Friday, April 24, 2009

Agent Poopers...uh, I mean "Bloopers"

Back By Popular Demand: More Agent

Bloopers You'll Love!

Here's the list of this week's best bloopers, which will surely make you all go running to your Spell Czech...uh, I mean Check:

You'll get a great feel when you enter. (Can I get that address again?)

Need one moth to close escrow (Moth must produce tiny moth license.)

Home of the famous Rose Bowel Parade (They must think their s__t doesn't stink!)

Enjoy the fragrance of the Cherry Bottoms (Cherry or not, I'll pass thank you!)

High volted ceilings (For added spark, no doubt.)

Enjoy the sparkling Poo in the back yard (Only if we can smoke the grass afterward.)

Agent will work on the sellers regardless of their price. (You should get a bonus for that, girlfriend!)

New Breakfast Bra with extra storage (How uplifting!)

Big Built-in Panty (In case the price scares your bloomers off)

Bonus toom - great for children. (Thank you, Joan Crawford.)

Agricultural tutor (At least it wasn't a "tooter.")

Arked doors (Can I get a break on flood insurance?)

Trial Floors (I'll be the judge of that!)

Fully Equipped Jim (Wow - Is Jim single?)

Handicapped rump in back (I'm restraining myself here.)

Everything is hand rubbed (Is this the same place where you can get a great feel? ...And is Jim involved?)

Some Great Selling Points:

Coved ceilings & dark mold throughout (Try penicillin)

Fish in the nearby fouling river. (Third World Fish and Game Preserve for Sale?)

Kitchen nooke is not permitted (Darn! Call me anyway, Jim.)

"Nice split level located in cuddle-sac" (Don't tell me about your cuddle-sac, tell Jim.)

Ski Resort and Slop nearby. (From the highs to the lows)

Wool burning fireplace (Did a shepherd live there?)

New crapet throughout (Apparently the shepherd DID live there!)

Naughty pine floors (Acting out due to "crapet" overload, I'm sure.)

Hardwool floors - (Someone needs to sell that shepherd a stable!)

Beautiful new sherry cabinets (For serious drinkers only.)

Pool Table Included - Husband doesn't know yet. (Balls in side pocket?)

Stuffed heads in library available for purchase. ( How ‘bout the stuffed shirt on the couch?)

Frigideer (Maybe "Fully Equipped Jim" can solve Deer's problem.)

There Has Got To Be A Pill For This:

Seller notes some irregularity. (Too much information, thank you.)

Call your neighborhood realator. (Then call your Docator.)

Thank you for your patients. (Realtor by day, docator by night?)

Lowballs ignored. (That could be a serious problem - is there a docator in the house?)

Heated seller. (Agitated by lowballs I'll bet.)

So close to freeway you can see it. (Life in the Fast lane.)

24 Hour Back Doorman ( I won't even touch this!)

Puding Green (Puh-leeze - I can't go there either!)

New sprinkles in back yard. (Will someone please wrangle those *!@*&^! sheep?)

Trampoline and fool not included. (Need I say more?)

Thankless Water Heater (Oy Vey! Listed by a Jewish grandmother it seems.)

And My Three Faves:

Seller will pay to Dislocate Tenant (An alternative to eviction - popular in Newark.)

Wine and Hors Ovries Served at Twilight (Booze with a hysterectomy chaser.)

House has Extra Porking space behind studio. ( Yay - Now I know where Jim lives!)

Thanks to Sotheby's International Realty and all those eagle eyed readers who contributed. (Please accept my apologies, but there were too many to list individually.) And special thanks to the L.A.Times and The for unwittingly contributing to the fun.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Disasters in UnReal Estate:

There is some old saying about the best laid plans going asunder, and I am about to tell you where asunder is: it’s a place in New Jersey. Picture a lovely suburb of tract homes in Jersey, circa 1969. One year my mother Marie decided we should sell the family home and get something bigger than a bread box. I didn’t mention my father Boyd, because he tried to stay clear of the caper - in fact, he tried to steer clear of ALL her capers. He would just sit in an overstuffed chair in front of the tube, as if anchored for safety, seemingly oblivious to everything unless it interrupted a ball game.

In our neighborhood, my mother and her twin, Aunt Bea (really her name) were referred to as Lucy and Ethel because of their ability to court disaster. The house-for-sale stunt was no exception. Mom and Bea had read an article on how to make the house more desirable, so they took matters into their own hands…always a dangerous proposition in our household. This was an unforgettable lesson in how NOT to make a home a stand-out on the open house trail.

Lucy Landscapes the Home

As we all know, landscaping is one of the most important tools in selling a house. It creates a feeling of “home” and gives the property a personality. However, this was Jersey tract housing, and all the houses looked alike - it was Levittown re-visited. Landscaping was never an art in our burg.

One sunny afternoon my mother was waiting with the dog in the “waiting room” of the vet. The waiting room was actually the living room of the home of Dr.-Diglio-the-Dog-Killer who lived a few blocks over. His actual office was attached to the back of his home. As my mother “Lucy” settled in with a magazine, a woman walked in from the kitchen, paused, then began to scream. My mother got so flustered she ran out without the dog. While huddled in the yard and unsure of what to do, it suddenly dawned on her that she had walked into the wrong home and had made herself quite comfortable, thank-you-very-much.

A bit shaken, she went back for the dog and talked the woman out of calling the local hit man. (After all, this was Jersey.) As soon as Lucy returned home, she promptly placed a hanging plant out front so she could always distinguish her own home from the others. Moral: Give the house some identity with some landscaping. It may help sell your house, and it will keep strangers from wandering into your living room.

Ethel Pays Attention to Lighting
Shortly after that, Lucy and her sidekick Ethel (Aunt Bea), who lived with us for years, decided to cruise around the neighborhood to see how the other neighbors had distinguished their own houses from the others. Now this was late October, so Halloween lights and decorations were in abundance, and pumpkins adorned nearly every stoop. As Lucy and Ethel, the Twins of Disaster, cruised along (never over 20mph), they had a running commentary:

“Look at the lovely Indian corn on that door, dear.”

“Yes, they grow beautiful corn in India. Isn’t that a funny jackal-lantern?”

“Oh, that house has lovely lighting, doesn’t it, dear? They did a lovely job!”

“Yes, lovely…..Oh-oh…Back up Marie, dear – that was our house we were looking at.”

Moral: Lighting can transform a house so much you can barely recognize it. Just ask Lucy and Ethel.

They Clean the House & Bake Something
In our house there was always clutter. My mother knew that the house had to be clean for showings, but a lot of kids, a mongrel dog, a bird and an Aunt Bea all added to the work load. She tried hard to get everything ready for the listing agent to come over to see the property and determine its value. The first thing she did was turn off the heat. Boyd had gotten a “deal” on Styrofoam insulation that you blow into the attic, but the pellets were the size of BB’s. For years, every time the fan to the heater came on, a white storm blew out of the vents like snow on the tundra. I kid you not. So Lucy and Ethel kept the heat off and cleaned up as much of the Styrofoam as they could, although it always clung to corners and looked like the house had psoriasis.

Mom also rented a rug shampooer and went at it, all ninety-five pounds of her trying to wranglea machine that weighed almost as much as she did. Ethel helped by chasing the dog out every time he tried to attack the machine. (He thought it was Dr. Diglio, no doubt.) When they were finished, the rug looked better, but the smell was horrendous. The rug was wool, so the entire house smelled like the vet’s office.

Lucy decided to cook up one of her favorite dishes to cover the smell, having read that fragrances helped set the ambiance. She made stuffed cabbage. Even the dog gagged. She admitted later that she thought the strong scent of cabbage would disguise the smell of the rug. (Isn’t that like eating garlic to cover up bad breath?) Moral: Yes, aroma can certainly add to the open house experience, but I suggest baking bread rather than something that smells like foot fungus.

Lucy De-Clutters While Ethel Clucks
Lucy and Ethel prepared the stage. With a household full of people and a general traffic problem, keeping clutter at a minimum was always impossible. But they knew that they just had to pull it together for an hour. They ran about, shoving items in cabinets, under beds, behind couches, and into every empty space available. My mother decided to clear the counters, so she threw the baked goods into the dryer and headed for the radio. “I need to turn on some music, Boyd dear,” she called to my father, who always stayed out of the path of the Sisters of Destruction.

“Marie, I’m watching the ballgame,” he bellowed. (Everything to him required volume.)

“But, dear, I read that music is important – and the agent is on her way.”

“Then she can listen to “Take Me Out to The Ball game” during the seventh inning stretch, because I’m not turning off the damn Yankees,” he barked. “The best thing you can do if you want to impress that agent is to get rid of the smell of death. And turn up the blasted heat!”

The Jelly Roll Explosion
This was October, remember. As the clouds set in, the day had gotten cooler, so Lucy jacked up the heat. As the smell of wet wool and cabbage wafted through the house like vomit on a radiator, so did the Styrofoam hail storm. From the living room, the lovely, dulcet notes of the announcers at the ballgame added to the ambiance of pure dysfunction. Now picture the door bell ringing, the dog barking, the bird squawking, my father ranting, Lucy and Ethel flying about like parrots on crack. As the stunned agent made her way into the show home of the month, we all heard a scream from my sister Lisa who was in the laundry room.

My mother stopped in her tracks. “Oh my God,” she cried, “turn off the dryer, dear!” It was too late. Ding Dongs had melted all over Lisa’s clothes and something called a jelly roll had exploded in the dryer, turning the entire machine and all its contents into a giant lava lamp. Of course, nothing was as bright as my dear mother’s face.

My father turned up the television and simply said to the agent, “This may take awhile…how ’bout a beer?” Moral: Remove all clutter, but never, never hide bake goods in a dryer without warning the family.

Lucy and Ethel Get Syndicated
Aunt Bea is still alive to verify this story (age 85), but dear Lucy is not, may she rest in peace. She deserved some peace. They decided not to sell and ended up in that disaster of a house for almost forty years. Not much has changed in the neighborhood, but the housing values certainly have climbed. Even in this market, sales are strong. If Mom were alive today, I bet she’d have a plant on the stoop and there would be the familiar smell of something burning in the kitchen. I thank her for teaching me so many of the basic rules of Real Estate, the most important one being: Avoid jelly rolls and Ding Dongs at open houses - they can go psycho on you at the least provocation.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Dress For Suck-cess
An UnReal Estate Film Treatment:
C’mon - tell the truth - you’ve seen many agents who present such a bad image you know even their own parole officers wouldn’t hire them. Today at an open house I saw an agent (with his client) who was decked out in shorts and flip flops. By contrast, at the same open house there was an agent in a very tasteful skirt. However, the agent’s name was Steven. Okay, I made up the last one, but you get my point. Thus, I have decided to create a mini film treatment for your consideration based on these characters. I will be accepting submissions of resumes for those who wish to play the lead roles. Please remove all coffee stains from photos before submitting.
Fade In:
As the sun lifts its sleepy head over the Los Angeles skyline, Vivian enters Motley Real Estate, her equally sleepy head balancing an enormous straw hat designed to cover her unwashed hair. Grabbing a cup of java, she makes her way to her desk as Tommy watches from across the room, enjoying her entrance. Vivian’s tight skirt screams in pain as Vivian sits, and her ample bosom tries to escape the confines of the extremely low-cut sweater she is almost wearing. “Wow,” Tommy sighs as he pokes one finger through the hole in the knee of his jeans, “those mountains deserve their own zip code.” As he is visualizes skiing those Black Diamond slopes, Vivian wipes coffee off her listing sheets and shoves them into her purse.

In the chair next to him, Hilda grins as she watches Tommy watching Vivian. “She’s dressed up for a listing appointment,” Hilda informs him as she stirs her coffee with her long acrylic nail. When she withdraws her finger from the hot liquid, Hilda notices that the nail has melted into a perfect question mark. It now matches the other nails. The lovely hue of her talons reminds her of lemon tarts. In fact, she thinks, I may even have some lemon tart still hiding under one of them.

Tommy, still observing Vivian, sighs again. ”Oh, I thought she was just returning from her date last night,” he responds. “You know, Hilda, I have a listing appointment today myself.”

“Great,” Hilda says with her usual enthusiasm. “The spiky hair and all those chains you have on really do make you look cool. Are you meeting a musician?”

“No,” Tommy grins, “this is a big fish from a stock brokerage in Beverly Hills. My dad referred him to me. That’s why I dressed up.”

“Well I’m sure he’ll love that Snoop Dogg Tee shirt, Tommy,” she says while wetting one finger and rubbing some dirt off the heel of her worn hooker pumps. “Be sure to ask Mel over there for some pointers - he deals with a lot of executive types.”
Cut To:
Hilda is using a magic marker to polish the toe of her shoe when Mel slides his chair across the floor, going zero to twenty in 10 seconds at the thought of sucking up a little attention. He lands squarely at her side. When his chair stops rolling, he touches his heavily sprayed coif to make sure every hair is still in place, pulls his powder blue trouser leg down over his pink sock, then adjusts his mauve jacket. A clump of rogue chest hair peeks over his top button like a rabid Pekingese. “Ohhhh,” smiles Hilda at the whiff of his pungent cologne.

“Hey, man” Tommy grins, “that spray-on tan of yours sure warms up the whole office like a nuclear reactor. I like that hint of orange that you’ve been turning lately.”

“Thanks, son,” Mel oozes, “I’m cooler than the Dogg, that’s fo shizl. I heard Hilda mention that you needed some pointers with the executive types. The best advice I can give you is to wear a jacket, kid. I have a plaid one in my Vette if you want to borrow one. And get yourself some reptile shoes.”

“Alligator? But they’re endangered!”

“Hell, then get Iguana, I don’t care. I’m just trying class ya up a bit, kid.”
And Along Comes Harry
Overhearing this, lanky Harry Houston stops while passing by. He shakes what’s left of yesterday’s lunch out of his long dreads and props himself onto the edge of Tommy’s desk. ”If you really want to get business man,” he says while weighing in on the subject, ”ask Georgia what her secret is. She closed four deals this week.”

“You sure know a lot about the office for a janitor,” Tommy replies in admiration, backing off from the smoke-and-cigarette cloud that clings to Harry like a second skin.

“I’m an agent, Porcupine Head,’” Harry corrects him while cleaning his cigarette stained nails with the tip of a pair of scissors. He sways gently as if imagining the ocean breeze in his hair. The heels of his boots are worn down so well that he is able to rock back in forth like a Weeble and still remain standing - always an advantage for Harry, who tends to nap on his feet a lot.

Shoving a pencil between his spiked locks, Tommy scratches his head and shoots Harry a puzzled look. “Oh, sorry about the misunderstanding, Dude,” he mumbles. “Are you referring to that Georgia over there? She closed four deals this week? But isn’t she our cleaning woman???”

“Nope,” replies Harry. “That pine smell comes from her skin ointment.”

“…Oops, my bad.” Tommy says with chagrin. “Hey, Georgia,” he calls out to her, “what’s your secret for success?”

Enter Georgia
Georgia rambles over, stopping occasionally to yank up her pantyhose, which are migrating South like a flock of geese. “Oh, I just know how to handle myself,” she brags, “and I pay close attention to details, Toby.” (Tommy doesn’t correct her on his name, bowing to her seniority. In fact, he momentarily even considers changing his name out of respect.)

“Well, I plan to learn from the best, Georgia,” he explains.

“Well, then pay attention, kid,” Georgia growls, a bit perturbed that Tommy’s attention has already drifted. In fact, the entire group has suddenly been rendered speechless by:
A Cloud of Candi
There is shock and awe at the sight of Candi, the new agent with the dark roots and the platinum mane. Her back side is definitely a distraction to the entire group as she bends over in her napkin-size skirt to retrieve her eye pencil. As her skirt hikes up and momentarily becomes a belt, they all cock their heads to one side to get the wide lens view of Candi’s candy. Suddenly Candi uprights herself, looks around, and then slaps herself loudly on the forehead. “Oops,” she giggles, ”I think I’m in the wrong office. I’m with the real estate company down the hall!” She sashays toward the door, bounces off the door frame, and loses a few more IQ points in the collision. As she makes her spectacular exit, her Poppin Fresh giggles trail behind her behind.

After a few silent minutes, they all shake off their shock and drift back into the conversation. Well, all except Harry, who is now asleep while swaying in his rockabye boots. Vivian slithers over, her hat shading her eyes and her hips shading the rest of the office. “So who is your clientele, and why are you able to close so many deals, Georgia?” Vivian presses.

They all lean in closer to hear her response, knowing that she has a secret that somehow eludes the rest of them. What is it? How can they also have the secret to cultivating great client relationships? How do they make the same impression on people that Georgia does?
The Secret of Suckcess
Georgia leans back in her chair and props her thick ankles on the desk, her feet protruding over the sides of her shoes like two over-baked popovers. When she raises her arms to beckon forth her followers, the stains that line the armpits of her blouse form a juicy smile. She whispers dramatically as she imparts her secrets for a winning career: “As you have probably noticed, I am the the queen of dressing for success.”

Silence. Then: “Ahhhhh,” they exhale in unison. Georgia nods her head and shoots them all a supercilious grin. “I was taught by my father who was a very dapper business man.”

“Was he an agent also?” Tommy inquires, taking notes on a napkin.

“Hardly!” she sniffs, pausing for drama. Then, as if giving a benediction, she delivers the secret: ”He ran a clown college.” She waits for the effect. The group, one by one, absorbs the information with slack jaws and nods, unified in their appreciation of her sartorial heritage. Georgia then stands imperiously, her slip winking at them from below her hemline, and gives them all a Queen Elizabeth wave. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I must be on my way,” she apologizes, “I need to tend to my client base. They adore me and they love my sense of style.”

“Are they clowns, too?” Tommy asks.

“No, Toby, it’s the Square-Dancing Society of Bakersfield.”

A reverential silence then: Loud applause breaks out as she exits, one broken heal clickety, clack clacking as if to salute her splendor. Several agents wipe tears from their eyes.
After a beat, Vivian jumps into Tommy’s arms and throws her hat in the air. (Cue the theme from “Officer and a Gentleman.”) And then…
Fade To Black
Casting Director’s Note: Any similarities to real persons is accidental. Yeah, fat chance. If you feel you are exactly right for any of these roles - and some of you KNOW you are - please turn in your R.E. license before auditioning. And keep your dirty shoes off my casting couch!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I just got caught on 2 Typos in my post about The Caravan From Hell - which is especially funny considering my last post was all about typos! I LOVE that!!! Thank you, and a pancake to both of you (see blog that follows). Let's also give a RazzBerry Award to Spell Cheque! (Um...that was a yoke, fiends...I mean "friends.")

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Why Agentz Shud Prufrede

The MLS should be on Oprah’s Reading List. Seriously. There are so many typos and outrageous remarks in the MLS that it makes for great leisure reading. The newspaper ads certainly add to the merriment. I love houses with features such as a “slimming pool” or a “crook’s kitchen,” especially if those features are in a “Post and Bean” house. And what could be more entertaining than a “barge yard” (for your barges of course) or a “wall of widows?” Thus, I have compiled some of my favorite typos. So take a moment to smile, fiends. (Uh, I meant “friends.”)

Would YOU Buy This House???

Large slitting room (Is this Tony Soprano’s house?)
House on Beautiful wok street (But what if I don’t cook?)
Libary with built in shivs (In all fairness, perhaps this is in a prison.)
Disclosure: Crack on back side (Relax, we all have one.)
Call lasting agent (There aren’t many of us left!)
Oven flew in from Italy (Paid for with frequent flyer miles)
Built in wino bar (My favorite kind!)
Lunch severed (One misplaced r and you’re dead.)
Snacks and drunks okay… (My sentiments exactly.)
Bang hard (We just won’t go there).

Let’s Sell This Sucker
Seller moved but furniture strayed (Now that is just visually hysterical)
Brick Drivaway (Mama Mia - Those bricks must have flown in from Italy with the oven.)
Seller in NY - Coming out soon (This was in West Hollywood…think about it.)
Plumbing needs motivation (Way too much information.)
Terrorist yard (Another head-scratcher.)
Pouter room (A place to go when the first payment is due)
Call Frist (Will the Senator filibuster for me?)
Beautiful terpentine tiles in shower (Huh?)
Rear entry blocked off (Eat prunes.)
Pieceful feeling (Especially when in the shiv room)
Seller can’t say no (There’s a 12 step program for that.)
Seller says Gas is a problem (His plumbing must “need motivation” also.)

Weird and Random
Rooster somewhere in the neighborhood, but not for long. (Need I say more?)
Screams reported at twilight open house were coyotes we think. (Or a rooster perhaps?)
The foundation bolted (But the house stayed???)
Grass fireplace starter (Perhaps this home was on the tundra.)
Owner says Dog likes the taste of people. (This was just damn funny!)
Built-in smoker (Grandpa won’t leave.)
Strange glass windows (I’m too dumb to make this stuff up.)
Cemetery nearby (That must be a big sales motivator.)
Ass is (Seriously – I just can’t take it.)
Agents to be split down the middle. (I sense a need for anger management classes here.)
No smaking please (But you deserve one upside your thick head.)
Close to Therapy, Rehab and Shopping (One of those choices is bound to work.)
Designer Don. (A decorating offer you can’t refuse!)

And in Case You Need Your Own Motivation:

Seller will look at all offers but has been saying no a lot. (Are you kidding me?)
Call then go. But call again if you can’t get in. Then try again. (Fool me once…fool me twice…)
Call for show times. No kids. Seller may be there and can’t handle anything less than four feet tall. (Short agents should stay clear also.)
Seller says he’ll give dog to buyer. Check with city for past complaints. Cute dog.
Does anyone want a noisy bird? (To feed to a “cute dog”?)
Must sell. Not a short sale. Seller has just had it. (I love this.)
Hysterical Home (Is it in the Hysterectomy Books?)
Recently bombed for fleas. (That may have been overkill.)
Marina Del Ray houseboat with great living style. Ask about leaks and other issues.

Biggest Sellers, So take Note:

No earthquake insurance. But this is a few miles from the San Andreas Fault so you’ll be fine.
Voted Safest Neighborhood until last year.
Van Nuys: Driveway is shared, but other party doesn’t share too good.
Neighbor on N. side is nasty. You’ve been warned.
Short Sale. Must qualify with lender. Call soon. Lender may go out of business.
Seller leaving state, Going to State of Denial. Kidding. It’s just a bad market.

Okay, so I know what you all are thinking: Los Angeles is not a state of mind…it’s a mindless state. But at least we are colorful and constipated. I mean consistent. Until next week, go in piece.