Silver Spring Real Estate - My Scariest, Spookiest Open House - A story for Halloween

Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc MD 82788 DC SP97220

As a new real estate agent in 1989, I was always looking for a house to hold open on weekends and would volunteer to hold any house open. An older & more experienced agent was very anxious for me to hold open her new listing on Woodbury in East Silver Spring. It was such a cute house! A Dutch Colonial Style single family house built in the 1930's. As a green, brand new agent, I was really excited about having it open and kind of wondering why she did'nt want to do it herself. I did get this funny feeling in the office that the other agents knew something I didn't. I can't explain exactly what it was, I thought they were chuckling or whispering behind my back. It was just a feeling I had, that I shrugged off as my imagination or the fact that I was just a nervous newbie.

The day before the open, I was talking to a loan officer friend of mine that had been a real estate agent years ago. She asked me what house I was holding open. When I told her the address there was dead silence and a Huge GASP.... ... Her real estate company had listed the house 8 years before and sold it to a nice couple. The couple moved in on a Saturday. The next day while the wife was at church, the husband had gone into the basement and shot himself to pieces with a double barrelled shotgun. The wife never went back, so my friend's company cleaned the house up and resold it to another couple.  My friend said all the agents in the area that had been in the business for any length of time had heard about it.  Obviously, all the agents in town had known about this except me! No wonder they were acting funny around me!

The day of the Open was dark, cold and dreary outside.  On the inside it was a very long, way too quiet, and spooky 3 hour open house.  I stayed away from the door to the basement and jumped at every little noise.  It was the longest open house I have ever had in my career.  I couldn't go anywhere near that basement and I never ever could bring myself to actually go down there and look at it. 

Only one person came to look at the house that day (needless to say, I did not escort him into the basement) and low and behold he actually bought the house from me. YOU JUST NEVER KNOW!

UPDATE: To those of you who asked if this was disclosed to the Buyer - No, it was not. Because in the state of Maryland it is the Seller's choice (not the listing broker or agent's) whether to disclose or not. What is required in Maryland is Disclosure of "Material" and "Latent Defects" only. The Maryland Legislature/Law excludes Murder, Suicide, Violent death and the prescence of Aids from being "Material or Latent Defects"- Tom Rodden attorney with RGS Title in Silver Spring, Md. In this particular case the buyer purchased the house for an investment and has never lived in it.  It is still being rented by the same landlord today.

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If you are planning a move to or from the Silver Spring or Takoma Park, Maryland area, put my 30 years of local experience and expertise to work for you.  Licensed in Maryland and the District of Columbia. 

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Cell      (301) 233-8309            Debbie Cook - Silver Spring Takoma Real Estate
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Liz Loadholt
Liz Loadholt- AgentOwned Realty- Covering SC - Mount Pleasant, SC
Realtor--Broker-in-charge - Trainer--Relocation Director Covering SC


You are so right --- one never knows.  SC has the same law as far as disclosing.

Liz Loadholt

Oct 31, 2008 03:11 AM #1
Jubal Bynoe
Core Mortgage LLC - Scottsdale, AZ

A home is a home. And it matters more what you do in it, then what the owners did before you.

Oct 31, 2008 03:21 AM #2
Jenn Neumann Deer
RE/MAX Southern Shores - Surfside Beach, SC
Surfside Beach Real Estate

 Good story for Halloween.  I am sure there are a lot of things that go on in homes that nobody ever knows...if those walls could talk.  South Carolina has a similar stance as far as that kind of disclosure.  Sounds like it was worth it to be spooked for three hours for a sale!  Thanks for sharing.

Oct 31, 2008 03:22 AM #3
Jack Feldmann
Clayton Inspection Service, Inc. - Knoxville, TN

A couple years ago I inspected a house (up for auction) that had a very odd stain on the wall and floor. It wasn't until a neighbor came over chatting me up did I find out the previous owner had blown their brains out there. 

They not only did not disclose it, they didn't even bother to clean it all up.

Oct 31, 2008 09:16 AM #4
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Debbie Cook

Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate
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