One of the most amazing things about being in the real estate profession is that agents and brokers never have the same day twice. Every day is unique and full of surprises. A recent closing was no exception.
Casa Ott Group represented the Sellers in selling their lovely Boca Raton home. Near the closing date, the owner's son heard movement in the attic and a ball rolling. After the first few dismissals by the father, a trapper came to investigate the situation. Initially rat traps were placed but it was soon discovered that there were no rats in the attack because the traps were left undisturbed. Just as the trapper was scratching his head, a duck flew right out of a small hole under the eaves and landed on the neighbor's roof across the street. The trapper concluded the noise was coming from the duck waddling around at night and there is a chance there are eggs in the attic (that was the rolling sound the son heard).
Unfortunately, there was no way to access the eggs as the space was inaccessible and too small. The Seller was faced with a dilemma: Tell the Buyers or not tell the Buyers.
This is an interesting situation because there was no easy fix. You could close the small hole so that duck cannot access the attic, however, this would result in the ducklings, once hatched, to not leave their nest. Leave open, and you still have the noise every night. As an agent, you never want to spook Buyers with something that does not materially affect the value of the home. At the same time, you do not want to withhold information. So what do you do in this situation?
As the Seller's agent, I informed the owner of the numerous possibilities that could pan out, ranging from nothing to a credit request to a delay in closing. Much to his credit, he said "I want to do the right thing and tell the buyers." After telling the Buyer's agent the duck situation, the buyer initially requested a very small credit, which was eventually dismissed by the buyers.
So how can we learn from this situation?
My teachable moment is this: Always inform your client of how things can play out, both the good outcomes and bad ones, and then impower him or her to make a decisive decision that they feel comfortable with.
Has there been any unique situations on the job that would surprise even the most seasoned vet? Share with us.