Being a real estate agent may seem like a pretty straight-forward profession. You help people buy and sell property. Simple enough, right? Well, it’s a little more complicated than that.
You’re probably familiar with most of the key tasks like showing houses, listing homes for sale, and navigating the home buying process, but sometimes it can get even more complex.
Like in most professions, things don’t always go exactly how you or your clients would like. In fact, sometimes things just come off the rails completely. How you adapt and move forward in the face of adversity is what’s important when it comes to being the best real estate agent you can be for your clients.
Here are a few stories from actual real estate agents that help illustrate this point and can be quite informative (and pretty darn funny too). These tales are straight from the agents’ mouths, with full names omitted to protect the innocent. In the spirit of the season let’s call them (spooky voice) agent horror stories …
Real Estate Agent Experiences With Unexpected Guests
One of the more common curve balls agents face is the presence of an unwelcome visitor during a showing. Here are a few examples.
The Secret Napper
“My clients and I walked into a house for a showing and it appeared someone was still in the house. Protocol dictates that the client should not be in the home for a variety of reasons during the showing, but my client immediately said to me, ‘I feel like someone is here.’ I assured them that the owners knew they should not be home for the showing and we proceeded. As we made our way to the bedroom, I noticed what appeared to be someone hiding under the sheets in their bed. I knew it wasn’t a bunch of pillows because, I kid you not, I saw a toe sticking out of the covers. I quickly redirected my clients to another room to view first and while we were in there, I saw the owner sneak out the back door. Surprise encounter averted. Hugh sigh of relief!” – Mark C.
The Haunted House Tour
“I did a showing at a beautiful home and as I looked at the history of the property, I noticed it had gone into foreclosure three different times. I did a little investigating and found out that a number of different things had happened that made the house appear, according to the neighbors, haunted! The electric company would shut down the electricity periodically so the lights would flicker and there were tales of horrible things happening to the various people who lived there. In fact, one of the neighbors moved solely because this house creeped them out so much. Needless to say, when I was showing the house, every floorboard creek or wind rustling sound made me immediately wonder if we were about to have an unexpected supernatural guest! I stuck to the facts and calmly took them through the house, pointing out the pros and cons, all the while hoping they didn’t get spooked.” – Karen R.
Real Estate Agent Stories Of Alarming Situations
Quick tip for agents out there: If you’re not sure if there’s an alarm on the house you’re showing, ask! And don’t forget to get the code to turn it off. These professionals learned this lesson the hard way.
A Loud Entrance
“I went to show a house and forgot to ask if there was an alarm. There was! It was so eardrum-piercing, my client ran out screaming and was super mad! Then the listing agent wanted me to run back in to turn it off while he walked me through the instructions. I had him on speaker phone, so he felt my pain, and we had to yell over it. I eventually gathered myself and got it turned off so my client could see the house.” – Macy J.
When The Police Got Involved
“I had a showing recently where the agent didn’t tell me there was an alarm … and when it went off, the cops showed up! I had to calmly explain that we were not trying to rob the house, we were trying to buy it!” – Robert A.
Additional agent tip: Always bring your agent license pocket card with you to showings. You never know when you might have to prove yourself and your intentions.
Even Agents Have Rough Days
Life happens. Sometimes, for whatever reason, we aren’t on top of our game or we are just having “one of those days.” Good real estate agents mitigate the damage and put on a strong face, even if they know they’re not at their best.
The Fender Bender Incident
“I showed up to a showing and pulled into the driveway. My client had gotten there early, and I realized I was parking her car in, so I backed up to park on the street. Shortly thereafter I basically impaled the side of my car on a fire hydrant. The sound of metal crunching as I struggled to get it free was horrific. I managed to get the car loose, jump out of the door, gather myself and stand in front of the gash in the side of my vehicle to block it from view as I smiled and waved to my client who was just emerging from the backyard. I was a bit shaken for the rest of the showing, but my client was none the wiser (I think) and it didn’t put a damper on showing her the home.” – Casey K.
A Happy Accident
“I pride myself on being organized and on top of my game, but a few years ago when I was a new agent unfamiliar with the area, I actually showed up at the wrong house for a showing. I toured the whole home alone, waiting for my clients and feeling so good that I would be fully prepared when they arrived. Obviously, they didn’t show, and I was more than a little late for the showing at the right house. I calmly apologized and then told them all about the house I’d seen, which they eventually set up a different showing for!” – Todd B.
To Sum It Up
So as you can see, agents face the ups and downs of everyday life just like everyone else. The biggest tip you can take to heart is: Be ready to adapt. Stay calm, go with the flow and realize that your clients will usually understand. Sometimes it can even be an opportunity to impress them with your ability to think fast and maneuver through trying times. Who wouldn’t want an agent with that skill set?
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