I’ve been looking for a house for sale in Bay City, MI for a while now. I found out that the lease on my apartment runs out in July. This isn’t that far away so I’m in go mode to find something before August 1, 2013.
At first I was looking for a place that has the retail on the first floor and an apartment on the second floor. I wasn’t able to find any by searching the Internet. Every time I did a search for commercial property for sale in Bay City MI all that kept showing up was loopnet. Most of the listings had no picture and very little information. Plus the loopnet site wasn’t easy to search for properties and required a login to view property details.
So driving around the city I found a place that looked ok. I typed the address into Google and again got loopnet. I searched again and clicked through the results a few pages deep and found the listing on a Bay City realtors website. The listing mentioned that it was a building with a storefront and 1 bedroom apartment. I really wanted 2 bedrooms but figured I would take a look at it. This was in December 2012 and I clicked the link to get more info via email.
I got no reply from the email request. I just ignored it because I figured it was to early and if the property stayed on the market for a while I could probably get a better price. A few weeks later I searched the property address again and found it on another realtors website. Again I sent an email and no reply. Fast forward a few months and went to the property, took a picture of the for sale sign and decided to contact the agent. This time I got an email back that there was an accepted offer on the building. Oh well.
So in the past week I started to aggressively search for a place to buy. So I go to Google and search for “houses for sale in Bay City MI”. I get realtor.com and baycityhomes.com. I try to find properties but the problem is I haven’t lived in Bay City since I was 13 and don’t know the street names or township boundaries and these sites want me to choose a part of town. To me, as well as any other shopper that doesn’t live in the area, it is all Bay City. I’m starting to realize that this isn’t going to be easy. So as I’m looking at listings I keep texting a friend and asking if this and that address is in a decent neighborhood.
This gets old fast. So I figured I’d drive around on my lunch hour and note the streets of the houses I’m interested in. Problem here is that I didn’t write down the specific house address. I didn’t think this would be a problem because I could just search for a house for sale on such and such street and look at the pictures. But many of the listings didn’t have a picture, were taken from a weird angle so I couldn’t recognize it, and/or I just couldn’t find a listing at all.
At this point I started to get really irritated. I went out again and wrote down the specific street address with house number and started to contact Bay City real estate agents. I sent 5 emails on specific properties and got 1 reply. We arranged a time, completely by email, to view the house later that afternoon. So I looked at the map on the listing and headed to the house. I get there and . . . . the address doesn’t exist. So I type the address into my phone GPS and the phone maps shows that I’m at the house. Time to call the realtor. The listing didn’t specify N or S so the map sent me to S and the house was on the other side of town AAARRGG!
Later that same day I emailed realtors about 3 more listings and got back 1 email. (Better statistics this time!) The email I get back was really long with really long paragraphs talking about how wonderful the realtor is. I don’t care how awesome they think they are, I want info on the house damn-it The text of the email says there is a link for more information and pictures inside and out. So I click the link and it takes me to a page that asks for the realtors login. Here we go again. I look at the email again and see there are two PDF attachments. So I figure one or both of these is the info on the house. Nope. More info on how awesome the realtor is.
At this point I feel like I’ve wasted way to much of my time and was seriously pissed. I sent an email back to the realtor about the frustration and the response was that they are sorry and working on a new website. Great that helps me out a lot.
So if you are a realtor in the Bay City MI area and if this blog post is showing on the first page of Google for the search term “houses for sale in Bay City MI”, you are not doing a good job. Gone are the days of the yellowpages and Google is the new phonebook. So what to do? Either I’m going to get my realtor license and dominate the online market in Bay City or you can hire me to get your real estate business and listings on the first page of Google for people looking for houses for sale in Bay City MI. Oh and by the way – I return emails!