The Bad Apple
Some things in life are hard to get rid of. Bad habits. Bad red wine stains splattered on your brand new Giuseppe Zanotti suede boots by bad coworkers telling bad jokes at a bad company holiday party. Bad boyfriends.… Especially bad boyfriends.
Unlike habits and wine stains, bad boyfriends possess the uncanny ability to argue with sound logic. Anyone (or should we say everyone) who has gone through the headache of dumping Mr. Wrong knows that the task is tantamount to expunging 2,000-year-old mold from the mortar cracks of an ancient Roman bathhouse. But there are silver linings to everything, and this is no exception. Take a moment to thank that long-lost loser of yours because he has unwittingly trained you to recognize the signs of when to give your bad real estate agent the boot.
You never listen to me
Your ex-boy may have had trouble heeding your reminders to put the toilet seat down. Similarly, your ought-to-be-ex-agent may have trouble remembering how many toilet seats you actually wanted in your house in the first place. Repeated infractions of this basic courtesy could mean it’s time to seek out a new pair of ears.
You don’t return my calls
Yep, that was a red flag right from the get-go, now that you think about it. And this rule applies with gusto to real estate agents, as well. Hey, it’s not like you’re asking the guy to marry you. He’d better be able to handle a high volume of calls for a couple of months. It’s his job to put up with “house-hunter clinginess.” If he’s not, drop the flake and find someone else who will.
You just won’t be real with me
Some real estate agents, like some duplicitous ex-boyfriends, live double lives. They have another job on the side (which means less time to tend to your house-hunting needs). They are tragically inexperienced (which they conveniently forget to tell you, and which will no doubt get you into trouble somewhere down the line). They have inspired anti-fan clubs who gather on Internet message boards on Thursday nights to commiserate the terrible service they received at this guy’s hands. Do some due diligence on your potential agent before you get suckered into a questionable relationship. After all, we know you have better things to do on Thursday nights than languish the hours away on www.Victims-of-Bad-Agents.com.
You’re a mess
Your ex was fond of leaving old socks and crumpled-up gas station receipts on your pristine Inga Sempe coffee table. Your bad real estate agent might be fond of leaving house keys behind in his office when you meet for your 2 p.m. appointment. Or of leaving that packet of forms you spent seven hours filling out a little too close to his morning mug of joe. If he doesn’t have his act together, it’s time to cue the curtain call.
You’re pushy…and kind of a sleaze
Being nagged to do things you aren’t interested in is annoying in any run-of-the-mill relationship. In a real estate relationship, it crosses that big neon-yellow tape line with CAUTION: HAZARDOUS printed repeatedly across the middle in huge black letters. If your agent insists on showing you things that you’ve already told him you don’t like, or if he’s pushing you to make offers when you’re not ready, he’s a dud. Swap that guy out for someone you’re comfortable working with. Seriously.
If you’re starting to see some disturbing parallels here, don’t despair. You know the protocol. Put on your excuse-immunity ear filters and drop that agent like the bad apple he is. Then treat yourself to a martini and a good bubble bath, and keep on truckin’. Remember, there are plenty of fish in the sea, and now that you know how to avoid the slimy ones, you have nowhere to look but up.