Realtors’ Strangest Experiences Showing Houses

Realtors’ Strangest Experiences Showing Houses

By Jake Schroeder
Eztgcb8qwiz3rhqj5lk8ik5ubjehda37v8y8skfy70i0gl059aavejdrkgrvqijsw Izthpp4 Km5oknwcj4gsjdz 4lp5vmrzuvvsmneck6ofmjeskjquunocwrzr57r6pngyosio X9htna
Photo Courtesy: Algernai Hayes/Unsplash

Real estate is often portrayed as a glamorous profession. Reality television has given us peeks into the lives of real estate agents who sell million-dollar mansions and help clients find their dream homes, but is working in real estate actually anything like that in real life? Not surprising, those aren’t the experiences most realtors have on the job. It’s typically rather mundane — but then there are the exceptions.

Real estate agents, clients and colleagues have posted some hilarious stories on Reddit filled with all the juicy details about the most out-of-the-ordinary things they have experienced during showings. Let’s just say you never know what you will find when you walk into a stranger's house.

Literal Bats in the Attic

I was a realtor in upstate NY back in grad school. The worst house I ever saw was pretty junky inside, with paths through the garbage which was at least a foot deep in each room.

9ne But2ukfqo4ga Wrxseh9kc64vfnmnjlktbxgtvz4c 2bda6ikrqpkjamuapq1www8znqcmeb7oypcfgy8qpyj5c4fgft4nj3wx7tp95 67dmnl982ta Es02c3rfagnzpne8fwimmxavbg
Photo Courtesy: Todd Cravens/Unsplash

Worse, we looked in the attic and found that there had been a hole for years, allowing bats, birds, etc. access. The channels between the attic beams were completely full of guano, so then we realized why the rest of the house was "dusty." Every time they slammed a door, everything was sprinkled with a new layer of bat guano.


A Series of Unfortunate Events

We were doing the pre-purchase inspection and noticed a kid in the back yard near some woods kneeling and digging with a shovel. We walked over to say hi and see what was up. He turned and said, "Get out of my face," so we decided it was best to leave him alone.

Ztaggfj7gmaedj9qkkjj8xxxgk9fzjxrxfka3bpv5mgpzpu Xitq5xztorsp2kcygdxopxnsumqemftzr0bk4zhaei J1ibqjtsp7hljdnts2agxyhpepo5xhmekfv2b 4iwuhoye0pvwbo 5a
Photo Courtesy: Craig Whitehead/Unsplash

It turned out the home sale was due to divorce, and he was the son of the sellers. He had just come to get the last of his things out of the garage, and they somehow had run over his dog with his Jeep, so he decided to bury the dead dog in the backyard of the house we were buying. I felt bad for the kid.


A Strange Welcome

I scheduled a showing at a property occupied by renters. They were fully aware of the showing. I had talked to the husband directly. So, I showed up with my client and his 2-year-old, and the whole family was there, the husband and two kids nonchalantly watching TV in the living room. The wife was lying on the bed in the master bedroom, door open, watching TV — in her lace bra and panties.

0zicrkl09wgy6elnk90mknt8oxdax Zxwsaqmogetw4wngsm Hwx0xromsin8shoeizrhhvfcuilmqrzz36hikvf6zrk26f48iz2qzxahkvgfaut9osndfkktkyr7h3x Aho2utp Om Oxwzaa
Photo Courtesy: Gustavo Ferreira/Unsplash

As we walked by, she just looked over and said, "Come on in and take a look around." We opted out of the house immediately. I later talked to the listing agent, and we were not the first to lodge a complaint.



How Many People Live Here?

I work for a brokerage, and we manage about 1,000 units in our city. The weirdest showing I ever had by far had to be when I was going to a nice part of town to show a 2,200-square-foot, two-story home to what I thought was a single mother. It turned out that she and her friend were moving in together, and they both brought their children — all six of them. They were all running around screaming, slamming doors, locking each other in closets and the like, and the moms were both just ignoring it.

Fq1hifwtksgkty84nvyjcj39cdaxbqw3je1uep6fdohuvpsvgq1g3 Fb 5c Yru6cxykff98hg3umpfx Hfmg1hvm4mf80exhb2obdcf Gzgp4kktqwppdl Qf6kssyvzposhnld98rxcmfxma
Photo Courtesy: Trinity Kubassek/Pexels

Not surprised? There's more. About 10 minutes into the moms exploring the house, one of them gets a phone call and has a shouting match with what I assume to be her baby daddy. This then turns into her locking herself in the upstairs master bedroom, noisy kids running wild for 15 minutes. All I could do was twiddle my thumbs and wait. Yeah, that was fun.


When Clients Are Criminals

So, my mom was at a showing at the end of the day, just showing this home to a single guy (couple bedrooms, bath, garage) nothing special. He asked to see the garage, and according to her, that is typically just opening the door and looking in, and that's all.

7uwfncvddqsuv5fnnmt6z Wt9uytcty6cmjwg66no2b7mbdn Auxqvflwor5yxyrsaozylkdxij5cnopnathfvg L6me5xp Dgomtzkbkewpjogsisovyfjs Agq3e9jkstcn0gw6ida0mdsa
Photo Courtesy: PIRO4D/Pexels

The guy motions her to enter, so she walks in ahead of him. The guy moves in behind her, shuts the door and then jiggles the handle to make sure he locked it — he did. Mom left right out the side door the instant she saw him jiggle the handle and took off. She carries mace with her now.


Is Anybody Home?

I have been a realtor for 14 years here. A few months ago, I went into a house in a nice area, but there was obviously no maintenance done on the outside, which was unusual for the area. We went in, and there were piles of stuff everywhere — stacks and stacks everywhere you looked. The place was a mess.

Nk3jiavtdvzs5b9shywfljtyrt6vubcptmrajacy1zc3cbme95jvdxxx6drho63ktamc1nskbaptfuvmccvvieiiegbcr3rbujbss169m1llczqey 3l Uinwzwdhs1xjx Nc D Ijfkleszaw
Photo Courtesy: Norwood Charity/Wikipedia

My clients commented on how much of a mess it was and that they couldn’t believe someone was living here. We went downstairs, and there was this 80-year-old guy sitting in a corner on a desktop computer. I don't even know if he knew we were there. It was weird because whenever I enter a house, I always ring the bell and yell hello.

My clients were so embarrassed they left without seeing the basement. The house is still unsold. I don't know if that guy is still in the basement.



Barb's Real Estate Adventures

My mom’s friend, Barb, had the worst, most bizarre luck with clients. These are two stories I remember hearing. One, she was showing a very old (1930s?) fixer-upper when water started leaking onto her and her clients' heads. Upon further investigation, it wasn't water. It was a stray dog peeing upstairs. That's right. All three of them had just been peed on.

2zus62tkohzq319ndnkg 5wguibfgm4z7imp7bzmokvbr3nwmhh2tujhzc Jti92nznhn9mn4 Ojnbabso1w9vtayegxidml7i7ap4gzwe3zpwckxwd6kvstuv14gwrezolspbbrbb3a8xxl6a
Photo Courtesy: Brett Jordan/Unsplash

Second, she was showing a very nice home to a very young couple. They were in the foyer when a "New York-sized rat" dragged its poisoned body by its front paws to the center of the room, hissed at them once and promptly died.

Also, (not Barb related) my mother was once trying to sell a house that had renters in it who didn't want to go. They got evicted but kept squatting. Finally, they left a small surface-to-air missile on the front porch to scare her. My mother brought me to make sure it was a dud. Needless to say, I now own a small, empty SAM.


Clients with Sticky Fingers

I'm not in the business anymore, but I did hundreds of showings. I'm kind of jealous of some of the weird stories here, because my weirdest doesn't approach them. My milder story is that one of my vendors used to leave $50 on the kitchen bench to pay the cleaner — they were childless professionals with nobody home during the day.

Rwmwlgzgqj Uwumi36qf3wddybkibkoldxthhfnnede1n4znrxkxkr Frbrbpiqmrslyaqaih2xzls7x Natbkekhfzfiivsnpb59uvzqcqpd4rqqvj7 Iwaaqo0njycwwhw3kvzlr Cu8099g
Photo Courtesy: Andressa Voltolini/Unsplash

While showing one day, a man claimed it was his and that he must have dropped it. I didn't let him take it, but I did go through the polite pantomime of searching the whole house for the $50 he was sure he had dropped.

Other than that, the weirdest showing I did was for a house with three chain smokers. The walls and roof were yellow (bordering on brown in places) with smoke stains. It made me want to wretch.


Don't Wake the Officer!

A good friend of mine was showing a house, and he was the listing agent, so he had keys and was under contract to show the house. He tried to call the owners but got no answer. He tried both cell numbers on the way over but still no answer. He showed up at the house just as the potential buyers were pulling up.

Ugajio3chbjpap0de Ainin3xp0mkxdy T5yqa Eyyxq4gam2xyaeuuepljj4gxgydlfzs6l4en6d7hys Veyszeb0y6p1 Ty4hq1m5s2le62uaf8who8akj1p2rve0e Exid A1a5fcwxckg
Photo Courtesy: Tobias Kleinlercher/Wikipedia

The house looked empty, so they went in knocking, announcing — literally yelling — that they were coming in. They toured the whole downstairs and moved to the upstairs and were looking through the bedrooms. They were talking, laughing, commenting about the house and such. They got to the end of the hall, opened the double doors to the bedroom and there was the owner.

He was a police officer in full uniform laid out on top of the bed in the master bedroom. He was asleep with one of those masks covering his eyes. The broker and the couple saw him about the same time and froze, standing there for a few very long awkward seconds of total stunned silence. Needless to say, they all turned around and left very quietly. And, no, they didn't buy the house.



The "Dirty" Side of Real Estate

Foreclosure sales are often super depressing. They usually occur because people are down on their luck and in a tough spot in general. The owners often leave stuff behind. I saw one last year where they abandoned a bunch of kids’ toys and school projects.

Mlaqjmxp0cic8nzepyefbtstsdtvvuanhjfp5mqy9gkkzxs6tzftwargdz9ttlwvmr0ckmm9ul3vxmvd7qcfnoxbletcnmjrbiu0u Wajhdkopmtijyvel5zgd4vhiz21cimjsotttk2ufe8ua
Photo Courtesy: Luca Masters/Wikipedia

Generally, you'd be surprised at how people live. You find filth and chaos in a neat little house, or that big, gorgeous mansion you drive by all the time is probably only half furnished, while condos and apartments almost always have way too much furniture in them.


We Don't Want Nice Things!

I used to be in real estate investment, and I saw some interesting properties in the Milwaukee area. One property that we actually ended up buying was a nine-unit efficiency. Eight of the units shared 2.5 baths, and one unit was the "management apartment" on the first floor. Apparently, the owner didn't tell his tenants, so when we walked in, he told us to act like we were insurance agents so the tenants wouldn’t get an idea what was going on.

Bnnwi9 R5ew4yaeyptq Peom5oyyhaqbuxeo5ytixxuiizsxy 9ojrmiip7upaqdasbnbrtxppekqykas4uctrvs59adfu871x Pnyh Qi Qkev4s9rsrixt Peq7z 9iujsq9pgbj Lf658ja
Photo Courtesy: yns plt/Unsplash

Everyone in the property was very odd. We still ended up buying the property because we got it about 60% below asking price. We went to each tenant and told them we wanted to redo their carpets, repaint their walls a color of their choosing and install some AC units in the windows. They all declined. We chose not to renew any leases at the end of their terms, redid the place and turned it into student housing.


Renting from the Wrong Owner

When I was in leasing, I went to view a house in order to assess it before it went on our books for rent. I was looking around, and it was a very nice, modern three-bedroom, detached house.

Nzx6hkqg1om2vndfwutpyif6rvbcvp2h4pssizzeec3pectthxrim 48qadj4awjtxhsv8nmwk6kjumbx7sbgve8wrg1bixqu0hxyzipkh73qnudbb0o5ou10cziom3tnizrwn9twqyiryuba
Photo Courtesy: Jan Kopriva/Pexels

Near the end of it, a woman came in off the street and went absolutely ballistic. It turned out it was half her house, and she was living in it. The guy I was with owned the other half but moved out a week before after having an affair. To spite his partner, he was going to change the locks and rent it out. I don't know how he thought he'd get away with it.



When Nature Calls

We just bought a house, and on one set of showings, we had to take our 4-year-old daughter along. We got to the last house, a vacant, winterized house, and she said she needed to pee. I told her to hold it, and we went through the house with its old, outdated, smell of smoke (and I'm an outside smoker).

Trcktt68elhl6soupvaxz3oc38k Sdnkrsu2saxzzbhzm4eshl8e4xkgmueoc41cr5y1 K10wql53a6xguhud0 Rloyotohmpuujbqtjdn5u7krti J Ilhasxjo 67aw6lywlg3way8wbvfag
Photo Courtesy: Alexander Drummer/Pexels

We were locking up and talking to our realtor when I realized I didn't see our daughter. We walked around the bushes at the front porch, and there she was — peeing in the middle of the front yard. We didn't buy that house.


Welcome to the Landfill

I’m just a buyer here, but I'll share. We bought a FSBO property — no realtors. Both parties were pretty thorough, and the deal was pleasant. We got to the closing, and the seller had not done the math correctly and misunderstood how much we had asked for in closing costs. He wrote me the check, but he was mad.

Ewxymegayffafv1u Nrynr5i9c Wpwlzl5iv0ae5j5l41vr9b38g18anxu9gj2uj Lx4bo8qmei1kannmeuez9hqdd0pt94ot8se2b9h D3d Rqffsyfmyyf9 Iwgfb0i1hxtgazg1lbatc Qg
Photo Courtesy: Magda Ehlers/Pexels

I took possession of the house the next morning. He and his wife had dumped garbage from one end of the house to the other. I had a full-sized truck, and we ended up raking up the garbage and hauling it — three truckloads — to the dump.


Finding a Squatter

In South Central Los Angeles, I was attacked by a skeleton-looking crackhead with a knife once. She had broken in and started living in a room, so she was yelling at us to get out of her home.

By7prysmr Lrxc3migm Frgxkkewftuuxn 6rolrzqoqjbmxyauvtspgqsa1g Qg1x0vwizzqj674mhlso5ieckcvjgtek2kbp Yoklildt5noecdjqhcsfo9c2d25ew0hjwstjv Zy7uaobsg
Photo Courtesy: Roman Koval/Pexels

Another time, I entered a home that had newspapers and mail piled about 4 feet deep throughout the entire home. The walls and decor were still very well taken care of, and it was a weird sight, especially since there were no foul odors or other signs of hoarding.



How Do We Get Out of Here?

When I was in eighth grade my parents were looking for a house, and so my sister and I spent many Sunday mornings being dragged from showing to showing. I will never forget one for this house in the middle of a nice suburb. From the outside, it looked like it had all these big windows around the front of the house, and you could see the curtains were closed.

Jw7o5auokzak8na3p7t R J8r9llapbjhuehclj7xhpzzjyhzcznocljyfoedhqfaixsmflxqvqltxnwwyflb7 Jmhfijr Mex3pozpm5cnpb7oea4fzy Qjqowqzqp3fe7c613 Iqf90ny4 A
Photo Courtesy: Patrick Tomasso/Unsplash

We walked in, and there were no windows anywhere. They were all covered with drywall and painted to match the rest of the room. There was a line of electrical outlets around the base of the entire room and in a solid line up one wall to the ceiling. Upstairs was the same situation — but worse. All the windows were a facade, and the master bedroom had a toilet in one corner and a shower in the opposite corner. There was no separation of any kind, just the same carpet all around the shower and the toilet.

You could tell the realtor was super uncomfortable. She didn't really say anything, just kind of led us around in silence. Needless to say, we did not buy that house.


The Creepy Bedroom

Imagine a room full of dolls, the ones with the glass eyes that look into your soul, and they are all arranged to "look" at the door when you walk in. Yeah, no sale!

Ruwrizcbtyevrzkzkeb N6ie2ra7ysq7yu8nivs9kwpoim45jjm386yvnc3j8bgprakzrqm9mwquigpdi38hhi1ubcieygjoyuqzsnw7ysj2kw 2eaobvohlouwyv5nytpxw Ilhq9gw1gvskg
Photo Courtesy: Alexas Fotos/Pexels

A Funny Way of Decorating

Eagles — one man had bald eagle paraphernalia in every corner of the condo. There were entire shelving units packed to the brim with eagle statues, and every bit of fabric — draperies, blankets, rugs — was eagle themed. Perhaps the weirdest part was there wasn’t a single American flag to be seen anywhere.

Spgqfcejfa3nlv Ititk8a5eeeibxgirei5eszcm6oa7g3qfvwjd8disncssg7 M1dxzvtqmcxp4woh V3ehbhwb518eotf1mwmscdas2tlrnbz7f7sqtusxyx3myvw0mamuivgmyti9aqffhg
Photo Courtesy: Alexas Fotos/Pixabay

There's Not Always Running Water

This next story might seem crazy, but any real estate agent will tell you that it happens way more often than you might think. I was looking at a multifamily building with a realtor I use a lot, and we were meeting a contractor. He showed up looking kind of pale. He kept talking really fast and then just said he had to go to the bathroom.

Nc8mbuqqebuqox Gtm2zxkibdbv2zl9iccaaspgquyth Jnps06a9g50kdjae 4x54pjtrw09noazavl3nio84wne6zdoj2qw3ge0qgthcootsfpcfjqc9ehh7leefv4qdxblg3hz5ju9ph2g
Photo Courtesy: Christa Grover/Pexels

Of course, the place had been winterized since it was vacant, which meant no water. He took the smelliest dump ever. I swear, he must have had a touch of the bird flu or something. We just left after that. I hope they didn't have trouble selling it with frozen diarrhea in the toilet.


The Hidden Problem in the Basement

I'm a home inspector, so I have a bad experience at least once a month. The most notable one was when I caught an agent and owner covering up a major deficiency. There was an open waste pit in the basement, and they covered it with boxes. I'm very lucky I caught it.

Mznjefkv0f4shpzy1hjukycgktyjzzssapinsk5om3hnsx00revvxhkgw Va1ulrerbmuhi8aveh1hra6mbyiybh5jaucqi8cmeluxa7o9cdcs8vq7y5dizx4umhp 7bbdmj1gwjqcen7dun W
Photo Courtesy: Oleg Magni/Pexels

As I was leaving, the tenant told me one of my "friends" was there last week. I asked if she remembered his name, and she said he was bald. Since I work in a relatively small area, I called the only bald home inspector in town, and he brought me up to speed and told me where to look. Sure enough, there was an open pit of sewage. It turned out the last buyers paid a plumber to come out and quote it, and it was $18K fix.

It gets worse. I got a call from another client a week later looking for an inspection on the same property. I told them I was there before, and we scheduled an appointment. That time the selling agent was also acting as the buying agent. When we showed up, I asked if a number of the big deficiencies were disclosed. Both clients looked at me oddly and told me nothing was disclosed. I looked at the agent, and she face palmed herself.


You Might Want to Get That Repaired

I went out to a house on the hill that had snapped in half. They had hazard tape all over the place but still had a Supra (lock box) on the property.

Jutiloxomozo17ml05nnvsnrf0qfmbu0bq 5biij0tcvzopripn977mqfldylpowpa8uwt7gp3axqnb6siteumqrfgr 59fl7rngo4v4igc77eqatsuhrlc7weda05lx1y8mad35jq4fze3 Sq
Photo Courtesy: Martin Pechy/Pexels

Indoor Garage

My seller liked to tinker with cars — a lot — but he didn’t have a garage, so he used his living room instead. He wasn’t happy when I told him he had to dismantle the vehicle and get it out of the living room before we put the house on the market.

6ke3irafppe0vmzllgmpbnq4qb45dlto1adv6wbgf4jkae9irazvxsrqjiug7hmpkprjpo5xwgfaudjqbicnip95pqgt Ixoyden 3 91 7wkiicsmpodgfjp0ae401llml6ntu7rtc12nm62g
Photo Courtesy: Malte luk/Pexels

The Extremely Phobic Client

Surprise! Many people have dogs, cats, parrots and even pet rodents. Somehow, these houses are inevitably paired with potential clients who are afraid of said animal. One actually fainted. Who is that afraid of birds?

Ef46cgzyjforreu9wfdg4e7afxhe3wqjxuzrk9sgcx Q1ktlurvld4c9zwzwjcd1lq 7lvrkvfcp2uu3ifnrtzc4q65zwu7bqpvb Darxibjp2bqpvhi9lt4fb6t7oiyo6bkx Hggxj7pdi4q
Photo Courtesy: Johannes Plenio/Pexels

The Cats Come Out to Play

So, a broker calls to set up an appointment for his buyer. The seller agreed and asked for an hour so he could get the cats out. Okay, fine. The broker and client show up an hour later.

09cjcqwdsd70y7lo2bxa5zbuuwxbrb Eoa9qqpeaty7dzclhunf9poqoig6qaoabrr7c4jyhzq39utyihcvegworvpzj6e Km12bc2inyanpvkmgj9k632jvwuj1stb3dc Iv72ynnjiblbcdw
Photo Courtesy: ilyessuti/PIxabay

The seller had overlooked at least one cat, and the place smelled horrible. The broker tried to get his client out of there immediately, because after all, they had seen better houses for less money that day. The buyer said, no, he had to know why the seller thought it was worth that much.



The "New" Roof

Once, an enterprising roofer had laid a new roof right over rotting wood shingles.

Owpdgzuytxvgydluxagrzrchyiy3q76fbqmejixefuinsv140ssvq23wmm3gzsuk9lk Kfvo9ookpowaxhr Iveme9ihysb2xwxk3hcfz7zr2ivwt5pgvrunuywfbcr5okyummhoozakr6gmfq
Photo Courtesy: Adrien Olichon/Pexels

Who Puts Trash in the Trash Can?

My grandma sells and rents houses in the Denver area. A few weeks ago, I had to help her evict a few college brothers from one of her properties. It was a cottage-style home, so no second floor, no basement.

Qyrg03zfouqc6gvciuhtiku Ctzg Jqwtnwcxo2xvd9s8enhoe8s0riieujl8wokukoixp6w4vr6tu Uvnzj Muhjm3o Dt Ry0edibafext4oxpy5 Byntk7dvt0wte Rjxtwzqqy2pziby1q
Photo Courtesy: Steve Johnson/Pexels

These guys had literally dug a hole in the wood floor and made a basement where they had been throwing trash away for the last year. Like, it's a living room with a TV and a couple of armchairs — and a giant hole in the ground filled with ice cream wrappers, pizza boxes and cigarette butts.