Showings, which give you the willies!

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Professionals.

Have you ever shown a house and had a strange feeling from the very start?

In my 10 years of real estate, I have seen many a eerie things. On this occasion I had called and left a message with the owner, per MLS instructions, to show the seller's house. As my clients and I arrived, we found some lights on and the TV on. This was unusual but I felt the owner could have gone next door and I had yelled "Realtor" upon our arrival with no reply or noise. I decided, the house was ready for my clients and we proceeded with the showing.

We started in the living room and then into the kitchen. It was windy outside and the noise from the wind was very noticeable. We started for the bedrooms and nothing was out of place except for the beds not being made, a pet peeve of mine.

The door of the kid's room was closed, so I knocked and stuck my head in. I then allowed my clients in and of course they opened the closet door. Everything had been pushed into the closet and as the door opened. Toys came tumbling out. (Pet peeve #2)

The showing wasn't going real well but we continued to next bedroom. This bedroom was clean and the client was very careful when she opened the door, nothing fell out and my clients were feeling better about this house. I was facing the closet and I noticed something you usually don't see in the bottom of a closet, 2 small bare feet. I motioned to my clients to step away from the closet. I asked the feet to come out of the closet. Nothing,! I asked again and a trembling girl about 11 came out, with a hammer in her hand.

I assured the girl, who we were and to put the hammer down. My clients were freaked out to say the least. The girl was crying and I had to figure out what to do. I called the listing agent and asked her if she knew if the owner had a daughter and what I should do. She told me that she would call the owner and call me back.  About 5 minutes later, the listing agent called and told me that the owner, worked about 10 minutes away and would be there in about 5 minutes.

It turned out to be the daughter was skipping school. The daughter wasn't aware we were showing the house and planned a day off with nobody to know the difference. By the sounds of it, her parents won't let her forget the consequences!

Have you ever had to ask; "What's lurking in that closet?"


Authored by Paul S. Henderson, Realtor ®, RE/MAX Professionals & Four Seasons,


Specializing in Internet marketing strategies for positive results!

©2009 Paul S. Henderson, Showings, which give you the willies! All Rights Reserved

Posted by

 and courtesy of 

Paul S. Henderson, Residential Real Estate Broker 

Tacoma Washington 

Realtor ® BPOR, CRS, GRI, CDPE

RE/MAX Professionals

4801 S 19th Street, Suite 200

Tacoma WA. 98405



Paul's Service Area


As a Residential Broker and Relocation Specialist, I sell homes in or around ,Tacoma, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, Steilacoom,  University Place, DuPont and Hartstene Pointe in Washington State.
Please visit my website at Paul Henderson to search for homes and information 

(all information is believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed or warranted in any way)

Referrals are always welcomed and appreciated, Thank-you!

(As a member of the NWMLS, this blog post is intended to comply with NWMLS rules as pertaining to blogging.)





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Emily Lowe
The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty - Nashville, TN
Nashville TN Realtor

That will teach HER not to skip school!!!  LOL - that is definitely a strange showing!

Aug 17, 2009 08:20 AM #50
Sandy McKee
Sunstreet Mortgage - Tucson, AZ

No more ditching school and staying home!! Funny

Aug 17, 2009 08:31 AM #51
Tanya Nouwens
RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager

Aha!  I see the makings of a female sequel to Ferris Bueller's Day Off!  Sort of a Ferris Bueller-meets Scream-meets Don't Be Afraid of the Realtor.

Thanks for making me is too funny, no?  We can't MAKE this stuff up!

Tanya in Montreal

Aug 17, 2009 10:12 AM #52

This is great. I can relate. As a RE photographer in nashville, I've photographed a creepy house or two!

Aug 17, 2009 10:56 AM #53
Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

Geez. What a nightmare for you. I've never seen this one, thank god!

Aug 17, 2009 11:34 AM #54
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I've had several experiences with showings, whcih gave me that hair standing up on the back of the neck feeling.  One of the more recent, was a vacant house that didn't feel right even when we drove up to the curb.  Once up to the door, it wasn't locked, and was slightly ajar.  When we stepped in, it was obvious some major vandalism had gone on.  Graffiti painted on the wall, and sleeping bags in the family room with trash.  The back slider was also unlocked and wide open.  The house was a vacant REO.

I contacted the listing agent, but got voice mail (it was a Saturday).  I then called the police.

Aug 17, 2009 01:41 PM #55
Marjorie Miller

I will never forget the story told by my property management course instructor years ago about a manager who used his pass key to enter a tenant's apartment without proper notice. He mistakenly walked in as the tenant came out of the shower naked and was sued for a huge sum of money.  The instructor warned us with this liability nightmare to never assume anything, always call ahead, and before entering: knock, ring, and call out before walking in by mistake on someone. This policy saved me once from walking in on my seller and his 'friend' in my own supposedly vacant listing. The owner neglected to tell me he used the apartment for "other purposes."

I "announce myself" this way everytime I show any property -including my own listings, vacant homes with lockboxes, etc-  It has really saved me and others from embarassment, mix-ups and liability. 

Marjorie Miller

Miller Real Estate, Los Angeles, CA


Aug 17, 2009 01:47 PM #56
Maui Real Estate - Lisa B. Miller R(S)
Keller Williams Realty Maui - Kihei, HI

That's pretty funny, but oh, the poor girl!  I'm sure she learned her lesson to not skip school, though :).  I, fortunately, have not had any surprises or experiences like this yet, but I have had some eerie feelings with some of the abandoned bank-owned properties I've showed. 

Aug 17, 2009 02:38 PM #57
Ginger Moore
Wilkinson & Associates Realty - Gastonia, NC

Congrats on feature post! made me laugh; but felt a little sad for the young girl.  I know she must have been really scared.  Thankfully you handled it very well.   great post!

Aug 17, 2009 02:42 PM #58
Johanna Roy
Counselor Realty - Saint Paul, MN
The Name Friends Recommend

oh Paul, how I have gotten the Willies in recent showings! Makes for a very interesting day! She probably thought you were the principal coming to get her!.. HA too funny!

Aug 17, 2009 02:42 PM #59
Donna Galinsky
Allen Tate Company - Cornelius, NC
Make Lake Norman Your Home!

LOL I had an experience today that reminded me of your blog.

I picked up a key to show a house (no one was home...supposedly). First the door was unlocked, there was a rather large (but friendly) dog that no one had mentioned. So I yelled, Hello - anyone home, Real Estate here. Not a word.

Showed the downstairs, the basement, then went up to the bedroom.

After the master I started hearing a girl giggling. Said HELLO - Anyone home?? Nothing.

Bedroom2 OK, Bedroom 3 OK, behind the door of bedroom 4 I heard the giggles again.

I was ready to just go, but my customer decided to knock on the door.

Not surprisingly a boy answers. We announced who we were, and he said nope, not showing this room.

Doesn't take much imagination to figure out what was going on in there.



Aug 18, 2009 12:32 PM #60
Kenneth Young
Uni International LLC - Virginia Beach, VA

Great post... that will teach that young lady its not nice to skip school.

Aug 18, 2009 03:05 PM #61
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I called and spoke to the owner. "No problem. Come on by."

My client and I showed up. We knocked. No answer. I used the lockbox to let us in.

Problem! Hall bath was obviously running the shower.

Quick exit by client and I.

We ran into the owner on our way out. Told him about shower going in hall bath. He said that it had to be his daughter. He did not think that she was home!

Family communication would have been a good idea. Lack thereof nearly caused a very embarrassingly incident.

John Juarez


Aug 18, 2009 07:02 PM #62
Monika Kollarova - Toronto, Ontario
Homelife/Realty One Ltd.,Brokerage - Toronto, ON

I had a similar experience during a showing last year, but instead of the closet we found a young girl in bed, hiding under the cover. Poor thing was so scared, she couldn't even answer me. I found out from the listing agent that the parents forgot about the showing and went grocery shopping leaving her at home.

Aug 19, 2009 12:47 PM #63
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

At least you noticed the feet under the door.  She's at least got her wits about her & picked up a hammer to protect herself.  All realtors are meanies ....... LOL.  Aren't you glad you have this much fun every day?

Aug 19, 2009 01:07 PM #64
Linda Lipscomb
Linda Lipscomb RE/MAX Lexington Henderson County TN - Lexington, TN
731-695-1118, Lexington TN Homes

I imagine she will never skip school again.  Lesson learned.

See, I guess you should go with your instincts.


Aug 19, 2009 03:34 PM #65
Joseph "Cathan" Potter
Coldwell Banker - Sebastopol, CA

Reminds me of the 3rd grade.  I didn't try to skip school, but two friends of mine did.  They left around 10 in the morning (at the morning break).  They were going to walk several miles down a narrow country road to one of their houses (where nobody was home).  Unfortunately for them, there was another student in the class who came late almost everyday at around that same time.  The mother of the often tardy girl spotted them, and told the principal.  The principal went and picked them up, and they ended up getting to stay home for a week (due to their school suspension).

I always thought it taught the wrong lesson since they ended up getting to stay home, but I imagine that they didn't have any fun hanging out with their parents all day, every day for a week.

Aug 22, 2009 05:55 AM #66
Mark Velasco
Sharpstone Realty, Inc - Whittier, CA
Listing Agent-Whittier & Surrounding ciities

Funny story Paul. I hate it when they leave the TV on. It makes me and my Clients feel like someone is lurking just around the corner.

Aug 23, 2009 10:18 AM #67
George & Arlene Paukert
Road to Wealth, Inc. - West Palm Beach, FL

What a scary situation to be in and I'm glad everything worked out in the end, but I'm pretty sure that little girl won't be skipping school again.

Aug 24, 2009 04:58 AM #68
Mike Henderson
Your complete source for buying HUD homes - Littleton, CO
HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848

Pretty wierd story.  I've seen some wierd stuff but nothing like this.

Aug 24, 2009 06:04 PM #69
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