Real Estate

Real agent stories: When showings go wrong

Showing houses, creating listings, and managing real estate transactions are all part of an agent’s frequent tasks. Occasionally, though, things get weird. Here are a few stories from agents about when things went sideways.

The secret napper

One curveball agents might face is an unwanted guest during a showing. Sometimes what’s minor in reality can be surprising in the moment. Here is a story from Mark C.

My clients and I walked into a house for a showing and it appeared someone was still in the house. Protocol dictates that the client should not be in the home for a variety of reasons during the showing, but my client immediately said to me, ‘I feel like someone is here.’

I assured them that the owners knew they should not be home for the showing and we proceeded. As we made our way to the bedroom, I noticed what appeared to be someone hiding under the sheets in their bed. I knew it wasn’t a bunch of pillows because, I kid you not, I saw a toe sticking out of the covers.

I quickly redirected my clients to another room to view first and while we were in there, I saw the owner sneak out the back door. Surprise encounter averted. Huge sigh of relief!

An alarming situation

Quick tip: Ask if the house has an alarm before showing it! Just ask Macy J.

I went to show a house and forgot to ask if there was an alarm. There was! It was so eardrum-piercing, my client ran out screaming and was super mad! Then the listing agent wanted me to run back in to turn it off while he walked me through the instructions. I had him on speakerphone so he felt my pain, and we had to yell over it. I eventually gathered myself and got it turned off so my client could see the house.

Additional agent tip: Always bring your agent license card with you to showings.You never know when the police might show up.

Off day with a happy accident

Even the most prepared agents have off days. Sometimes mistakes can be turned into opportunities, as Todd B. can tell you.

I pride myself on being organized and on top of my game, but a few years ago when I was a new agent unfamiliar with the area, I actually showed up at the wrong house for a showing. I toured the whole home alone, waiting for my clients and feeling so good that I would be fully prepared when they arrived.

Obviously they didn’t show, and I was more than a little late for the showing at the right house. I calmly apologized and then told them all about the house I’d seen, which they eventually set up a different showing for!

If you’re having one of these days, stay calm and go with the flow. There may be a simple explanation for the weirdness or you may be able to pivot the mistake as a selling point. Think of it as a learning experience. It can certainly make for a good story later!

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