Saturday, February 16, 2008
Sorry for my absense. I was buying a car.
Thanks to those who have sent emails and comments wondering as to my recent whereabouts. I wish I could say I was on vacation or been kidnapped (this is an Alabaster Abthernabther reference but since he has gone "private" with his blog - not unlike the red velvet rope clubs we all love to hate - I cannot link to it anymore) but, alas, I was not. I was simply negotiating a car purchase which was a far worse experience than any mutli-million dollar real estate deal I have ever been involved in. And no, that's not an exaggeration.
I visited multiple car dealerships in different areas seeing if they would quote me different prices on the same vehicle. Which they did. So then I got "preapproved" through said dealerships and the numbers changed again. It's half-way through Wednesday at this point and 2 dealerships are eager to get my business while others have not contacted me since I stepped foot on their car lot. (Sewell Lexus & Crest Infiniti) So then I go to my ace-in-the-hole. Or so I thought. I called a D & M Leasing agent I had been referred to (much like referring a Realtor) and to put it nicely, she was a bitch. Did she get the deal done? Yes. But she was terrible to deal with. I was on the phone negotiating terms with her for TWO-AND-A-HALF-HOURS! And finally at 7:30pm Wednesday night we had struck a deal. She said I could pick up the car Thursday afternoon. Great! Yea! Hoorah!
At 12:30pm Thursday afternoon I was meeting some real estate professional friends for lunch and I had yet to hear from her! So I call her and she tells me the monthly payment has increased by $25 a month! Wait. What? She said the numbers she was working with the night before were "preliminary". Long story short, I picked up my new car Friday on the terms I wanted but LORD AND BABY JESUS IT WAS A BEATING!
Don't go thinking there isn't a real estate reference in here because there is. Buying a home without using a Realtor is like buying car. There is a reason car salesman have a terrible reputation. Their job is simple -screw you to the wall. These people had no incentive to be honest with me or explain to me their process. They wanted me to agree to the highest sales price at the highest interest rate and since I don't know the first thing about car financing or what prices other people are buying my same car for there wasn't a thing I could do about it. Fortunately for me I did a lot of research and feel pretty good about my purchase. But I'd be lying if I wasn't wondering if there are other people who got a better deal than me. If there was such a thing as a Buyer's Agent for cars I'd feel a lot better. But there isn't.
Considering a home purchase is typically much more expensive than buying a car shouldn't you be using a Realtor? If you don't agree, let me know how your next car purchase goes.