Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Most of you know that I can't tell a lie with a straight face. This is why it is especially hard to show a house with people in the home. You don't want to show too much interest or offend them if your face is scrunched up like you just ate a lemon. This is why you ALWAYS leave the home when you are the seller. That being said, showing the shitter with people inside is an art form I have not quite accomplished. The very first time this happened was with some good friends back when I started in Real Estate. The house was in a great neighborhood in their price range so we knew there was going to be some issues. What we didn't expect to find was the people inside with the issues. As we pulled up we knew this was going to be difficult because the house was completely overgrown with weeds, vines, bushes, and those trees that start as weeds. The only thing you could see was the front door but even that was blocked by a shaggy haired guy and his stringy hair girlfriend. So we parked and bravely walked to the door. The guy was missing only half his teeth and the girl was missing most but they smiled as big as they could and welcomed us to their home. She was even nice enough to put out her cigarette and give us the grand tour. We started in the living room that was so outdated and smokey you couldn't really see the orange-ish brown-ish shag carpet and the matching brown and orange flowered couch was on its last leg. She then pointed to the kitchen where an older lady in a moomoo was cooking some fowl smelling concoction and said "that's the kitchen but don't go in there". We thought that was good advice so we continued on the tour. We get to the hallway and we see 3 closed doors. She points them out and says you can go in that one but the other 2 you can't. My client was from the south and used to this sort of thing so he bravely set foot into the 1 bedroom we were allowed to see. In the room was a child of about 7 or 8 who then yelled as loud as he could to get out of his room. We also followed his advice. At this point my face is scrunched up like I've eaten 3 or 4 lemons and I am trying to smile as the lady tells us all about herself and how she has had a hard time of it lately but she knows it will turn around. I am also trying to get us out of the house as fast as we can so when I thanked her for showing us her lovely home, she turned her 2 teeth on me and said, "but you haven't seen the basement". Ahhh yes, I thought, the basement will probably be the redeeming bright spot on this house because most basements are not creepy at all. So we follow her down the yellow (at one point I am sure it was white but now more of a piss yellow) hall to the basement. As we descend the stairs, I knew for certain this was not going to be the basement of my dreams but more of a final resting point. We arrive at the bottom of the stairs and there are another 3 rooms with doors closed. She says, "You can't go in these 2 but you can see this one" and points the the farthest room. I am feeling like she may have dreamed of being a game show model and wanted to play the What's Behind Door #2 game. I did not want to play that game! But out of sheer determination, with a 6 lemon scrunch on my face, I reach for the door. I look behind me and my poor clients have a look of horror on their face and have actually turned their bodies towards the stairs to make a run for it should another demon child come crashing out. The door slowly swings open and just as it swings out a black cat jumps out and heads for the stairs. I may have passed out but I think that my clients grabbed me, beat the cat up the stairs and shoved me into the car and away from the house. I have gotten much better from the full 6 lemon scrunch and can usually keep it down to a 2 lemon scrunch now but this house I showed in North Denver challenged every acting skill I possessed (which is not a lot). I pulled the listing up on MLS and it said, nice home that has been updated in the last 4 years. I thought, good for them! Watching HGTV and doing some updates will always sell your home faster. So I called my clients and said I had a house in their price range to look at. We pulled up and I saw that the lawn was deader than my first hamster Rex. But that is Ok because you always need a little sweat equity! We walk to the door and I notice that none of the windows have screens but are all open. Huuummm, I think to myself. Doesn't that attract flies? That's Ok because you can kill some flies and it will be fine. I get to the door and I see that it has been kicked in several times and is kinda hanging on there with a string and duck tape. My face is starting its 1st lemon scrunch at this point as I am thinking, this can't be too safe to have a door that doesn't even have hinges anymore. I knock (but not very hard because I am scared the door will just crash in and the people inside will get their wish for a new door paid for by me) and am invited inside with a cheerful "Come in". I try the door knob and don't even have to turn it and the door swings me inside to a room of 7 people sitting around the TV. "Oh!" I say in surprise and horror at the sheer number of people sitting in wife beater tank tops that have pit and food stains all over them. "I'm sorry, I set a showing but we can come back." I am hoping they take me up on my offer because my face has a full 3 lemon scrunch going on 4. The old lady on the couch barks "Oh we knew yous wasa comin, take a look around". Trying to be as nice as possible I scale back the scrunch and step inside. "Hi how are you" I say and hand her my card. Little did I know that I would be forced to hear a 5 minute lecture about her health and how her feet were swollen up in the heat. Back on my face was the 4 lemon scrunch. "Well sorry to hear all about your troubles, I guess we will take a quick look and be out of your hair" I say and look around the room at the other 6 people. They have not once looked up from the TV and with the smell of pot permeating the area I figure they probably don't even know I am there. We set off towards the kitchen when I hear one last bark from the old lady "watch out for the cabinet in the kitchen, it's coming off the wall". Now I am not one to call anyone a liar but when they said updated I wondered what could possibly have been updated? Was it the 1 cabinet that still hung on the wall or the 3 that had just been placed on top of the countertop? Was it the peeling linoleum that was covering more peeling linoleum? And of course I am seeing more flies, dead and alive, than I have seen in my life (and that is saying something since I grew up on a horse farm). We venture from the kitchen to the bedrooms where we see an even older lady passed out on the bed, 2 kids passed out in another bedroom and a bathroom that had a layer of film thicker than my grandmas glasses! At this point I was swatting away flies from my face at a furious pace and racing toward the front door when I hear the dreaded words..."wait, you haven't seen the basement!". NOOOOO WAY!! I am not falling for that one again!