In the Trenches: The Coin Toss

A collection of stories from real estate professionals detailing funny, scary, or surprising experiences on the job.
Agent throwing lucky charms over shoulder

© Steve Musgrave

Follow the Money

I was driving a couple around to show them a few homes. As we came to one property, one of the buyers exclaimed from the backseat, “I just found a quarter on the floor [of the car]. This must be our lucky day!” They ended up putting an offer on that home the same day and eventually closed on the purchase. For a while afterward, I scattered coins in my backseat, hoping it would be a good luck charm for future clients. It’s led to some interesting conversations with clients but never another sale. I still throw a quarter back there from time to time.—David A. Rudich, Lost River Real Estate, Lost River, W.V.

Don’t Worry, the Ghosts Are Friendly

At the beginning of my career, I was helping an expectant couple find a home for their growing family. The sellers of the home my clients fell in love with informed us that the house was haunted. I didn’t believe in ghosts and scoffed at the disclosure. As I discussed it with my clients, we laughed and I said, “Hey, if a leprechaun buried a pot of gold in the backyard, the sellers would have to disclose that, too!” After taking a few days to think about the purchase, the buyers returned to my office and said they wanted to move forward with buying the home. It met all their needs. I was relieved and pleased, though I still thought the whole situation was a bit odd. Twenty years later, I represented the couple when they sold the house. I asked the wife if the property really was haunted. She replied, “Yes, we just made friends with the ghosts.”—Marian L. Fortier, Coldwell Banker Greater Valleys, Granada Hills, Calif.

Stranger Danger

One evening, I drove to a rural, remote property that my clients had just sold to retrieve the lockbox and marketing materials. When I returned to my car, I realized my keys and phone were locked inside. I ran to the neighbor’s house a quarter of a mile away. The house was dark but I heard voices inside. When I knocked on the back door—because it was dark, I couldn’t tell which side of the house I was on—all went quiet. The window flew open, and out came a shotgun pointing right at me and a woman yelling expletives. A second later, the door opened, and two men were pointing rifles at me. When I told them I was a real estate agent, they lowered their weapons and asked me what I was doing at the back door. I then tried to endear myself to them. They calmed down when I said I knew the homeowners next door, and they let me use their phone. They even invited me to wait there, but at that point, I preferred to go back to my vehicle!—Krista Glende, GRI, Coldwell Banker Danforth, Federal Way, Wash.