Book review: Diary of a Real Estate Rookie

There are no shortage of books out there for first-time home buyers, but Alison Rogers' Diary of a Real Estate Rookie: My Year of Flippin, Selling, and Rebuilding -- and What I Learned the Hard Way is easily the most interesting I've read, probably because it hasn't a how-to guide filled with platitudes like "don't buy the first house you see."

As the title would suggest, this isn't a how-to guide at all. Instead it's a former real estate writer's tale of her first year as a real estate agent/aspiring investor -- it's a quick and funny read (I finished it in one sitting), and it's a remarkably candid expose of all the problems that prospective home buyers can face in dealing with agents. The book begins "More than six million Americans move each year. If anecdotal evidence is anything to go by, more than 5.9 million of them hate their real estate agent." She describes the unethical tactics that many of her competitors use to inflate their incomes at the expense of clients. Sprinkled throughout the narrative are informative sidebars like "tricks to keep from overpaying", "the greatest rental search tip ever" (definitely worth the price of admission), and "five tips to ease the pain of selling."

In addition to being a valuable guide for rookie buyers, this is also probably the first book anyone contemplating a career as an agent should buy.

At 212 fun-to-read pages, you can't go wrong with this book if you're interested in real estate.
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