In the Trenches: Down, Boy!
A collection of stories from real estate professionals detailing crazy, funny, or poignant experiences that have happened on the job.
July - August
A Race to the Top
Arriving at a listing presentation for a young couple considering selling their home, I was greeted by the largest Great Dane I’d ever seen. Not only was the dog, Luke, almost as tall as me—I’m 5’5”—but he was at least a foot wide across his back. The homeowners escorted me past Luke while insisting he was a “pussy cat.” When I started up the stairs with Luke behind me, I lifted my foot and he ducked his head between my legs, pushing his way to take the lead. Suddenly, I was straddling the dog’s back like a jockey while he raced up the staircase—which had no bannisters. “Save me!” I yelled to the owners. Laughing hysterically, the husband grabbed me and jerked me backward off their beloved fur baby while I struggled to maintain my professionalism. The sellers must have felt drawn to me after the episode and liked my listing presentation because they chose me as their agent. —Norma McKiddy, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Tecumseh, Okla.
A Leaky Property
Shortly after receiving my real estate license in 1990, I listed a 40-acre tract of vacant land. Just as I put up the For Sale sign, the person who lived next to the land contacted me and asked to view the property.
We surveyed the grass, trees, and fence and, while walking along a slope on the property, I noticed a small stream moving downhill. I told the prospective buyer, who owned cattle, that this water source could be dammed up to create a pond for the animals to drink. I remember him suddenly becoming quiet, which I thought was odd. Nonetheless, he later consulted with a buyer’s agent, we negotiated a purchase price, and he bought the land.
Ten years later, the buyer became a real estate agent himself, joined my company, and worked in my office. What are the odds? During a slow business day, we talked about the land he had purchased from me. I asked if he ever dammed up that small stream. His answer blew me away: He said it was runoff from his open-ended septic system.
Fortunately, he had the proper lateral fields in place, which remove contaminants from sewage water and control the odor. The water was clear once it drained onto the land, and he had not violated state and local sanitation codes. Still, I’m glad he didn’t take my advice to dam up sewage runoff.—Jennie Carbon, gri, Crown Realty, Mound City, Kan.