Thursday, June 16, 2011

Realtors are Sneaky Ninjas

At least they are in Rio de Janeiro. That or they are spies. Currently, I am getting daily calls from random new realtors. They flock to shelling apartments like bees to honey. Actually, it's more like flies to another sticky substance...

Do they show up and say "Hey, I work in the industry and would like to leave my card with you?" Nope! They actually try to sneak past my doorman. Hello, if you were a good Realtor you'd know my doorman can smell you from a mile away. He's been doorman-ing for about 100 years now, at this building.

It still amazes me though when I get the intercom call from my doorman Mr. A. It goes like this:

A: "Rachel, are you expecting Pedro? He says you are expecting him."
Me: "Who's Pedro? I do not have an appointment scheduled with a Pedro"
A: "He smells like Realtor. Let me call you right back."

Two and a half seconds go by. RING

A: "He is a realtor all right. He said he already invited a client and was hoping you'd let him show them your apartment."
Me: "Would you please tell him that I do not show my apartment to people without an appointment and to Realtors who I have not contracted."
A: "I already have but I will tell him that you confirmed it."

It's really easy to be a bitch when you have a middle man doing the bitch part for you. But Mr. A is totally into it because it's about building safety. It's also about your relationship with your doorman. There must be open communication and you must back them up.

I will say, after all this I may just stay just for my doormen! Each and every one has seen through the weak tales and lies told by new realtors trying to get the lowdown on my place. I have actually been in the process of leaving the building while they rip a realtor's story to shreds. They didn't even give me a sideways glace. No one knows it's my place unless they make it in.

I'm kind of starting to feel like an exclusive club with badass bouncers!

The truth is, the real estate market here is a tough one. The competition is fierce and every real estate company is selling the same apartments as the others. The Realtors go around, on their own accord, and look for the freshest meat to throw out into the feeding frenzy.

And good luck to them, but this girl is going to do it the safe and secure way! 


  1. That's wild ! When buying our apartment in Ipanema in 2005, one of the more striking differences between USA and Brazil, was our need to run a credit report on the seller and question him on his outstanding debts and why his "accountant" was the actual property owner.

    At the time, long term residential financing seemed to be rare in Brazil. Our realtor and attorney were concerned about the owner having used the apartment as collateral for other unsecured debts, (a cars and a computer) for which we as the new property owners could have been held responsible.

  2. I've heard about that. To get our loan from the government bank, we had to jump through so many loops that I felt like I was in the circus. Not to mention all the loops the apartment went through.

    But with this crazy legal system, you have to check

  3. Oh my gawd. That is so scary (about the realtor showing up.)
    But I totally get the hoops. I happen to meet someone who built a house and sold it to another person, only it turned out he really didn't own the land that he built the house on (it wasn't the builder's fault, some crazy "i" didn't get dotted) and so the person who bought the house didn't own it either. It was a huge mess. Too many tricks in this country. Great if you are (were) a con-artist, not so good if you are an innocent participant.

  4. Doormen must be great! Too bad your relationship would get mighty awkward if you brought someone (from the corner....hint hint) back with you to your building.....

  5. BAB, I could totally see that happening! I went and saw a house that was once amazing but totally trashed now. Squatters and it took him over 5 years to legally kick them out! They destroyed the place.

    Alex, that's why Brazilians have motels! Well, more like because everyone lives with their parents ;)

  6. Rachel

    I am totally with you, you are not being a bitch at all, you are being safe, "better safe than sorry".
    Make these realtors work by your rules and good for you for teaming up with your door man ;)


  7. In Hong Kong, I'm convinced the process is as follows:
    1. Approach a real estate agent. Give agent a price range you can live with.
    2. Agent shows you the bottom of the barrel properties in that price range. Renter spends a half day looking at 20 crap properties.
    3. Agent mentions that, if renter spends the equivalent of US$1000 more per month, agent has exactly what he/she is looking for.
    4. Agent fails to mention that he/she earns a month's rent for every successful rental contract.

    One must remain firm. Renter must insist that, if said agent cannot find an acceptable property, you will go to another agent.

    Then, buyer feigns disinterest in agents next two phone calls.

    Finally, agent calls to show renter exactly what the renter originally sought, at the renter's asking price.

  8. Janet that is crazy and hilarious! And I thought our realtors were bad

  9. Where on earth do you get all your photos?