Charles Gutjahr

Melbourne, Australia

The Real Estate Agents Who Cried Wolf

23 Jan 2011 — a 2 minute read on business

Someone slipped a note under my door last week.

Advertisement from Lewis Realty slipped under my door

It was a handwritten note in blue ink from a local real estate agent. Someone wants to buy my house! The note says:

I believe I have a buyer for your property

If you are interested in selling please call me on ...

...but I think that's about as far as I bothered reading.

Normally receiving a handwritten note under my door is exciting, and I would at least read it. But I receive a constant supply of notes from real estate agents (every other week or so) and they appear to be standard advertising masquerading as personal notes. A few agents in my area are doing this. Here's a sample from just one agency, Lewis Realty:

Lewis Realty, Robert King Lewis Realty, Daniel Veronese Lewis Realty, Andro Lau

The last note above is particularly impressive — it has been ripped out of a spiral-bound notepad so it would look like a genuine hand-written note. However the hand-written effect is somewhat spoilt because the printed name 'Michael Stal' has been masked with white tape, and the name 'Andro Lau' written on top in a different colour.

The result of this bombardment of notes is that I don't believe any of them; I never call any of the agents. That made me wonder: what would I do if a genuine buyer came to my door, intoxicated with the charm of my crumbling house and desperate to purchase it from me? Would I ignore their note like the rest of them? I found the answer while going through my pile of letterbox junk for this article... this card was in there:

This is a genuinely hand-written note from an agent, and I had completely ignored it. The problem is that all these agents have cried wolf... now I'm never going to believe a note in my letterbox or under my door is a genuine offer to buy.

And yet the notes continue unabated. Does anyone out there believe them?

(And would you let an agent with poor grammar write an advertisement to sell your house?)

© 2023 Charles Gutjahr