Can You Top This?

One of my agents, notorious for attracting unusual clients and finding herself in uncomfortable situations, has now reached a pinnacle in her adventures in real estate.

adventures in real estate
These clients seemed normal by her standards,  if you consider a female  psychologist “normal” who is looking for a home with a man who is not her husband but is wearing a wedding band.   The only other clue there was something a little quirky was the fact that the woman had to use the bathroom in every home they were in. Maybe she just had  a bladder problem . . .

So eventually the agent found the perfect home for this particular couple – every single thing on their wish list was here. And they must have  loved it, as they lingered in it for over two hours. The woman sat in every chair and in every room, meditating and feeling the “zen”. They looked into every nook and cranny, until at one point, they went missing! My agent was about to panic, when she heard strange noises coming from a bathroom. It turns out the 2 of them went to explore the ultra luxurious bath, locked the door, and were shocking_unexpected_fargo_real_estate_home_findsalone in there for 15 minutes. When they finally emerged, looking a little disheveled, the male said “Well, we figured out how the bidet works”!
My agent almost passed out – she was mortified, not to mention grossed out.
To add insult to injury, they didn’t make an offer – they had to go on vacation to think about it. Maybe the man is her  client.  Or maybe they both need to have their heads examined.  I know I have to wash my hands now.
You can’t make this stuff up!

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Sherlock’s Homes is Back! Did you miss us?

After a 2 year writer’s block, the Sherlock Homes  Adventures in Real Estate blog begins again, back by popular demand!  Oh, you say, you didn’t notice it was missing?   Well, that’s because you probably got very busy –  we ALL got very busy, which is a good thing.   The more  business you have, the more problems, er, adventures you have too!

So let’s start with showing houses in the coldest, snowiest, iciest winter on record.  OK, maybe I exaggerate, but  no one with worn out boots, salt crusted cars and coats, and mismatched gloves because you keep losing them –  can argue –  this Midwest, endless winter was  brutal.  Real estate agents cannot afford to stay home and cocoon just because it’s cold.  And thankfully,  the frigid temps didn’t stop eager and motivated buyers from traipsing around the ice and snow  to find their dream home.  We love our clients, no matter what.  Brrrrrrr. . . .

lok boxes

Good thing, except for the lok box.  Ah, which is worse – the combo with the dial that never works the first time, and you find yourself twirling the dial around and around in the hope that you get it right before your fingers fall off.  Or is your favorite the push buttons that freeze, get stuck or just plain don’t work?  Especially with gloves.  And by the time your fingers are about to turn white from frostbite, your buyers have lost interest. The delicacy and precision these boxes demand are in direct contrast to the insecurity they give to the seller, since these babies  aren’t secure. At all.  Picture this –  all that has to happen is a client, or bystander, sees you push or pull your way into the key box, or if they are really nice, they offer to help,  and voila – they  have that code now and can come back on their own, without you but with their most  discerning advisers!  So,  no, I’m not a fan.

The sentrilock – a much more secure and easily accessible key box, is not without its drawbacks.  Consider the awkward placement of these boxes which often requires a person to bend over unnaturally   and often embarrassingly to punch in their codes and open the box.   Like the  agent who  recently shared the story of the time she was bending over to access the box, not knowing that her skirt was tucked in and caught on her belt, which gave her clients an interesting perspective to say the least.  That was quite the entry.

But I digress –  Real estate is alive and well, and homes are selling faster than we can list them.  Next topic will be fun with multiple offers!

Share your stories and comments regarding lok boxes, etc.

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Shurlok Lock box

Shurlok Lock box by discountlockbox
Shurlok Lock box, a photo by discountlockbox on Flickr.

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lock box

lock box by smooreless
lock box, a photo by smooreless on Flickr.

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When Does a Car Accident Turn into a Listing?

In a coaching session with one of my agents this morning, she told me of a small fender bender she had with an elderly neighbor 3 years ago. Although there was minor damage, the lady insisted on a police report and the whole nine yards.  As they exchanged contact information, my agent gave the woman a magnet with her info on it, and thought no more about it.

Recently the lady passed away, and the agent received a phone call from her son.  It seems he found her magnetic card on the furnace, and wants her to list his mother’s house!.

It got me thinking of the many sources of business that we plan for, pay for, and pray for, and  then something as unplanned and unpredicted as this falls in your lap. 

So I am wondering what is the most unusual source of business you have been fortunate to receive?

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When Does A Christmas Gift Require A SWAT Team?

English: Special Response Team of the US Mint ...

Image via Wikipedia

An agent was delivering Christmas baskets to her clients, but one was in a rather scary part of town, so she sent it instead.  Well, when the owners got this “suspicious” package, they called in the SWAT team to make sure it wasn’t a bomb or   other nasty contents.

Imagine their surprise when, after it was thoroughly poked and prodded, sniffed and scoped, it was discovered to be a perfectly delightful basket of goodies  for all to enjoy.

You know what they say – Location. Location. Location!

English: San Bernardino police SWAT team confe...

Image via Wikipedia

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English: A white-tailed deer

Image via Wikipedia

As this year draws to a close, it is a good time to reflect on the remarkable highlights in the life of  a real estate agent.  Actually, we would really like to see more things close, but I digress. 

THE WEIRDEST UP CALL:  A woman calls from a postcard mailing, and wants to buy a certain home.  She tells us she is a highly valuable client as she has “more money than God” and will make our lives better just by working with her.  Sounds good, so what’s the catch?  Well, she also is an experienced investor who owns a multi-state real estate consulting business.  One small problem – she has no real estate license.  Ok, no problem, she has cash.  So now we move on to the “Proof of funds” statement required to submit a cash offer.  And that’s when she went off on us – she doesn’t need a statement – she has more money than time so let’s get this done as she has to move soon. And by the way, could I please call her landlord because she wants to buy his house  too!  I asked her why she doesn’t call  her landlord herself  –  guess what – she doesn’t have his number.  Nor does she have his address!  Ruh -Roh  –  she pays her rent via her “evil” daughter.   OK, time to move on . . .

SADDEST CASE a man comes into the office and tells me he has to sell his house, only I can’t see it because the village has kicked him (and his 20 something feral cats and other assorted stray animals) out of the house and claimed it is unfit for human habitation.  So the poor man is living in his car on the driveway, has no job, no money, and no house.  I feel so bad for this man. and a quick check on the tax records shows that although he hasn’t paid taxes for several years, and is behind in mortgage payments, he still amazingly has some equity.  My goal was to get him his cash ASAP so he can move into a rental before winter.  So we priced it to sell, marketed as a tear down, and promptly got 3 cash offers. Unfortunately, the seller is paralyzed with fear and not knowing where he will go,  has refused to commit to selling to any of these buyers.  So sad– sometimes you just can’t help.

And now for a Christmas related story –  it’s about a deer – but it seems this deer veered off the sleigh and became impaled on a wrought iron fence!  It appears  he became confused when jumping fences.(He should have stayed on the sleigh)!  We had the subject house for sale at the time and the owners had moved out. As  this was deer hunting season,  anyone caught with an untagged deer and not having proper hunting credentials can go to prison and be fined $10,000!  So no one would remove Bambi due to fence issues,  not to mention the expense.  Now, besides trying to sell the house, we are dealing with the insurance company to see if deer death is covered under hazard insurance.

Guess there needs to be a new section in real estate school to teach agents what to do with killer fences!

If you have a story you would like to tell and add to our Adventures in Real Estate, please submit below.  I am compiling a Top 10 List of the most bizarre stories of 2011, and if you think your story qualifies, just join in the discussion.  For. Stress. Relief.

And have a Very Merry Christmas!

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C.S. Lewis says . . .

“Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret?  There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

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How to Sabotage A Sale

Husband beating his wife

Image via Wikipedia

We have become all too familiar with the challenges that face the real estate market, but when someone deliberately sabotages a sale, we just have to shake our collective heads in disbelief.

One of my agents has been marketing a property for several months, and after numerous price drops and spruce ups, a solid buyer expressed enough interest to come back for a 2nd look.  That’s enough to get an agent’s anticipatory juices flowing, so she carefully prepared her sellers for the appointment.

Everything was looking good, and the buyer’s agent was mentally  getting the paperwork ready.

And then it happened.  As the prospective purchasers were leaving the home, a crazed next door neighbor wearing  a “wife beater” t-shirt came screaming out of his front door accompanied by his”pet” pit bull in full rage mode.

Scared the daylights and the de-lights out of that purchaser!  As  they scurried to their agent’s car in fear for their lives, all those anticipatory juices turned to sludge.  There would be no offer prepared tonight.  Sigh.

When the listing agent shared this development with the owner, a secret was revealed.

It turns out that the sellers’ 10 year old daughter didn’t want to move, so she and her friend next door concocted this plan to scare the buyers away! Really??? That’s bad enough – but when you consider that these 2 little girls were able to get the dad to go along  with this ill-conceived plan- well, there are just not enough obstacles in the real estate industry these days.  We really need a 10 year old to sabotage a $680,000 sale!

  Just another day in the life of a real estate agent . . .

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The Immutable Laws of Buying and Selling

The Immutable Laws of Buying and Selling Real Estate – The Phoenix Real Estate Guy
I love this guy – He gets it!!

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