Oh how I LOVE holding a good open house. My favorite, you ask? OCEAN-FRONT!! Who doesn’t love a great ocean view?! Plus, I get to call amazing real estate my office for the day? Sounds good to me! Mostly though I just really love real estate on Maui….everything about it – the smells, the updates, the beach boys feel, the views, the kitchens, but mostly…the people!
In Maui, we get over 2.5 million visitors a year. Let me repeat that for you…two point five MILLION. WOW! Thats TWICE the population of the people that actually live in all of Hawaii combined. So all that being said, you can imagine I’ve met quite a few interesting people at my open houses.
Let’s get awkward for a minute. I know what you’re thinking…open houses sound like a really great idea until you actually walk in the door and see someone (me) standing there and immediately feel uneasy. Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. I know you are simply there to look and see what prices are like in Maui. It’s okay…I do the same thing when I travel. Why? We ALL love real estate. Don’t worry. Put your shoulders down and relax your mind. I am not going to make you buy anything. You don’t have to lie to me. You don’t have to pretend you’re a millionaire. I’m not either…it’s okay to be just a normal person. I won’t lie to you. And I won’t be a greasy salesman. I will however, let you look around and be available for any questions you might have. That’s what I’m here for…also maybe a smile and a cookie. That is all.
For those that have had poor experiences with Realtors before where you’ve felt taken advantage of or lied to…I apologize on behalf of all good Realtors. Always make sure you interview a few Realtors before you make a final buying or selling decision. No Realtor is created equal!
Here are some of the funny and awkward stories I thought I’d share from either my open houses or some I’ve heard. Go ahead, be amused but please…do not repeat history!
- The Druggy – One of my very first open houses, I was sitting and minding my own business, working through a purchase contract when a guy came in and literally ransacked the condo I was sitting in. Nothing was destroyed (thank goodness) but he literally was like a tornado and speaking some really crazy mumbo jumbo while he was at it. Luckily there wasn’t much furniture in the place so nothing got ruined, but let’s just say…he was spitter. He never said anything to me and with his super nutso behavior all I can assume is that he was on drugs. I spent the next hour cleaning up the condo. And yes, I was scared for a minute. Thanks, dude for ruining that day. On another note – just say no to drugs!
- The Angry Canadian – Now, we get A LOT of Canadians that buy, live, and play on Maui. I believe they call us their 13th colony? Something like that…anyways, I love Canadians. They’re always very friendly and love to just chat. One time, this couple came in and one of the questions I always ask people just as fodder for conversation is “where are you from?” since almost no one is actually from here. This particular woman turned toward me with a bright red face and very angrily said “we’re Canadian! Why? Do you have a problem with that”? Ummmm….no. In fact, I do not. I actually love Canadians. I was a little stunned and taken aback and not sure what to say until her husband actually apologized for her rude behavior. She proceeded to be incredibly defensive towards me throughout her tour of the home where she kept staring at me…very intently…the whole time. Trust me…it got REALLY awkward. Not sure what that was all about but I must admit it was a little strange. For the record – I love Canadians. 🙂
- The “I don’t remember what I just lied about guy” – Recently, a man came into one of my open houses and he looked like a buyer, smelled like a buyer, he WAS a buyer. How do I know? Very minimal eye contact and he paced very quickly throughout the condo almost as if his body language was saying “glad I saw this place, but this is not the one for me…on to the next.” Those are my favorite kind of people because they’re direct and know exactly what they want. BUT this guy….FORGOT what he told me. First he said me he lived primarily in LA and also had a condo here in Maui that he rented and it was getting too personally taxing renting and living in both places so he was looking to buy. ?? Not sure if that makes sense to me, but smile and nod. 🙂 When I asked him where he rented here on Maui, he got very defensive and said, “No, I have a condo in Kauai”. I very nicely reminded him that Kauai is not a part of Maui, but an entirely different island in of itself. Then when I asked what he liked to do in LA for fun, he looked at me startled and said he did not live in LA…he lived in San Francisco. Hmm this is getting very interesting. He then decided to get very snarky and left very quickly. ??? I think he was embarassed. Awkward. I just felt bad for the guy…clearly he had no clue as to where his actual home was. Poor guy. 🙂 How’s that for a little snarky.
- The Pooper! – Ahhh yes. The pooper. I had been sitting this one particular home for a couple of weeks when one morning I came in and noticed somewhat of a fishy smell. It caught a hold of my nose as soon as I opened the door. This was odd, as the home previously had smelt like walking into Pier 1…clean, fresh, like new flowers. I love new house smell! Not today though. Today it smelled like old dead fish. I immediately went out and bought a good-smelly thing and called the listing agent to let her know something was up. Finally around noon, I couldn’t take it anymore and I started roaming around the house hunting for the culprit. It had to be SOMETHING! I thought, maybe someone threw an old sandwich away in a bedroom, or forgot their smelly shoes? As I continued my quest, I lifted the toilet in the master bedroom and there it was….poop! Gross gross poop everywhere and the smell was HORRENDOUS! I cannot express to you the amount of gags I could not contain. Why did it smell like fish? NO. Just absolutely no. All around, NO. It’s then I remembered, there had been a man the day before who had come in and stayed quite a while upstairs (where the master is). This is normal though. Typically when people really like a house…they hang out a bit. That’s cool. THIS….not so cool, dude. Go poop in your own house and next time, flush the toilet! Gross.
- The Renter – An agent friend of mine had a showing at a lovely ocean-front condo and told me this story. He showed up with his client, only to find that the current RENTER of the unit was still hanging out in the condo when he opened the door. This is abnormal. The agent obviously introduced himself and his client and asked if they could take a look around. After the guy said yes, apparently he proceeded to get up and get SUPER (and I do mean, super) close to the poor buyer viewing the property. I’m talking creepy chest to back, super close. The renter kept whispering in the potential buyer’s ear that the condo was haunted and that there are drug addicts all over the building and that there were terrible floods and water leaks every year and that the HOA is a nightmare. The agent asked the guy to please stop…but oh no, he was not stopping. They eventually had to leave and needless to say, the poor agent lost the sale. Ohhh renters.
There’s a few of my fun stories. Trust me, there’s many many more. Hope you enjoyed these and as always, please reach out to RealtorLauren Maui@gmail.com for any Maui real estate questions you may have.