Making a Prospective Buyer want to Run Away

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 REB.0759001

Making a Prospective Buyer want to Run Away

I had an experience with an attempted showing this weekend that makes me just shake my head and wonder what people are thinking. The particular property has been on the market for a while, and is in an area where comparables are not easy to obtain.

My clients are looking for a get-a-way home with waterfront access. They are looking, in particular, around some of the larger lakes in the Litchfield County area of Connecticut.

In waterfront property there can be a wide spread of values and some sellers know that the premium for waterfront may be acceptable if the house is right.

As we approached this one particular home, we were greeted by the homeowner that was leaving. She explained that her mother was staying behind to attend to their dog. The animal was described as being very friendly. As I peered into the doorway, I was greeted by a pit bull, no leash or collar just barking up a storm.


We suggested that the mother put the dog into one of the rooms while we walked around the outside of the home.

The home had a rental apartment that was separate from the main home and as it was unoccupied we headed to see that. When we walked in, the place was a mess, and was worthy of just a turn around and leave. That’s when the day just turned.

The main wall of the house, which was around the front door and been painted in black spray paint with anti-Semitic phrases, racist phrases and graffiti of all types.

We left the house, and I got on the phone to the listing agent and suggested that they get back and take a look at their listing.

I received a call from the agent later that night, and she apologized profusely for herself and on behalf of her client. Evidently a friend of the seller’s son had asked to live in the apartment for a few weeks and they had not gone in after he had left. That individual should be carefully watched as he could be a cause for concern, or worse down the road.

We as agent’s need to attend to our business but we also have an obligation to make sure our clients attend to their properties as well, and make them buyer friendly. This is more important when dealing with rental properties with owners that are not local, and as noted, sometimes live next door but are not very vigilant.

Making a Prospective Buyer want to Run Away

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Ed Silva  RE/MAX Professionals,   203-206-0754


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. D B 11/15/2011 02:00 AM
  2. Eric Kodner 11/15/2011 02:54 PM
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Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond

Again Ed, one needs to wonder why an agent would take a listing except for the $$...this sounds like a disaster & if the seller won't ship up, it is time to ship out!  great one

Nov 16, 2011 02:59 AM #61
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

I agree with Ginny, #63, yet nothing seems to surprise me in this business from agents, many of whom are just order takers. Harsh, yes, but reality in my opinion. 

Nov 16, 2011 03:21 AM #62
Kimm Cloutier
Agawam, MA
Realtor - Agawam, MA

I don't understand why the homeowners didn't bother to inspect the apartment once the tenant moved out.  That's just completely irresponsible on their part.  It makes one wonder whether they truly want to sell their home or not.  As for the dog, sellers should always take their dogs with them when they leave the house for a showing, open house, etc.  Agents and buyers don't want to have to deal with the dogs, and it's certainly not fair to the dogs, either, to be put in that stressful situation.  Not to mention, if I was a seller I certainly wouldn't trust strangers in my house with my dog.  Who knows what they might do to her.  But maybe that's just me. 

Nov 16, 2011 03:23 AM #63
Joshua Stein
Coldwell Banker Preferred - Conshohocken - Flourtown, PA
Homes For Sale - Montgomery County

Wow.  Reminds me of one of the homes my wife and I looked at when we were buying a few years ago.  Our appointment was in the late afternoon, and the house was mostly dark, except for the glow of the TV where the thirteen year-old boy - home alone after school - was playing video games.  My kids started acting up, so I ventured upsatirs alone to find the hallway and upstairs rooms in various stages of (dis)repair, and saw that the junk populating each room had been strategically placed out of camera view of the MLS photos.  I went downstairs and my wife was about to go in and see the second floor while I watched the kids.  I told her not to even bother.

It's sad when sellers cannot and will not put their best feet forward.

Nov 16, 2011 03:24 AM #64
Jayson Holland - Denver, CO
Jay Holland

Good story! I was showing a house one time where the tenants had left a very strange (and lengthy) message spelled out in colored magnetic letters on the refrigerator. I cant repeat it, due to profanity and content, but I did take a picture of it with my phone and sent it to the listing broker. We still laugh about it to this day. Another time I was showing a house and the seller had left her favorite "toy" sitting on her nightstand, and it was bigger than the biggest one you could possibly imagine. I didnt even notice it until my client pointed it out. That also gave us quite the laugh.

When you are in an average of 2200 different homes every year, for 10+ years, you are bound to see one or two things that you will always remember!




Nov 16, 2011 03:33 AM #65
Jennifer Chiongbian
Specializing in all types of Manhattan apts & townhouses - Manhattan, NY
Real Estate Broker - NYC

Geeze!  What a horror story!  Thank God no one was bitten by the dog too!  Gotta love that spray paint with anti-semetic words.  What is wrong with people today...

Nov 16, 2011 03:55 AM #66
Ric Mills
Keller Williams Southern Az - Tucson, AZ
Integrity, Honesty, and Vast Real Estate Knowledge

Wow, what a way not to sell a home.  You at least let the listing agent know so s/he could address the problems with the sellers.

Nov 16, 2011 04:06 AM #67
Missoula Valley Properties, LLC - Missoula, MT

And there are still people ot there that believe we don't earn our money:) Thanks for the post.

Nov 16, 2011 04:17 AM #68
Judi Monday
RE/MAX Valley Properties - Green Valley, AZ
CRS-Green Valley AZ Expert, Green Valley Arizona R

Sounds like you lived through an agent's worst nightmare and lived to tell about it despite the pit bull welcoming committee.  Makes me think this Seller isn't at all serious as most sellers get the call for a showing and then make the home look its very best.

Nov 16, 2011 04:46 AM #69
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Investors love properties like this.  Of course they will offer a rock bottom price.

Nov 16, 2011 06:13 AM #70
Barbara Altieri
Kinard Realty Group - RealtyQuest Team, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Ed -- Reading it through makes it sound even worse than when you told me. I'm still shaking my head. Do you want to thank me now or later?  LOL 

Nov 16, 2011 07:12 AM #71
Michael Rasch
International Property Finder - Property Option - Hallandale Beach, FL
Michael Rasch 305-741-1819

Funny, it seems we all have to deal with this. I blame the Sales Associate entirely for this. You must dictate !!! to the owners what's required from them in order for them to get top market dollar.

I would think that the special phrase we an add on feature for the property. What a retart seller, let me think .... Hmm... 5% of the new england population is Jewish, 80% of the rest of the population does not want anything to do with trouble makers ... that leaves 15%, and trouble makers don't have money.

good luck with your clients, I would make a low ball bid just to irritate the seller

Nov 16, 2011 07:14 AM #72
Ken Anderson
Apex Results Realty Inc., Brokerage - Burlington, ON
Broker in Burlington, Ontario

Well, as I re-read the story, there is nothing in it to say that the mother did NOT secure the dog in a separate room or whatever.  Apparently, it was just there when they arrived.  I'm going to give gran'ma the benefit of the doubt, and think that maybe she lost track of the time and hadn't dealt with the dog as she intended, and was prepared to do so.  Pit bulls have a bad rep, but any dog is liable to bite a stranger in his home environment.  Cats, too!

The graffiti is despicable and hateful.  Sadly, it's a reflection of the general disrespect I see in young folks in a lot of places these days, but this kind of targeted prejudice and hate is really over the top.  Sad as it is, I think I would have strongly made the point that the property is not imbued with the mind of this obviously somewhat deranged 'tenant', and best to ignore it while looking. By notifying the listing agent of the event, took the first and responsible step in rectifying it, and deserve kudos for doing so. 

We also don't know when the tenant left, or when the graffiti was placed there, so I'm also going to give the benefit to the listing agent, who may not have known it was there, as the tenant may have just left it like that within a day or two before this showing.  It would seem that way, as the follow-up comment illustrated the listing agent's concern by immediately going down there personally and doing what he could to remedy it.

Just call me Polyanna!

I've learned to deal with these things in stride, I guess.

Nov 16, 2011 08:40 AM #73
Winston Heverly
Winston Realty, Inc. - Atlantis, FL

Ed has dog stories, we have Gator stories.... see you on the next chapter.. Novemeber 17 and still 82 degrees.

Nov 16, 2011 04:42 PM #74
Kate Akerly
Kaminsky Group - Manhattan Beach, CA
Manhattan Beach Residential Sales

Wow, the graffiti beats any story I've had about poor listing presentation!

Nov 17, 2011 06:28 AM #75
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Well you did the only thing you were able to but you have to wonder about the seller not checking after the tenant/friend of son left.  Sometimes people are just plain crazy.

Nov 17, 2011 08:26 AM #76
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Ed,  A friendly pit bull can be an oxymoron.  It is amazing what listing agents will set us up for.

Nov 17, 2011 11:49 AM #77
Karen Bernetti
Southington, CT

The silver lining in this story. .... it was good that you notified the listing agent .... and even better they took action and did something about it.  

Nov 17, 2011 02:50 PM #78
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

Yikes. I've seen a lot, but not spray painted anti-Semitic rants.  Also, I am a dog lover, but even I get nervous when there is a dog, friendly looking or not, barking at the door when we are trying to get in - let along dogs that are know for not necessarily being friendly..-Kasey

Nov 25, 2011 04:03 PM #79
Sylvie Stuart
Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765 - Flagstaff, AZ
Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta

Sellers need to understand that all of these points are distractions for a buyer and it's critical for a buyer to be able to emotionally connect with a home and envision themselves living there. This is almost impossible under these circumstances.

Jan 07, 2012 03:23 AM #80
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