Safety – Another Reason to Use Realtor When Buying a Home

Yesterday I scheduled a showing for a house in Schaumburg. When I called the seller I explained that I’d like to show his home between 3:30 and 4:30 pm Saturday (today). He asked if I could show the home at another time and I explained that I had scheduled all of the other showings for my clients and his house was the last on the list.

He then proceeded to ask why I had chosen to show his home last. That’s an odd question! Before I could answer, he continued with more questions and a lengthy, grandiose, yet inaccurate description of his home. I pointed out that the listing described his home as a 3 bedroom instead of the 4 bedroom he was claiming it to be.

After he went on for a bit more, I was firm explaining that I could show the home between 3:30 and 4:30 pm. Otherwise, I wouldn’t show it today. At that point he finally agreed to a showing. Let me also mention that the home has been on the market almost 11 months and it’s a short sale.

Before we arrived at the home, I forewarned my buyers that the seller might be a bit different. They made it clear that they didn’t want him following them around the house.

As we pulled into the driveway I noticed lots of dead leaves in the yard and a shingle ready to fall off the house. I knocked on the door, introduced myself and handed the man my business card. I then politely asked if he would be kind enough to step outside while my buyers toured the home.

So that you can best visualize the scene, the man looked like Jack Nicholson in “The Shining”, unshaven and hair a mess. Remember his infamous line, “Here’s Johnny!” after he breaks through the bathroom door? This guy would be a shoe-in for the part. The look he gave me when I politely asked him to step outside said it all. His only comment was, “No, I’m the narrator!”

I looked at my buyers to see if they still wanted to see the house. They were both shaking their heads and getting back into my car.

A half hour later there was a call on my cell phone. Suspecting that it was the man, I let it go to voicemail. Indeed it was. He left a scathing message referring to me as “bush league”, “hillbilly” and “loser”. I must say, I’ve been called a few names in my life, but never anything remotely close to those terms! :) He’s clearly not the kind of person anyone wants to be alone with, especially in his home.

Buyers who visit homes without an agent present put themselves at additional risk. I’m not saying we can always defend buyers from a seller who gets out of line, but there is strength in numbers. Based on my experience scheduling showings, this man’s unusual comments and questions also clued me ahead of time that this was someone to be careful with.

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Fran Bailey Fran Bailey is a Realtor who has been quoted in numerous Chicago and national publications. To schedule showings for any listings, get a free market analysis for your home or to contact Fran email her at or call 773.793.4516. Learn More


  1. Laura says

    Holy crap, Fran! There are some pretty creepy folks out there. Sounds like you may have dodged one there! Good instincts. P.S. “bush league” is HILARIOUS!

  2. Fran Bailey says

    Hi Laura,

    The story continues…I called the listing agent who had requested feedback. I thought he probably knew the challenges this owner was presenting to getting the house sold, but I wanted to make sure.

    I started with, “You probably already know this.” To which the listing agent replied, “You can’t tell me anything I don’t already know.”

    The Realtor said he’s had the house sold 4 times, but the owner keeps blowing the sale. I wished him the best of luck.

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