Conducting a house sale should be a fairly straightforward process. But that’s not always the case, as we discovered in speaking to local agents.
Here’s a selection of some of their more unusual experiences.
About 23 years ago, I was a fresh faced 20-year-old property manager and had to use a bailiff to physically remove tenants from a property. Once I gained access to the home, I found the front bedroom’s walk-in robe full of rolled up towels, 20L containers of massage oil, sex toys in all sorts of shapes and sizes and boxes of condoms. The most interesting surprise was when I opened the door to the roof space and attached to the rafters were eye bolts and an array of whips and chains.
Elle Whyatt, Klemich Real Estate
I went to an open inspection at a property I hadn’t been to before, but the keys didn’t work at the front door. I tried the back and got in. I was sitting waiting for prospective tenants to arrive when I heard people speaking outside. I looked out and saw about four or five groups outside the vacant property where I should have been. I was sitting in the wrong property! The back door key fitted both properties! Good job nobody was home and nobody came home.
Tony Begley, Turner Real Estate
A potential buyer was speaking to my wife, Angela, who was also the selling agent on the property.
“You are not the girl in the video!”
“Yes I am.”
“No, the girl in the video looks so much younger. You look so old in real life.”
Michael Stentiford, Ouwens Casserly Real Estate
Doing a routine inspection I knocked on a bedroom door and opened it. There, in all his glory, was a very nice looking young man totally naked on the bed asleep with the overhead fan going!
Michele Henderson, Turner Real Estate
I sold a property in Fullarton recently. I sold it off market and it was just land value so I didn’t go inside the property. After it had sold, I was told it was a brothel and a quick Google search confirmed it.
Millie Campion, Harris Real Estate
I recall doing a routine inspection in my formative PM years, the tenants were avid horror fans and had ‘decorated’ the interior of the property with all sorts of odd paraphernalia. The bathroom had a floor mat with fake blood footprints, the shower curtain had fake blood splatters imprinted on it. The bedroom walls had removable decals that were also fake blood splatters. They had intended to spook their property manager, however they clearly underestimated the intestinal fortitude of an experienced PM campaigner that had witnessed the horrors of unwashed months-old dishes in sinks, unflushed soiled toilets, questionable carpet stains and half-eaten Dominos pizza crusts strewn across the living room.
Michael Nikou, Turner Real Estate
One day I went to an open of an unoccupied home only to find someone sleeping on the lounge. He said the owners were letting him stay a few days, I then told him to clean up his mess and make the bed as I had an open in 15 minutes. When I discovered the smashed window in the bathroom alarm bells started to ring and I tried to call the police but couldn’t remember the 13 number. Long story short – he escaped and when the police arrived they said in that situation ring 000.
Kristy Dundon, Harris Real Estate
I took a very conservative landlady to a routine inspection where the tenant’s friend was wandering around half naked with loud porn on the TV in the lounge.
Deborah Daken, Turner Real Estate
The vendors of a property I was selling knew that I’m a “sweet freak” and always left some sweets out for me to enjoy during the open – lollies and chocolates in a bowl. One day I chose to indulge in a Clinker or two. The vendors returned after the open and before we sat down to discuss the outcome of the inspection, I disclosed that I enjoyed a couple of the Clinkers they’d left out for me. They said “You didn’t!? Oh no, we were going to throw them out after the open!” because their huge, drooling Turner & Hooch style dog had ran his tongue over them when they were walking him before the open started. Let’s just say, I will never indulge in a non-wrapped chocolate or lolly again.
Cynthia Sajkunovic, Ouwens Casserly Real Estate
One of my favourites was when my manager and I discovered an owner sunbaking topless outside on the mezzanine, which was also a prohibited area. We thought it was a dead body at first! I had to climb over the railing to get to the owner to wake her up! That was a funny day. The owner didn’t even seem to mind I had seen her naked!
Rachel Chappell, Turner Real Estate
I was selling a property in Frewville about 20 years ago and it was an old, empty home, and the vendor was a really big burly guy with a big beard. He warned me that there were ghosts in the house and that when they were cleaning up they felt these presences in there. I would go in and host the open and when I was finished I’d turn off all the lights and open up the curtains, and when I got in the car to drive off, lights would come on and curtains would be pulled closed, despite there was being no one living in the house. It was so creepy. In the end the vendor had a choice between selling it to a young family who was going to renovate it or a developer who was going to knock it down, and the vendor went with the developer because he couldn’t bear the thought of putting a family through that.
Dee-Anne Hunt, Williams Real Estate
I was about to conduct an open and the tenants were following me into an apartment building in the city. But I slipped before getting to the door – where everyone could see – and my wraparound skirt became caught on something. The skirt then fell off and I was left standing with only a g-string on below the waist.
Sherrie VanDenBrink, Turner Real Estate
I had an appraisal at 1 Smith Street. I turned up to the house, which was on a corner and I knocked on the door. The door opened and I introduced myself, “Hi Gary, Richard Hayward”, and Gary said “Hi Richard” and let me in. I walked through the home, popped my stuff down on the kitchen table and made some idle chitchat. “Where do I know you from Richard?”, he asked. We chatted and I thought maybe we’d crossed paths when I was on the local council. A few minutes went by and finally Gary said “So, what are you doing here Richard?”, and I said “I’m here to appraise your home”. He looked at me strangely and said: “I didn’t organise to have my home appraised, you must mean the other Gary, who owns the house on the other corner, of Smith Court, not Smith Street”. What are the chances of me rocking up to the wrong house, on a corner, on the same named street, with the owner with the same name?
Richard Hayward, Klemich Real Estate
A tenant answered the door for a routine wearing an oversized nightie. The twin children were not home and there was a car out the front I didn’t recognise. I went to open the walk-in robe and the tenant quickly stood between me and the door (still in her nightie) saying that it was too messy in there and she would rather I didn’t go in. I am convinced that there was a person in there and it wasn’t her husband. Anyway, a short time later the marriage broke up and now she is a mum of five kids to the new guy.
Charmaine Homes, Turner Real Estate
When I first started, I was selling a property in the Hills where they had a pet cockatoo in a cage at the front door of the house. We ended up having to remove him because people would turn up at the door and come inside to have a look, and this cockatoo would either whistle at them or loudly tell them: “You’re ugly!” He would decide who he was happy to allow to come into the house, and then scream rather loudly at people he didn’t like.
Dee-Anne Hunt, Williams Real Estate
We have a long-term tenant and every Halloween he likes to put on a show – he waits for the staff member to arrive and loves it when it’s a new one. He then follows them around as they do the inspection to wait for their reaction! Last year’s effort involved spiders, crime scene tape, and a skeleton. But the bathroom was where he went all out, with a brain in a tray, crime scene markers, fake blood and a realistic-looking garbage bag-wrapped body in the bath. At first the team were pretty freaked out by his pranks and really worried about him, but over the years, we’ve played along, assuring new staff that he’s fine, he might just have a surprise for you!
Emma Slape, Turner Real Estate
A few years back I had a lady ask if I could take her to my next open inspection as her partner had to head off to another appointment. We had a lovely drive and chat on the way to my next open – it’s all part of the service.
Steve Alexander, Alexander Real Estate
Back in my good old property management days I conducted a routine inspection at a small townhouse. The property was immaculate, but when I went to check the small courtyard I came face-to-face with a full-size white horse.
Rowan Mein, Turner Real Estate