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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

My Life in Real Estate -- Stranger things have happened!

Life as a real estate agent has its highs and lows ... and some really funny moments.   I thought I would share some of my memorable moments in real estate... and the lessons learned... 

The Dog
On one of my listings, my clients had a very tame and sweet little beagle.  With one of the showings, the owners needed to leave the dog in the house.  The family, who came to tour the house, brought their children with them.  One of the kids completely freaked over this sweet little dog.  Even the dog was scared at the screaming.  The couple had to leave and never saw the house!
Lesson to sellers: If you want to get your house sold, take your pets with you... no telling who the buyers are! 
The Weird Open House
One of my very first open houses was in February when there as snow on the ground.  A very strange man came into the house.  He gave me the creeps.  I was very happy when he left -- until I looked outside.  He had backed his car into the front yard and it was stuck in a snow drift.  I called my office looking for help -- they sent the police!
Lesson to buyers: Park your car on the street, if you're unfamiliar with a driveway. 
The Mother-in-Law 
I was conducting an accompanied showing.   The buyer was looking at the house while her mother-in-law was supposedly "watching the children."    One of the children started walking around the house with a banana.    The potential buyer asked her son, from where he got it.  Turns out that the mother-in-law just took if out of my client's refrigerator and gave it the little boy.  I was amazed at the cheekiness of it all -- as was the boy's mother!
Lesson to buyers: the owners are only selling their home, not their groceries!
The Garden Ornamental
One of the more difficult situations related to a contract between a buyer and seller.   The seller had very sentimental attachments to the house.  The buyer loved the property and was going to to either tear down the house or extensively remodel it.  That said, the buyer appreciated the history of the home and wanted to keep something... namely a garden ornamental.   We (the agents) discussed and agreed to it verbally and through texts, but never discussed it with either attorney.   The day of the close, the ornamental was gone.   The seller had taken it and "had no memory" of the discussion.  Without getting into specific details, it's suffice to say we came close to watching the deal fall apart at the closing table, just because of a simple little garden ornament. 
Lesson to agents: make sure that everything agreed to verbally and in texts makes it to the attorneys for written documentation before the close. 
The Refrigerator
I had these wonderful clients who did absolutely everything right.  Their house always looked perfect for showings and they priced it right.   We got it under contract relatively quickly.   My clients moved out and left for their summer house a few days before the close.  As I was doing the final walk-through of the house of the house, the buyer noticed a second refrigerator in the garage.   My clients had thought it was to stay with the house and left it behind.   For whatever reasons, the buyer was not accommodating it.   He wanted the refrigerator out of the garage BEFORE the close.   
As agents, this probably sounds pretty familiar.  We've been known to carry out miscellaneous wallpaper and paint cans, clothes and television sets, etc. after a walk through.  In the chaos of moving,  sellers sometimes leave things beyond.  But a refrigerator?   I had to figure out how to get rid of a refrigerator within a few hours.   I did it, but it was down to the wire. 
Lesson to everyone: make sure it's clear what stays with or leaves the property. 
Visiting new homes can be moments for true embarrassment -- at least for me.   Off the top of my head, I can remember, at least, four times that I have fallen while showing a home.   I fell off a front porch one time, because there was no railing.   I ended up in the emergency room for fear of cracking my skull (turned out I have a hard head).   I've fallen flat on my face in a driveway, because of hidden ice as well as numerous other occasions of humiliation.   
Lesson to me.  When you're at an unfamiliar home,  stop talking and start paying attention!

Every agent has their stories - some are hilarious.  I remember one agent telling me how she was touring a house and naked man stepped out of the shower at the moment at the buyers stepped into his bathroom.   It happens.   
I'd love to hear your strange moments in real estate!

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