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A Very Strange Listing Appointment

Real Estate Agent with KW at the Parks 651506396

A Very Strange Listing Appointment

Over the weekend, I was involved in a very, very strange listing appointment. I had received a phone call asking if I could go out to a home in the country and inspect it and get back to the owner about what it might be able to be listed for.  It seems that the home had been in the caller’s family for many, many years. It had served as the family’s summer home; which sort of baffled me. Now, I could see if the home was located on the shores of Lake Erie…but it wasn’t. It was out in the middle of nowhere. The family lived above the most northern section of Canada, so I guess my stomping grounds may have seemed like a tropical resort to them. Everything is about a person’s perspective, isn’t it?

I drove out to the potential new client’s home Saturday afternoon, and the client wasn’t kidding; it was out in the middle of nowhere. The house itself wasn’t much, and what caught my eye first was the bright fire engine red painted siding. I have seen homes painted red before, but this red was so bright it sort of made your eyes hurt looking at it straight on. It was warm and cheery on the inside, with a beautiful stone fireplace and a mantle made from a reclaimed barn timber adorning the living room. The fireplace was over-powering...I swear, a heavy-set man would be able to fit in the chimney...it was that big! Off the living room was a library filled on all four walls with book cases loaded to the brim with beautifully leather bound address books.

While the kitchen was functional, it would need a great deal of updating for today’s consumer. There were no granite countertops, or even a center island. There was no dishwasher, or microwave. I would have to have a conversation with the owners and see if they would be willing to make some improvements in order to get this home sold. While it was missing many of the things we come to expect in a kitchen, you could sense that many a wonderful meal had been prepared in the home.

I had to chuckle as I walked from room to room. The woodwork was all painted a bright white throughout…but the various rooms were either the same bright red as the outside siding, or a very bright forest green. I would have to speak to them about perhaps hiring a painter to “tone it down” a bit with all the bright paint. While the place was super clean, you could tell that it had been well lived in. The carpet was pretty worn out, and you could see the traffic patterns clearly in the nearly thread-bare rugs. There had certainly been the pitter-patter of little feet scurrying about over this home’s long history.

The owner, in my phone conversation with him, had been a very pleasant man…almost too jolly for my taste. While we were talking, you could hear a great deal of activity going on in the background. He told me that while he thought the main house was nice, he thought what would be most appealing to a potential buyer would be the additional buildings on the property. He said there was a huge pole barn used for storage. He said the place also had a work shop that once was used all year round. He said that most of the manufacturing activities had to be moved to his current home due to EPA regulations. He also said that where he lived now, he was close to a port and much of his goods now came in from China. The seller added that the property also had an animal barn. He said that over the years, his family had kept animals on the land. He said his ancestors once used some of the animals for transportation during the winter months since the city plows rarely cleaned out that far from the city.

I walked the property and checked out the out buildings. I wasn’t sure how much they would add to the value of the property. The work benches in the so-called work shop appeared to be pretty low to the ground. An average sized man or woman would have to bend over quite a bit in order to work at one of the stations. The barn was quite nice and it had ample enough space. It appeared it had around nine stalls. The family must have been quite the hunters over the years, since there were antlers hung up everywhere in the barn. The happy old man wasn’t kidding about the pole barn, it was huge! You certainly would have no trouble storing a ton of stuff in there.

I finished up, took some pictures, and finished up my notes and put the key back under the front door mat where I found it.  As I was driving home, while excited about the possibility of getting a new listing, I felt kind of sad that the owner was selling it. I was trying to formulate what I was going to tell the old man about his place. It certainly needed some updating, and it wasn’t going to appeal to very many people. I thought about the outrageous paint colors and I started to laugh out loud. How do I approach the subject of the place needing to be completely painted in neutral tones?

When I got home, I did a few searches in the MLS…but I really couldn’t find anything to compare to it. I seemed like a one of a kind. I had never seen anything like it, and I doubt that any of you have run across anything like it either.

Not sure exactly what I was going to say, I picked up the phone and placed the call. He picked up the call and said, “Hello, Tom, so good to hear from you!” Wondering how he knew it was me, I laughed and said, “I see you have caller ID.” Strangely, he said he didn’t. He said it was a gift…not sure what that meant.

I was about to go into my listing presentation when he cut me off in mid-sentence. It seems that he and the wife had changed their minds. He said they are always super busy around Christmas time preparing for the holidays, and things always get so busy that they get so frustrated… what with all they have to do. Granted, they have a lot of help; but he said his wife lays awake at night wondering about all the children who rely on them. He added that right after Christmas they head for their Ohio summer home to recharge their batteries. He said, after much deliberation, the wife wouldn’t think of selling.

I told him I understood, and if he and the wife ever decided to put it on the market; I would be happy to help. I didn’t say it, but I secretly wished they had that conversation before I drove all the way out to their place. He mumbled something about my stocking as he hung up the phone…bit I couldn’t make out what he said.

Boy, this time of year sure brings out the crazies!






Jenna Dixon
Momentum Real Estate Group LLC - Marietta, GA
55 & Over | New Constructions | Horse Farms

Such a cute story, Thomas!  And too bad about the listing, wink wink!

Dec 08, 2014 05:40 AM
Jacque Vaughan
Bon Air, VA

What a great story.  So what do you expect in your stockings? Coal or more listings? 

Dec 08, 2014 06:29 AM
Thomas Craig
KW at the Parks - Orlando, FL


Thanks  for sharing....as for the listing, I didn't get his listing, but perhaps he will pass my name along. I think he travels quite a bit.

Mrry Christmas!


Dec 08, 2014 09:25 AM
Thomas Craig
KW at the Parks - Orlando, FL


Thanks for joining in the discussion. I think the EPA is not allowing coal to be placed in stockings anymore.  I am forever hopeful that my stocking will be overflowing with listings.

Merry Christmas!


Dec 08, 2014 09:34 AM
Michael Dagner
Brokers Guild Classic - Denver, CO
Your Denver Homes Realty Expert

thomas, been there a few times myself.  its nice they'll think of you the next time they get ready, but sure doesn't pay for all the effort.  At least now you have plenty of time to think about where to find those comps.

Dec 08, 2014 02:50 PM
Thomas Craig
KW at the Parks - Orlando, FL


Thanks for stopping by! I think I'll see if I can get one of Santa's little helpers to give me a hand with the comps.

Merry Christmas!


Dec 08, 2014 09:10 PM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Tom. Your story made me smile. I am not sure that this wasn't the product of your imagination but whatever i really enjoyed it. Merry Christmas.

Dec 08, 2014 10:36 PM
Thomas Craig
KW at the Parks - Orlando, FL


Yes, this story came from the empty space between my ears. I was looking back over my last half a dozen posts and they were pretty heavy...even by my standards. I thought it might be fun to lighten things up a bit with a story about Santa's summer home here in Northeastern Ohio! I am riding on the Polar Express train this evening with my 3 year old grandson...I can't wait!!!

Is this kid cute, or what?


Dec 08, 2014 11:06 PM