Is Anyone There?
One home I showed my client in Inman, S.C., gave us a
chill. When we arrived, the house was dark and apparently
empty. After I flipped on the light switch in the living room,
we headed to the bedrooms in the back of the house. While
we were in one bedroom, we both heard banging and what
sounded like someone moving around in the other bedroom
on the other side of the bathroom. “Hello?” I called out. There
in the trenches
A collection of stories from real estate professionals detailing crazy, funny, or poignant experiences that have happened on the job.
Submit your stories for potential publication using the online form, and find additional tales, at realtorm.ag/trenches.
A Child Ahead of Her Time
Several years ago, I received a call from someone who sounded
like a young child asking me to help sell her home. There was
so much sincerity in her voice that I dismissed the notion it was
a prank call and set up an appointment. When I arrived at the
home, I quickly understood the situation: Both of this 9-year-old
girl’s parents were deaf, and she was the ears and voice of the
I will never forget how dedicated this child was to her parents
as we worked through the process of listing their home and
countering offers. As I explained the paperwork and later the
contracts, she would listen intently and then, with patience far
beyond her years, translate what I said to her parents in sign
language. I laugh when I remember the times she thought they
weren’t paying attention closely enough. She would put a frown
on her face and slap the top of her hand, and she’d get them
right back on track.
Their house eventually sold, and they moved out of state. I
often wonder what that little girl is doing now. —Kathleen Burnett,
ERA Advantage Realty, Logan, Utah
I arrived at a listing appointment to find a 16-foot-high wall in
front of the house, which the seller had built in three haphazard sections. The property looked like it had never seen a lawn
mower, and there were random vegetables growing in between
the weeds. The seller led me to a pergola-type structure in the
backyard where he grew ginkgo plants and kept a statue for
blessing all the nettles, he said. He then showed me his shed,
which was chock full of wasps and hornets.
I hoped the inside of the house would be better, but the first
thing I saw were three large bondage posters on the wall in a
room lined with books about witchcraft and sorcery, The bathroom had a steel bowl in the toilet that he said he used to collect
fertilizer and he kept barrels of “amazing” fermented sauerkraut
in the basement.
When we sat down to talk listing price, he mentioned that the
land was sacred because you could feel its “vibrations.” I listened to
his pitch, but didn’t feel those vibes. His proposed asking price was
wildly divergent from mine, so he took his listing elsewhere. That
was fine with me. —Amy Gilpin, ABR, Production Realty, Jackson, Mich.
was no response.
Though we were sure we were freaking ourselves out,
neither of us was brave enough to check the other bedroom.
When we went back into the living room, the kitchen light on
the other side of the dining room had been turned on. Neither
of us had done it. That was when my client decided the house
wasn’t for him. He was nice enough to turn off the kitchen
light, and then we left pretty quickly. —Charlotte Riddle, Century
21 Blackwell & Co., Boiling Springs, S.C.