In the Trenches: I’ll Hide the Body

A collection of stories from real estate professionals detailing crazy, funny, or poignant experiences that have happened on the job.
Illustration of woman pushing cart with dead squirrel on it
© Steve Musgrave

Share Your Story

Submit your true tales for potential publication using this form.

I'll Hide the Body

The listing agent said the owner was out of town, so I expected an undisturbed home when I arrived ahead of a showing. I knew contractors had been at the house, but little things were out of place, raising my suspicion. Chess pieces were knocked to the floor, broken knickknacks littered the bathroom counter and sink, and several blinds and curtains were askew. I feared something bad had happened. Then I saw it: a deceased squirrel—on its back, feet up—on the designer couch pillow. The contractors must have accidentally let it in. I sent a photo of the carcass to the listing agent, who asked if I would get rid of it.

 “To be clear, are you asking me to dispose of a dead body?” I texted jokingly.

 “Could you?” she responded.

I do so discreetly. It still makes me laugh. In real estate, the unexpected happens all the time. The best agents help each other out.

—MaryAnne Crewse, O'Brien Realty, California, Md.

Clients Before Commissions

My seller was in foreclosure after stopping his mortgage payments to afford his wife’s cancer treatment. Unfortunately, she died, and he wanted to sell quickly and repay the bank. He owed only $39,000 on the loan, and with a property value of about $175,000, repayment wasn’t an issue. Still, my client seemed nervous. I asked him if he really wanted to sell, and he began to cry. “No, this is where we raised our family,” he said. I contacted a mortgage loan officer I work with and arranged for the three of us to meet. My client was able to refinance and keep his home. At his loan signing, he wept. I didn’t make money, but the relief and joy on his face was all I needed.

—Flo Sayre, ABR, ALC, Land and Wildlife LLC, Pasco, Wash.

Interrupted by Gunfire

My buyer and I were touring a property in an upscale golf community, and while we were on the back deck, we saw police cars and officers with their guns drawn. They were pointing their weapons toward a nearby home, and out of the house came a man with a gun. A shootout ensued. My client and I hit the ground, watching in disbelief. The police shot and killed the man, and the whole incident was over in minutes. Days later, to my shock, my client said she wanted to submit an offer. She hasn’t mentioned any more scary incidents since.

—Scotti Sellers, Compass, Ashburn, Va.