Last summer, I was helping a young couple move from a small town in Oklahoma to Houston. They were first-time buyers who needed temporary housing for 30 days before closing because the wife had to begin work. I wanted to help them find a place, and I asked if they had pets. They did: 11 dogs—two adult Labradors and their nine puppies. Few apartments would accept so many animals, and the couple had no clue what they were going to do. Then, the words tumbled out of my mouth: “You all can stay with me.” So for 30 days, my clients and their pack of 11 dogs stayed with me in my 1,800-square-foot home. Every morning was a feeding frenzy, and we swept piles of dog hair off the floor constantly. The puppies stayed in a pen in the living room lined with a plastic tarp. The mom dog slept with her puppies, and the daddy dog either slept in his kennel or with his owners. The experience wasn’t nearly as bad as I feared, and we all got close. I now think of those dogs as my own kids and visit with them every chance I get!
—Cheryl Russ Nelson, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties, Katy, Texas
As I unlocked the front door of a vacant listing, I heard splashing. My client and I peeked into the living room, where a sheet of water was cascading from the ceiling into the stone fireplace. I rushed upstairs and found the water coming from a loose toilet supply line. I shut it off and went back downstairs to find my client practically hyperventilating. Seeing this mess was making him terrified about becoming a homeowner. He kept nervously asking what the cleanup costs would be for something like this. Worried he’d give up on buying, I half-joked that if he liked the house otherwise, he could probably get a bargain. He perked up and agreed to finish the showing. He seemed impressed with the rest of the house until we reached the basement, where we found an oily lake with storage boxes floating in it. Even the furnace was underwater. My client abruptly left, and I didn’t see him again for a while. After taking some time away from the home search, he returned and we found him a lovely Cape Cod. It was high on a hill and had recently updated plumbing.
—Rebecca Weiner, Betsy Grauer Realty, New Haven, Conn.