We all make mistakes. Hopefully, when you flub, you not only learn a valuable lesson but also can look back and laugh at yourself. We asked real estate pros to share memorable blunders from their time in the field and how they recovered.
Lady Running Illustration

© Steve Musgrave

I was running late to meet my buyer for a showing, and I needed to use the restroom badly. I saw the listing agent’s sign as I pulled up to the property, but there were no cars in the driveway. I rushed inside to use the bathroom before anyone else arrived. Just then, my client called. She said she could see my car and that I was at the wrong house. It turned out the selling agent had two listings next door to each other. I was at the wrong one. Thankfully, no one caught me, but I told the listing agent what had happened, and we had good laugh.

—Lena Hensberger, Weichert, REALTORS®, Phillipsburg, N.J.

I once locked sellers out of their own house. After I showed their property to my buyer clients, I conscientiously locked every door, including the door inside the garage that the sellers used to enter and exit their house. They didn’t use a key for that door, so when they returned home, they couldn’t get in. I got a call from the listing agent asking me to go back to the property and let the sellers in their house. I was pretty embarrassed. When I pulled into the driveway, the owners were sitting in the garage on lawn chairs waiting for me.

—Danielle Wadsworth, ABR, SRS, Dream Home Realty, Lemoyne, Pa.

I took my new buyer on our first showing, and it was going well until we got to the main bedroom. “My goodness, what were they thinking?!” I said of the sellers’ color choice. “This is the most hideous color I’ve ever seen!” My soon-to-be ex-client responded: “This is the color of my bedroom—and it’s my favorite.” I learned to keep personal opinions to myself after that.

—Barth Legate, GRI, Gori, REALTORS®, Edwardsville, Ill.

I was walking around my listing’s huge yard and, without realizing it, I accidentally dropped the house key in the grass somewhere. There was no way I was going to find it. I called the listing agent and apologized profusely about losing the key. She was a good sport and said the homeowner had a metal detector.

—Jessica Oliver, RE/MAX Real Estate Services, Shreveport, La.

I scheduled a home inspection with my buyer’s inspector but totally forgot to coordinate with the seller. It didn’t hit me until I was pulling up to the property for the appointment. Thankfully, the seller—who was a bit caught off-guard—allowed us in. Now I make extra sure I’m in close contact about scheduling with all parties involved in a transaction.

—Kimberly Smith, Keller Williams Metro, Royal Oak, Mich.