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The Crazy World of Real Estate

When I got my license 15 years ago, I knew real estate would be interesting, but I honestly had no idea how truly bizarre it would sometimes be. Over the years I’ve experienced some weird situations and heard many strange stories from other agents. If nothing else, I can honestly say that helping people buy and sell their homes can sometimes be pretty amusing.

She wore tassels. A few years ago, one of my agents was showing a home to a very nice family. As the agent went downstairs into the basement, he noticed a custom-built bar over in the corner. As he approached the bar, he happened to notice a fairly large photo of what appeared to be the wife’s “glamour shot” wearing nothing but tassels. I have to wonder what kind of person would have their wife on display like that while their home is on the market?

A birthday suit surprise. In my first year of real estate, I was working with an elderly couple, helping them find a great home. One of the homes we toured had a doorbell that didn’t seem to be working, so I knocked on the door. No one answered, so I fished the key out of the lockbox and opened the door. About that time, a little 3-year-old toddler came running out from the hallway, buck naked. I heard the wife behind me say, “Oh my!” and then a woman popped her head out from the hallway and proceeded to chase that little naked boy around the living room trying to grab him. She apologized profusely and said, “We were just about to leave the house and I couldn’t get him dressed in time. I’m so sorry.” My clients and I just laughed and told her not to worry about it.

Lost his job 10 days before closing. My sellers had a beautiful home with many updates but needed to move out of state for a job transfer. We got the home under contract very quickly and at a fantastic price. Everything was going super smooth until 10 days before the closing, the buyer got laid off from his job of 14 years. Obviously you can’t qualify for a home loan if you’re unemployed, so my clients were forced to put their moving boxes in the garage, then straighten up the home so we could put it back on the market. Luckily we found another buyer for their home pretty quickly, so they were very relieved. I found out afterward that the previous buyer not only lost his job, but their current home was under contract and going to close in 7 days. He was forced to move forward with the sale as they scrambled to put all their personal items and furniture in storage, then move into an extended stay hotel while he found a new job. I felt so sorry for them as I’m sure their whole world was turned upside down.

Sound asleep. About 10 years ago I was showing a home over in Liberty to some buyers. I rang the doorbell a couple of times, then opened the door and yelled, “Is anyone home?” I typically yell very loudly as I’m entering the home and there is no way someone would not hear me, but as I entered into the living room, there was a teenage boy sound asleep on the sofa. I must admit it did catch me off guard and I wasn’t sure what to do, so we quietly crept by him, looked around the entire home, and then left. As I was locking the front door, he was still sound asleep on the sofa.

A very friendly bird. Another agent in my office once told me a story of a very friendly bird that her clients owned. “I was holding an open house once, and when I walked into the family room the bird would whistle and catcall at me.” Apparently, instead of being freaked out, she was flattered. Hopefully so were the people that attended the open house that day.

Can’t you wait until we get home? One of the agents on my team told me this story last year. “I was hosting a busy open house, and the home was vacant, but I didn’t realize the homeowner had turned the water off at the main valve in the basement. About half-way through the open house, I hear a mother shriek from the hall bathroom. She had allowed her son to use the restroom, and this 5-year-old laid a load that a buffalo would have been proud of—in a nonworking toilet! The mother was mortified and they ran off as quickly as they could.” Luckily, my agent had a pair of pliers in his car and quickly turned the water back on to allow the tank to refill so he could flush the toilet.

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