The White Family Up The Street....

By
Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470

I farm the neighborhood I live in.  The agents in my office will routinely call me if they have questions about this neighborhood from either a listing, or buying perspective...and I am always happy to help.

Well, last summer I had the listing directly across the street from my home.  A good friend/agent, Tom, in the office called and asked, "I forgot my key today and I wanted to show two listings on your street.  Can you let us in?"

Help a friend in need.  You bet!!  I met them at a competitor's listing a few houses up from mine, then took them to my listing.  This family had a lot of questions, but I know my role. I kept my mouth shut until specifically "wound up and let go."  Tom said, "Chris Ann lives across the street and can answer just about all of your questions about the neighborhood."

Mr. Buyer wanted to know if there were young children in the neighborhood his daughters age.  I told him the ages of the girls on the block, and there were some matches with the age range of his girls.

Mr. Buyer wanted to know how strict the HOA was, and other related HOA stuff.  I'm the HOA President.  I can answer that.

Mr. Buyer also said he loved the neighborhood, but thought my listing was overpriced.  (It was terribly overpriced and I knew the seller would rather rent than take market price).  Were there other homes on the market he hadn't seen?  Or anything coming on the market soon?    I exchanged a nonverbal with Tom to get his okay. 

"Well, the house we just came from is a great value.  But if you are looking for a knock your socks off house with all the upgrades, the White family up the street is putting their home on the market with a of couple days.  I've been there many times and it is one of the nicest homes on the block.  I don't know how it's going to be priced, but you ought to stop by and knock.  Tell them I sent you up."

I couldn't understand why they were all giving me a goofy look, but I took my cue and shut up.  Tom did a quick recap for them and hustled them out the door.  We said our goodbyes and I locked up the house.

It wasn't until I got home and repeated the story to my husband that I realized what I'd said "The White Family up the street...."  Holy crap!!  They all thought I was calling someone out by their race.  But the owners were Mr. & Mrs. White......and in an ironic twist of fate, had they actually taken the time to stop by, they may have run into the White Family and realized I was doing anything BUT.  The Whites are actually black.

Next time I saw Tom I explained it to him. He said, "I know you well enough to know that you'd either just fallen and hit your head before meeting us, or there was a simple misunderstanding."

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race
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fair housing
prince william county
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Anonymous #1
Anonymous
Blogger To Be Named Later

Chris Ann, i think the lesson here is to refrain from disclosing neighbor's names? Is it material information related to the property?

September 03, 2008 01:27 PM
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Chris Ann Cleland
Associate Broker, Northern VA
Long & Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA

Andrew:  Thanks for pointing that out.  You're right, it is immaterial to the property, but I was in "neighbor mode".  I wasn't his Realtor.  I was brought in as a neighbor.  Just wanted to share this Seinfeld moment of my life.  A innocent blunder.

May 25, 2008 10:43 AM
Rainmaker
604,178
Teri Eckholm
Acreage & Lakeshore REALTOR Minneapolis St Paul
REMAX Specialists

Chris--A story to be learned from...Don't ever disclose a surname when talking about a client. :)

May 25, 2008 10:46 AM
Anonymous #4
Anonymous
Blogger To Be Named Later

Chris Ann, the downside to this occupation is that the license never sleeps :)

September 03, 2008 01:27 PM
Rainer
17,482
Janis Trent
Realty USA Southwest, Inc

You meant well.  Thanks for sharing.  It will help keep us on our toes!

May 25, 2008 11:07 AM
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Chris Ann Cleland
Associate Broker, Northern VA
Long & Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA

Teri, Andrew and Janis:  Glad you guys learned something from it. 

May 25, 2008 11:57 AM
Rainer
28,209
Stephen D White, E-Pro, ABR Cape Cod Real Estate
SDW Realty of Cape Cod

Chris Ann thats happened to me and my family as well. We live in the "White House" !

 

 

Cape Cod Realtor sdw1

May 25, 2008 12:48 PM
Rainer
200,847
Mana Tulberg
Real Estate Agent - Camarillo CA
805 County Real Estate

Wow, we have to be so careful in our business. Thank you so much for sharing this story with us.

May 25, 2008 01:21 PM
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Chris Ann Cleland
Associate Broker, Northern VA
Long & Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA

Stephen: Very funny!

Mana:  Always think before you speak, as innocent as what you are about to say may be.

May 25, 2008 06:30 PM
Rainmaker
506,634
Ann Heitland
Flagstaff Real Estate - Associate Broker, GRI, CRS
RE/MAX Peak Properties

Incredible! An example of misunderstandings that could cause hard feelings.

May 26, 2008 11:33 AM
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Chris Ann Cleland
Associate Broker, Northern VA
Long & Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA

Ann:  Simple misunderstanding, but theese people clearly were not inside my head thinking of the personal relationship I had with the family I was speaking of.  In the end, the buyers ended up making an offer on one of the neighborhood properties and moving in, and realize I am not a racist a-hole, but a genuinely nice neighbor that likes to be able to call my neighbors by name. 

May 26, 2008 12:07 PM
Rainmaker
630,474
Brian Block
Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate
RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President

Chris, whoa!  That's quite a story.  You definitely need to tread carefully here.  Rather than Seinfeld, it actually reminds me more of a Larry David "Curb Your Enthusiasm" moment!

May 26, 2008 01:10 PM
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Chris Ann Cleland
Associate Broker, Northern VA
Long & Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA

Brian:  I certainly can look back at this and see the obvious faux pas.  However, it's hard not to see the humor in it.  I guess that's why it's a Seinfeld moment to me.  I've never found Curb Your Enthusiasm as funny.

May 26, 2008 03:52 PM
Rainmaker
244,206
April Hayden-Munson
Brookfield Wisconsin Real Estate

Great story Chris, Thanks for sharing it with us.  I never use names - mostly because I don't want a buyer going behind my back directly to the seller - to save them both money!

May 26, 2008 04:51 PM
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Chris Ann Cleland
Associate Broker, Northern VA
Long & Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA

April:  Usually I don't either.  But in this case, I was acting primarily as a neighbor and represented neither party.  This just as easily could have been happening at a cocktail party or barbecue. 

May 26, 2008 11:39 PM
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Chris Ann Cleland

Associate Broker, Northern VA
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