Friday, July 31, 2009

Swimming With The Fishes

I heard a hilarious tale about a fish incident that I would like to share with you. Of course, this is the Gwen Banta, two martini, Friday version, but somewhere in here you'll find the naked truth about a real event in the Hollywood Hills:

Patrick, Realtor extraordinaire from West Hollywood, landed a juicy listing in the Hollywood Hills, and Patrick was determined to impress. The home was a standard Hollywood Hills mini-mansion with spectacular views of Tinsel Town, a pool spa, gym, screening room, and a lavish Koi Pond full of gazillion dollar trophy fish - features we all have in our homes. Uh-huh.

Shortly after the first open house, the sellers called Patrick and announced that they had to leave for Cannes and asked if he would check on the property periodically. Oh - and please make sure the Koi pond does not fill up with algae (scum is discouraged in the Hollywood Hill unless it drives a Mercedes.) Patrick, ever eager to please, agreed. It would have been better if had agreed to shave his beard with a chain saw.

As instructed, Patrick waited three days to check on the pond. When he returned to the house, he was quite dismayed to see a thick film of gunk forming on the water. Ever the dutiful agent, he immediately grabbed the algae remover, but he was baffled about how much to add. He could not reach the sellers via phone, so he poured in a small amount, and, unsure of himself, seized a what-the-hell moment and threw in some more. (Cue the chain saw.)

The following day, Patrick returned to check on the fish. To his horror, at least eight of the koi were doing the back swim. We're talking belly up, folks. Patrick went into the biggest panic of his life. He could hear the fish, in their dying breath, mumbling "Koi Killer," and "Je accuse" and "Et tu, Brute." (Apparently several fish were foreign nationals.) The Hollywood Reporter reported that one fish even left a will...


Thank you to my dear friend at Sotheby's International Realty.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Outrageous Client Moments

I heard a funny story from a colleague the other day. He said he was setting up an open house and was ready to open when he remembered to turn on the basement light. To his shock, he glanced down the stairs and was greeted by a "swarm" of chickens! According to him, there were so many chickens that they were climbing on top of each other and vying for dominance like a pack of steroidal World Wrestlers. He immediately called the seller, who explained that there had been a fire on his brother's ranch in Ojai, so they had moved the chickens to the basement the previous evening. "I guess I should have mentioned that before you arrived" the seller mumbled. He then added sheepishly, "Maybe you shouldn't look in the back yard."

It occurred to me that I had experienced a few "Oops Moments" myself, and when I asked around the office, I heard some great tales. Here are a few things the client SHOULD HAVE MENTIONED...but didn't until it was too late:

"Did you see my son's snake - it's gone." (No, but I saw an agent running North on the freeway in her high heels.)

"I should have mentioned that the back step is loose." (Tell that to Mrs. Hinkle's hip, which is now lodged in her diaphragm.)

"Did I mention we got a new alarm?" (No...did I mention that the EMT guy was cute but those paddles on my chest were no picnic?)

I guess I should have told you the toilet has been overflowing. (And I guess I should have told you I was serving La Salsa burritos at the Open House...)


Friday, July 17, 2009

Hi Everyone,
Last week I blogged about the ridiculous comments often heard in real estate. Well, one of my loyal readers, Joe Loomer, a humorist and great Agent Genius contributor, had a delightful idea: Outrageous Remarks Made by Agents About Their Clients. I did a quick survey, and here are a few hilarious remarks my fellow agents claim to have heard (no one will admit to saying them, of course):

Ten People Shouldn't Share One Brain

"I told her this was Exclusive Agency, and she said she was already under contract to Creative Artists." (So that's why you submitted a head shot with the offer!)

"The place looks like Oz - the seller let his estranged wife do the decorating." (So who did he hire as his divorce attorney - Gloria Allred?)

"My buyer needs to buy a place for himself and his girlfriend. He doesn't want his wife to know." (Does he need a good decorator?)

"The seller told me he and his wife had sex on the new granite counter top." (Great - I'm sure my buyers will find butt prints very appetizing.)

"My seller is afraid that the Wonderland murder house, which is two doors down, will discourage your buyers." (Nah - this is L.A. - they'll lie down in front of the house and take photos for Mom.)

"My buyer loves the Carole Lombard Estate...he wants to know if she was related to Vince Lombardi?" ( Yes, and Shaq and Ryan are brothers, nitwit.)

"The seller said he's throwing in his wife's Porche as a bonus." (...No doubt she'll be throwing in a Lorena Bobbit bonus .)

"My seller thinks your buyer is trying to screw her." (Does she have granite countertops?)

"The seller said his mother-in-law had a heart attack and died in the outdoor Jacuzzi."
(Remember these words: Drag and Roll, Drag and Roll, Drag and Roll.)

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Devil Made Me Say That!

Some of you may remember a blog I wrote a few months ago called Un-Real Estate - Shutta Yo Mouth, which quoted some ridiculous comments made by buyers. Well now it's time to buck up and admit that, as agents, we have often said some things that could have been better stated. And sellers have contributed some classic lines themselves. So here are examples of comments made by agents and sellers...followed by the words we maybe SHOULD have said:

Zip It, Please!

We can't go any lower. (Unless you're the governor of South Carolina)

All offers are welcome (Although we may burn them and then stick needles in a doll that looks just like you.)

That's just mildew. (Would you like to borrow my inhaler?)
The elementary school is not much of a problem. (As long as you're Marlee Matlin.)

The high school is not much of a problem either. (As long as you are Marlee Matlin and you're unconscious.)

Sure, we can sell this for more than any other home in the area. (And I can fly upside down in a cow paddy rain storm while doing the Macarena.)

Can You Handle the Truth?

How clever - a cement yard that only needs a quick wash. (Your wife needs a quick shave, and she'll still be ugly, too.)

You probably should have gotten a permit. (The sky needle on your house is interesting, but the sparks off the high wires may discourage potential buyers.)
Yes, odors are objective. (Although the corn processing plant down the street smells like infected feet and brings back fond memories of Uncle Herb, you may want to disclose it.)

No, I do not consider $150k less than list price a low ball offer. (Do you consider a slap upside the head assault and battery?)

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