Memorable bloopers liven up the real estate world

By Joni Ribera, Let's Talk Real Estate

Being a real estate agent allows me to have so many different types of experiences. None of them have been boring.

My favorites have even been funny. Here are a few of my most memorable.

Oops, wrong luncheon

When I worked for Coldwell Banker back in the late 1980s, we used to do caravans (now called brokers open houses) where we would go to see all the new listings from our office.

One day, a group of us were heading over to an agent luncheon for an open house at a single-family home. We had several cars full of agents, but one car of four women got separated from the rest of us and unknowingly entered the wrong neighborhood. They saw a line of cars so they assumed they were at the right house and walked right in. Food sat out on the counter, and they were hungry, so they started eating while beginning to critique the home.

As they were making themselves comfortable, they noticed several elderly people in the family room. A little old lady approached them and asked, “Honey, may I help you?” They looked around and realized they were not at the agent luncheon, but at a homeowner’s monthly mahjong game gathering. I am so glad I was in one of the other cars!

A toy that sweetened the deal

I was showing homes to some first-time buyers for about a week.

Joining us was their 3-year-old son, whom they always kept in tow. At one of the homes, he spotted a little toy truck in the backyard. He quickly latched onto the truck and carried it all around as we toured the home.

When it was time to go, he didn’t want to part with it. He started crying as we tore the little toy truck from him and put it back where we found it. So, when the couple decided to write an offer on the home, I wanted to sweeten the deal for them. I inserted the following verbiage into the inclusion clause: “Refrigerator, Range/Oven, Dishwasher, Red-and-White Toy Semi Truck on Back Porch.”

The other agent called me confused. “Are you serious? You are asking for a toy in the contract?”

“Yes” I said. “If that toy is not included, my buyers are not interested in the home.”

Needless to say, the toy truck was turned over, along with the house keys.

I thought it was your dog

During my first year working in real estate (1985), I was working with a family that included three young energetic boys. As the boys ran around the home and the yard, a small dog tagged along.

The dog played for a few minutes with the kids, then jumped onto the sofa and promptly went to sleep. I showed the buyers around the home for about 45 minutes longer, and when everyone was ready to go I tried to pick up the dog and put him in the backyard, where I assumed he belonged.

But he growled at me and looked irritated at being disturbed, so I left him there on the couch where he looked right at home. I locked up and went on to the next house.

About five minutes later, my phone rang. On the other end was an irate lady who lived at the home we just visited. “Whose dog did you leave in my house?” she shouted.

All I could say was “Yours?” Obviously, I was wrong! It turned out that the dog belonged to a neighbor one street over.

Contact Federal Way real estate agent Joni Ribera at (253) 632-5779 or Also visit

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