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Dumbest Real Estate Questions of the Year

dead canary

Yes, this is the time of year when we should have nothing but love in our hearts. But you all know me well by now: Take one shot of satire, mix with the greatest office tales one could ever gather, shake gently, and then serve straight up (followed by a few real martini chasers).  These are the best dumb real estate questions reported to me this year. Enjoy yourselves while I pour another martini – salud!

They Must Only Let You Out on Weekends

1) “The sellers did not disclose that the neighbor is a drunk, and he passed out on our front lawn. Can we sue the previous owner?” (Hmmm…let me check the drunk clause in your contract. Oh, here it is right here: It says, “You’re an idiot.”)

2) “Will the sellers be taking the septic with them?” ( Not unless they have S__t for Brains and are in the fertilizer business.)

3) “Can we put a window over the fireplace to increase the light?” (Great idea, and then you won’t have to pay for your dead canary to go to college…”

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4) “Will the lender let us move in and then defer the mortgage payments until after we do some decorating?” (Of course, Mr. and Mrs. Whackadoodle – I’m sure your happiness is payment enough.)

5)  “Can I put up my Rolex as a good faith deposit?” (Certainly – why don’t you jump into the ‘ol VW bus and drive it over to the lender with an ounce of that pot you’ve been smoking?)

Home Features and Strange Creatures

6) “Does the garage come with the house?” (Yes, but that family room is going to cost you extra.)

7) “I thought a ‘Jack and Jill’ was slang for a ‘well.’” (No, it’s a Hollywood dating ritual wherein both parties drink too much and then roll down the hill and break their crowns (dental) in Paris Hilton’s backyard.)

8) “Are they taking the new wall-to-wall carpet with them?” (Yes. And the walls that hold it in place. The pad stays – hence the term, “I got a great new pad.”)

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9) “Does ‘surround sound’ refer to the noise in the neighborhood?” (No, it refers to the voices in your head, my dear.)

10) “They said it has ‘armed patrol’  – so where does the guard stand?” ( “Armed Patrol” just means that the cops in the area all have arms…legs are optional.)

11) “Can you convince the noisy paparrzzi  at _____’s house across the street to go away?” Most certainly…as soon as you can convince famous athletes to keep their junk in the trunk.)

12) “It says Cary Grant once lived here. Who was he?” (He’s the guy who is buried in Grant’s tomb. He was our 62nd president. He originated the expression, “Tippecanoe and Tyler, too” in reference to a scandalous event wherein singer Steven Tyler of Aerosmith fell out of a canoe while crossing the Delaware and froze his cajones. President Cary Grant married singer Amy Grant. They gave birth to actor Hugh Grant and newspaperman Lou Grant. He also invented the fifty dollar bill so he would always be in your pocket like every other politician we know.

It’s a Baker’s Dozen!

13) “We don’t like the listing agent. Can you get rid of her and do the whole deal yourself?” (Shhh… don’t disturb me, my brilliant clients… I’m trying to figure out a way I can do this and stay out of the slammer. I’ll get back to you in 2010. Happy Holidays! )

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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. David Pylyp

    December 11, 2009 at 7:55 am

    We need to maintain our sense of Humor in this business.
    Thank you for your post

    To your continued success!

    David Pylyp
    Living in Toronto

  2. Lani Rosales

    December 11, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Number 12 should get a punch in the face for not knowing. They should get their citizenship pulled. There, I said it.

  3. Joshua Dorkin

    December 11, 2009 at 10:09 am

    It is rare that I find a real estate related post that gets me laughing out loud. Thanks for sharing all the wackiness that is the real estate biz, Gwen! I love it!

  4. Kevin B. Morrow

    December 11, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Love it – A blog post as sarcastic as mine. Too many Realtors have become a little too politically correct.

  5. Gwen Banta

    December 11, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Thank YOU, David. Be sure to send me some good material from beautiful Canada.

  6. Gwen Banta

    December 11, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    I agree, Lani. I personally have been asked who Elizabeth Taylor is – I swear to God! Also: Frankie Avalon, Nancy Pelosi, Faye Dunaway, Quincy Jones, several of Saturday Night Live’s original prime time players, and Anne Bancroft. Hell, there’s even a song about Anne Bancroft (of sorts). Where would this world be without Mrs. Robinson? I think it’s because we have a lot of embryos with deep pockets who are purchasing homes in the Hollywood Hills. However, in the interest of fairness, I didn’t know who Ryan Cabrera was (stop laughing Stigliano) , nor did I know a few other of the bands popular with my younger musician clients. I am also clueless about that group of vampire cuties. There, I admitted it. But puh-leeze….Cary Grant!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Gwen Banta

    December 11, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Thank you, Joshua. I am just the messenger. If anyone reported on the dumb things I have been known to say, you’d be laughing for months!

  8. Paula Henry

    December 11, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    To end the year 2009 – I will say it out loud – I love Gwen Banta! Not like you think :), but it’s these wild wacky stories, told as only Gwen can, that makes the craziness of my day seem, well – “trivial”

    Gwen – can’t wait to see what 2010 brings for “tales from the RE World” All your tales combined would make a great coffee table book, or better yet and agent training manual. -Best

  9. Gwen Banta

    December 11, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Paula, You made my day! And I love you, too…and maybe in the way you think 🙂

  10. Gwen Banta

    December 11, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Love to you Tempe!

  11. Brittany Loan

    December 11, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Too funny! Thanks for the smart a** remarks- they are priceless.

  12. Portland Condo Auctions

    December 11, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Wow. Some people really need to think a little bit more before asking a question. Who would dig up and take their septic tank? I’m not particularly sentimental with mine.


  13. Gwen Banta

    December 11, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Hi Tyler, and hello to Portland. Perhaps the perp of that dumb question was thinking “spa.” I’ll try to give the benefit of the doubt. I am delighted to hear you are noit attached to yours. That would be sh_tty.

  14. Joe Loomer

    December 11, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Wasn’t Cary Grant’s dad that famous real estate mogul – Land Grant?

  15. Bonnie Lelak

    December 12, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    What a great laugh! Glad to see a great sense of humor about some of the things asked. I really like the one about the septic tank…

  16. Patrick Flynn

    December 12, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Gwen-Where do you get this stuff? I’m very interested in knowing what you know!

    Best wishes,


  17. Gwen Banta

    December 13, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Actually, Joe, Land Grant was Cary’s cousin. Cary’s real name was Archibald Leach. His father was Archibald Cox of Watergate prosecution fame, whom Nixon called a “slimy leach” (he couldn’t spell). Thus, the Cox family took on the name of “Leach” when they went into witness protection after Gordon Liddy threatened to cook their livers on a George Foreman grill. The change to Grant occured when Haldeman and Erlichman “grant-ed” them pardons and presented them with a dog named Checkers. (named such because the dog worked weekends as a coat checker.) That is the history wrap-up for the day. Tune in next week to hear how Kitt Carson, upon seeing his newly born son, yelled, “Heeeeere’s Johnny!”

  18. Gwen Banta

    December 13, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Bonnie, I liked that one, also. “Waste not, want not.”

  19. Gwen Banta

    December 13, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Just hang out with me, Pat – my life is, well, bizarre. My friends are nuts, too. Maybe it’s all a result of the Los Angeles water supply…

  20. Nashville Grant

    February 24, 2010 at 11:18 am

    How about this question that I got from a seller whose home had just miserably failed a home inspection: “Wow, I can’t believe that my house has that many problems. Do you think I could use the buyer’s earnest money to fix all of these problems?”

  21. embroidery stabiliser

    March 24, 2011 at 12:26 am

    Thank you for taking the time to write this!

  22. Gwen Banta

    March 24, 2011 at 12:31 am

    Grant, somehow this just got to my mailbox…and I am laughing hysterically – just can’t stop!!!

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