I called an agent's office the other day per the listing on MLS. I asked for showing instructions and was told to call the owner of the home directly. We set a time to see his home and I met my buyer there promptly at 10am. The house looked well-kept, manicured, and clean with perfect paint and awnings outside.
My buyer was an attractive 30-something, independent, savvy woman. We said hi, caught up on the past weeks news, and were then met by the owner. We noticed that there was a car parked in the driveway. Upon reaching the front door, things already started to get 'funny'. As an agent, you just start to get that 'twighlight zone' feeling that this is not going to be one of your more ordinary showings.
The owner asked us if it's okay if he goes inside first, because he wanted to make sure that the current tenants were okay with the showing. Hmmm, okay. Why not before we got there? It's a 30 second call. He went in, came back out and said, "Please. Come in." We walked into a very nice living room/dining area with wooden floors and little furniture. Through the back glass sliders, we could see a large pool with a screen enclosure. So far, so good.....almost.
We continued to the kitchen, out the back door, and onto the pool deck. This area was dirty with cigarettes and ashtrays spilling over. Kinda disgusting. Then we walked back through the house and into the garage, landing just about where we began in the living room. "Okay", I said, "where are the 3 bedrooms?" He looked at me and my client and answered, completely straight-faced, "The guy that rents here has a sensitive job and he's locked and bolted both rooms on either side of his bedroom, so we have no access into the bedrooms..." "Yeah, right", I said, "no, really, where are they? Come on." He said to me, "No, I'm serious. I can't get you in." And here's one of the perfect examples why you need to be extremely careful when allowing your owner to show his/her property. My client asked us, "Are these guys smokers? I'm sensitive to the smell and it bothers me." The owner said, "Not that I know of...they're not supposed to be smoking here." I started getting that very hot feeling on the back of my neck and top of my head. How embarrassing!
During the 'tour', the owner had told us how wonderful this home was and how it was an 'extension' of his home that he lived in, really. He mentioned that his very own mother was supposed to move in, but was still 'hangin' in there' at her old neighborhood. I took one last shot, pointing at an open door to a bathroom. "Can we see the bath?" He walked over, came back to us and said, "No, I don't think you should see it."
Here's how I felt at that exact moment. Did you ever walk into a jewelry store to look at a piece of gold or a diamond you wanted to buy? The salesman comes over, slides the door of the cabinet open, reaches in, pulls out your ring, grabs one of those nice, dark felt display cards and drops this slimy, wet toad right on it. He then proceeds to extol the virtues of the frog, explains why it's so great and tries to convince you buy it. We both know it's a frog. We know it's ugly. It's kinda wet. But he's telling me it's a knockout piece of jewelry.
We were a little shell-shocked when we left, barely said anything to him and kind of shook our heads in disbelief. This wasn't the first time it happened to me, nor would it be the last. What we need to make sure is that we ourselves are never responsible for this type of behavior from an owner. You can't lose control of the process. I said goodbye to _____ and told her how sorry I was to have wasted her morning, her valuable time. Mine, too.
Five minutes later, I received a call from the owner profusely apologizing and begging me to let him show it again in a week or two. Yeah, right........
Boca (sexy) Raton, FL