You Can’t Count on This Buyer
You Can’t Count on This Buyer
There were 134 single family homes sold in September in the twelve Lakes Region communities covered by this report. The average sales price came in at $368,128 and the median price point was $252,500. This brings us to a total of 986 sales at an average price of $343,416 for the first three quarters of 2017. This is a slight uptick from the 948 sales at an average of $325,490 for the same period last year. That’s pretty darn good in my book…
Last November on a bleak and dreary day I got a phone call from a buyer that wanted to see a house that same evening around 7:00. He spoke with European accent and said his name was something like Dray Cole. I told him I would have to call the listing agent to see if we could get in and suggested that it would be better to look tomorrow in the daylight as it would be difficult in the dark. He stated that he has a sensitivity to bright light and was on a very tight schedule, so it would have to be tonight. I told him I would call him back. He said he had no cell phone but was sure the agent would let us in so he would just be there at 7:00.
It turns out that the listing agent was not able to show the property but arranged for us to get in as the owners were quite elderly and never left during showings anyway. The house was an old New Englander style home and based on the MLS photos it looked pretty run down inside and out. It clearly need a paint job outside and the interior looked right out of the fifties with wall paper, harvest gold appliances, and worn out wall to wall carpeting.
The house was located on a back street with just a few houses on it and very little in the way of street lamps. I arrived right at seven and there was a big black Lincoln parked there that looked like it was from the late sixties. It was spitting rain and sleet and as I approached the car a rather tall, thin man with a black suit and black coat opened the door and stood up. He was rather pale, with long black hair, and the darkest eyes I have ever seen. He said hello and reached out a bony hand to shake. We exchanged short pleasantries, talked about agency, and as we turned toward the house I was startled by a flapping sound as several objects flew by my head and up into the sky. Looking up I could see dozens of small creatures flying into the broken gable vent. “Bats!” I exclaimed, “this is not good. They are hard to get rid of!” Dray said in clear cold voice, “Not to worry, they vill be fine.”
I knocked on the door and a weak voice answered, “Come in.” We made our way through the small kitchen into the living room where we found the owners, Mr. Corliss and his wife, sitting in two recliners watching an old episode of the Addams Family. They were quite elderly and a little rotund. He had an oxygen mask on and she had one leg bandaged and up on a stool. He said they were expecting us and said to feel free to look around.
We checked out the first floor a bit and it was even worse than the pictures on-line. I suggested that we go upstairs to check out the bedrooms but he said they didn’t matter to him at all. He wanted to see the basement next. I went to the basement door and turned on the switch and there was but a faint glow in the basement from one 40-watt bulb somewhere in the recesses. I headed down the rickety stairs and reached the dirt floor. Suddenly there was hot breath on the back of my neck and another fluttering sound. I quickly turned around in the blackness and caught a movement in the corner of the room. There was another light switch at the bottom of the stairs which I quickly flicked on. The light illuminated Dray’s dark figure hunched over a long wooden box in the corner. He looked surprised when the light came on, glared at me, and stood up quickly and said loudly in his thick accent, “This vill never do! I must leave, now!” He brushed past me making his way up the stairs and then out the door! I made my apologies to the Corliss’ when I reached the first floor and told them someone would be in touch.
I never heard from Dray again, which was no surprise. Buyer’s sometimes disappear and never call back ever again. I noticed the house never did sell and the listing expired in the MLS. I never gave it any further thought until I was driving by the house this summer and I saw both Mr. and Mrs. Corliss outside in the yard. They looked like they had dropped fifty pounds apiece. They were actually quite thin. He was out there pushing a mower up and down the sloped lawn and she was working in the garden! “How can this be? This is impossible!” I thought to myself.
Later that day, just a couple hours after dark, I drove by the house again. There, in the driveway, was that same old black Lincoln that Dray had driven there that night last fall. I then noticed it had a NH vanity plate on it that said “COUNT.” I also noticed that the house was completely dark except for a light in the basement and one on in the attic! I guess he really liked the basement after all…
This just goes to show it is extremely hard to get the straight scoop from a buyer…even if he is a vampire… Happy Halloween!
Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system.