Ev­ery­one out of the pool

Two US real es­tate agents share their open-house tales

The Weekend Australian - Life - - PROPERTY - KATY McLAUGH­LIN

Jean­nette Spinelli, Spinelli Res­i­den­tial Group, Keller Wil­liams, Austin, Texas: This was about a year ago, in cen­tral Austin. It was a multi-hectare prop­erty with a 560sq m house. The open house was in­vi­ta­tion-only, in the late af­ter­noon, catered with wine and cheese.

Two young guys came in with a young wo­man, all in their early 30s. They were very ca­sual, in shorts and T-shirts, and had the look of young tech en­trepreneurs. I kind of lost track of them as I was min­gling and greet­ing peo­ple, but all of the sud­den I looked across the lawn and no­ticed that they were in the pool. The guys had taken their shirts off and were swim­ming and splash­ing around, and the girl was sit­ting with her feet in the pool. Not only that, but one of the guys was drink­ing a beer he had taken out of the sum­mer kitchen fridge.

There were se­cu­rity cam­eras all over that prop­erty, and I knew the seller kept a close eye via her iPad dur­ing show­ings. My first thought was, “Oh my gosh, she is go­ing to go bal­lis­tic.” I walked re­ally quickly across the lawn and I said, “Ex­cuse me, we can­not have any­body in the pool!”

One of the guys said, “I’m so sorry. I know this might seem un­usual, but the only rea­son I would buy this house is to be in the back yard and use the pool with my friends. I wanted to go for a test run.”

“I can cer­tainly un­der­stand, but the seller won’t,” I an­swered. I went and got them some tow­els and they dried off, put their shirts on and toured the house. The guy who spoke to me gave me his card be­fore they left.

His name sounded so fa­mil­iar, so I Googled him. It turned out that he was a well-known Austin en­tre­pre­neur. He did not buy the house but it ended up sell­ing a week later for over $US6 mil­lion ($7.9m). Nancy Bren­nan, The Cor­co­ran Group, New York: It was at the end of 2011, in Hud­son Heights, a neigh­bour­hood in Up­per Man­hat­tan over­look­ing the Hud­son River. The apart­ment was listed for $US397,000, though it could easily sell to­day for $US700,000. It was a top floor, sunny twobed­room with a gorgeous view of the Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton Bridge. I took a cou­ple with two young boys to the first open house for this place, and we were the first peo­ple to ar­rive. We toured it for about 15 min­utes. We went to the door to leave and for some rea­son we couldn’t open it. The list­ing agent came to the door and started play­ing with the locks. We tried and tried but we couldn’t get the door open.

We called the owner, who said to call the (build­ing su­per­in­ten­dent), but he was away from the build­ing. He said he would try to find some­one to help get us out. The agent and I tried to laugh it off; we didn’t want to panic any­one. The cou­ple had planned to take their kids to the park, so for­tu­nately they had lunch for them. We waited about an hour and a half, and fi­nally a friend of the su­per ar­rived and was able to take a lock off the door and open it.

We never did find out why we’d been im­pris­oned in that apart­ment. We went down to the street and I fig­ured, “Oh god, that just ru­ined it.” But once out­side the wife turned to me and said, “I love this apart­ment.” No one else got to see it that day. They made a full­price of­fer and got it. The first thing they did was change the locks.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.