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Real Estate and Literature – Imitation is Flattery

gone with the windAre you tired of being kicked around just because you’re a real estate agent? Do you feel dissed and misunderstood? Does your mother brag about your brother, who is in county lockup, while pretending that you were something the stork accidentally dropped into the birdbath out back? Well take heart, as I can prove that the greatest minds in literature look to the real estate world for inspiration. My proof? Check out the following famous books, and see what real estate moments influenced these authors: 

Gone With the Wind (Stated Income)

Hard Times (L.A. Agent Driving a KIA)

From Here To Eternity (Time required to close a Short Pay)

The Mousetrap (A Starter Home in Los Angeles)

The Divine Comedy (Housing Prices in Beverly Hills)

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The Taming of the Shrew (Doing an “upside-the-head” on the seller’s wife who thinks you want her fat, hairy husband)

A Streetcar Named Desire (An agent’s bus trip home after his Porsche is repossessed)

The Odyssey (Driving around Los Angeles with a flaky buyer)

Cat on A Hot Tin Roof (An agent trying to explain the naked girl in the seller’s pool)

A Confederacy of Dunces (Agents in a conga line at Last Call)

The Sound and The Fury (The sounds of an agent’s stomach when the word “cancel” is used in a sentence)

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Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Free coffee for down-n-out agents at a Rodeo Drive boutique)

Shogun (Good advice when showing houses in South Central)

The Godfather (A deal where everyone gets bloody, but the pizza at the open house is great)

The Call of the Wild (A real estate convention in Vegas)

Reservoir Dogs – (Former Indymac employees fighting for panhandling space at the freeway off-ramp at Lake Hollywood)

Huckleberry Finn (A seller who whitewashes the disclosures)

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Les Miserables (Four agents in a Focus…clipping coupons)

A Room With A View (The only affordable housing in Malibu)

The Fountainhead (Spontaneous weeping and sputtering caused by a low ball offer)

Ship of Fools (Six drunken mortgage brokers in a hot tub, reminiscing about the days when lying was considered a talent. )

The Turn of the Screw (Seller asking an agent to reduce his commission. This is usually accompanied by Grapes of Wrath, which is bad wine in a box.)

White Fang (Agents overlapping at a listing presentation)

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Atlas Shrugged (Swartzenegger, when asked why California cannot pay first time buyer’s their tax credit.)

Slaughterhouse Five (Five agents in a bidding war)

Heart of Darkness (New Requirements for Appraisers…For Whom the Bell Tolls!) 

And my personal favorite for all reading lists:

Moby Dick (A whale of a deal with a client who is a d__k.)

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Written By

I wear several hats: My mink fedora real estate hat belongs to Sotheby’s International Realty on the world famous Sunset Strip. I’M not world famous, but I've garnered a few Top Producer credits along the way. I also wear a coonskin writer's cap with an arrow through it, having written a few novels and screenplays and scored a few awards there, too. (The arrow was from a tasteless critic.) My sequined turban is my thespian hat for my roles on stage, and in film and television, Dahling. You can check me out in all my infamy at LinkedIn,, SherlockOfHomes, IMDB or you can shoot arrows at my head via email. I can take it.



  1. Joe Loomer

    September 11, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Wow – I was so going to write a comment about Moby Dick before I got to the bottom! GMTA!

    Hey, come up for some for these, Gwen!

    Paradise Lost

    The Scarlett Letter

    Pride and Prejudice

    A Midsummer Night’s Dream

    I have some thoughts on them, but defer to the grand poobah of real estate humor – or you, whoever responds first 😉

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  2. RealEstate Babble

    September 11, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    AgentGenius: Real Estate and Literature – Imitation is Flattery Full

  3. Gwen Banta

    September 11, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Okay – I’ll give it a go, Joe:

    Paradise Lost (A landslide in Malibu…with your listing on the bottom)

    Pride and Prejudice (An agent who refers to himself as Harry the Hottie… and refuses to work with anyone who shops at Smart and Final)

    A Midsummer Night’s dream (A dream about the vacation you had planned…and Bernie Madoff enjoyed)

    The Scarlett Letter – Okay – I’m stumped. Can anyone help?????????

  4. Joe Loomer

    September 11, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    I’m thinking it’s when the Seller cuts his wrists and bleeds all over the low-ball offer

  5. Gwen Banta

    September 11, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    RT @agentgenius Real Estate and Literature – Imitation is Flattery | Real Estate Opinion MAG – AgentGenius

  6. Shelby Harmer

    September 11, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Im pretty sure thats the hardest i’ve laughed in ages (at least in this market). I have one for you, may not recogize the movie but im sure you can figure out what it was about.

    How High (your seller when he wants to list at 50k above comps and thinks it will sell)

    Gwen- I ALWAYS enjoy your blogs. My personal fav, the misspellings in the MLS. Convents, pornable, CLASSIC! Love it.

  7. Real Estate

    September 11, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Real Estate and Literature – Imitation is Flattery | Real Estate …

  8. Gwen Banta

    September 11, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Good one, Joe – you get an “A” for that – but yours is black like your humor!

  9. Matt Stigliano

    September 12, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Gwen – Hilarious as always. I didn’t want to feel left out so I’ve wracked my brain for a few:

    Lord of the Flies – REO agent who hasn’t checked on his foreclosure that’s been on the market for 379 days. Since he hasn’t, he is completely unaware that when the neighborhood kids broke the back door open for fun, they also provided an entrance for the critters. This summer has seen some record heat down here – you can figure out the rest (true story).

    Catch 22 – Negotiating for what seems like weeks on end, only to have the agent tell you today that the home has to close before the end of the month. Sure, I’ll let my lender know he has 18 days, I’m sure he won’t mind (true story).

    American Psycho – The agent who’s been pushed too far and had a bit of a breakdown (hopefully, not so true story).

  10. Gwen Banta

    September 12, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    That’s a good one, Shelby – it made me think of High Noon – (A Laurel Canyon Open House)

  11. Gwen Banta

    September 12, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    OMG Matt – it sounds like things have been rough in San Antonio. I hope the American Psycho wasn’t you (well, at least not since you were last on tour.) The Catch 22 deal is also a “Niagara, Niagara” (A deal where you know they have you over a barrel.) Good luck with that!

  12. Loren Sanders

    September 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    RT @agentgenius: #agnow Gwen – Hilarious as always. didn’t want 2 feel left out wracked my brain for a few: <strong>L…

  13. Matt Stigliano

    September 12, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    RT @agentgenius Real Estate and Literature – Imitation is Flattery | Real Estate Opinion MAG – AgentGenius

  14. Pingback: Let Litbait light up your mind - The Real Daily

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