As estate agents, we get to meet a wide cross-section of people on a daily basis as we deal with one of the most important events in their life – moving home. The majority of the time things run smoothly, but there’s the odd occasion when the Great British public have other ideas…
Our staff share some of the more unusual experiences from their time as an estate agent (well, the ones we could safely publish anyway)!
The great escape… or not
“Whilst at a previous agency, one of my colleagues unfortunately failed to take note of the owners request to always be present for viewings as she had a house pet. They proceeded to do the viewing, but when they went to lock up afterwards they realised the cat had escaped and it was in the garden.
After some effort they eventually managed to coax the cat back in, locked the property up securely and returned to the branch.
Two hours later the owner called demanding to know why she’d come home to find her neighbour’s cat locked in her house – making itself at home with her own cat!”
Row, row, row your boat
“One of my negotiators went to do a viewing on a property on an island in the River Thames at Shepperton. To get there he had to row the clients across a short stretch of the river in a tiny rowing boat.
The river was swollen following heavy rainy and they got swept 400 yards downstream by the current and pinned to a bridge on another island just above a weir. There was no one around to help, but eventually someone saw them and came to their rescue.
When he finally returned to the branch, some three hours later, he was as blue as a blueberry from the cold! Needless to say the couple on the viewing decided that a riverside property wasn’t for them after all.”
The look of love
“During a property valuation the client had decided to put her two Great Danes in the utility room so they were out of the way. Unfortunately the utility room had a stable door and the top half had been left open.
One of the dogs took a particular shine to my colleague and decided to leap over the stable door, whereupon it pinned him firmly to the floor in an attempt to seduce him.
The owner and I were so helpless with laughter we were rendered unable to go to his assistance – much to his annoyance (and embarrassment)!”
Spot the difference
“Whilst working for another estate agent, a junior negotiator in the team went to do an accompanied viewing in a block of flats. Amazingly she managed to show the wrong flat (which was not even on the market) to the potential buyer as it turned out the front door key worked in both locks!
She excitedly returned to the branch saying the viewing had gone really well and the person subsequently called to say they wanted to make an offer.
It was at this point that the error with the viewing came to light and we had to explain the bizarre circumstances to all involved.”
“A couple of years back I did a viewing on a house on Halloween. The owners were having a Halloween party that evening, but failed to mention it, so I was more than a little surprised to discover this horror waiting for us in the bathroom. The photo shows the actual scene that greeted us!
It was a great effort by the vendors and I’m sure a hit with the party goers, but sadly it didn’t go down too well with the potential buyer who decided it wasn’t the house for them.”
“A couple of years ago I was in a house with my negotiator. The vendor was proudly showing us his expertise at DIY with his sliding floor to ceiling triple wardrobe doors in the main bedroom.
My negotiator, who will remain nameless, but who was suitably impressed with the handywork, promptly went to open them, only to stagger backwards with the entire front central door in his hands – it had completely come away from the fittings!
Luckily the vendor was there to see for himself that it was his DIY skills that needed some improvement, and not my negotiators.”
Life as an estate agent is certainly never dull and a level of discretion is undoubtedly required, but despite the weird and wonderful things that can happen, you can guarantee they wouldn’t change it for the world! Look out for the next instalment of untold stories.
CONTRIBUTORS – to remain nameless!