A Strange Meeting With a Home Seller and A New Outlook on Personal Safety

Debbie Walsh's picture
Amazed Real Estate Agent

This past week I have seen multiple stories about personal safety in the Real Estate Industry. One that stood out to me was a post by Hannah Williams titled “No Commission is Worth Your Life.” It is a reminder that as Realtors we face potential danger on a daily basis. This is the story of an agent that unexpectedly faced a danger when going to see a possible seller.

For whatever reason it reminded me of something that happened to me about 7 years ago. That day it struck me as funny, reminded me of the weirdos in the world and to always trust my intuition. When I was there I was not amused. Nor did I let the person see I found it funny in any way.

I had gotten a call from a male who asked me to come see him about possibly listing his home in an upscale area, a house that would list probably at over $500,000. After checking the tax records I asked for both owners to be present at the appointment. He explained to me that with her schedule (his wife) it would be very difficult. First red flag. I usually won’t make an appointment unless I can speak with all the owners of a home unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Listen To Your Feelings

As we set up the appointment I had a funny feeling. I told the seller that “I” would see him on the agreed upon date. Nothing I could put my finger on but it was there. I always listen to those feelings, especially when you need to enter someone else’s domain. So I asked a new agent if she would like to attend the appointment and had a male agent accompany us as well.

On the day of appointment when we arrived and rang the bell the seller answered the door in his underwear. Literally a pair of underwear and nothing else. Imagine his surprise when “I” was a “we.” He couldn’t put two words together and when he was able to he said to come in while he finished dressing. He was running “late.” Also his wife was home. The person who had "no time" to make an appointment.

Now at the time we found it hysterical and chalked it up to another weirdo in our always entertaining lives of Real Estate. After telling him and the Mrs. that the whole situation was unacceptable and leaving the house we wondered what the heck they were expecting? Really, lets be serious. Is that what people do for excitement? Call professionals over and try to freak them out in the hopes of getting lucky?

In retrospect maybe that really should have been reported to the police in case there was a future incident. At the time it was during a time where this had never been a problem before. At least for me anyway. And thank goodness it was a one time thing for all the years I have been in Real Estate.

While I can look back on that now and laugh. Today is a totally different day in the Real Estate industry. Each day in the news there seems to be something about a Realtor who has had some sort of trouble. There is no room for humor when someone is potentially compromising your safety or feeling of comfort.

Never ignore that feeling in your gut and never let your guard down when you are on the job. Your life depends on it.

Debbie Walsh is with Keller Williams and can be reached at View Hudson Valley Homes.


Submitted by Father of Three (not verified) on
I am reading this and thinking: shouldn't have you called the Police officers and have this home seller explain why he would answer the door in his underwear? The society has lowered the bar of morality so much that we need to do these drastic things to change that and raise it again.

In retrospect yes I should have, but I found it stupid on his part rather than threatening at the time. Many times when you are dealing with people you get a feeling right off and sometimes it is very bad and I did not have that feeling from him...just something off. If I did have that particular type of feeling that day I definitely would have made that call.

Debbie Walsh, I too do things different today. I have always tried to be smart but I take extra precautions now and am not afraid to tell a buyer or seller we have to wait or they have to come into the office first.

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