Real Estate June 24, 2024

Viruses & Vodka

Covid was a crazy time for us all, but especially for those working in real estate. There was an extended period that Realtors weren’t allowed to leave their house for anything work-related. This obviously included showing homes.

When we were finally able to show properties again, we were under very strict rules:

• Buyers had to sign a COVID waiver stating that Realtors can’t guarantee that the homes we’re showing are COVID-free.
• We could only let 2 people in a house with us at a time (I kind of liked this rule. Uncle Norm wasn’t allowed to attending showings & negate all my advice because he sold one house in 1985.)
• Everyone had to wear masks & shoe coverings.
• I had to wear gloves.
• The buyers weren’t allowed to touch anything. I had to open all doors, cupboards & closets.
• After a showing was done & the buyers left the property, I had to go through the house & sterilize everything that I had touched with Lysol or Clorox wipes.

It was during this time that I was showing a house to brand new buyers. I had only spoken to the wife on the phone, & this was the first time I was meeting her & her husband in person. The husband was anxious to get in the house & was less than thrilled when I had to go through my COVID rigamarole. I presented the necessary paperwork & asked them each to sign the COVID waiver. The husband wasn’t haphazardly scribbled an “X” on his signature line.

“Did you each bring your masks & shoe coverings per my email?” I asked. They each had a mask, but no booties. Great. PPE (personal protective equipment) was in short supply, so booties couldn’t be found anywhere. The anticipated delivery date for my Amazon order was over a month out!

Ever the rule-follower, I had back-ups: a massive mound of plastic shopping bags that were stuffed into my trunk. I offered the buyers each a pair of make-shift shoe coverings – the Walmart variety. The husband let out a massive sigh paired with an eye roll that was enhanced by the fact that his eyes were the only feature of his face I could see above his mask. I was NOT winning him over, & to be honest – I was a little intimidated by him.

As we toured the house, he didn’t say one word to me & only let out the occasional grunt to his wife. As we were heading upstairs, I got a whiff of alcohol. It was pretty strong, especially considering the fact that I had smelled it through my mask. I kept an eye on him & noticed him stumbling as we moved from room to room. “Oh geesh! This guy is trashed!”

After the showing, I stripped off my classy footwear, threw my mask & gloves on the passenger seat along with my oversized can of Lysol. During my drive home… I kept smelling the alcohol scent wafting off of my new buyer. I smelled my shirt… nothing. My gloves? Nope… I opened my windows to air out my car getting more & more frustrated at the thought that my buyer may have been more cooperative & friendly if he hadn’t been sloshed.

I was halfway home when I realized that the smell was coming from the Lysol can I had that I had tucked under my arm throughout the tour. I realized that wearing Walmart bags loosely tied over clunky work boots would trip anyone up.

Shame on me. How easily it was for me to feed into the drunk-client narrative. COVID was a time that the world definitely needed a drink, but my client wasn’t drunk… he was just rude.

I’m Always Here & Happy to Help!

Katina Hunter
Team Lead for the Katina Hunter Team with Coldwell Banker