Real estate agents have some of the best stories and this one I’m about to share with you is true and happened to me. A few months into my career, many, many years ago, I listed my very first home for sale. I was so excited to have my first listing client, it was important to me to do everything right. I meticulously went through all my forms, explained all the details to my clients, answered all their questions and assured them, they made the right choice.
From the start, I must admit, everything seemed to be going really well. My clients loved my approach to selling their home, they loved the fact I was fresh and informed on all the latest updates and changes to the industry and the loved the fact, I was a go-getter proactively anticipating their needs and having answers before questions were even asked. The problem, as it is with most things I’ve learned, is the curve balls life throws at you that you can’t expect, and I was about to learn that lesson, the hard way.
After a couple weeks on the market, I had a un-represented buyer call in and want to see some homes. After getting my buyer representation agreement signed and getting them pre-approved, we went out, looked at some homes and nothing seemed to really tickle their fancy. A little discouraged, I suggested that we look in a different neighborhood they were thinking they had to live in, the neighborhood my listing I just took was in.
Driving through the neighborhood, they were impressed and decided to look at some homes so, I mentioned viewing the home I had listed. A day later, I met them at my listing, with their 7 kids….yes, 7 kids. The eldest was 13 years old and the youngest was a little girl, about 4.
Pulling up and seeing all these kids jump out of their mini-van caused my heart to palpitate to say the least. I was so nervous but, I didn’t want to offend them by telling them, all those kids couldn’t come in. So, I bit my tongue, opened the door and hoped for the best.
As you can imagine, kids went in every direction full throttle, running around like hooligans. I was just thankful the home was vacant. I went through the home with the parents, trying to explain the home’s features while trying to keep track of 7 kids, running around, screaming, crying, laughing, dear God, it was an insane asylum.
We round through the kitchen and the little girl comes up to her dad and says she needs to potty. Her dad tells her they will potty when they leave. I didn’t think anything of it and as we entered the dining room, the little girl again presses her father a little more insistently and stresses to her dad, she needs to potty. Well, at this point, I took charge and I said, “She can use the restroom here, I’m sure it’s not a problem.” He says to me, “She will be fine, she potty’d before we got here, she’s just being needy.” He then looks down at her and tells her, “go find your sister.”
At this point, I continued showing the home. I didn’t think twice about the interaction, believing that maybe her sister would take her to the restroom or that maybe dad was right, and she was just being “needy”. We get through the dining room, heading into the living room and out of the corner of my eye, I see a little 4 year old girl, squatting and taking a whiz right in the middle of the living room floor, carpeted floor.
In the matter of about 2 seconds, my entire world went white. I felt blood rush from my head and things started spinning as I was baffled, embarrassed, and bewildered. It was all a blur but, I remember pointing to the little girl, putting my hands on her father as I pulled him into the living room. He yelled as he came to realize what I was seeing but, it was too late, the little girl didn’t even clinch….it was full on and just no stopping it now. He screams for his wife, she comes rushing in, grabs the little girl and rushes her to the bathroom. The dad horrified looks at me and starts apologizing and my stunned response is, “It’s ok”….”IT’S OK?!?!” Yes, I couldn’t say anything else other than, “It’s ok.” The entire time, I’m thinking to myself, IT’S NOT OK!!!
I just knew this was going to end my relationship with my sellers and these buyers were embarrassed to the point that they would never speak to me again. I just saw approximately $15,000 in commission go down the drain, so to speak. Moments later, all the kids come in, see the mess, start laughing, hollering and going more insane than what they already were. Dad rushes them out the house and into the minivan while the mother comes out of the bathroom with a partially naked child, apologizing profusely.
The whole time, all I can say, “It’s ok…it will all be ok….”
Dad comes in, apologizing and says they are going to go down to HomeDepot, rent a carpet cleaner and come back to steam the carpet. Again, all I could say is, “Ok…Ok…” I have to be honest…..I was stunned.
I call my seller, tell them the situation and amazingly enough, they were “ok” as long as the carpet got steam cleaned. I’m slowly realizing, everything may be ok.
The Dad comes back, about an hour later, after dropping off the kids and begins steam cleaning the carpet. He was so embarrassed and so nice about taking care of the issue. We had a nice talk, got to know each other and when all was said and done, he looks over and says, I think this is the home for us, let’s write up an offer.
I was thrilled, wrote up the offer and eventually closed the transaction. Later on, we looked back at the issue and laugh realizing that they had to buy the home because their daughter marked it as her own.