Ever heard the old quote, “Truth is stranger than fiction”? We’re thinking it was probably coined by a real estate agent. Below is a compilation of stories from “the trenches” of real estate, as told to us by the agents themselves.
What Do Swingers and Garden Gnomes Have in Common?
There’s a very nice subdivision in North County San Diego that has a ton of community and family-friendly events throughout the year. My client told his friend he’s looking to buy in this community. His friend informed him it’s a huge swinger community.
How can you tell if your neighbors are swingers you may ask?
Turns out that homeowners keep gnomes on the front lawn as an indicator. My client looked online to see if this was a joke or real and sure enough, there’s a website out there with info all about it. Some agents specialize in working with seniors, or first time home-buyers, etc. Now maybe there will be a designation in working with swingers! LOL!
Where’s the Hazmat Crew When you Need ‘Em?
It was supposed to be a “cute bungalow with many updates”. My young buyer and I pulled up to the house and found a couch turned over in the driveway among varieties of other trash. This should have been a clue as to what was ahead, but I was trying to keep an open mind.
We open the front door and are immediately intoxicated by the most foul aroma. Upon first glance it seems that either the sellers are still in the process of moving or the home is abandoned. We walk inside cautiously.
The living room/dining room combo is covered in thick dirt, broken blinds, chewed up furniture, molding and window sills. We notice an extremely large fish tank that is filled with completely black water and sludge.
For a moment, we believe this was the culprit of the strong odor. Nope. We turn to the right and peek into the master bedroom. It is difficult to paint a proper picture of what we saw. No less than 80% of this room was covered in circles of urine. Clearly ranging in age. Some were light in color and looked fairly recent and then there were the deep, dark and even larger circles that appeared to have been there for quite some time. The only places that weren’t destroyed, you could tell is where dressers had been. Even under the bed was primarily covered.
We walk through the rest of the home and find that the other bedrooms look identical to the master. A complete loss. This “cute bungalow with many updates” would need a hazmat crew to come in to make my buyer comfortable at this point. For a moment I thought that maybe these folks were just upset that they were losing their home and began destroying it. But then I remembered the varied ages of the stains and it was clear that these people lived like this.
The best part of it all? Providing honest feedback to the listing agent. Considering that he only copied his notes from the MLS when he had it listed several years back, I have to wonder if he even knew what this home looked like in its current state. What do you think?
You know it is bad when you ignore the amount of dirt and damage in a home because the smell of urine is so strong!
The Case of Mistaken Identity
I am pretty new to the business. Lucky for me, someone told me this story. I have kept this in mind every time I show a home with pets.
A Realtor was advised by another agent that there was a cat in the home and to please not the let cat outside. Well, as soon as this Realtor opened the door, the cat dashed outside and ran off. She panics and chases the cat around the neighborhood. Finally after 45 minutes, she finds the beloved pet and puts it back inside the home. Later that evening, the Realtor receives a call from the other agent, “You let the cat out of the house, didn’t you?” Surprised and ashamed at getting caught, the lady says “How did you know?”. The other agent replies “You put the wrong cat back in the house!”
Location: Valparaiso, IN
Company: Realty Executives Premier
Got a lead and called em. Introduced myself. Lead said, “No english” and continued talking quickly in Spanish. I don’t speak any foreign languages, so I said I would have someone call back that can help. I called my colleague Frances and explained the situation. She called them, then called me back explaining that after she introduced herself in spanish, they replied in perfect English. They said they don’t speak Spanish at all. We tried…
Christina DeRose, REALTOR®
Location: Orange, CT
Company: Coldwell Banker
The Stuffed Animal (Literally)
It was a wonderful house. The buyers we’re excited to see it. They loved the kitchen. So we moved to the family room, turned the lights on and we all scream…
A poor dog was stuffed and laying down with his ball and collar. Click to see photo