Wednesday, July 22, 2015

15 Years of Adventures in Real Estate - the Superlative Highlight List!

OR, the "MOST" of my 15 years of Real Estate Adventures!     

Sometimes clients or other agents ask me questions about funny things that have happened to me in the business - here are some of the highlights:

Most awkward moment showing houses:  I was showing lake cottages in Middlefield, CT to a woman, and we arrived at our first appointment to find there was a large man, in nothing but his underwear, sprawled on the living room floor, asleep & surrounded by empty beer cans. She wanted to just step over him and see the property!  I said no and pushed her out the door.  We still talk and laugh about it sometimes!  I also toured a property with my office mates one day and the smell inside was SO HORRIBLE (I think something had died in the house) I ran outside to dry heave into the bushes.

Most expensive house I ever listed: $1.65M.  Unfortunately it didn't sell (not even 5 years later after 5 other Realtors have tried!)  This price is not the norm in my market.

Most distance a buyer has come to meet me: I had a buyer fly in from London to look at a property I had listed with a partner on the Connecticut River.

Funniest phone call from a client:  We had a showing at one of my listings and the owner called me in a panic because she just realized she'd left her bras hanging to dry in the bathroom and couldn't leave work to go hide them.  I raced over and put them away before the other agent & buyers arrived.

Most fun I've had hosting a broker's open: For the waterfront property I mentioned above, my partner and I hosted an amazing party with a seafood buffet, a signature drink created just for the event, plus a wine tasting where each agent who attended got a bottle of wine.  Because the property also had a tennis court, we had bought advertising sponsoring a tennis tournament at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI, which included an evening with Monica Seles and as a thank you, they had given us a pair of tickets to the US Open in NYC, which we raffled off as a door prize at the Broker's Open.  It was a BLAST!

Most ridiculous I've ever looked showing houses:  There are way TOO many, to be honest!  I've fallen down stairs that weren't safe, caught my shoe and tripped going into a house, fallen into a sinkhole in someone's yard, dropped a house key through boards in a deck, gotten to the top floor of a new house at a construction site (in my highest heels) and realized I was too scared to go back down because I could see all the way through the stairs to the basement and there were no railings! There was also this one time a kitten ran out of a house in Portland I was showing and I spent an hour in the bushes with the buyers chasing a playful kitten to get him back in the house.

Most unusual house I've shown: I showed a retired nun a hoarder's house in West Hartford a few years back.  There was so much stuff in the house that we had to walk a path through, and we kept hearing noises, so it's entirely possible that there were still people somewhere in the house only we couldn't see them behind all the junk!

That time I had to take a boat to show 6 guys an island they wanted to buy while I was 9 months pregnant.  (Because this is a whole category of awesome all on its own!)

Creepiest house experience:  I had listed an antique home and a previous owner had told me it had been very haunted with a lot of paranormal activity.  I found the house so unsettling that I made my husband come with me when I had to show it!  One set of buyers brought a psychic/medium with them when they came to see the house, while I waited outside.  Later the psychic came out and flat out told them not to buy the house.  The house did sell eventually, and during the inspection, it was pointed out to me that a snake was coiled up on a beam I'd walked under many, many times in the basement. I still shudder when I remember looking up at it.

Creepiest client experience: I had a buyer turn into a stalker.  After spending a few months together house-hunting, emailing and all those calls, she got really attached, so to speak.

Most houses I've sold for 1 single residential client: 5 over a 14 year period, although I have several  others tied at 4 transactions each.

Most disgusting showing I've ever done:  I had an investor buyer who wanted to see investment properties in a really rough part of a city. One day he made me walk through a crackhouse, complete with needles scattered everywhere, filthy mattresses and human waste all over the floors.

Silliest closing:  A closing right before Easter.  The Seller brought bunny ears for both her and the Buyer to wear for the closing.  The picture still cracks me up.

Most awkward final walkthrough:  I showed up for a final walkthrough on a lakefront property in Columbia with my buyers, and the sellers were home, cooking breakfast and watching TV with the kids, and never realized that they had to move out by the closing.  They hadn't even started packing!  In a close second, I recently had a final walkthrough where the seller's agent attended the walkthrough and the seller was home and was swearing at his agent the whole time (she handled it like a pro though, and I'm glad she was there because the seller was an aggressive person.)

Most houses I've shown in 1 Day: 15, to relocation buyers across several towns all over the state.

Most creatively rewarding real estate experience:  A few years back I wrote the copy for a high-end luxury vacation home rental website, and in order to really get a feel for the properties, I was invited to spend the weekend on Cape Cod experiencing the properties - it was so much fun!