Shock and Awe: A September Challenge In The Rain

Real Estate Agent with Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 CA BRE# 01261476
I've been a REALTOR® for 23 years and 5 months at the time I'm writing this. I've been on Active Rain for 14 of those years.
I have encountered squatters, naked men walking out the showers when the house was supposed to be vacant, naked women walking out the showers when the house was supposed to be vacant, cats trapped in closets, ghosts-yes ghosts, murder-scene houses, meth lab condos that got me instantly sick upon entry, divorce houses with crazy circumstances and distressed houses with everything from the cabinets and fixtures to the floors and windows stolen!
Below gets a little dark, I'm cautioning you.
Sadly I even had an agent I was in escrow with ghost me in the middle of escrow... or so I thought. Turned out the day her divorce was finalized that week, her ex-husband showed up and murdered her. Crazy, crazy stories I've accumulated, some dark & sad, some scary others hilarious and memorable for very positive reasons.
I've unknowingly shown a few famous owner's houses on tour: The Eagles and James Gang Guitarist: Joe Walsh's house in (La Costa/Carlsbad), Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack house in (La Costa/Carlsbad), Brian Buffini's House in (Escondido) and not once but twice (two different Buffini owned homes), to name a few. 
Formerly Brian Buffini's House 
I'll share this creepy story:
in 2006 I was showing property to first time buyers in a neighborhood not far from Miramar Base called Mira Mesa.
I was showing a house that we noticed as we walked in had brand new white carpet in the massive living room and shabby white aged carpet in the adjacent dining room and hallway to the bedrooms. My client asked me "why would they replace this carpet but not the rest?"
I immediately had a hunch, one that was dark and not going to sell this house if I was correct in my lightbulb moment. Oh No!
Cell phones were not really smart phones yet but we could pull up Google and as a hunch started to gut me, I search-engined the address we were touring and there it was: ARTICLE
Needless to say my clients freaked out and we scurried to the door, locked up and stood out front-skin crawling; all three of us felt like we needed a hot shower and a church stat.
Needless to say we encounter a lot, we need to be aware of our surroundings and who we are with which is why I vet out my clients and on tour of homes, whenever I open a door to a house, I shout "REAL ESTATE"!
1. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio:
2. TJN with permission from listing agent.
3. Photo by ramy Kabalan:
Posted by

Thomas J. Nelson
REALTOR®, CRS, RCS-D, CDPE, e-Pro, Certified Military Home Specialist, Luxury Home Specialist, Author, Keynote Speaker and  Podcast Host 

Serving Coastal San Diego from Carlsbad to Coronado, Downtown, Balboa Park Area,
La Jolla/UCSD & Mission Bay Park Areas
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RCS-Divorce     Southern California Chapter of Certified Residential Specialists (CRS)

Disclaimer:  Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, medical advice or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice, health or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.

Comments (8)

Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Buffini's house looks really nice, I figured that telling others what they should be doing to be successful would pay well, haha.

Sep 27, 2022 07:14 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

Some folks have no issue if a house had a crime scene. Others not so much so.

Sep 27, 2022 09:29 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Oh wow, Thomas... what a macabre series of situations you've encountered. Thankfully, that has not been the case for me. And thankfully, I've never yet had to shout before entering a home. But I always ring the doorbell before opening the door.

Sep 27, 2022 11:37 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

We were trained to shout "real estate" or "REALTOR" as we entered after ringing the bell because not all doorbells work or can be heard throughout the house. It's such a habit now I do it every door without thinking. The funny part is when I do it unconsciously at a friend or relatives house LOL.

Sep 30, 2022 01:19 PM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Sometimes even shouting does not penetrate to the person in the shower or in bed pre-occupied with other endevours.

Sep 27, 2022 12:14 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Thomas- it was a make-your-skin crawl kind of creepy.  I clicked on the link and what a sad story. I can remember previewing a vacant home for staging. I was by myself and the homes were on large lots without a lot of people around. I have to admit that I was scared to walk into each room and couldn't wait to leave. 

Thank you for participating in this month's challenge. 

Sep 27, 2022 06:00 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Yes, I hesitated on going down this road - it really creeped me out then and now. But, is one story I can never forget. Whiskey's Wisdom gives me happy balance thank goodness. 

Sep 27, 2022 06:35 PM
Brenda J. Andrew
Professional Realtor in Conroe/Willis, TX

Hi Thomas.  I did not click the link on the story, but I can imagine what it was.  I have shown a few homes where something terrible had happened.  Some you knew, and some you didn't.  I like you always shout when I walk in the door - Hello.....Realtor.  That is what I was trained to do.  Sometimes it works, and other times it doesn't, but for the most part it does.  Thanks for participating.  I enjoyed the read!

Sep 30, 2022 11:51 AM
Eileen Burns
Trans State Commercial RE Ft. Lauderdale/Miami/Palm Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
FLorida Real Estate Connector

Killers have more rights than family members left behind to wonder if they are next!  Sad tragedy for all involved.  I often wonder if mental illness be overcome or are powerful drugs sedating the person the answer to their condition 

Oct 01, 2022 10:19 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Thomas:

That was certainly a creepy story, along with a list of other "interesting" happenings in your real estate career. Can't say I have anything that comes even close.


Oct 06, 2022 02:24 PM