Realtor speak

A client now working with me tells the story of viewing property with another agent some time ago when they pulled up to a listing. “Is that the Merritt Parkway?” asks the buyer. “Oh, I don’t think so,”says the highly-trained professional. “We’re nowhere close to it.”

“So what is that traffic I see through the woods, going 60 Miles per hour?’

The realtor pauses, screwing her pretty face into a thoughtful expression and then says, “you know what I love about houses near the Merritt? The traffic noise becomes just like a babbling brook after a little while.”

As I said, that buyer now works with me. Hell, I just pass out ear plugs and tell my people they should be grateful to be in Greenwich. Works every time.


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15 responses to “Realtor speak

  1. Front Row Phil

    There you go again, Chris, being honest. That babbling brook sound should command a premium. Tell those buyers they won’t be charged extra for the auditory delight.

  2. anonymous

    Thought realtor would try the “isn’t the Merritt so much more elegantly wooded than 95” pitch…or “burglars prefer 95 over Merritt for easy commute back to Bronx or Bridgeport”

  3. Way Up Valley

    When we bought our moose lodge way up valley, on the walk through I opened the living room window and heard an actual babbling brook. It had not been babbling quite so loud on prior visits.

    I complained that it sounded an awful lot like a highway, so we got a $100k price reduction and a very large jar of bright orange CVS earplugs at the closing.

    Obviously we should have held out for the Bose.

  4. Clifford

    I wonder how she would describe it on warm-weather weekends when the parkway is full of roaring Harley-Davidsons.

  5. FlyAngler


    Wow, a subject I can expand upon based on personal experience!

    I spent ten years in Riverside a third of a mile down river of I95’s Mianus River Bridge . Today we live within 200 yards of the Merritt near North Street. While the sounds are different , both obvious.

    In Riverside, the noise of trucks going over the I95 expansions joints was interspersed with folks riding rice rockets or short piped Harleys. Add in the noise of 100+ MetroNorth and Amtrak trains per day and it was intimidating for a newcomer. I did also note a difference in the general level of sound based on weather conditions but never researched the physics of that observation.

    Regardless, in early 2004 someone paid me $4mm+ for 1.5 harbor-front acres with a knockdown on it – those were the days. However, two potential buyers did pull into the driveway, see the proximity to the highway/train tracks and left.

    The Merritt is a more subdued swooshing sound with no expansion joint bumps. However, motorcycles are far more noticeable because of the closer proximity. The agent who sold us the home claimed that the trees in the area provided a green screen against the road sound. While they so provide a visual screen, I have noted little difference in the Summer and Winter noise levels.

    In both locations, the noise does blend into the background eventually. But if a buyer is seeking the solitude of the deep woods, the Merritt is no “babbling brook”.

  6. Peg

    “Babbling” is the operative term.

  7. Good times

    It amazed me how many, many incompetent residential brokers I met during the real estate boom who were able to make an amazing living. If a broker could breath they could close a deal because people fell all over them to buy a house. No longer. Only those brokers who are honest, hardworking, knowledgeable about the market and can provide good customer service will survive and remain in the business.

  8. Riverside Dog Walker

    True stories from the real estate front:

    1. While house hunting, I was shown a house bordering the Merritt on its north side. Great view of all lanes, babbling brook noise, etc. When I commented on this, the realtor said “The Merritt is a better neighbor than many.”

    2. I was shown a house in Old Greenwich by a different realtor. I commented to the realtor that it was a nice house, but it did not have air conditioning. This was in the pre-historic mid 1990’s. The realtor looked at me with a straight face and said “you know, it really doesn’t get that hot up here in the summer.” Since I lived way down in southern Manhattan at the time, I guess I was supposed to believe it was a lot cooler a hour’s drive north.

    3. I looked at a number of houses over a period of time with a third realtor. After awhile, it dawned on me that she was only showing me her agency’s listings. I asked if there weren’t other houses in my price range listed by other agencies that I should see (again, this was pre-Internet). She said no, nothing else was a fit.

    4. Since I looked in all the logical suburbs that everyone moving from Manhattan does, on my first visit to one of these towns I walked into the first real estate office I saw. The desk jockey asked me “are you going to buy a house today?” I confessed that given it was the first time I had ever been in that town, I would probably not be buying that day. She wanted nothing to do with me.

    Needless to say, I didn’t buy from any of these people.

  9. Chris K

    “Well, my dear, if you cannot afford a shack under the thruway, you shouldn’t be in Greenwich”

  10. anonymous

    Funny realtor stories…

    Poor locations are such false economies for sucker buyers….”cheap” price to buy but a more illiquid house that will be a similarly “cheap” exit….not unlike a roach motel

  11. hunkereddown

    Now those agents that you refer to are trying to sell their houses in Greenwich along with their vacation properties and ditch their clubs to stay afloat. The gravy train was nice while it lasted. It’s sad but like the IB’rs, PE, and Spec builders who were making money based on fiction — the party is over.

  12. Anonymous

    Chris I wrote to you after you viewed this property and you were really positive about it. I told you I was surprised that you did not speak of the Merritt noise and that you can see cars speeding by. ALL that aside when we viewed it the builder had blasting music on outside , as if that was going to mask the noise of a highway. WHY DO AGENTS THINK BUYERS ARE STUPID?