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Un-Real Estate – A Satirist’s Perspective



Please take a moment to welcome our newest writer, Gwen Banta, Los Angeles Realtor and the Sherlock of Homes. She’s got a very unique background and an amazing sense of humor- just read her bio at the end of this article to see what I mean! Gwen will bring her satirical voice to AG each week, sharing stories and commentary from the UNREAL side of real estate, so hold on to your britches, and read on: 

Come Out of the Closet!

Okay, let’s all be honest – we want everyone out there to see our business as professional and dignified, but I say, “TIME TO COME OUT OF THE CLOSET!” I have heard so many shocking reports of Real Estate high jinks that I decided to share them… and maybe add a moral or two to the mix just for grins. Yes, I’m talking naked women in closets, bats in the chimney, crime scene shockers, and a Mini Cooper in the swimming pool.

I live in L.A., and yes, we are the Mother Lode of Weird, but my first report actually comes from a Realtor friend of mine from back East (dubbed Slow Take) . When I tell you the facts of his memorable event, you’ll know why this hapless soul chooses to remain anonymous.

It seems Slow Take was showing his recently separated, lovely prospective buyer a home on the Jersey Shore. The sun was grinning, there was a lovely breeze dancing in from the ocean, and Slow Take was mentally computing what his commission check was going to look like. (Cue the horn section.) As he and his client looked around the lovely beach house, excitement mounted. Unfortunately, there was more excitement than just the vibration of Slow Take’s wallet.

Moral Number One:

When he heard the back door slam, he and his client paused, all senses on alert. After a few minutes and a cursory look out the back door, Slow Take decided the door had been left unlocked and had simply been nudged by the capricious ocean breeze. Moral Number One: Never Assume Anything – Especially in a Vacant Beach House. As they went on their merry way, the imaginary sound of cash from the ATM caused Slow Take to salivate and his step to quicken.

Moral Number Two:

By the time they reached the bedroom, the buyer was ready to write a check and Slow Take was mentally purchasing his first Mercedes. Then he opened the closet. Moral Number Two: Never Open the Closet After You’ve Heard a Strange Noise. (Doesn’t anyone watch those babysitter horror films besides me?) Yes, there was a half dressed woman in there, frozen in place as though embalmed – nice, huh? But that’s not even the good part of my friend’s story!

After the mutual screaming subsided and garments were gathered, Slow Take re-dressed himself in all his professional dignity and announced that he would have to call the cops because there was obviously some breaking and entering that had taken place. At that point, naked girl picked up her dignity along with her remaining clothing and said with the greatest of self assurance that there would be none of that. She had entered legally – with an agent from another office – with whom she had been enjoying some afternoon delight when they were rudely interrupted. Apparently the agent/lover had high tailed it out the back, leaving her there in all her nonplussed glory.

Moral Number Three:

Slow Take, not to be outdone on the self-assurance scale, demanded to know the agent’s name. Her lover was a new agent Slow Take hardly knew…but someone else in the room apparently did. His buyer gasped and ran like a rabbit on crack back to the car. You guessed it – it turns out that the fleeing agent was her philandering spouse. Slow Take, not too quick on the Up Take, thought his client had just had her sensibilities offended. It took a V8 and a smack to his head before he caught on. Moral Number Three: Don’t Ask Too Many Questions Unless You’re Jack Bauer.

Moral Number Four:

Needless to say, his client’s marriage broke up, but believe it or not, my friend still got the sale! His client had enough money of her own to buy a beach house, but she chose to purchase a different one with no surprises (like a blue dress with a spot) in the closet. My last moral is really for my own satisfaction: Moral Number Four: Never Have a Tryst with a Spineless Agent.

Coming Out of the Closet

Well I just retraced my steps, and it seems we have come full circle back to closets. (We’re coming out, remember?) So next week I’ll tell you about a story from my own office that involves a crime scene during caravan. And who says we don’t have fun? Until next week, remember my motto: SANITY’S NOT ALL IT’S CRACKED UP TO BE.

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  1. Brandie Young

    March 13, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Welcome to AG, Gwen!

    What a breath of fresh air. Hysterical story! I can’t wait to hear more.


  2. ines

    March 13, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Welcome!! I can say you will more than fit in ….we AG’ers tend to have a sense of humor – can’t wait to read more 😀

  3. Bill Lublin

    March 13, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Welcome to AG Gwen – you seem to fit right in
    But is the corollary moral of the story “restrict your Trysts to courageous Agents”? or “Get a boyfriend who can afford a nice hotel room”?
    Just askin’

  4. Vicki Lloyd

    March 13, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Welcome Gwen!

    I giggled through your first post and will look forward to more. 🙂

  5. Matthew Hardy

    March 13, 2009 at 5:09 pm


  6. Kendyl Young

    March 13, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    That was hilarious! No, do I have the moxy to write about my own amusing experiences? We’ve ALL had them. Thanks, Gwen

  7. Missy Caulk

    March 14, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Welcome to Agent Genius, Gwen !

    I looked forward to more of your escapades.

  8. BawldGuy

    March 14, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Thanks much! If I ever wrote some of the stories I have to tell, I’d either be found floating in Mission Bay, or be enrolled in Witness Protection. 🙂

  9. Matt Stigliano

    March 14, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Gwen – Welcome to AG. Can’t wait to see some of the good L.A. stories. Having lived there, I know the strangeness that can only happen in L.A.

    L.A. is the site of the infamous lines: “What did I tell you about running away from me? Do you remember? Yes, mom. Well? If I run away, men will take me and cut me up into little pieces and put me in pancakes.” I overheard this conversation at the Hollywood Christmas Parade.

    I guess I miss it somewhat.

  10. Esko Kiuru

    March 15, 2009 at 4:50 pm


    The life of a real estate agent can obviously be much more fun than just calling on expireds and blogging here. Now this one is from back East, so the LA scene ought produce even juicier stuff. Welcome to AG.

  11. Lee Davis

    April 1, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Good show, GBB! Theta love, Lee

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Business Marketing

“House has spark” – burning up the MLS with typos and other bloopers



The year is starting a march toward its natural ending, friends…and it seems a few real estate careers may be also. This week I found some real head-scratchers in local real estate ads and the MLS.  However, I get submissions from all over the U.S., so no one is safe from the eyes of  the Blooper Scooper. Check out these blunders:

Do You Smell Smoke?

“House has spark” (Apparently your real estate career isn’t the only thing going up in smoke.)

“Big pep area in kitchen” (Is that the cookie jar where Mommy Dearest stashes her uppers?) 

“Dull Viking ovens” (Methinks there’s something in the cookie jar that will perk up those dull Vikings.)

“Large greenhose in back” (Large, naked Jolly Green Giant in yard.)

“Mush added to this house” (Was that the overflow from between your ears?)

I Think I See Flames

“Beautifully remolded guest” (Another cosmetically-altered Barbie hits the Hollywood party circuit.)

“Enjoy a drink poolslide” ( Hell, if the pool is sliding, I’ll need a whole pint of Jack.)

“Each bedroom has own bedrooom” (Hello-o-o, Alice, how are things down there in the rabbit hole?)

“Separate pod to build GH” (That should please my pea-sized buyers.)

“Play room for the kiss” (Something tells me this is the back seat of a ’67 Chevy.)

Still Smoldering…

“Ideal for gusts” (That’s great…if you want to live in a wind sock.)

“Impaccably detailed” (Incredibly challenged)

“Stylish pewder room” (Try burning a match.)

“Stone pillars flake driveway” (Flakey agent got stoned in driveway.)

Nothing But Embers (This Week’s Fave):

“From a bygone error” (You have just written your own epitaph.)



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Business Marketing

“New bd pans inc” – Making a Splash on the MLS



I have two things to say this week: 1. When you drink, you can’t think. 2. When you drink you can’t- … uh, what was I saying? Oh, yes – the MLS.  It was so full of bloopers this week that I am led to conclude that happy hour started Monday and never stopped. Read these and tell me if it is any wonder I was driven to throw back a few martinis myself:

Booze ‘N’ Fools

“Free membership to gin inc” (It seems someone else beat us to it, Martini Mary.)

“Grab now use imagination” (That’s what Arnold said to his housekeeper.)

“House has new edition” (Agent lacks erudition.)

“Babblying broke runs in back” (Bumbling buffoon runs amuck.)

“Drop by for cocktail ho” (Oh, is the Sunset Strip for sale?)

Puff ‘N’ Stuff

“Near Sacramento airpot” (I believe his name is Jerry Brown.)

“Claw me for selling” (I’m too busy clawing my eyes out over your spelling.)

“Reduction on mid-century ner Holywod” (Another mid-sixties porn star is looking for work.)

“We can sake your home” (Can I get fried rice with my sake?)

Proof or Goof

“Nice streem” (Said Grandma to Grandpa after his diaper  exploded.)

“Nice for dog kids” (Uh, they’re called ‘puppies,” pal.)

“New bd pans included” (Thank you, Nurse Nancy – can you warm those first?)

“Good stable in neighborhood.” (Have you contacted Mary and Joseph?)

“Drawing for plasma” (Is this a blood-bank?)

And This Week’s Winner Is:

“Good school in areola” (Thanks for keeping me abreast of things.)


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My secret office organization tip – Sharpies and tape

If you’re still practicing to be OCD, here is a secret I don’t typically share with anyone, but I’m willing to share with you today…



Keeping organized

I used to be obsessed with the P-touch machine. I labeled everything. Drawers, shelves, folders, canisters, and anything that I could think of putting a label on.

But the label makers weren’t as pretty as my own handwriting and didn’t come in every color a Sharpie does, so I got the brilliant idea one day to write in light blue sharpie in my beautiful handwriting on clear tape, placed neatly on the shelves in the pantry. Visitors thought I had written on the cabinets, “what if you have to move things?” they asked. “It’s just tape, look!” I said as if I was performing a complicated magic trick.

Not just shelves!

It’s great to use this tip on files and folders so you can reuse them (especially if you have custom files or designer files), on drawers at the bottom of each section where pens and tape goes, and especially in the break room.

No more label maker, no more refill cartridges and no more mess, especially someone else’s mess! Trust me, this is an OCD person’s dream organizing tip!

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