The weird and wonderful world of real estate
We could have written about market trends or another stats report. People love to hear the latest in real estate news, the newest hotspot or some change to laws or taxes. But this week we took a vote among the Bees Nees team and decided the world needs less serious news and more chances to laugh. Even if it’s at our expense! So we did a whip around our team and asked what weird and wonderful things had happened to them during their years in this profession. We hope you enjoy!
I still get embarrassed at the memory, but this one happened to me. I was selling an apartment development in the late 90’s and had an elderly lady interested in a penthouse (priced at a very sizeable $299,000 – a lot of money for the time). Her husband had recently passed away and she’d decided to finally downsize and treat herself to a view and a sparkling new home. The apartments were not yet completed so the builders still had run of the site and the tradies, as they used to do quite frequently, had scattered items of pornography in and around the building. Smoko break reading material. So as I guided this lovely little old lady into her potential new home she was confronted by a particular magazine open to the centre pages, right there on the kitchen bench. My buyer took one glance, gave me a broad smile and a ‘thumbs up’… and kept walking. I died a thousand deaths!
Our Admin Manager Aliesha is one of the animal lovers of our team, but even her patience was tested on one occasion: “I was doing an inspection in Samsonvale (massive acreage block), and I had to get out of the car to open the paddock gates to drive through. As I was closing one of the gates, I turned around and saw a horse standing right behind me. I was just looking at it and it stepped forward and bit me on the shoulder! All the rest of the horses in the paddock just stared at me!”
Our property managers admit to more than one occasion where they’ve dropped keys, mobile phones and pens into the loos during their vacate inspections – there’s sometimes a price to pay for being too thorough! And, going into people’s homes quite a bit as we do, there’s the inevitable unexpected interruptions to tenants having ummm, special time. At one recent sales inspection the young residents had obviously decided to save water by showering together and even after we’d made ourselves heard from outside they continued on regardless – they weren’t going to be stopping for anyone!
Then there was the time we went into a house where the owner lived with a very large number of dogs, and the stench was enough to drive one of our salespeople right out the back door where he promptly vomited all over her garden. At least three of our PM’s admit to having tried to enter a home, struggling with the keys, only to realise they were at the wrong address (sometimes thanks to a helpful resident asking why we were trying to break in!) On one occasion I was helping out another team member, drove a for sale sign into the front yard of their new listing, only to return to the office to discover I had been at the right street number, but the wrong street. I made it back to collect the sign in record time!
But for all the out of the box experiences there’s one memory that truly sticks with me.
As agents we sometimes get called in to help at tough times in peoples’ lives. We’ve all dealt with marriage splits and deaths (I discovered a deceased tenant at one Indooroopilly apartment – not an experience I want to repeat) and it can be hard not to be drawn into the high emotions. Some years ago I was appointed by the Family Court to sell a house following a very bitter and drawn out divorce. This couple had not spoken to eachother in almost 3 years and only been in the same room when there was a judge demanding it. After my unsuccessful auction campaign of more than a month, hearing constant rants from each about the other, I was at a stalemate with an offer we’d received. Neither client would commit to a price they would sell for – once one gave me a figure the other would disagree, simply to continue the argument. So as a last ditch attempt I asked them to both sit with me to talk it out. Just the three of us. They eventually agreed but the tension was thick in the air and I genuinely worried I might have a punch-up on my hands.
Then the unexpected happened and the husband asked me to leave them and step outside. After a quick check for firearms (no not really – but I was nervous!) I left and they talked. For almost half an hour. Things were calm when I returned but they hadn’t reached a decision. In the coming weeks they did however – they reconciled, the house came off the market, and they moved back in together! Proving once and for all you can never anticipate every outcome!
I’ve always wondered if they stayed together, but if I can’t have a sale commission I’m going to continue thinking I helped fix a marriage!