I want to thank you for letting me host your Open House today. As you know, it was the first time I’ve hosted an Open House and, all things considered, I thought it went very well. We had four groups come through the property, not counting the deputy sheriff and that really nice bunch of guys from the Fire Department.
I got there early, around 1:15 p.m., to make sure the air conditioning was on, maybe to open windows to air it out and to put the cookies in the oven. As you know I previewed it Wednesday, so I really had a good feel for it. My first impression was that it is a very nice house but kind of feminine. I offset that by hanging a large moose head on the wall in the breakfast nook. That way any guys who came through would feel more at home.
The first batch of cookies was ready by 1:45 p.m. The house was cool, and it was a very nice day. I decided I’d sit on the sofa with the flyers the marketing folks made (thank you, Marketing!) laid out on the coffee table. I ate a few cookies and put a second batch in the oven before I sat down.
The next thing I knew it was 2:25 p.m. I must have dozed off. Mr. and Mrs. Patterson were in the kitchen with two boys. (They signed in while I was asleep. Very nice people.)
The boys, of course, had finished off the first batch of cookies, and Mrs. Paterson had rescued the second batch before they actually caught fire. The smoke was getting thick by then, and I recommend you tell the owner the house needs a better smoke detector. The Patterson kids were also very nice, maybe 10 and 12 years old, and they could really kick that soccer ball! I’ll get you a new piece of glass for that picture frame later this week. I put a third batch of cookies in the oven while we laughed about how much smoke the second batch made. This time I set the timer. The Pattersons left at 2:45 p.m.
I decided to sit on the porch while the smoke continued to clear. (Be sure to tell the owner that the air conditioner blower does a great job. That’s certainly a plus for this house!)
It was really nice on the porch in the reclining chair, but again I’m afraid I dozed off. I woke up when a big green caterpillar crawled across my glasses. Being a bit groggy from sleep and perhaps the lack of oxygen in all the smoke, I thought the Martians were attacking and turned my head every which way but still had this giant green crawly thing on my face. I must have screamed a little bit because one of the Neighborhood Watch folks heard it, saw me dancing a jig on the front porch and called the Sheriff. (That Neighborhood Watch is a great thing. Another plus for this property!)
I recovered OK once I woke up and realized what it was, and I was feeling pretty good when the deputy’s squad car slid to a stop in the front yard near the porch. (Don’t worry about that. I can fill those tire ruts with mulch from the flower beds because they won’t need it over there anymore. Those azaleas didn’t even slow him down, and I do think they look pretty good in their new location.)
Anyway, I’ve never seen the pointy-end of a 9mm Glock before. And especially not from three feet in front of my nose. The deputy was holding the gun in both hands and screaming, but I couldn’t hear him because he’d left his sirens on. There also were some neighbors screaming about smoke coming out the kitchen window and, now, the front door. I still had the caterpillar in my hand, and I held it out to the deputy to show him why I was screaming. He moved away a bit to his left and about that time one of the Patterson kids (they came back. That’s a very good sign that they’re interested in the house, right?) kicked the soccer ball over the roof and it came down on the deputy’s Glock. He screamed some more and shouted, “DON’T DO THAT” and I screamed “DO WHAT? I’M A REALTOR CALL MY OFFICE” and pulled my cell phone from its little holster on my belt.
That probably wasn’t a good move on my part. The deputy hopped even higher, fired a couple of shots up in the air and continued screaming something at me. By then I was scared so bad that I was down on my knees begging for my life. Then the guys in the yellow rubber suits and gas masks ran between me and the deputy with this big ‘ole hose trailing behind them. (That thing’s about four inches in diameter, did you know? And my, gosh, the water it puts out!)
Well, anyhow, the deputy was jumping and hopping around like a rabbit yelling “DON’T DO THAT AGAIN” and I yelled back “CALL MY OFFICE” and “DON’T SHOOT” and I think that, since I was already on my knees, I may have yelled “HELP ME, JESUS” but I really don’t remember exactly. The big Patterson kid came over to get the soccer ball and the deputy was bouncing like he was on a trampoline. Did I mention he was frantic? He hollered, “WHO’S THE KID,” I think, but I really couldn’t hear him because that was about the time that the big hook and ladder truck slid across the grass with its siren and lights going to beat all hell, and I think I wet myself.
Don’t worry too much about those big, deep ruts in the yard. I would have filled them with mulch before I left but there isn’t enough of it left to bother with. Anyhow, it’s going to rain Monday and I can stock the ruts with trout. (Be sure to put “shady fishing spot” on the MLS sheet.)
The deputy let me get up when one of the Neighborhood Watch guys brought over one of the OPEN HOUSE signs. We hugged each other and cried like 12-year old girls on the last day of summer camp. The Fire Chief apologized for breaking out the patio door but said there was too much smoke and his guys couldn’t see anything. I’ll get over to Lowe’s for you on Tuesday.
Oh, I believe I accidentally left the cookie dough in the refrigerator. Check that out for me if you get a chance. I’d like to get it back.
All in all, I think this Open House went pretty well. The Patterson’s seemed to be really impressed with the strength of the structure, and I’m sure the photo on the front page of today’s newspaper will attract a lot of attention.
Thanks again for letting me show your fine listing.
Note: The author is Realtor with Beverly-Hanks & Associates. This story is mostly fiction. Names were changed to protect the author from lawsuits by the property owner and from getting his head beaten in by the listing agent. Realtor is a trademark of the National Association of Realtors.
Written by Bill Fishburne, the President of the Henderson County Board of Realtors.