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One thing we can rely on is some peculiarities occurring during property viewings. To some, what must seem a relatively vanilla occupation can see you questioning your sanity as your days are filled with danger, narcotics, sex and the downright strange. Warning, this blog is not PG!
What do you envisage as your worst-case property viewing scenario? What would have you cringing if you were an estate agent? Fortunately for you we were able to get in touch with a number of estate agents and prised their viewing horror stories out of them. They’ve chosen to remain anonymous and, when you’re done trawling this blog, we think you’ll understand why. So, fasten your seatbelts and prepare yourself for some viewing tales that will make you wretch, laugh and hyperventilate…
A landlord had decided to sell one of the flats she owned. She had given us the keys and said not to worry about the tenants when we went to value the property as they were hardly home. I went around and all seemed normal in the hallway, living room. However, the tenants had converted the main bedroom into a cannabis factory and changed all the wiring in the flat to pump electricity into the lamps. Funnily enough the landlord was not happy. It was going to cost thousands to repair it all, and she didn’t fancy her luck with getting the money back off drug dealers.
I was showing some students around a large house on the outskirts of town – big rooms, high ceilings, great value for six people sharing. We go into one of the bedrooms, and one of them notices a door in the corner and asks if all the bedrooms have walk-in wardrobes. I honestly didn’t know what it was. It could have been an en-suite so I walked over. There was a plank of wood leaning against the door, I moved it aside, and opened up. It was a walk-in wardrobe.
Inside was a scruffy man, likely in his 20s. He had his underwear around his ankles and was injecting an illicit substance into his manhood. We both stared at each other in complete shock, but I did manage to state, “well it’s big enough to fit a person in”, before closing the door and leaning the wood back against it. And that plank of wood was the weirdest bit. There was no-one else in the house at the time, so how did he get himself in there with the wood outside the door?
I had just finished the valuation of lovely house, nice size, well looked after. The owner was a nice man, polite and unassuming. Just before we were leaving, he suddenly said “oh, I forgot to show you the cellar”. Thinking nothing of it, I went with him back to the garage, and he popped open a floor opening like you see in an old pub. We went down the stairs, and there he had, in his words, “all my guns and over 10 thousand rounds of ammunition. All legal of course.” I made a note of the size and left very quickly.
We sold a medium sized house in the suburbs. When the new owners moved in, they found that the previous owner had hoarded the frozen carcasses of loads of animals that he had hunted and killed. From small rabbits and squirrels, to a full-on deer. We contacted the previous owner, and he simply said he forgot to take them, and he was happy to let the new owners have them.
We were showing a couple around a flat. It was a nice flat in the centre of town. The owner had been renting it out to tenants and wanted to sell on. Everything was fine, if a little dirty round the edges. All was well until we got to the bathroom. The tenants obviously had hygiene issues, as not only were there mushrooms growing round the base of the toilet in the carpet, they had made a little mobile for the window. Clear Perspex and what we thought was brown paint making a smiley sun face. We noticed it said “sun shite” beneath and smelt a bit funny. Then we had the horrible realisation it wasn’t paint. The couple didn’t buy the property.
Totally normal house, everything nice and neat and well presented. Apart from the very large butt-plug gaffer taped to the wall in the bathroom. The couple I was showing around the property were good sports and found the funny side of things. They did say, however, they’d have professional cleaners in if they were to buy the property!
A lady called us and asked to come to her house to value it. We completed the valuation and heard nothing for a month and noticed it had been listed with another agent. She then called again and asked us to list the property ASAP, at a lower price for a quicker sale. We asked, out of interest, why the delay and the sudden urgency, and why she wasn’t using the other agent. She said the previous estate showed someone round her home and caught her enjoying some intimate alone time of a sexual nature. She couldn’t cope with seeing him again.
I took a couple and their child to view a lovely house in a desirable and expensive area. Everything is fine and the viewing is going well. We got to a bedroom, and inside was all curtains closed. I turned the light on, and there was a man sleeping, naked, on the bed, surrounded by empty bottles of vodka and pizza boxes. He’s obviously had a good night. We had a quick look round from the doorway, hands over the kid’s eyes, and closed the door.
I hadn’t been at my branch very long. But I had succeeded and bought myself a brand new car. My first ever car. I loved it. A few days into owning my car I drove a prospective buyer to a house, and parked up, with the passenger door kerbside. They opened door quite hard, not realising there was a high curb. The bottom of the door scraped along the pavement and was stuck, wedged open. They must have given it some force. It wouldn’t budge, and I ended up having to drive forwards, scraping it even more, to get it loose. I was furious.
I went to value a small terraced house in a downmarket part of town. A couple owned it and they walked around the property with me whilst I did my valuation. Every so often she would giggle and start panting. He would laugh whenever this happened. After three or four occurrences I noticed there was a buzzing noise and I saw he had something in his hand. Then it clicked.