On this Halloween 2010, I’ll depart from the typical scary stuff (lawyers, in-laws) and expound on a few lesser spoken of scary things in my beloved industry.
- Measurer terror (AKA Time Vampires). The folks who ask to walk through a place two weeks before closing so they can measure every room as I wait for an hour. This isn’t high priority, so it has to be shoe horned into off times, like Sunday mornings. I get to watch and listen as they meander through each room, discussing every permutation of their lives and how it relates to the dimensions of the room. I check my email on my Droid and wonder why they can’t do this after they close, since we often know they aren’t moving right in. Extra demonic chills to anyone who brings up Feng Shui as I stare out the window at a squirrel.
- The eponymous, ubiquitous anonymous. The EUA call from blocked phone numbers and quiz me on my listings with bizarre specificity, then hang up without telling me who they are, or why they are calling. “Has anyone ever died in the house?””Are the taxes accurate (no, I roll dice and write whatever comes up.)?” “was it ever a peanut farm?” They call again the next week with another battery of questions, again, in stealth.
- Invisible Men (and women). These are the clients, buyers and sellers alike, that work their agent like a rented mule, then disappear without apology, explanation or acknowledgement. They re-order photos, kvetch over marketing verbiage, ask where the buyers are, and then, when you have two showing requests for a Saturday needing confirmation from the seller, vanish.
- Fountains of Fortuitous Fertility. The dreaded FFF. This is a unique seller who devotes 60 square feet of available wall space to be a monument to their prodigious ability to procreate, with, of course, a wedding photo at one end. Then, baby photos, bathtub photos, first communion, confirmation, prom, and every other rite of passage for every one of their uterine issue. After the buyer’s jaws drop, they can’t focus on the house, but do wonder aloud if cable is available in the neighborhood.
- Renters rendering wrecks. The occasional renter who is more focused on the physical condition of the house than most people who are actually buying. These people actually shake the downspouts to make sure they are OK.
- Obnoxious Lock Box Oxen. There are two types of OLBOs: Listing agents who cleverly place the lockbox on a lawnmower handle or other exotic, out of the way spot without telling you, and buyer agents, who call the office irate that the lockbox will not open. It does, of course, but why ruin their shrill rant.