to sell out their clients in a heartbeat just to close deals. recognize your leverage. bid low and bid once

8/08/2006 09:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 8:58

I am not "flipper-tracker" but felt like I should comment. "Flipper tracker" is showing us a current list price and a "comp" or comparable property that was sold at the end of 2005 from which one can glean that the first link is to a flipper's property. Just sayin'....

8/08/2006 09:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


If you have a contract and they failed to meet their obligations under the contract, get a lawyer, not a Web site.

Now you have another offer. If this one goes through, have your lawyer negotiate for a reduced commission.
If this one falls through, have your lawyer demand an end to the listing.

Business entities understand two things - lawyers and money.

Don't kick yourself for not reading the fine print. Make up a list of the things any seller would expect from a broker that they didn't deliver on. Calculate the costs of continuing to own this house over the last X months. Hand your specifics over to your lawyer and let your lawyer do the rest.

8/08/2006 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

jake said

"Each has fallen through for one reason or another, but the fact remains that these are the prices that the market was bearing at the time."

If you could not close the transaction, then it was not a market price.

8/08/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...


Just my professional opinion.

Take down your website as soon as possible. You are placing yourself in financial danger, with the potential of excessive damages. If you leave the site up, remove all the individual names immediately.


8/08/2006 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

Contact a lawyers as well. You don't need to retain them, but you need to be able to have research done in advance, so in a pinch, you will know who to call.

Don't be surprised if you get served with papers at some point.

8/08/2006 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Jake said...


If you could not close the transaction, then it was not a market price.

That's not the only possible reason for things falling through. For example, the first buyer got notice of a location transfer during the attorney review period.

I'll touch base with you via email to discuss your other comments. Thanks.

8/08/2006 11:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why get a lawyer to get screwed twice? we should all thank Jake for the website and info....the lesson here for us is read the fine print before signing anything.

8/08/2006 11:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's really awoful what Weichert did to those people. It really is extortion. I have seen this house before when looking through the GSMLS site since west orange is one of the areas I'm considering (though I'd really like to get out of Essex County for tax reasons). They are smoking crack if they think they'll get 359 for that house. I'd pay 300.


8/08/2006 11:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


First, I agree with Chicago and I would take all or most of you site down. If Weichert is tracking your site at all, they probably have their lawyers drafting at least a cease and dissest document for you.

Second, I actually went to, I think, your very first open house. Your realtor wasn't there, but a very nice junior person was stationed there while she was out.

From what I can remember, here are my thoughts, maybe they'll be of some help. First, the front of your house was nice, but you're on a very busy street. Second, your living room and dining room were really nice and my wife and I both commented on that.

However, after that, your house is in need of serious updating and probably a new layout. I even commented to my wife about what needed to be done to the house and my very rough guesstimate of costs.

The other thing we noticed that day was there had to be at least a dozen Weichert open houses within a mile radius of your house. We also saw at least a dozen other houses with for sale signs in that same radius.

Good luck Jake,


8/08/2006 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, one of these days I'll actually fix a word I know as mis-spelled before I hit the publish button...

desist not dissest


8/08/2006 12:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re flip-tracking: get serious. You don't calculate rate of return based on a comp, and there was no grounds to imply that the seller of the current listing is a flipper! Now, if the the premise was "what is this seller thinking pricing it this way--look at the most recent neighorhood comp and consider the slowing market" that would be different. This site is valuable, but I wish people would stick to facts. No need to rumor-monger or instigate, the facts are inflammatory enough most times.
I'm just saying....

8/08/2006 01:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the warnings that Weichert may take legal action, Jake. I, too, think you would be best advised to take the Web site down.

8/08/2006 07:52:00 PM  

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