Friday, June 29, 2012

Real Estate Ghost Stories

I must confess - even though I'm a big scaredy-cat, there's nothing I like more than a good ghost story.
It dawns on me I'm liable to hear quite of few of them now that I'm selling homes.

Yesterday I heard about one place that has been on the market for a long time - for very good reason, according to some of the local realtors.

"I walked in and immediately got hit by a very strong sense that I didn't belong there," one veteran realtor told me. "I got as far as the top of the stairs, I whirled around and walked right out. I almost felt sick."

She paused.

"That's a place that doesn't want to sell."

Years ago I looked at a beautiful old farmhouse with a realtor who had become a friend. It looked kind of like this one.

It was a wonderful place - a bit too updated, but lots of space and potential to make it charming. We put in an offer.

That night I had dreams so gruesome they woke me from a sound sleep and kept me up the rest of the night. There was a lot of blood.

I called the realtor in the morning and asked if we could go back a second time. We walked around, poked into various buildings, tried to "vibe" it out.

"Something is definitely not right," he said. "Let me know what you want to do."

That night, more axes, more screaming, no sleep.

"I can't do it," I told my husband. "I've never had dreams like that in my life. I just can't go there."

Our realtor totally understood.

"I showed one couple a beautiful, historic house that was just perfect for them. One of them loved it. The other one suddenly got a massive migraine headache and had to wait in the car. I got sick to my stomach and ran outside to throw up. As soon as we were out of the driveway, all of us were fine. And the one who loved the house looked at the two of us like we were crazy! I never showed that house again. I just couldn't go in."

Another farmhouse that was perfect from the outside sounded, to me, like it was infested with millions of bees in the walls. There was a loud buzzing that made it difficult to concentrate - and no one else heard it. I didn't move there, either.

I don't go around expecting such things to happen. I've been in thousands of homes and it's only happened a very, very few times.
A few times I've had the complete opposite experience; I've entered a home to feel immediately comfortable, relaxed and welcomed. That happened this week, too. I was showing an old home that had been empty for awhile. Nothing was left but a piano. It was a sunny, windy day and I threw open the doors to let the breezes in. As I waited for my clients, I sat down at the piano and played the only two songs I know by heart - old songs my grandmother used to play.

If houses smile, that one was smiling.

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