Teenagers, demons, and feng shui, oh my!

Agents share their horror stories about all the issues that sink their deals

Jade Mills (Credit: Photo of Mills by Adam Southard, _TC Photography_ via Flickr, Wikimedia Commons, Max Pixel)
Jade Mills (Credit: Photo of Mills by Adam Southard, _TC Photography_ via Flickr, Wikimedia Commons, Max Pixel)

A rebellious teen afraid of losing his childhood home, a superstitious tenant, and a picky feng shui master.

A Wall Street Journal story found those and many more nightmarish accounts of third parties sinking — or at least trying to sink — deals around the country.

In L.A., Coldwell Banker agent Jade Mills recalls one home that was generating a ton of interest, but few offers, following showings. She later found out the seller’s housekeeper, who was in fear of losing her job, was telling prospective buyers that the neighbor’s dog barked incessantly and that another neighbor liked to party.

Pacific Union broker Joseph Montemarano recounted how one day he discovered that the teenage son of his Brentwood clients had thrown a party while his parents were away for the weekend. To scare off a buyer, they had covered the entire property, tennis court and all, in graffiti. The buyer still purchased the home — but asked the seller to repair the damage.

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Most of the time it’s an angry tenant afraid of being evicted and willing to get creative to scare off buyers. New York Douglas Elliman agent Jean Marie Echemendia told the Journal that one tenant paying well below market rent for an Upper West Side townhouse would turn down the thermostat and leave rat traps out before showings to scare off buyers. Echemendia ended up buying the townhouse herself.

Partner’s Trust partner John Hathorn said one tenant in Culver City tried to convince a pair of buyers that the basement of the property was haunted by a “demonic presence.” The buyer closed anyway, and the tenant wasn’t evicted, the Journal reported (although that means he’ll still have to grapple with those basement demons).

Los Angeles home seeker Cheryle Healion has nixed a number of deals on the advice of her feng shui master, who warned against nearby electricity lines at one home and a sloping property at another (the latter signifying she would lose money).

No word if she’s closed a deal since. [WSJ] – Dennis Lynch