A southern fairy tale... y'all ain't gonna believe this....

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 GREC# 169695

You know sometimes in the south people say "hold my beer" and do something stupid.  Well my craziest transaction ever is like the owner said "hold my beer and watch me go off my meds".  It wasn't "MY" listing, but I was the broker so it was one of my agent's listings.  She got an appointment for me and I showed the house.  It was an investor buyer and the house needed a remodel and it was in days of buy, fix, flip.

Showing went well and we got an offer.  Listing agent called, no answer, called again, no answer, no answering machine picking up, seller did not have cell phone.  So we called his soon to be X wife at work and she said "oh he's off his meds".  So we both went over.  

When we arrived we were met by him naked, with a gun at the door.  Obviously we retreated. He was a vietnam veteran with bipolar disorder and possibly PTSD also. So I called the court house and talked to a judge to find out what we could do because the last thing I wanted to happen was for my seller to hurt himself.  Also he had a German Sheppard and we gave the judge this information as well.  We also didn't want anything bad to happen to the dog who might think he was defending his master.  The soon to be X did agree to meet us there with the sheriff's office.  

There was a fight, but he did get taken into custody. He was at the jail for about 36 hours before being transferred to a medical facility and committed with my and the agents' signatures saying we were afraid he might hurt us and/or himself.  The dog went with his son to stay while he was committed.  

After just a couple of days back on his meds he signed the contract. The closing attorney had to go to the medical facility two times, once to meet with his doctor saying he was of sound mind to make a decision about selling his home and a second time to get closing documents signed. 

The buyer actually went into the house after closing and carefully packed his belongings and paid for them to be in storage for 60 days.  About 30 days later he was released and we gave him the key to his belongings. 

That investor was one that had been a "go to the listing agent" before that purchase, but when she knew what we did for that seller and for that transaction to work she became a client and not a customer.  I went on to do 16 transactions with her and help her study for her broker's exam after she became an agent.  She's a commercial agent who still refers residential business to me frequently. 

If this seller was still alive I probably wouldn't be telling this story, but since he's not I thought I'd share the story of having to have a seller legally and forcefully committed against his will. It was definately one of the most crazy transactions ever.  And it's not the only seller who has been forcefully in a medical center when they sold their house.  Had another who was committed for drug rehab after that and knew the drill, knew when we got the offer that we'd have to get a document for recording that he was of sound mind when he signed the offer and the power of attorney for his mother to sign the closing documents for him.

We as agents are always coming across new experiences and this one helped me grow and I was able to help someone in the middle of a crisis to come out on the other side in time. It helped me be prepared for someone in my family with mental health issues later in my life. Some times this business is complicated, but I don't walk away from complicated, I try to help.


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Claude Labbe
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

Caring & concerned; you're just the type of person I'd want to think is looking out for my family & friends if they were ever in need of compassionate care.

And it sure does ensure every day in your life is a potential adventure. 

Good for you for this, I'll hope the elf on the shelf saw that.

Dec 22, 2019 02:41 PM #19
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

And people say we are overpaid!!!!! Interesting story that shows anything can happen in real estate !

Dec 22, 2019 03:01 PM #20
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

My jaw is to the ground reading this post!  Kudos for you for seeing the situation as a person in need and that you had the know-how and determination to help when it seems like no one else cared or could help.

Dec 22, 2019 03:02 PM #21
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Wow-what an amazing situation, This would make one feel sad and scared all at the same time. You did a great job of handling the situation. 

Dec 22, 2019 03:12 PM #22
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Beer is turned into mint-juleps with Tammy Lankford, 

Dec 22, 2019 03:56 PM #23
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Tammy:

Wow, that is quite a tale. What a learning experience. Glad to hear it worked out in the end!!


Dec 22, 2019 04:36 PM #24
J Perrin Cornell
Century 21 Exclusively, Wenatchee, WA - Wenatchee, WA

Reminded me of a sale I got involved with one time. I was contacted by an attorney for the owner. WA Dept of Social and Health Services had placed a lien on the home. I was to sell it for the court and the funds would be used to help the owner who was in assisted living.

The home was a 1950s rambler with a basement. About 1400 sq ft up and down. Three bedrooms and one bath up. Basement unfinished. 

The owner was a single woman. She had lived alone for a number of years. Her son was supposed to be taking care of her and paying her bills...he wasn't. When we got to the home it was a mess. First Class hoarder. You could not walk through the house with all the things, and garbage stacked in every room. Several feet high in many places blocking the windows. The cabinets in the kitchen held dirty dishes and cans of food that had ruptured due to age. Refrigerator was full of spopiled food. Further, the electricity and water had been shut off while the woman lived there. A neighbor was able to get her to come out and go over to her house about once a week for a shower and fresh food. With the water turned off the plumbing did not work. Toilet was full to overflowing so she had used a bedroom as a latrine. Her SSI was about $900 per mo which her son apparently spent for over a year. 

We sold the home for about $70,000 all cash no contingencies. They buyer took 8, 15cu yd Roll Off dumpster loads out of the house. Fly specks bled through two coats of Killz. Had to steamclean the floors and refinish and take out the floor and sub floor in the latrine/bedroom. 

Anyway the house was rehabed and subsequently sold. Six months later I got named in a law suit by the son (she had since died) and as her only relative he was suing because we did not sell the house for enough, according to him. 

The sale had all been approved by the State and Superior Court so it didnt go anywhere... but it sure makes you wonder about some people. 

Dec 22, 2019 06:17 PM #25
Brenda J. Andrew
Professional Realtor in Corpus Christi, TX

Tammy I have to say, you really know how to get things done and don't back down from a challenging situation.  You did a great job for these clients. I don't know if i would have made it past the nudity and the gun!  Thanks for sharing this one!

Dec 23, 2019 04:00 AM #26
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Tammy that's one for the ages. I have had guns pulled on me during my life selling Mack Trucks for a living, and it is very scary 

Dec 23, 2019 06:01 AM #27
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Have not experienced anything as cray-cray as that Tammy...knock on wood and throw salt over my right shoulder...or is it the left?

Dec 23, 2019 05:46 PM #30
Rose O'Reilly, HomeSmart

Tammy, OMG, that was scary, even if you were aware of mental issues. You did an exceptional job. Glad it worked out in the end.

Dec 23, 2019 09:31 PM #31
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR

Tammy Lankford, This is a new one for me.  What a story!  Happy Holidays!

Dec 24, 2019 03:42 AM #34
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

OMG...now that is a CRAZY real estate story. What a nightmare for all involved.

Dec 24, 2019 07:30 AM #35
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Great story. You handled it with care even though everyone around you was literally loony. 

Dec 24, 2019 09:50 AM #36
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Oh my gosh that's a scary story.  You were the only sane one!  Although, sad that so many suffer from mental illness

Dec 24, 2019 10:43 AM #37
Brian DeYoung
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ithaca, NY
Brian DeYoung

yup thats a wild one.

I did have an instructor for a course who told us about when her client kidnapped her...

but thats not my story to tell...

Dec 24, 2019 11:34 AM #40
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

You certainly don’t walk away from complicated, Tammy Lankford, you just push forward and get the job done. Congratulations! That was quite a story.

Dec 26, 2019 11:39 AM #59
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

WOW! What a story, Tammy and you handled the situation with amazing grace. How fortunate for that seller that YOU were the broker. 

Love this & live by it too, "Sometimes this business is complicated, but I don't walk away from complicated, I try to help."

Dec 28, 2019 02:26 PM #62
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

This is definitely a story that takes the cake -and the beer! Glad that you were able to help the seller - even though he didn't want the help - and that even the dog had a good outcome. 

Dec 29, 2019 03:29 PM #63
Raymond Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Meeting a naked guy at the door with a gun is way above and beyond.  And scary.  Good job working through it.  Some agents might retire after something like that.

Dec 31, 2019 08:51 AM #64
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Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville
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