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Diary of a Real Estate Rookie: My Year of Flipping, Selling, and Rebuilding – and What I Learned (The Hard Way) Paperback – June 5, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Rogers may be a real estate rookie, but her cheeky dedication to Rupert Murdoch, whose refusal to pay me a decent wage launched me on the adventure of a lifetime is the first clue that she's no newbie to writing. A founding editor of the New York Post real estate section, Rogers is now a real estate agent and columnist who tells the story of her first year of business, and her first year of marriage, with a sharp wit and relaxed style that really sparkles. It is a story of failure, and tears, and immense love, she says, adding, Don't worry, there are some pretty tricked-out luxury condos along the way. That pretty much sums it up, but the book doesn't just rely on funny turns of phrase: it also provides plenty of working advice, including tips on handling lowball offers, staging the sale of a bohemian apartment and talking to your realtor. Those looking for some good information on the real estate industry in a book that doesn't feel like homework will be hard-pressed for a better choice. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

The founding editor of the New York Post real estate section, Alison Rogers now works as a real estate agent and writes the weekly column “Diary of a Real Estate Rookie” for Inman News. She has written for Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, and Money Magazine, been published on Salon.com and in the New York Post, and spoken about real estate at the Brooklyn Real Estate Expo, the Harlem Home Fair, and the Learning Annex Real Estate Wealth Expo at the Javits Center.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 215 pages
  • Publisher: Kaplan Publishing; Original edition (June 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1427754659
  • ISBN-13: 978-1427754653
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,741,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Zachary H. Bissonnette on July 24, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.

Zac Bissonnette
AOL Money and Finance Writers/Editor
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Format: Paperback
If this book were an apartment it would be a "sunny condo conversion - panoramic views, oversize windows, 3 BR, 2 BA, closets galore, one of a kind architectural details, built in window seat the perfect place to curl up and read a book." I gobbled it up over recent holiday weekend - it's funny and organized in short breezy chapters - easy to read. Some great stories - the fabulous BIG sale (!!!) with fully negotiated contract and the case of the missing buyers - the summer rental of a mansion that also didn't quite happen - and successes - first pitch, first open house, first sales. And I could really relate to the feeling of being pulled in ten different directions trying to balance needs of customers, sellers, family, and oh yes, self. Plus that whole adjusting to a new career thing. Great present for the real estate agent in your life, be he/she your spouse, friend, or your hard-working realtor. Or buy it for yourself...it's an investment in your sanity, for starters, and some good tips on working with buyers and sellers.
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I don't know anything about real estate; I'm scared of it, and if I didn't need a place to put my children and my furniture, I'd never have anything to do with it. Ms. Roger's book pulls back the curtains enough to show that it's a world at least as scary to those in it as it is to us. Her writing is breezy, funny, personal and honest... you end up liking her tremendously, and -- this is weird -- wishing you were in the market for Manhattan real estate, just so you could hire her. Which is a bit like wishing you could go whaling after reading Moby Dick, but still. A must read for anyone who's about to dip a toe into the waters of home buying... esp. if you find yourself thinking your broker must be a lizard person. She's not! Or, at least, this one isn't.
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I tore through this book in a single sitting, mining it for real estate tips (of which there are many), and for the engaging narrative. I'd recommend it for anyone who wants to understand the basics but has no patience for dry "how to sell your home" tomes. I'd also recommend it for sheer entertainment value. It's a first-person window into NYC's crazy real estate biz and Rogers sounds like a smarter, savvier (but admittedly cash-starved) Carrie Bradshaw.
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I love this book. It's not many people who can make you laugh with them AND at them, cringe at their emotional ups and downs and still come out admiring them. It's so much more than a real estate book.
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Okay, I enjoyed reading this book. Maybe you thought not since I only gave it 3 stars but it depends on WHY you want to read this book or what you think you're going to get out of it. I enjoyed it because it was mostly a memoir that was well-written, funny, anecdotal, and garnered a sense of empathy for the poor, hapless author navigating the wild woods of real estate in NJ and NY. Her professional experiences were interesting to read about along with her personal experiences. From this perspective, I thought her book was a 5 star review. Now, I read this thinking that I could glean a little knowledge about the 1st year "rookie" agent mistakes and discoveries from a memoir perspective, which seemed like a fun and novel idea.
Basically, here's my gripe and WHY I gave it 3 stars: the experiences she was having in NYC were very specific to highly urban areas and not so much residential developments unless you count her experiences in NJ. And even those in NJ were very different (again area-specific) but yet still held occasional gems of wisdom. But it is hard to learn anything from her experiences because of their non-transferrable nature. (I had thought that what she learned the hard way, I could avoid by reading her exploits but it seems that these were more just fun little demonstrations of her particular experience rather than being relatable in any way to myself.) Now, I could have learned not to undervalue myself and my abilities but I already know how to avoid that. I could have learned that people will attempt to take advantage of your wide-eyed enthusiasm but I think I already knew that one, too. And I definitely already knew you must have an amazing, wonderful, and supportive spouse/partner to help you through the RE entry process.
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