|This article was published on: 12/01/2007|
Best Laughs of 2007
In the Trenches captures the odd and funny incidents that invariably happen in real estate. Here are the stories submitted this month from real estate professionals all over the country. When you're done reading, submit your own story.
Cheap Thrills in Real Estate
I recently purchased 10 “800” numbers to offer 24-hour recorded messages for my listings. When one of the numbers is called, a text message is sent to my cell phone and e-mail to notify me one of the numbers was called. I promoted the phone numbers on sign riders at my listings and anxiously waited for messages from people who were using my new service.
A week went by — no calls.
Another week, still no calls.
Finally, my cell phone rang with someone inquiring about one of my listings.
“Is this a joke?” the lady asked.
“No, it is not a joke,” I responded. “The home is a lovely restored cottage in an historic area.”
That’s not what she was talking about. Apparently, the caller had first tried reaching me through one of the 800 numbers that I was so proudly, prominently advertising on my signs. But rather than directing the call to me, the 800 number was actually sending her — and others, undoubtedly — to a different company that promised “Cheap thrills for 99 cents a minute!”
— Gloria L. Wade, ABR®, Keller Williams Realty, Hendersonville, Tenn.
Cat on My Tail
I arrived early to a showing appointment and decided to get the home ready before my client showed up. At the front door, a sign was posted: “Do not pet the cats. It is OK if they get outside. Thanks!” Simple enough, I thought, and I entered the home.
As I flipped through my files at the kitchen table, two grey cats approached. One jumped up on the table and walked up to me, rubbing up against my leg. Being the animal lover I am, I went to pet the cat but then I stopped myself, remembering the owner’s request.
I then entered the guest bedroom to turn on the lights and pull up the blinds. As I turned to the doorway, I spotted the other cat staring at me, hissing and growling. I talked to the cat in a soothing voice, slowly walking toward the doorway to exit the room. But the closer I got, the louder he hissed.
Before I knew it, the cat leapt onto me, digging his sharp claws onto my bare leg (I was wearing a skirt). I screamed, kicking my leg side-to-side trying to get him off! Eventually, he let loose. But he wasn’t going to keep me out of his sight.
I bolted into the master bedroom, and the cat followed. My client was due to arrive any minute and I had a deranged cat stalking me!
The devil kitty followed me into the next bedroom, cornering me between the bed and the wall. Fearing another attack, I jumped onto the bed and weighed my options: A) Jump out the open window of the one-story house or B) Pick up the small end table and throw it at the cat.
Fortunately, before I could pursue either of those options, I saw the neighbor outside on his deck. I screamed for help. And honestly, at this point, I was crying. The neighbor heard me and moments later he crawled through the window wielding a squirt bottle full of water.
It worked. The cat raced away. The neighbor filled me in on this cat’s history of attacking people — it had even attacked his wife while they were pet sitting for the sellers.
Five minutes later, after the excitement died down, my client arrived. I lead my client through the home, armed with the neighbor’s squirt bottle, of course. I later learned that the owners ended up giving their cat to a rancher so that the cat can now chase mice instead of real estate practitioners.
— Alicia C. Romero, CRS®, GRI, The Wells Group, Durango, Colo.
What Are You Lookin’ At?
I recently held an open house for a listing I just placed on the market. It was a rainy day and I wasn’t getting much traffic so I enjoyed the refreshments as I waited. Lo and behold, a couple who previously looked at the home burst through the doors with their two small children, ready to write a contract to buy the home.
As we gathered at the table to get down to business, the wife whispered to me that I had red lipstick smudges around my lips. I was shocked because I don't wear lipstick — especially not dark red lipstick. So I got up to look in the mirror, and gasped! The raspberry Crystal Light I had enjoyed during my downtime left behind a big, red mustache. There was no hiding it. Reluctantly, I confessed: “It’s a Kool-Aid mustache.”
The couple called over their three-year-old daughter to share in the giggles — and the little girl was wearing the same Kool-Aid mustache as me!
Nevertheless, I finished writing the contract — with a big ol’ Kool-Aid Mustache grin the whole way through!
— Rebecca Pennington, Watson Realty Corp., REALTOR®, Jacksonville, Fla.
Oops, Wrong Luncheon!
When I worked for Coldwell Banker back in the late 1980’s, we used to do caravans. One day, a group of us were heading over to an agent luncheon for an open house at a single-family home. We had several cars full of agents, but one car of four women got separated from the rest of us and unknowingly entered the wrong neighborhood.
They saw a line of cars so they assumed they were at the right house and walked right in. Food was lying out on the counter, and they were hungry, so they started eating while beginning to critique the home. As they were making themselves comfortable, they noticed several elderly people in the family room.
A little old lady approached them and asked, “Honey, may I help you?” They looked around and realized they were not at the agent luncheon, but at a home owner’s monthly mahjong game gathering!
— Lynn Lenton, managing broker for Jay Cole Realty in Atlanta
Read More: In the Trenches Main Page
Submit Your Own Funny Real Estate Story
The above stories were submitted by readers via e-mail. They’ve been edited for clarity and style.