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Sirens and Sharks

Roaring sirens alert those within miles that someone is in danger.  Police arrive on the scene.   Onlookers create a scene of their own by peering and loitering and whispering,  waiting and watching to catch a glimpse of the destruction; a view of someone else’s heartache.   There’s an undeniable urge, a pull, to come out into the cold, dark night to see what we can. 

When a shark clamps down on its prey, it releases the undeniable scent of blood that draws others from the ocean depths.   Predators arrive to take advantage of the kill.  They circle.  They splash.  They push competitors away, showing their strength, their girth, their teeth.

It’s not just agents who are publicly criticizing  buyers who were “stupid” enough to get into a subprime loan.   A recent contribution by the Bag Lady drew critical, scathing comments by readers who were on the self-righteous slam-wagon.

Those buyers had help; a lot of it.  They had professional advice and encouragement to make those decisions.  It’s ridiculous to critically now say, in hindsight, that these buyers made horrific decisions.  It’s shameful for those in our profession to judge the unknowing victims of such dire circumstances.  We need to remind ourselves that these people are losing their homes, their shelter, their dreams, and a hell of a lot of money.   Where’s the compassion and empathy that another human being deserves? 
Last week at an open house, a looker came.  She asked,

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“When is this house going into foreclosure?”

“Excuse me?”

“How much are they willing to lower the price?”

“If you’re asking if these people are in dire straights and are going to die without an offer, they’re not.”  She turned and walked right out of the house.

Buyers want blood.  I want a foreclosure.  I want a deal.  How can I buy REO’s?  What about probates?   Are they justified?  I don’t know.  I’m not questioning that.  I’m wondering why it’s acceptable to so many to ridicule and humiliate people who are in the fight of their financial lives? I was immensely pleased to talk with a buyer today who said, “I don’t want to take advantage of anyone’s pain.  I just want to buy a house.”   I woke up from a dark and stormy nightmare. 

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Written By

As a lifelong resident and local Realtor, Vicki has established herself as a respected member of the San Mateo County real estate community. She’s known for her wit, sarcasm, and her personality that shows through in her posts. You can find her spouting off at Twitter, here at ag, and her personal blog, San Mateo Real Estate



  1. Athol Kay

    December 12, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    The irony is that if the majority of buyers are hunting for “deals”, that just floats the “deals” up closer to fair market value.

    I just got an email from one of my deal hunter buyers who doesn’t want to sign a buyer broker, refuses to get a pre-approval, and wants details on every hot deal available. Explicitly clear that he wants foreclosed homes emailed to him and nothing else…

    “Merry CHRISTmas”

    I kid you not.

    I’m seriously tempted to just cancel his email alerts.

  2. Benn Rosales

    December 12, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    I am pretty sure you would be justified, Athol. Agents should not take sh*t off of so-called bargin hunters, they don’t want your representation but they want your product and will cut you out the first chance they get. Remember, they arent clients w/o the agreement, they’re a customer- kick’em out of the store.

  3. Mariana

    December 12, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    DUDE (OKay, DUDETTE!)! We are in a HOUSING market … not a FLEA Market!

    All these so called investors need to take a course in reality and ethics before trying to take advantage of people who were, like you said, PROFESSIONALLY guided into decisions that now are causing them heartache.

  4. Charleston real estate blog

    December 13, 2007 at 7:41 am

    Thankfully, we can choose who we want to work with and I’ve found the “want it all’s” buy nothing at all because it’s never good enough.

  5. Vicki Moore

    December 14, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    I’ve learned the hard way – and repeatedly because I didn’t get it the first time or the second time…or – anyway, those bargain seekers are inconsiderate of my time and professional knowledge. Since they believe they can do it without me, then they should – without the free access to the MLS that I provide.

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