This post was inspired by a recent conversation with an agent who told me that the house on the hill above was slipping, "but only a little." I live in earthquake territory, folks. There's no such thing as "slipping a little." That's like being "partially pregnant." Thus, I asked around and gathered some contributions to the Words to Avoid list. Please enjoy:
First, the Absurd...
"Oh, heck, we all grew up with black mold." (Is that why your eyes roll inward and your tongue hangs out?)
"They had a pot-bellied pig that ruined the carpet." (I had a pot-bellied husband that ruined the couch.)
"The old lady next door is crazy but nice." (So I should ignore the drooling face in the window?)
"The place was busted because the owner's father had a brewery in the basement." (No problem - my grandmother had a meth lab in the bathroom.)
"The heating lamp in the bathroom needs attention." (No wonder your hair is on fire.)
"This was used as a grow house." (No wonder I have the munchies.)
"The four dogs next door seldom ever bark." (Then I will "seldom" ever use my tranquilizer darts.)
"The lights flicker and dim sometimes, but it's nothing to worry about." (Said the warden on Death Row.)
"It may be showing some wear and tear, but it's obviously not going anywhere." (Said the Captain of the Titanic.)
And now, the Sublime...
"A little baking soda will get rid of the smell." (But will it get rid of the sellers' bad taste?)
"The lime in the crawl space is to absorb moisture." (So what's with the hatchet and the duct tape, Lizzie Bordon?)
"The odor was from something that got trapped in the crawl space." (Is the listing agent missing?)
"Although it's filthy, they never had vermin." (Oh yeah...that explains the 14 morbidly obese cats.)
"The house isn't bolted, but it's very secure." (No problem -The buyer is with Indymac - they're very secure.)
"His score is low...but he's working on it." (My patience is low...so get outta my face.)
"That's a pine cone in the pool." (And I suppose that's lemonade in the toilet.)
"The cracks in the foundation are small." (So is our offer.)
"You should see the garden when it's lit." (You should see my uncle when he's lit...)
"Can I still get zero per cent financing?" (Let me explain the signs of mercury poisoning and its effects on the brain...)
"The soggy area above the septic tank is from the sprinklers" (Uh-huh, so why are you so full of crap?)
"All those steps will keep you in shape." (Then why are you carrying that defibrillator?)
"The pool leaks." (So does my Aunt Bea when she sneezes.)
"The lawn sprinklers don't work." (Then call Aunt Bea and ask her to sneeze.)
And Those Words We Hear Most Often:
"Can you reduce the size of your commission?" (About as easily as I can reduce the size of my butt.)
"It's been sitting for months with no activity!" (So did my Aunt Bea, when the neighbor stole her walker.)
"I know we've been looking at homes for a year, but we're backing out of escrow." (Fine. Now grab this frayed wire and touch your tongue to this metal pole and...)
Please visit me at http://www.lahomesite.com/. And thanks to my colleagues at Sotheby's International Realty and my friends at Coldwell Banker and Keller Williams for all your funny stories.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!