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December 12, 2011

Stories from the Real Estate Frontlines

by mark mclean

Happy Monday. The holiday season is in full swing and while there are still a lot of sales happening across the city, many of us are thinking about other things like trips and shopping so this week I decided to keep the topic a little light and focus the discussion on wild real estate stories. We have all heard them. Most are true but there are some awesome urban legends out there. If you have any good ones you want to share, please let me know.

We were happy to have Tom Bosley sit in today, and he told a story of selling a house many years ago in North Toronto. When the buyers moved in they found that the seller had cut down every tree on the property. It seems that stripping out the house of everything not nailed down is a common theme. Tom also mentioned a time when a seller took all the light bulbs. I’m sure it gets worse.

While I have no proof of this urban legend, I had heard a story of a husband and wife splitting up. The wife had spent a lot of time decorating the family home so when the judge awarded the husband the home, she was rather annoyed to say the least. In retalliation she stuffed raw shrimp in all the hollow curtain rods. Naturally, the house developed quiet an odor which made the house unliveable. Finally the husband had to sell the home (we can only presume he masked the smell during the process).  He moved into another home nearby…and brought the drapes and rods with him! A woman scorned…..

Here’s one that I actually know to be true. Many years ago, while working at a different company, two of the agents were showing a condo to an older couple. They loved the suite and decided to tour the facilities. They checked out the pool and terrace, the meeting rooms, library and guest suites. When the agents opened the door to the workout room, they found a man lying on the floor with a huge TV on his chest. Apparently, while changing the channel, the TV dislodged from the bracket and landed on top of him. He was out cold when they walked in. One of the agent pushed the TV off while the other called an ambulance. The man survived thanks to their quick thinking. Who says realtors don’t save lives? How did the story end? The potential buyer thought that perhaps a near death by TV crushing was probably a bad omen.

Of course some agents cross paths with naked people during showings and it seems like a rather common occurance in our office. We heard stories ranging from agents walking into, um, shall we say, compromising situations to naked people walking between rooms, to naked people showering, to naked people sleeping on the sofas. Apparently Toronto really IS the Naked City. And while we are on the topic of nudity, one agent told the story of a rather attractive woman who asked her to stand outside and look up at the suite. She wanted to know if people would see her, as she liked to walk around ‘sans clothes’.  I would like to tell you where she finally bought but I have been sworn to secrecy. Ever wonder where Penthouse gets all those stories? Apparently from Realtors. Who knew.

Another agent told of a couple buying a house. They were recently married and fell in love with a beautiful three bedroom house. Well actually the wife really liked it. The husband thought it was too big until the wife announced that one of the bedrooms would make a great baby’s room. At that moment, the husband said, in front of the agent, that he wasn’t interested in having kids. Hmm, seems like that was one conversation that should have taken place well before they got married.


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