Gloria Commiso, a Hermosa Beach, California-based Realtor, was about to kick off an open house when she received an alarming call from the home’s owner. “I couldn’t find my boa constrictor,” the client said. As far as Commiso was concerned, that was grounds for canceling the event.

  • Buyers and sellers have blindsided agents with comments involving boa constrictors, spiritual cleansing and rebellious offspring, among other things.

Gloria Commiso, a Hermosa Beach, California-based Realtor, was about to kick off an open house when she received an alarming call from the home’s owner.

“I couldn’t find my boa constrictor,” the client said.

As far as Commiso was concerned, that was grounds for canceling the event.

But after wrestling with what acting in her client’s best interest meant in this situation, Commiso acquiesced to her client’s wishes and moved forward with the open house.

She locked the property’s garage — the last place the serpent had been spotted — and posted signs that read: “Warning boa constrictor is missing.” 

“The seller came back home, found it and put it in his cage,” she said in the Facebook group Lead Gen Scripts and Objections. “Open house went on as normal…the new normal. We have to work around pets because they’re family right?”

Homebuyers and sellers say the darndest things to agents sometimes. Entertain and fortify yourself with a few more bizarre, frustrating and hilarious statements that have come out of clients’ mouths.

‘I’m getting out [of jail] soon and was wondering if this area is safe?’

That’s a question a man in an orange jumpsuit who had wandered into one of Lori Bee’s open houses put to the Bluffton, South Carolina-based agent.

“I seriously thought I was being ‘punked’ (before the [TV] show ever came out) until I watched him leave and walk back up to the hill to the interstate road crew,” she said.

“He was difficult to follow up with,” Bee added.

‘We’re waiting for God to tell us it’s the right time to sell’

After hearing this from a homeowner, Blair Ballin responded that, for what it was worth, he at least thought it was.

But the owner listed with another agent.

Does that mean a competitor convinced the owner that the Almighty thought it was time to pull the trigger?

“Not sure, but I’m guessing they’re going to hell because of it,” he said.

‘Make sure there are no condoms out in my son’s room’

It was a sincere request from Ryan Hvizda’s seller client. The client’s son had been “purposely sabotaging the sale with similar antics,” said Hvizda, a Concord, New Hampshire-based agent.

“I was in disbelief … what do you say to that?” Hvizda said.

Quick on his feet, he decided to go with: “I’ll be sure to bring my rubber gloves.”

Hvizda was relieved to discover that the son had not resorted to the tactic his mother had feared.

‘They keep the other real bad vagrants from messing up the place’

Said a seller when asked by Jordan Connett about a report that three vagrants were living in his home. Connett, the CEO of real estate franchisor Redefy, made do.

“The vagrants stayed and we notified showings and sold the house in seven days,” he said.

‘You’re bad luck’

A seller client leveled this charge at Chesapeake, Virginia-based Barry Jenkins after a buyer’s loan officer revealed he’d made yet another mistake during the underwriting process, Jenkins said in the Facebook group Inman Coast to Coast.

“You’re bad luck,” his client told him upon learning the loan officer’s latest bungle.

Jenkins later sold the property to another buyer for a higher price than what the previous buyer had offered.

‘Can you go to these homes ahead of time and sage them before I look at them?’

The request was made by a buyer to Jamie Williams, a Springfield, Illinois-based Realtor.

Turns out “sage” was a reference to “smudging,” a custom that involves burning plants to purify or heal people, things and living spaces.

Williams put her problem-solving skills to work.

“I explained that they go many places without [the places] having been smudged and we would need permission to burn something in someone else’s home,” she said. “They were cool with it.”

‘It’s not your job to advise me on matters of pricing’

Said a seller to his listing agent, Theresa Kuyl.

“We had a very good offer on the table,” said Kuyl, a Toms River, New Jersey-based agent. “Needless to say, they are still in the house.”

‘I want to buy a foreclosure that needs no work and is updated’

Oh, and the home would have to cost less than $200,000, Melissa Graham was told by a buyer.

That was $50,000 less than the cheapest house on the market, says Graham, a Westchester, Illinois-based broker.

How to respond to 5 gems from clients

Leslie Ebersole, team leader of the Brix Group in the Fox Valley Baird & Warner office and director of the T3 Fellows program at Swanepoel T3 Group, offered up several more common seller or buyer statements — and how the agent should respond.

Potential seller: “I see all these postcards from all these other agents. You don’t look very successful compared to them. Why should I hire you?”
Agent: “I spend my money promoting my listings, not myself.”

Seller: “If I reduce the price I’ll make less, so you should lower your commission.”
Agent: “If you lower the price, I make less…that’s how percentages work.”

Seller: “If you sell it quickly, I want to pay less commission.”
Agent: “So you want me to drag this out and keep the property from selling for several months?”

Buyer: “My father/father-in-law/brother/hairdresser wants to do the inspection.”
Agent: “Is he a trained home inspector?”
Buyer: “No, but he cares about me.”
Agent: “OK, here’s the waiver you need to sign for refusing a professional home inspection.”

Buyer: “I don’t need no stinkin’ lawyer.”
Agent: “OK, here’s the waiver you need to sign…”

Buyer: “I’m not signing an agency agreement.”
Agent: “OK, here’s the waiver you need to sign…”

Email Teke Wiggin.

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