Just a day in the life

By Vern McClelland

April 27, 2017 12:00 AM

VENTING While the above is not a picture of Vern, rumours are that on certain days, steam has in fact been seen coming from his ears.

Hey folks, it is me, Christina.
I’ve been Vern’s assistant for a half-dozen years now.
He just left the office mumbling something about “Going in search of a tall double Cuba libre.”
Not sure what that is but, I suspect it involves rum.
His cellphone must be off too as editor Mike from the Lloydminster Source just called saying the deadline for his column in the newspaper had been moved up; so here I am, guest writer.
It’s been a rough couple of days to be in real estate and I think it all started last Saturday night.
Vern was just sitting down to watch a hockey play-off game when the phone rang.
Another Realtor wanted to show one of his listings by 11 a.m. the next morning to an out of town couple and could he arrange it even though it was short notice?
When he called the owner, he got an earful about not giving enough time, no respect for family time, etc.
It was the first showing request in more than four weeks of a six-month-old listing and the lady of the house said she was not ready, but after some persuasion, a compromise was reached to let the buyers in by mid-afternoon.
When Vern got back to the buyer’s Realtor, and by this time half of the first period was over, he was informed her clients would have to leave town before the seller would allow access so that house would have to be taken off the list.
After all there were four more they wanted to look at out of the 50 or so homes available in the same price range.
Vern tried calling the owner back, but got no answer so he was forced to leave a text message.
First thing Monday morning she called and demanded to know why the showing had not occurred.
He asked her if she had read her messages.
She said her phone battery had died Saturday night so she hadn’t looked at them.
Besides, if this was the way Realtors jerked people around, she was going to take her house off MLS and sell it herself.
Vern learned later in the morning the buyers had successfully offered on one of the other homes on the list.
Just before noon a buyer called to say he had changed his mind about purchasing a house for his family even though all conditions to the sale had been met and it was less than three weeks to closing for possession.
Vern explained the seller would be entitled to keep the deposit; what had happened to make him change his mind?
The buyer sheepishly stated he had called home to his wife in eastern Saskatchewan to tell her to start packing when she informed him she had found another man and wouldn’t be moving. He simply didn’t need a three-bedroom house now.
At two o’clock an offer came in from a client of another brokerage to lease a commercial building at 50 per cent below asking price per square foot.
When Vern phoned the seller with the details, even I could hear the response across the room.
Although there is currently more than one-million square feet of vacant commercial and industrial space, this particular owner wasn’t interested in negotiating when presented with a low-ball offer.
About then the receptionist came back to our office saying there was somebody up front who wanted to see Vern.
Turned out to be an adult daughter of an elderly client visiting from Toronto who wanted to know why her mother’s condo hadn’t sold yet?
After all, condos in her city were flying off the shelf.
While Vern calmly explained the local market conditions to her and how the supply of competitive listings significantly outpaced demand, I wanted to shout, “This isn’t Ontario, honey!” but, of course, I didn’t.
My husband was laid off his job more than two years ago and can only get spot work here and there.
Then came the final straw.
A phone call from a client who was going through a divorce.
Would Vern provide he and his soon to be ex-wife with a written opinion of value on their house?
After all, the lawyers had said a Realtor would often deliver one at no cost.
Vern stated that was the case before going to the market with a listing and asked if his lawyer worked for free?
“Hell no!” was the reply.
“Yet, she thinks I should?” said Vern.
“I guess so” said the client, “I never thought of it that way.”
“So, can you get it done in time for our next mediation meeting this Thursday?”
Vern said he would, hung up the phone, and grabbed his coat.
That’s when I heard him muttering as he walked out of the building.
Vern McClelland is an associate broker with RE/MAX of Lloydminster. He can be reached at (780) 808-2700, through www.vernmcclelland.com or by following the Midwest Group Lloydminster on Facebook.

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