Maintaining a good relationship with your real estate agent isn't easy. As a buyer, it's easy to feel like you're asking too much or are coming off a little too desperate (even if you are!). But whether you're asking to see 15 more options or fretting over inspection results, you're not the worst client your realtor has ever had. For starters, you're not forcing them to scour Manhattan for a building that accepts your emotional support crocodile, nor are you backing out of a sale due to "evil spirits." Need more proof? Here, seven of the most unbelievable, yet true stories, straight from the lips of New York City's real estate agents.
Failing plumbing and cracking walls seem like fair concerns before buying a home. But the typical inspection didn't go far enough for a client of Josh Juneau, a real estate agent with Triplemint. Before moving in, the buyer demanded their new space undergo radiation testing. Definitely gives new meaning to the phrase "going nuclear."
Clients aren't the only troublemakers in the buying process. Emile L'Eplattenier, licensed agent and real estate sales and marketing analyst at Fit Small Business, says guarantors (someone, like a parent, who is financially responsible for guaranteeing payment if the person living in the apartment doesn't fit the credit and income criteria of the listing) often prove more difficult than the clients. "If I had one dollar for every time I had to explain to someone that a call from their accountant won't help their child get a lease, I could have bought a few blocks myself," he says. One memorable—and unfortunate—time, he spent nearly an hour on the phone with a guarantor trying to explain exactly what documentation he needed, only for them to send an entirely unhelpful bank statement with every important number redacted.
Few legitimate excuses like an inspection or appraisal contingency allow buyers to back out of a signed purchasing contract. A client of Greg Moers's, an agent with Compass, tried a creative approach to get out of her contract once she learned about the cemetery a few blocks away. "She said there were evil spirits haunting the apartment and building," he says. She walked away from the sale, and needless to say, she lost her deposit.
Triplemint agent Xavier Sotelo showed a tenant-occupied apartment in Astoria, Queens, only to find said tenants weren't terribly concerned about impressing potential buyers and had left out some highly personal objects. "I had to apologize later for subjecting the clients to 'ill-placed sex toys,'" he says. "I had no idea—and gross!"
Getting the boot from your full-time job can not only be an embarrassing experience, but it also can create complications if you're trying to move. One of L'Eplattenier's clients admitted he "technically" got fired more than six months earlier—and asked L'Eplattenier to only pretend to contact his references before going to the management company. Hoping to avoid a Valdelay Industries scenario straight out of "Seinfeld," L'Eplattenier politely declined.
Celebutantes Kendall and Kylie Jenner stayed in the Penthouse at 15 Leonard Street in TriBeCa, one of Andrew Azoulay's listings. A trip downstairs turned disastrous when they found themselves stuck in the building's elevator with their friends Hailey Baldwin and Jordyn Woods. Trapped, they called Azoulay (and the New York Fire Department) after hours to help them escape. His story was broadcast on Fox News—and the Jenners' Snapchats. Though Azoulay did have to give up some personal time to help the group out, it definitely paid off and made him more high profile.
Emotional support dogs make sense, and it's clear how cute kitties reduce anxiety. But for Ashlie Roberson, finding a place for her client to live with his emotional support crocodile proved a challenge. (Although his generous budget of $3 million helped solve the conundrum.)