Some People Do the Strangest Things

For those of you reading my newsletter for the first time, you have to understand my wry sense of humor. I am a firm believer in being able to laugh at myself so hopefully you can as well. Over the past 30 years of real estate transactions and being exposed to the general public, I have had some truly interesting experiences and I will not include any from people who were, shall we say, eccentric.

We have had many odd queries over the years. A most memorable one was, “How do I make my neighbor move?” I really didn't have an answer for that one and eventually the person who had asked simply moved.

Some of the most memorable ones involve personal property included or excluded from the sale of a home. Many years ago, I had a rather large sale hinging on the buyer and seller agreeing on whether or not the chickens were included. Sounds easy right? You would think the monetary value of the chickens would be pretty minor but neither party would budge. The chickens were valued by the seller at over $100 a piece and by the buyer as indispensable to the sale. We eventually settled on basically a split of a total of the chickens and everything was going well until the seller made the statement that the rooster was not a chicken and therefore was not included in the split. To make a long story short, within 6 months after closing, all of the chickens had found their way to chicken heaven either via car strikes or the pot (the rooster was noisy).

Another personal property horror story involved the inclusion or exclusion of a shelf in a child’s bedroom. Innocently, the seller believed they could take the children’s character themed shelf as personal property. The buyer’s, of course, thought it should stay because it was attached. After many hours of negotiation, I tried a tactic that I rarely use, and brought the buyer and seller together for a face to face meeting. The little girl who the shelf belonged to, stole the show with a giant lower lip that she could have stepped on, and the buyer’s allowed the seller to purchase a replacement shelf.

While we are on the subject of cute little ones, if I could have captured this moment on video about 12 years ago, I would never have to produce another piece of advertising.

It was the spring of the year and three young boys were playing baseball on a cul-de-sac as I arrived for a listing appointment. When I got out of my car and headed to one of the little boys homes to list the home, I heard one of the boys say in the most forlorn of tones, “That’s it! That’s Al Gage and Tommy is definitely moving.” I am not sure how he recognized me. Sadly for the best buddies, Tommy did have to move in a little over a month.

We have had a seller sell a home and insist that

the bird feeders be maintained as condition of the sale of the home. I know I said I wouldn't mention the eccentrics. This one is just not enforceable.

These funny moments are not always confined to just clients in the transactions. Appraisers, home inspectors, banks and my fellow realtor’s also do some funny things.

A very recent story involves another agent inadvertently sending me a text that they intended for their clients. In the text, the agent counseled his client that, although they had offered slightly below what we were asking for the home, that as they had discussed, they were willing to go above the list price to get the house by about $2,000. I, of course, shared this with my clients, we had a good laugh, and decided just to counter them back at full price and not take advantage of their agents mistake.

I once had a fellow realtor request in a Buyer’s Inspection Notice and Seller’s Response that the Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning return prime filtration system be evaluated by a licensed contractor. We countered that yes we would change the $5 filter! Another time, on the same type of request, an agent asked us to have repaired all of the lights on the exterior of the home, which according to both the agent and the home inspector were non-functioning. Simple enough! When we removed the day/night sensor, the lights worked just fine!

Very recently, we had a home inspector call for the replacement of the quick disconnects for the Air Conditioning unit electrical supply. My son-in law is an electrician so we went to check it.. My grandson was able to pull the disconnects with just a little effort. We applied a little non-conductive lubricant and it worked fine. Maybe the home inspector should spend a little more time at the weight bench in the gym.

Appraisers are, for the most part, excellent at their jobs but just like all of us they occasionally make mistakes as well. I recall an appraiser making an adjustment downgrading the subject property because it did not back to a common area and the comparable sale he was using did. When I pointed out that the common area he was referring to was the historic cemetery in Sage Creek, he quickly relented. Local knowledge is a good thing.

The all time funniest thing I have ever witnessed was after we wrote an offer for a buyer of mine. It was a multiple offer situation and the home was listed for $105,000. We bid $116,000, cash on this short sale property and were lucky enough to win the bid. Three weeks later, we received a counter offer from the bank on the short sale at $70,000. Yes that is correct, the bank countered us at $46,000 less than we offered. The other agent asked the bank to clarify if this was a mistake or not. In typical bank fashion, they stuck to their guns on the price and my buyer proceeded directly to PASS GO and closed on the home quickly.

At the Al Gage Team, we pride ourselves in not letting the strangest things in the world happen to our transactions. Secondly, since we do not operate in a vacuum, when the strange things do happen, we communicate effectively AND have the knowledge and experience to resolve the problem quicklu and effectively. IF you are looking for as smooth a transaction as possible, as quickly as possible, for THE MOST MONEY then give us a call at 623.536.8200 or an email at