In the Trenches: The Coin Toss
A collection of stories from real estate professionals detailing funny, scary, or surprising experiences on the job.
July - August
Follow the Money
I was driving a couple around to show them a few homes. As we came to one property, one of the buyers exclaimed from the backseat, “I just found a quarter on the floor [of the car]. This must be our lucky day!” They ended up putting an offer on that home the same day and eventually closed on the purchase. For a while afterward, I scattered coins in my backseat, hoping it would be a good luck charm for future clients. It’s led to some interesting conversations with clients but never another sale. I still throw a quarter back there from time to time.—David A. Rudich, Lost River Real Estate, Lost River, W.V.
Don’t Worry, the Ghosts Are Friendly
At the beginning of my career, I was helping an expectant couple find a home for their growing family. The sellers of the home my clients fell in love with informed us that the house was haunted. I didn’t believe in ghosts and scoffed at the disclosure. As I discussed it with my clients, we laughed and I said, “Hey, if a leprechaun buried a pot of gold in the backyard, the sellers would have to disclose that, too!” After taking a few days to think about the purchase, the buyers returned to my office and said they wanted to move forward with buying the home. It met all their needs. I was relieved and pleased, though I still thought the whole situation was a bit odd. Twenty years later, I represented the couple when they sold the house. I asked the wife if the property really was haunted. She replied, “Yes, we just made friends with the ghosts.”—Marian L. Fortier, Coldwell Banker Greater Valleys, Granada Hills, Calif.
One evening, I drove to a rural, remote property that my clients had just sold to retrieve the lockbox and marketing materials. When I returned to my car, I realized my keys and phone were locked inside. I ran to the neighbor’s house a quarter of a mile away. The house was dark but I heard voices inside. When I knocked on the back door—because it was dark, I couldn’t tell which side of the house I was on—all went quiet. The window flew open, and out came a shotgun pointing right at me and a woman yelling expletives. A second later, the door opened, and two men were pointing rifles at me. When I told them I was a real estate agent, they lowered their weapons and asked me what I was doing at the back door. I then tried to endear myself to them. They calmed down when I said I knew the homeowners next door, and they let me use their phone. They even invited me to wait there, but at that point, I preferred to go back to my vehicle!—Krista Glende, GRI, Coldwell Banker Danforth, Federal Way, Wash.