We’ve seen things that cannot be unseen. 17 years into this business, I know some crazy stuff that I never would have thought of before. When you’re in high school or college, do you expect to know about the different types of septic systems there are? What about protocol in discovering a marijuana growing operation while showing a home? Certainly every business and occupation has the bizarre element and I’m not devaluing that, just giving some insight into why we brokers need some love!
Most people expect their broker to have more knowledge about “property stuff” than they do. But what about insight into septic drainfields and how deep the tanks need to be, or water run-off issues and why cows shouldn’t stand in creeks, or how to spot a meth lab? Though we’re not supposed to be experts, we are expected to have some basic knowledge of overall conditions and about protecting our clients and ourselves from hazardous situations. I have had training to know what to look out for regarding meth labs, dangerous substances and natural growth things in homes (think mold or rotting stuff), and suspected illegal activity. Seriously. One continuing education class covered the signs of a meth operation – pseudoephedrine, spent batteries, lighters. And that class included the ominous information that a meth house is itself poisonous and hazardous to your health if you’re not protected when entering (and we’re supposed to know that?) Sadly, this info came in handy when my buyer and I stumbled across what fit the criteria above in a basement one time. We left. Quickly.
Though not all discoveries are dire, many are flat out unique, and some funny. Additional to business hazards and property issues, there are the unique experiences that stick with us.
Here’s a list of my colleagues or my more memorable experiences and/or some interesting knowledge that I’ve gleaned from years in the business, not in any order of funny or bleck and ewwww:
- Opening the refrigerator in a home with the electricity turned off (never, ever do this);
- Discovering the person in the corner of the basement of a vacant home, hidden by a sheet, moaning…;
- The lone wooden child’s chair in the middle of a closed off room in the basement;
- The functioning toilet in the living room, next to the fireplace;
- The blood coming from the freezer dripping down the front of the ‘fridge (turns out the power was off and there was a part of a deer carcass in the freezer);
- The deceased pet dog in the backyard;
- The nude person in bed;
- The drunk and nude person on the floor;
- Any number of nude photos, statues, art, etc. in homes;
- The lunatic buyer trying to search all the bathrooms for drugs;
- Having the Master Gunnery Sergeant of the Marine Corps Band for the White House nap in the passenger seat;
- I personally love snakes but I don’t really like surprises.
- That you can pump waste uphill to the tank (and pray the line never bursts);
- Not all dogs bite, but some do;
- Not all cats scratch, but some do;
- Most days are normal, but some aren’t.
I’m not retired from this business and won’t be for a long time so I’m sure that this list will continue to grow, entertain, and dismay. Even now the legalization of marijuana in many states can leave brokers in a bind since not all growing and consumption is legal and we have an obligation to report criminal activity. It’s a fine line that we walk a lot. The prevalence of in-home security cameras is creating a whole new set of laws regarding privacy. What problems will cryptocurrency create? Online hacking is already a problem with wiring funds and such.
Again, each job has it’s “thing” just like each person does. It’s just nice to have our clients know that behind the smiling face in the glamour shot is a mind that has seen things the likes of which cannot be unseen!
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