Oddball Stories From Real Estate Agents that are Hard to Believe

Shannon Quinn - August 15, 2021
This couple was a total nightmare, and can’t sell their house. Credit: Shutterstock

14. Karma

This next story comes from a realtor who wanted to go by the name “Kathy”, but she was actually giving the story anonymously. You know it’s bad when you have to hide your name!

“By far the worst client I ever had was a doctor and his wife. These two said they wanted to sell their home and retire in Florida. They couldn’t agree on the price. After signing papers and getting professional photos taken, the wife canceled the listing as ‘the photos don’t represent her property accurately’. The fact I got the house in Newsday was unimpressive to them. On top of that, the wife had a drinking problem. After 2 p.m. in the afternoon she was unapproachable. She called me derogatory names and said they don’t want to pay anything. Soon, they withdrew the listing after speaking with my manager to complain about me.”

 “This time the owner screamed at my manager. Why was there a clause in the contract for six months after withdrawing it? Our agency was subject to a commission if there was an accepted offer after the contract ended. The buyer was offered the home for less, but they had to wait six months until our clause in the contract expired so we would not receive a commission. The buyer called her agent, who was also with my agency and chaos ensued. My manager never called the couple back as she felt it wouldn’t gain any positive results. The breach of contract was blatant. And two years later, two different agencies later, they now list their home well below what the offer price was, and still have no buyers in contract. Karma.”

This man couldn’t afford an apartment and yet thought he knew more than the realtor. Credit: Shutterstock

13. Pieds-a-terror

This next story came from an agent named David Rosenberger from Douglas Elliman. In case you don’t know, the term “pieds-a-terre” means occasional use. As in, the client is trying to find an apartment that they can occasionally use without living in it full time. Sort of like an AirBnB, or a co-op. “An attorney who thought he knew it all, used me to look all over downtown for a pied-a-terre. Then one weekend he went looking without me on the Upper West Side—my home turf, no less. He tells me he has found something he likes in a Central Park West Co-op just a few blocks from my office. He has the notion that he will strike a better deal if he goes into negotiations without a broker.”

“I’m shaking my head because: A) I’m not sure that building will allow pieds-a-terre and B) We have been over his financials, and I am familiar with the building in question, which is pretty conservative financially. I have doubts about whether they would approve him, based on the way his other housing debt and business debt were structured. I wished him good luck. Several months later, we ran into one another, and I learned that the board rejected his application. He asked if I wanted to help him again. I thanked him for the opportunity, but politely declined.”

A snake snuck into this basement just before an open house. Credit: Shutterstock

12. A Slithery Situation

This next story came from Adrian Young, who is a realtor in Lancaster, PA. When she ran into a snake in the basement, she just “noped” out of that situation very quickly..

“I have a fear of snakes. Not a mild fear. A real, heart stopping, underwear-changing fear. My first open house ever was at a renovated farmhouse. Beautiful home, spectacular views, a true gem. I was doing my walk-thru, admiring all this home has to offer, when I decided to check out the finished basement.”

“Down the steps I went. I get to the bottom, turn the corner, and almost step on the largest snake I’ve ever seen! To say I retreated out of the house is putting it mildly. But I’m proud to say I gathered my wits, changed my underwear, and held the open house (although the basement was no longer part of my tour).”

A real estate agent walked in on the owners having sex in the middle of the day. Credit: Shutterstock

11. Very Bad Timing

“We started to enter the first floor unit of an investment property when we quickly realized that the tenants were still in the unit. Long story short, they were engaging in sexual activity. As we opened the door to the unit, we were quickly and unexpectedly greeted with loud noises coming from one of the bedrooms. I quickly closed the unit door. To make matters worse, the key ended up getting stuck in the door. I quickly started to panic, as I was afraid the tenants would hear me trying to release the key from the door by very aggressively jiggling at it. Luckily, after a quick prayer, the key released itself and we left swiftly.” 

That story came from Colin McDonald, a real estate broker in Albany, New York. I have so many questions as to how this could even happen. What time was it? I’m under the assumption that if you were giving a real estate agent permission to show your house, you’d only do the deed when you knew you’d have some privacy!

A woman believed houses cost $10,000. Credit: Shutterstock

10. I Wish Houses Were This Cheap

This story from Benjamin Ross of the Mission Real Estate Group seems so dumb, it’s hard to comprehend that people can really misunderstand something so basic.

“I met with a young couple who was interested in purchasing a home. The seller was willing to finance with a $10,000 down payment. A young man called me, and I gave him the terms (down payment, interest rate, monthly payment, and the price $150,000). He said they would meet me there to see the home. So, I met them there, and they loved the house. The young woman said, ‘We will take it.’

“I said, ‘Great, and since it is in the middle of the month, we will prorate your first payment. She said, ‘Oh no, we have the $10,000.’ I said ‘OK, that’s good, your first payment will be due a month after the close of escrow.’ Again she looked at me weird and said, ‘payment?’ I said, ‘Yes, to pay off the remaining $140,000.’ She said, ‘You told us the price was $10,000!’ I said that is the down payment. She then got furious, told her husband I was trying to rip them off.”

 “She left the house slamming the front door on her way out, yelling at him ‘I will be waiting in the car.’ I asked the guy how she could have thought a three bedroom two bath house on a quarter-acre could be $10,000? He apologized and said he might have explained it to her wrong. I said, Let me know if you find a house for $10,000, and I will offer them $12,000. He then left.”

This real estate agent walked in on a day sleeper during a showing. Credit: Shutterstock

9. A Body in the Bed

“I had scheduled an appointment for a house in a not-so-great part of town. I was told they had a day sleeper but that he would leave the residence for the showing. My client and I arrived at the house. We knocked several times and rang the doorbell. I thought to myself, ‘Good, no one here.’ I unlocked the door and we went in.”

“We looked at every inch of the house, opening cabinets and doors. Then it happened! We got to the last bedroom and my client said, ‘Chick, that looks like a dead body in that bed.’ I’m like, ‘No way.’ She walked around the bedroom and all of a sudden this man threw the covers off, sat up and looked at us, and then covered his head back up and went back to sleep! Mind you, I was about to pee on myself at this point, as we were both telling him we were so sorry. ‘We thought you were gone!’ Needless to say I’m a little more leery about bumps in the bed nowadays!”

What happens when a home owner oversleeps? Credit: Shutterstock

8. That Was a Close Call

“This next story came from a real estate agent called Mark C. “My clients and I walked into a house for a showing and it appeared someone was still in the house. Protocol dictates that the client should not be in the home for a variety of reasons during the showing, but my client immediately said to me, ‘I feel like someone is here.’” 

“I assured them that the owners knew they should not be home for the showing and we proceeded. As we made our way to the bedroom, I noticed what appeared to be someone hiding under the sheets in their bed. It was easy for me to know it wasn’t a bunch of pillows because, I kid you not, I saw a toe sticking out of the covers. I quickly redirected my clients to another room to view first. While we were in there, I saw the owner sneak out the back door. Surprise encounter averted. Huge sigh of relief!”

This realtor showed up to the wrong house, and ended up late to the real tour. Credit: Shutterstock

7. Wrong House, Wrong Time

This next story comes from a real estate agent called Todd B. It would honestly be surprising if this story isn’t actually a common mistake that real estate agents make.

“I pride myself on being organized and on top of my game. But a few years ago when I was a new agent unfamiliar with the area, I actually showed up at the wrong house for a showing. I toured the whole home alone, waiting for my clients and feeling so good that I would be fully prepared when they arrived. Obviously, they didn’t show, and I was more than a little late for the showing at the right house. I calmly apologized and then told them all about the house I’d seen, which they eventually set up a different showing for!”

Apparently this home owner was a nudist, and had no shame. Credit: Shutterstock

6. No Shame

This story came from Carlos Gomez, a sales associate at Coldwell Banker East Office in Westfield, New Jersey.

“One time when I was showing a house, the listing agent said to go directly there. I ring the bell and knock on the door and no one answers, so I proceed to use my lockbox and walk in with my buyer. We go through the entire first floor and then proceed to the basement. As we are going to the second floor to see the bedrooms, a naked man walks by the hallway. I tell him that we are showing the house. He starts making his way down the stairs to tell us nobody told him we were coming to see the house today. Note that he was still naked.”

Imagine running into a Justin Bieber cardboard cutout in an empty house. Credit: Shutterstock

5. Are You a Belieber?

This story came from a real estate agent named Deb Tomaro, who works in Indiana.

“I was showing a house that was empty. The owner’s sons were outside and told me that the owner was elderly and moving to an assisted-living facility. The home was very dated. As I opened a hall coat closet door, a life-size cardboard cutout of Justin Bieber fell out toward me. Scared the living daylights out of me! But the bigger question ended up being: Why did an 80-year-old woman own a life-size cutout of Justin Bieber, and wouldn’t that be something you’d want to take to assisted living with you?”

This realtor was injured while showing a client a house. Good thing he was a doctor. Credit: Shutterstock

4. Zero Days Since Your Last Injury

A realtor named Marissa Gillman Shafer has a unique setup with her business. Her mom is her partner! So they were setting up an open house at a trendy penthouse in Chicago when this happened.

“I was setting up the rooftop deck when I was injured by a heavy steel door,” she remembers. “I was bleeding quite a bit when our first potential buyer arrived. Thankfully, he was a doctor, and he ran to his car to get his emergency kit. He and his friend helped me and tended to my wound in the main bathroom. As the three of us sat in silence in the shower, my mom eagerly said, ‘The good news is that three people can easily fit in the shower.’”

Yet another story of a home owner sleeping through a showing of their house. Credit: Shutterstock

3. Sleeping on the Job

Apparently, it’s a very common problem that real estate agents run into day sleepers. This story comes from Natasha Carroll of Natasha Carroll Realty.

“I was showing a couple a home, and we went in to preview the master suite. We did not realize there was a person sleeping in the bed until we were in the bathroom. He startled us and quickly apologized. This man worked the night shift and totally forgot about the showings. I quickly defused the situation by saying he could stay in the bed and rest while we looked at the home or he could wait outside. He went back to bed while we previewed the home and left. After we got outside, my clients were appreciative of how calmly I handled the situation.”

This woman would not buy a house unless her dog approved of it first. Credit: Shutterstock

2. The Dog’s Opinion Matters A Lot

This next story originally came from RealDeal. It comes from Rena Goldstein. She is the senior vice president at Halstead Property. Some people really take their dogs everywhere. They treat them like kids. So it’s really not surprising that a client would take their dog to a house showing to get their opinion, as if the dog could speak.

“I had an open house in my building, and a neighbor who was not looking to move told me her dog wanted to see the apartment, so she brought him. She walked him through the apartment while I stood there stunned and unable to speak.”

A bear on the property can be a real deal breaker. Credit: Shutterstock

1. Watch Out For That Bear

This next story came from a Reddit user called Moosesquirel. 

“I work as a broker in a luxury mountain community. Often, I’m walking lots with clients and builders all over the variety of crazy terrain on the mountain. One day last year I was walking a lot with two clients and was pretty far out away from the road that we came in on. The entire time the wife kept bringing up her fear of bears and other wildlife and how uncomfortable she was being out away from everything. The husband kept reassuring her there was nothing to worry about. After an hour or so of walking this property I hear something large running up over the mountain top. I knew right away it was going to be a bear.”

“So I just hoped they never noticed. I was not so fortunate. A 400 to 500 pound bear came over the top of this hill side and is running at us full speed. Granted the bear was not coming after us, he actually was looking out the side and had no idea that we were in front of him yet. I see the wife look up to see this huge bear coming straight at her. She literally just melted to the ground while letting out a horrible scream. I yelled and clapped my hands and sure enough the bear saw us. He put on his brakes about 30 feet from us. The bear paused for a moment and then turned and ran the other way. Of course this happened to the folks scared to death of bears. Clients did not buy, nor did I ever see them again.”