Showing vacant homes to potential buyers is always an adventure, especially in an economy where there are so many foreclosures, short sales and flippers. Because of the huge amount of inventory I drive around and preview properties to save buyers time in seeing homes they wouldn’t want. This last week I was doing just that in the Highland Park area of Sugar House.
I always make appointments with listing agents before I show a home, even a vacant home, to find out how to access it and to see if it is still available and not under contact. This particular home is a flipper-a former foreclosure cleaned up and modernized quickly and put back on the market for sale by a new owner. The agent had it staged so there was a minimum of nice furniture in the rooms. I drove up and noticed a truck in the driveway and thought “Oh, someone is parking there to make the house look occupied.”
I opened the keybox, and walked in about 6 feet into the front room. I then heard, “Oh shit!” from a male voice, a bedroom door slam, and a female voice start giggling hysterically. Knowing the floorplan of this style home, I knew it was the master bedroom. I yelled, “REALTOR! I won’t come in the bedroom, I just need to run downstairs and see the ceiling height!”. The giggling girl voice continued, I ran downstairs and came back up through the kitchen. The top of a contractor lock box was sitting on the counter with the house key next to it. “Aha” I thought, “That’s how they got into the home and I’ll bet the guy in the bedroom was one of the workers that helped fix up the home for resale”. As I left, I yelled, “REALTOR leaving now!”. The giggling continued.
As I pulled away from the property I called the listing agents office and asked to speak to his secretary. When she answered I asked her, “By any chance are you inside the home at XYZ address?” She said she was sitting at her desk and asked me why I asked. I told her there were people inside the listing having sex and she was aghast. She asked me for the license plate numbers of the truck in the driveway and the car out front, and I told her I would drive back around the block and get them for her. About 30 minutes later the agent himself called me and said, “By any chance, did that truck have a big sticker on the back of it?” I laughed and said yes and he knew exactly which employee was over there. Busted, totally.
It is a good house, albeit overpriced. I emailed my clients that night and told them the story and that it was a home worth looking at and they eagerly said, “Let’s go see the sex-staged house!”. I showed it to them the next morning and well, bad form on the listing agent behalf-the bed was ruffled and hadn’t been remade. The buyers wife commented, “Well this house certainly doesn’t smell like fresh baked cookies!”