In response to the Hilarious open house fails story, REM recently heard more open house and showings tales. Here are some of them.
Richard Haysom, an associate with The Real Estate Company in Calgary, writes:
“I was holding an open house on my own home in Calgary 1990. I was just about to wrap up and go collect the signs when a young man came to the door and asked for a feature sheet, explaining he was in a hurry and didn’t have time to view the house. He stood at the front door while I went back to the kitchen to retrieve a feature sheet.
“In that brief moment he was able to glance around from his viewpoint and excitedly asked when I returned if I wouldn’t mind if he fetched his wife, who was waiting in the car, for a quick look. ‘For sure,’ I answered, leaving the door open for them to return. I made myself scarce by withdrawing to the kitchen area.
“Well, the quick look turned into a 20-minute affair and I could tell by their excitement they were very interested. On leaving they said they would think about it overnight and possibly get back to me tomorrow.
“They left, and I went out in my car to go retrieve my open house signs left at intersections. About 20 minutes later, I was chatting with my wife about the showing in the kitchen when there was this frantic rapping on the front door. I opened the door, to my surprise to the same young couple who were clearly distressed.
“They blurted out, ‘Did we leave our baby here?’
“I was stunned, thinking these people must be mad, was this some kind of set-up? ‘No,’ I responded curtly, not knowing what else to say to them as they sort of leaned their way into the entranceway. Then to my amazement, the mother exclaimed, ‘There she is!’ pointing to this newborn fast asleep in her car seat who had been left beside the end of the couch!
‘I was in total shock with my imagination running away on me, now thinking these people were accusing me of trying to keep their baby!
“Well, when the excitement calmed down and the couple quickly retrieved their kid and left, I walked up to my wife, who was frozen in disbelief, peering from the kitchen, and exclaimed to her, ‘This house is sold!’
“Sure enough, they brought the offer the next day!”
Haysom also had another story to share about a showing:
“This happened to a seasoned Realtor in my office, also back in the ’90’s.
“This Realtor had booked an 11 a.m. mid-week showing on a single-family home for his out-of-town customers. He rang the doorbell as any experienced Realtor would do out of precaution as he began to unlock the door. To his surprise, a woman opened the door fully naked except for a towel around her head!
“‘Oh, excuse me!’ he exclaimed, trying to shield his customers from seeing her as they stood back down the sidewalk. ‘Did you not get my message for a showing?’ ‘Oh, yes!’ she assured him. ‘I’ll give you a couple of minutes,’ he said, closing the door.
“A little shaken, he explained to his customers, who hadn’t seen anything, that the homeowner needed a few minutes to get ready. They waited outside approximately five minutes and then the Realtor opened the door, calling in, ‘Hello?’
“‘Come on in,’ was the reply from somewhere inside. The Realtor and customers began their viewing, checked out the living room, then the dining room…. and upon entering the kitchen, there she was again with just the towel around her head!”
Haysom also has some stories that don’t involve open houses but do involve pets.
“I was showing a condo, went into the kitchen and the fridge and freezer doors were wide open with all the contents smashed and strewn across the floor. I phoned the listing Realtor and said, ‘Just thought you should know there is an absolute mess on the kitchen floor as all the contents of the fridge have been emptied there…..and the only explanation I have is, there is this rather contented cat in the middle of it licking itself!’
“Showed a house with a dog in it. Always a little leery of those situations but was assured the dog was friendly. The dog was friendly alright! As my client and I were standing in the living room it came up to her, lifted its leg and peed down hers! My client was understandably unimpressed as we struck that house off the list!
He wasn’t the only one to have issues with pets during a showing.
George Kloet of the Kloet-Shuringa Team at Re/Max Realty Enterprises in Mississauga, Ont. writes:
“Although this not an open house story it was one of my most memorable.
“I was showing a lakefront property, owned by an elderly recluse, to a local dentist. My instructions were to not let any of the cats out. Upon entering with the key from the lockbox, many of the 10 or 12 cats scattered. However, a few followed us closely. My client ruled the house out quickly and we backtracked to the front door. I had just locked the front door and was putting the key back in the lockbox, when a cat walked around our legs purring contently. Oh no!
“Although quite content, the cat had no interest in being picked up. It was starting to rain so my client and I both did our best in the wet grass and muddy underbrush to corner the cat. Successfully captured, my client held the cat while I opened the door. Once we had the cat back in the house we brushed off our soiled clothes and headed back to the office. Our day was over.
“Later that evening I received a call from the listing broker, who was somewhat upset. She said I should be a bit more careful as I somehow let the neighbour’s cat get into the house and the seller’s cats were traumatized.”