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Surreal Listings that edge on the insane

Rick and I recently had a listing that was as strange as they get.  A gentleman was acquiring an abandoned 4-plex for dirt cheap and wanted to make a quick buck and called us to sell it.   We usually don’t deal with distressed properties of this nature, but I accepted the challenge.

Absurd real estate stories

Here comes the test – the property had no windows, had code violations in excess of $150,000, the tax deed was about to be sold on the steps of the courthouse and was full of squatters.  We even tried for one of our maintenance guys to go board up the place and he was almost robbed at the site.

I have to relay one of the many phone calls we received inquiring about the property:

Caller:  Hi, I’m calling about the abandoned building you have listed

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Me:  How can I help you with that?

Caller:  I’d like to know the condition of the property

Me:  The property is abandoned and is being sold for land value, buyers are encouraged to inspect the property at their own risk considering there are squatters inside, and please proceed with caution and we recommend police escort.

Caller:  Does that mean it’s in a really bad part of town?

Me:  Sir, unfortunately I cannot answer that question without violating Fair Housing Laws, but because the property is abandoned and full of squatters, we suggest you proceed with caution.

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Caller:  The building is full of crackheads, is that what you call squatters?

Me:   hmmmmm!

I could not help but laugh at how bizarre the questions got.  Does this only happen in Miami?  We can certainly look back and laugh at our real estate stories, but I think this one got the cake for me.  The lesson is to keep our composure and be correct at all times without forgetting the legalities of our business. 

May 2008 bring everyone lots of business! and may the entertainment factor of real estate keep us alive and full of energy!  (feel free to share your bizarre takes).

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Written By

Ines is all Miami, all the time. A Miami Beach Realtor® with Majestic properties, Ines authors,, and and is always on communication's leading edge. She goes out of her way to engage and be engaged, often using Mojitos to keep the mood light and give everything she does a Miami flavor. You can find her goofing off or instigating trouble at Twitter, Flickr, Facebook or LinkedIn.



  1. Norm Fisher

    December 27, 2007 at 10:47 am


    You say, “Rick and I recently had a listing.” Did you sell it or give it back to the seller?

  2. Ines

    December 27, 2007 at 10:50 am

    Norm – we had 3 weeks to sell it before the tax deed would be auctioned infront of the courthouse steps – we received 5 offers in that time but could not make them happen quick enough.

    The property’s tax deed was sold. It was challenging and we did have a little fun with it, but it did not sell.

  3. monika

    December 27, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    I can relate. Sometimes the questions are just plain silly like… so the sellers are moving? I feel like saying “no, they’re gonna stay with the house”
    Happy New Year Ines.

  4. Cyndee Haydon

    December 27, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    Ines, Thanks for a good laugh today – I needed it as we are working with some bizarre situations right now ourselves – must be the full moon.

  5. Ines

    December 27, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    Monika – LOL!! The sellers would like to move in with you if you don’t mind! : )

    Cyndee – you’re welcome, it is laughable you have to admit! Blame the full moon all you want.

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