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.
Earlene Hancock, Realtor
Location: Mayfield Village, OH
Company: Howard Hanna Real Estate Services
The Buyer & The Pot-Bellied Pig
This particular buyer literally begged me to show her homes on the Near West Side of Cleveland. I generally don’t “do” the West Side because I’m not that familiar with the market, but I reluctantly obliged, just to get her to stop whining.
We scheduled 10 showings and I also “scheduled” my significant-other to chauffeur that day because I had no idea where I was going. Plus, I just wanted some extra protection. Not to denigrate the Near West Side, but there are some lovely areas and “not so lovely areas”. I was determined to show this buyer all the homes she wanted to see — after all, that’s my job.
The first house was decent, needed a few cosmetics, but in overall good shape. The drawback is that it was a corner lot and she had small children. On to the next house. This one was in a “dicey” area and I asked my “chauffeur” to stay in the car and keep the motor running. The buyer and I dashed in and out of the house in record time! I like to call it “speed showing”! :)
This continued until House #8. We pulled into the driveway and before we could exit the car, the owner greeted us at the side door and said, in his Southern twang… “Y’all come on in! We just got back from a fishin’ trip!” Okayyyy. We went up the short flight of stairs to the kitchen where the wife was standing at the stove stirring something in a skillet that had the most nauseating smell I’ve ever smelled in my life! That is no exaggeration! It looked like some Spam concoction… and “bless her heart”, she asked if we’d like a bite to eat. Um….it’s all I could do to keep from projectile vomiting, so “thanks, but no thanks”.
The house was a mess, to put it mildly. Clutter from one end to the other. I recall two young boys around 8-10, watching TV in the living room, cavorting all over the place, along with their two dogs who were quite energetic. It never occurred to this seller to remove the dogs, so we soldiered on as the seller led us on this “grand tour”… chatting incessantly to the point I was stifling a scream.
We navigated through the first floor clutter and made it to the 2nd floor where we encountered the cats. This was clearly a friendly family, as the cats welcomed us, too. I think there were 2 or 3… all I can really remember is this chorus of barking dogs and meowing cats… and the Southern twang of the seller, trying desperately to convince us how great his house was.
The odor from the skillet had wafted up to the 2nd floor and blended with the overflowing kitty litter, and my stomach continued to churn. There were 3 bedrooms on this level, all filled to the brim… with stuff. My buyer is pretending she’s interested, looking in each bedroom. At this point, I had firmly planted myself in the hall, focusing on the stairs so we could get the heck out of there. Then, the seller says…”Y’all need to see the 3rd floor!” I motioned to my buyer that she could go take a look which she did and hurried back down to where we were waiting.
At this point, I thanked the seller for his hospitality in showing us around, as we’re walking down the stairs, through the kitchen with the grinning wife, still stirring whatever that was in the skillet. I’m feeling even more bilious. Again, I managed to thank them both, at which time the seller pipes in, “But y’all ain’t seen the basement yet! My nephew, Jethro, is stayin’ with us and he dun made him a comfortable li’l space down thar.” Oh, please… do we have to? Not wanting to hurt his feelings, we reluctantly go down the stairs to the basement.
There’s Jethro’s “room” which he had partitioned off with sheer curtains. The seller went and threw back the curtains, so we could have a really good look. There sat Jethro in his recliner. There was also a twin bed, a nightstand, floor lamp, radio playing Country Western music… all the accoutrements one would expect in a “home sweet basement” bedroom.
Sitting in Jethro’s lap was a pot-bellied pig. I don’t think I need to tell you where the pig’s snout was located. Upon seeing us, because he clearly wasn’t expecting company, Jethro had a very, very sheepish grin on his face.
My buyer and I stumbled up the stairs and out the side door, squealing with laughter, tears streaming down our face, sides splitting over what we ‘think’ we just witnessed! My significant-other was going “Wha’ happened?!”
We had 2 more houses to go. We couldn’t focus on them, because all we could think about was Jethro caught in an uncompromising position with his li’l oink-oink. True story.
Does Kermit the Frog Live Here?
Had buyers who invited me over for dinner to show off their “rehab” of a home I sold them. They had painted every room bright primary green. Every. Room.
Monkey Poop Everywhere
I went on listing appointment and learned that the owner raised monkeys in the house. There was monkey poop all over the upstairs bedroom. She had 8 pallets of crackers in the garage that she used to feed them. She had someone come in and clean it up, and I did end up listing it, but I could never look at that house the same.