Real estate agents are often on the receiving end of the awkward — or even downright strange — demands clients make when selling or buying a home. Here’s a look at a few of the most absurd real-life real estate requests these agents have received from past clients, ranked in order from least strange to they-said-what?!
1. Late-night showings? Yes, please
“A buyer (my client for a two-bedroom apartment on West 67 Street) first asked me if she could spend the night at the apartment to see if it was quiet enough for her as she was noise-sensitive. I said no. Then the client asked me to have a showing at 11 p.m. to make sure she didn’t hear the traffic noise from the 41st floor. She asked the owners to leave the apartment and stay in the hallway and if the homeowners’ baby cried, she would let us know. The owners, the seller’s broker, and I stayed in the hallway to accommodate this at 11 p.m.” —Kristin Magnani, Rutenberg, New York City
2. A very specific geographic request
“I am in the west side of the Los Angeles area. One client would only look at homes west of a certain street because that is where the ocean breezes stop. Apparently, there is an invisible wall at that street that prevents breezes from getting past.” —Heather Leikin, Partners Trust, Los Angeles
3. An agent kept in the dark
“One seller took the time and effort to remove every light bulb in every kind of light fixture in the house when moving out and never bothered to mention they were going to do it.
The buyer, upon taking possession of the house, was trying to move in and immediately discovered not a light in the house was functional. Naturally, he wanted the missing light bulbs brought back or replaced immediately inside and outside.” —Amy Rose Herrick, Chartered Financial Consultant, Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands
4. House hunting? Check the freezer
“A homeowner/client of a home in Midtown East used to ask me to hide his drugs in the freezer whenever we had a showing.” —Kristin Magnani, Rutenberg, New York City
5. Real estate agents can move mountains, right?
“One home in Malibu was built incorporating an amazing and clearly pre-existing boulder into the living room. The client would only write an offer if we could have the seller remove the boulder because the buyer felt it was unsightly and blocked the views. Personally, I thought it was one of the coolest features I have ever seen in a home.” —Heather Leikin, Partners Trust, Los Angeles
6. Deadline drama
“About four years ago, I was working with a buyer who went into contract on a one-bedroom co-op on the Upper East Side. After signing contracts, she told me her boyfriend would most likely be moving in with her after closing and that he had a ferret. This was at 10 p.m. the night before her board interview.
I didn’t think anything of it until I Googled ‘ferret’ and ‘NYC’ and saw that ferrets were actually banned by Mayor Giuliani in 1999. We exchanged about 50 emails in the following 14 hours before her board interview about how to remedy the ‘situation’ since it was a no-pet building.
We miraculously averted a crisis by finding the ferret a new home overnight: someone who already had another ferret!” —Julie Park, Level Group, New York City
7. Sometimes you really have to get personal with your agent
“A colleague of mine had clients that needed to find a place with reinforced beams in the bedroom ceiling. [I think we can all guess why.]” —Ali Johnston, Hoover Realty LLC, Sarasota, FL
8. No cat? No sale
“The most absurd request I got during a home sale was for the cat to be included in the purchase. The buyers fell in love with the cat during the sale process and decided to ask for the cat to be included in the contract. The sellers were willing to give it to them! (This would never happen with a dog. Just sayin’.)
It was actually an estate sale, so the children of the former owner, who had recently passed, were happy to give the animal to a good home.” —Patty Brockman, Windmere Real Estate, Portland, OR
What crazy real estate experiences or stories have you encountered? Share your wildest tales in the comments below!