Realtors see the strangest things at open houses

Mar.March 17, 2010 04:30 PM

The Real Deal asked a number of residential real estate agents what the strangest thing is that they’ve seen at an open house. The responses ran the gamut from a man crawling into a bed to check out the mattress and dozing off to a broker having to basically carry a client off a railing-less bridge to being chased by a wild boar while showing houses.

Here is a sampling of what the agents have encountered:

From left: Andy Weiser of Coldwell Banker, Janie Coffey of Papillon Real Estate, Bob Peddicord of RE/MAX, Jeffrey Cloniger of Jeffrey A. Cloninger & Associates

Andy Weiser, Coldwell Banker, Fort Lauderdale: There is the ordinary finding, the couple having sex in the bedroom. Every realtor worth his salt has seen that. That happens all the time. Some people do that as part of their whole fantasy thing. On a more serious note, it would have to be the guy who crawled into the bed to see what it would be like, and then fell asleep. That’s one of the more bizarre things.

Jeffrey Cloninger, Jeffrey A. Cloninger & Associates, Palm Beach: I had a house about 15 years ago, a large house going up on South Ocean Boulevard. They hadn’t put the railings up, and it had this floating staircase. I had somebody who apparently had this incredible fear of heights. I’m not the biggest fan of heights either, so they went upstairs with the caveat that — hey — there are no railings, you are doing so at your own risk, but they really wanted to see it. Long story short, the person got on the bridge on this thing and just froze — and I don’t lie — I had to go up the stairs hugging the side of the stairway and basically carry this woman down. Every time I go by that house I laugh — talk about the blind leading the blind.

Janie Coffey, Papillon Real Estate, Coral Gables: Nothing specifically at an open house, but showing houses. We’ve been chased by wild boars, a man used a restroom in an open house and got locked in and we had to break into the window on the outside. One time showing a house, they told us it was vacant, and there was a bedridden old person with a halo on their head.

Marlene Schultz, Village Realty South Florida, South Miami: At one of my first open houses, I get to the house, and the people leave, and I’m there by myself, and I pick up the phone to make a phone call, and there was somebody on the other line talking.

Marilu Chavez, Village Realty South Florida, South Miami:
One time I went to show a house that was vacant on lock box. Upon walking in, there was a person sleeping in the house, a lady, and we both started screaming at each other; she thought someone was robbing the house. No one had told them they had lent the house to a friend who was staying in the house.

Bob Peddicord, RE/MAX Miami:
One time I was sitting an open house with my wife [also a broker] and there were people going in all different directions of the house. We were showing the house to a few of them, and they separated us — I went one way with one of the people, and another went another way with my wife, who left her purse on the couch. One of them took my wife’s wallet from her purse. I’m sure that was planned. So that’s the tough part of sitting open houses, sometimes it’s not so safe.

Compiled by Alexander Britell

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