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In the Trenches: My Biggest Blooper

We all make mistakes. Hopefully, when you flub, you not only learn a valuable lesson but also can look back and laugh at yourself. We asked real estate pros to share memorable blunders from their time in the field and how they recovered.


I was running late to meet my buyer for a showing, and I needed to use the restroom badly. I saw the listing agent’s sign as I pulled up to the property, but there were no cars in the driveway. I rushed inside to use the bathroom before anyone else arrived. Just then, my client called. She said she could see my car and that I was at the wrong house. It turned out the selling agent had two listings next door to each other. I was at the wrong one. Thankfully, no one caught me, but I told the listing agent what had happened, and we had good laugh.

—Lena Hensberger, Weichert, REALTORS®, Phillipsburg, N.J.

I once locked sellers out of their own house. After I showed their property to my buyer clients, I conscientiously locked every door, including the door inside the garage that the sellers used to enter and exit their house. They didn’t use a key for that door, so when they returned home, they couldn’t get in. I got a call from the listing agent asking me to go back to the property and let the sellers in their house. I was pretty embarrassed. When I pulled into the driveway, the owners were sitting in the garage on lawn chairs waiting for me.

—Danielle Wadsworth, ABR, SRS, Dream Home Realty, Lemoyne, Pa.

I took my new buyer on our first showing, and it was going well until we got to the main bedroom. “My goodness, what were they thinking?!” I said of the sellers’ color choice. “This is the most hideous color I’ve ever seen!” My soon-to-be ex-client responded: “This is the color of my bedroom—and it’s my favorite.” I learned to keep personal opinions to myself after that.

—Barth Legate, GRI, Gori, REALTORS®, Edwardsville, Ill.

I was walking around my listing’s huge yard and, without realizing it, I accidentally dropped the house key in the grass somewhere. There was no way I was going to find it. I called the listing agent and apologized profusely about losing the key. She was a good sport and said the homeowner had a metal detector.

—Jessica Oliver, RE/MAX Real Estate Services, Shreveport, La.

I scheduled a home inspection with my buyer’s inspector but totally forgot to coordinate with the seller. It didn’t hit me until I was pulling up to the property for the appointment. Thankfully, the seller—who was a bit caught off-guard—allowed us in. Now I make extra sure I’m in close contact about scheduling with all parties involved in a transaction.

—Kimberly Smith, Keller Williams Metro, Royal Oak, Mich.