Home-buying horror stories
When bad things happen to good realtors: Stories from the street
Real estate is a people business. And whenever you deal with people making a huge financial and emotional commitment, funny things happen.
Day after day, real estate professionals hit the pavement hoping to make a match between buyer and seller. Think of it like dating. Showing a home is like watching a first meeting and hoping for good chemistry. The process gets more complicated for couples and even more convoluted if the whole family gets involved. When clients bring a van full of people to check out properties (or people), chaos begins.
And when it comes to homes and politics, everyone is an expert.
It takes a "special" person to be a real estate professional. Having been in the business for seven years, I have watched my colleagues coach and mentor people through home-buying, going from home to home until everyone agrees on The One.
In their own words, here are some stories that reflect what's in a day's work for a realtor:
Your home is my home, sort of - Ronie Warwick, Brighton Homes
As a new home sales consultant I always pride myself on making my buyers feel like family. My (model) home is their home.
I didn't realize just how much they took my statement to heart until one of my buyers who had just closed on his home didn't manage to transfer utilities in time. He was without electricity for a day. It was summer.
He asked if he could shower at my model. I said, "Sure!"
While he was bathing away, I had an older couple walk in to look around. As I was greeting them with my usual "Hello and welcome, would you like a drink," that sort of thing, out walks my buyer from the shower in only a towel.
"Thanks Ronie! Great shower!" he said.
All of us just stopped looked at each other, and I said rather sheepishly, "I did mention my buyers become like family?"
The older gentleman looked at his wife and said, "I like her."
Needless to say, they did purchase a home from me. But she never let him shower at my model.
Closet surprise - Paige Martin, Keller Williams Realty
Once upon a time on an unassuming day, one of my clients called to see a particular home. She had viewed the listing online and was quite excited to visit in person. I made the appointment for us and upon arrival, I rang the doorbell and announced our arrival, as is typical.
The house turned out to be vacant, and my client and I began touring the home.
After viewing the main parts of the house, we ventured on to the master bedroom, the master bath and the master closet. Imagine my surprise when, in a vacant home, I opened the closet door to discover a man sleeping on the floor in the dark!
He stirred, quite surprised by the interruption. He mumbled something to us, and it soon became clear that the man was intoxicated.
That's vacant house, drunk sleeping man in the closet, startled buyer. Not your ideal marketing features.
We couldn’t escape the house fast enough that day, and needless to say, the buyer lost all interest in buying the house.
Teenage love interrupts - Christi Borden, Prudential Gary Greene
I was showing homes to a lovely couple one day. When I opened the front door of this beautiful home on the West side, the alarm went off.
Ever the professional, I proceeded into the property and called the listing office. My quest? To find out the alarm code so I could disarm and show the property. That much we accomplished.
As we started through the home, a disheveled teen and her boyfriend (who knows what they were doing) emerged from the balcony. Surprised by the interruption, it was obvious they set the alarm so they would know if someone came home.
A quick call to the listing company fixed that. Not to mention a chat with the mom. I was told this would never happen again.
Have any home-buying horror stories of your own? Share them in the comments.