May 30, 2023
To close a deal, some real-estate agents will go the extra mile to make an offer attractive to a seller or buyer. Sometimes that mile is a bit weird, to say the least.
Two agents recently shared with The Wall Street Journal the oddest requests they’ve received on the job. Their answers included both acupuncture and garbage—and surely other real-estate agents out there have had experiences that give these a run for their money.
Dee Dee Guggenheim Howes, an agent with Compass Real Estate in Houston, recalled that she was courting a potential client looking to list his $14 million estate. Measuring in at a whopping 12,000 square feet, she brought along a couple of assistants to help take notes. When the group entered the home, the seller was lying on the couch with needles poking out of both his feet and his head.
While walking in on someone during an acupuncture appointment is strange enough, the seller told Guggenheim Howes that she and her assistants would be undergoing the procedure, too. “It was a test,” she told the Journal. “It was his way of seeing whether I would do what I needed to do to get the listing and follow along with him and his ways.”
Guggenheim Howes and her assistants acquiesced, withstanding the needles for 15 to 20 minutes. In the end, the house traded off market, but it showed Guggenheim Howes’s willingness to follow her client’s lead.
Bianca D’Alessio, the founder of the Masters Division of Nest Seekers International in New York City, was able to avoid the acupuncture, but her client interaction may have been just a bit smellier. To cinch the deal with a client looking to buy on the Upper West Side, she had to calm his fears about the apartment’s proximity to the building’s trash chute. D’Alessio specified that it wasn’t a cleanliness issue, but rather a noise problem, with the client worrying about being able to hear people throwing out their garbage.
To alleviate those concerns, D’Alessio carried out a “garbage test,” as she put it. They opened and closed to door to the chute several times, and dropped three or four bags of trash down there, full of either paper or bottles. Thankfully, the client couldn’t hear a thing.
“Was it weird as hell? Yeah,” D’Alessio told The Wall Street Journal. “But the deal all hinged on this garbage chute … The contract was signed last week.”
Let that be a lesson in doing whatever it takes to get the signature.