What's the craziest thing you've ever done to sell a home?

Okay, I'll admit that I'm asking this mostly for entertainment value. I'm sure many of you out there have some great stories about going above and beyond the call of duty to sell a home.

To make things a little more interesting, next Friday I'll pick the most interesting true story and send some Zillow swag to the person who submitted it.

So now that I've thrown down the gauntlet, let's hear how great an agent you really are!
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July 20 2007 - US
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I showed a customer 14 houses in 2 days. They did not sign for any of them. I went and found the house in a lake neigborhood listed it and sold to them the next week. Talleagle
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July 20 2007
There have to be more stories out there! I once heard about an agent who had to sell a home whose previous owners had abandoned it, leaving lots of their personal effects behind. The agent personally hauled many carloads of stuff to Goodwill, arranged for a thorough floor-to-ceiling cleaning, and even mowed the lawn to make the home more presentable. This story has a happy ending: when it was all done, she was able to sell the home.

Can someone beat that?
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July 22 2007
I once showed a client 11 houses in 2 hours (it ended up being about 50 houses in total though) and she never bought a house from me. When we finally wrote a contract on a house, the appraisal came in low and she blamed me...even though I told her it would...3 months of my life down the drain


DeShonna Randall
Atlanta, GA
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July 23 2007
As a new agent I am amazed at things I have done for clients, like scrub toliets!!!
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July 24 2007
Good stuff! Keep it coming!
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July 24 2007
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Okay, how about this one?....actually it was AFTER the sale, just because I did care. It was the first home for the young couple who were just married and re-locating to Charlotte, NC and they were very excited. They moved in the very day of closing on this brand new construction home built on a slab with carpet and some hardwood over the slab. They next day, the septic system backed up and ruined that new carpet and you can image the smell! It seems that the contractor had forgotten to attach the system to the city sewer line!
So, what could I do? After all, I was the one who sold them the house and logically (in their mind at least) the first one they should call. I held my nose and helped them set a few things up on blocks and call the builder. Then I invited them to my house for a few days since they had already checked out of the temporary living they had been using. The next day, I met the sub-contractors and made sure they spent a week cleaning and replacing. That young couple has now purchased a much larger home here in Charlotte and guess who sold the first one and helped them with the new one? Yes, it pays to care and help when you can.
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July 24 2007
I drove a 84 year old man's 1953 Cadillac from his old home to his new home (about 150 miles).

I did it because I thought it would be nostalgic fun. It was more like wrestling a bear for 3 hours.
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July 25 2007
Great stories! It's going to be pretty hard to beat the dedication of Dave and Nancy. Can anyone do it?
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July 25 2007
haha, I like these stories.
I sold a home here in AZ, and I was the listing and buying parties agent (dual) to sugar coat it, the seller had a lot of debris in her yard that was suposed to be removed prior to close of escrow. She was no where near finished with only a couple of days until close so I ordered a container from trash hauling company. The container didn't arive until the day of close. So, I went down and helped the lady fill it up with trash for the better part of 2 work days (Aprox 4 tons total) haha.
On the buyers end, their loan didn't cover past the closing date. They were furious because the escrow was extended two days past the scheduled close. So, to make a long story short I paid for their loan extension.
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July 25 2007
Wow. Clearly there are some very dedicated (not to mention hardworking and creative) agents out there!
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July 26 2007
After listing a home for a person referred to me, I found out that she was down on her luck and mixed up with the "wrong" people. She "disappeared" 4 days before closing and I later found out she was in jail for bouncing a check. I bailed her out of jail and put her up in a hotel for 3 days -- taking her food and checking in on her periodically to make sure she was ok. I personally transported her to closing and then took her to the bank after picking up her proceeds check. I "highly recommended" that she put the majority of her proceeds into a 12 month CD to give her time to straighten things out. I kept track of her for a little while but ultimately realized that she needed far greater help than I could give her. I received a call from her 3 years later when she informed me that following her closing date, she "spiraled" downward to rock bottom and after picking up the pieces and starting over, she needed to thank me for at least caring enough to try.
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July 27 2007
Wow - realtor and therapist in one.. that's a pretty amazing story!
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July 29 2007
What does an Agent for the sake of selling a home? I really prefer to look at it as what does a person do to help out the next...? Yeah... much of our jobs as Realtors is therapist, best friend & confidant. Gosh... I've mowed sellers yards, painted walls, organized homes, gutted flower beds, mopped floors, cleaned homes on top of staying up till 3-5am networking and sending out property info... as well has held them during times of sorrow... sometimes... it's just not about the money... this is a service industry...
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July 30 2007
Wow.. great stories.. Mine do not even top any of them.
the only thing I can say is that on a Sunday after a long day of an open house and showing homes till 7pm, as soon as I come home and checked the MLS I noticed a home came on the market on the street that my buyers wanted to be on... .So I called them up, they were scared because they have lost out on two homes and were afraid to wait.. so with flash light in hand we went to the house at 8pm and wrote the offer in the kitchen at 9pm.. ... and they got the house. ..
Great stories.. gives me some motivation
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July 31 2007
I'm deeply impressed with all the things you do to help out your clients. And, as LaDawn points out, it's not all about the sale: you're helping out a fellow human being.

Now, when I started this thread I promised some Zillow swag to the best story. There were so many great stories that it was hard to pick the winner, but there were two that stood out for me. Dave and Nancy handled a backed up septic system and invited their clients into their own home until the problem was fixed. Wow! And Laura Bunts was a bail bondsman, therapist, financial consultant, friend, and caregiver, all rolled into one! Laura, I'm glad that woman came back to thank you for all you did for her: you sure deserved it.

Dave and Nancy and Laura, congratulations on sharing the best stories with us. I'll follow up with you to find out where to send your swag to.

Thank you to the others who shared your stories. As Anita said, you're an inspiration to many others.
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July 31 2007
Andy,

This is not exactly what you were looking for, but I thought I would share my first ever Real Estate transaction.

I was fresh out of school and taking one of my first floor time shifts on my own.(a friday night go figure) So I get an email request from a buyer from NYC wanting to see alisting near our office in burlington county NJ (2 hour trip for them) So I set it up for sunday and emailed them back.

Met them at the house sunday morning, they liked it, we then looked at 3 others and they left. Monday I got an email saying they wanted to make an offer 20% down full price...it was accepted...thier attorney wrote the contracts and co-ordinated inspections etc and the closed 2 weeks later all cash no mortgage and I was not even invited to the closing the attorney just overnighted our 3% commission($15,000) to my broker.

Not a bad introduction to the real estate industry.
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July 31 2007
Let me guess then Sellers.

That was the last transaction that worked that well.
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August 20 2007
climbed up on a ladder and scraped off all peeling paint from gutters cause it was FHA last second request and buyer was about to give up after all her CRAZY dealings with a pre-forclosure in 1993
house was vacant and roof also leaked onto oak flooring during LONG escrow
sold for 118k
now worth about 475
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August 21 2007
I took a dog in trade for a down payment on a new home. That was "ruff".
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August 28 2007
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i gave my buyer a starbucks tumbler filled with cold water, this is for my property where you have to walk 30 minutes in a very challenging terrain cause its a mountain farm with river frontage, the roads are really hard. before he left he ask me if he can take the tumbler cause he likes it, i smiled and give it to him, weeks later, he made an offer and right now we are closing the sale. thanks to the tumbler! and maybe the cold water worked too.
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August 28 2007
I scraped popcorn ceilings 3 days before COE because the buyer would not move into property till it was all gone.

Called every handyman, contractor I could find. They were all booked up so I did it myself.

Do what it takes to get the deal done is my philosophy.

Terry
[website removed by Zillow moderator]
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August 31 2007
Glad to see so many other service/client oriented realtors out there.

But probably the craziest one was selling a house sight unseen to an out-of-country client who was referred to me. She had very specific requrements, and we were trading emails. Found a property that seemed to meet most of her requirements, so I took a lot of pictures, sent her a lot of discloures, gave her info on the school system (very important). Because this was a competitive situation, we were on the phone at the oddest hours (she lived Korea).

She had given someone a power of attorney to sign on her behalf.

We got the deal. This was the highest priced property I've sold to date ($1.4M) --- and it was all done via phone and email!

Before she came, I arranged for a place for her and her family to stay in while they got ready to move to the house.

Then I stocked up the refrigerator, got an AM/FM/CD radio, put fresh flowers and fruit, bought bar stools, china/glass/silverware and set a table at their empty house.

When she arrived --- I set up the utilities for her house, took the family to various places to buy their electronics (computers, TV, stereo), to the schools to enrol her kids, to the bank to set up their accounts, to the social security office, to the DMV for their driving tests and licenses, gave them all kinds of books to acquaint them with the area, made arrangements to meet delivery people, scheduled meetings with handymen, took them to several good restaurants, even took them furniture, appliance and grocery shopping. Even paid to cut down a dead tree on the property.

This was a deal of a lifetime!
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September 09 2007
 
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