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A Hawaiian Surprise Real Estate Story

Jean de la Fontaine, the most famous French fabulist from the 17th century, would have probably named this story “the tenant and the centipede.”

The Hawaiian centipede

As realtors getting listings, we all go through this situation: you succeed in getting the best town home on the Kohala Coast Resort, with perfect views and location, priced right, and ready to be shown! This sweet dream can suddenly become bittersweet as soon as you hear your clients saying the beautiful property is currently occupied with a long-term tenant. You explain to them that it may not always be the ideal situation, but you understand the interest of getting an income and you will make it work the best you can.

They re-assure you that the tenant is a very nice lady, super cooperative. They have not met her, but you will…Since she moved in, they only dealt with her over the phone and she’s been raving about the place and so pleasant, always on time with her rent. Based on all this positive feedback, you assume that with a 24 hour notice she will cooperate and keep the place tidy at all times.

Wrong! You call the tenant and try to go meet her to introduce yourself and to take a couple of more pictures to put up in the MLS, and it is already a nightmare to come in. She is very busy and she is not sure when you could come, even if you suggested that anytime would be fine! Anyway, finally you step in with your best smile on and the first thing she says to you is she works from home (great!), and even if the owners mentioned to her that she should be taking a walk, or be gone while the place is shown, it won’t happen, too busy!

Forget about potential buyers looking around with no distractions and being comfortable to share anything with their agents. You try again with pleasant manners to let her know that home buying is about emotions and if a buyer is stressed out, they will not buy. She does not respond, she obviously does not wear her emotions on her sleeve and does not crave lots of conversation. My courtesy visit is over.

The first showing request needs to be changed since your super tenant can not accommodate 2 p.m., but 4 p.m. at the earliest. Lucky you, the agent requesting the showing is a friend of yours and she will re-arrange her showings schedule to make it work. The tenant reminds you that she lives here and she has private things everywhere, so you must follow the agent and her clients everywhere while she discreetly sits on the lanai waiting…Well, you act accordingly hoping for an offer with your 1st showing!

Then, later on that evening you receive a call…not from the agent with feedback, but from the tenant herself. Something horrible happened during the showing and even if you were acting like a spy on these people, you did not see the monster that went to hide under the dining table. Yes, a centipede came in while these people left the screen door open, and went non-accompanied on the lanai to check the gorgeous golf and mountain views! Shame on you.

I don’t know what she was so angry about. What’s one more toxic tenant among friends?

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Beth Thoma Robinson R(B)

February 14, 2011

Just picked myself up off the floor where I was rolling in laughter! I know how hard it is for tenants as getting a new owner is rarely to their benefit, but this was a bit over the top. It sounds like you handled this situation with all your French diplomatic skills.

Beth Thoma Robinson R(B)

February 14, 2011

Just picked myself up off the floor where I was rolling in laughter! I know how hard it is for tenants as getting a new owner is rarely to their benefit, but this was a bit over the top. It sounds like you handled this situation with all your French diplomatic skills.

Pam Deery R(B) Big Island

February 14, 2011

Let us not forget the fact that the centipede must have used all of it’s legs on double time to scurry in through the screen door between the prospective buyer’s legs as they walked out the screen to enjoy the view! A Slippery Sleuth for sure.

Again, Catherine one of the many reasons you are the master of diplomacy!

Pam Deery R(B) Big Island

February 14, 2011

Let us not forget the fact that the centipede must have used all of it’s legs on double time to scurry in through the screen door between the prospective buyer’s legs as they walked out the screen to enjoy the view! A Slippery Sleuth for sure.

Again, Catherine one of the many reasons you are the master of diplomacy!

Karen

February 14, 2011

Rumor has it the agents may be transporting the creatures in their bags…. I have a showing scheduled for tomorrow. Please do not bring any with you. Thanks!

Karen

February 14, 2011

Rumor has it the agents may be transporting the creatures in their bags…. I have a showing scheduled for tomorrow. Please do not bring any with you. Thanks!

Kathy Awai

February 14, 2011

Quite possibly the tenants personal pet but didn’t want to let anyone know for fear of getting back to the owner.

Kathy Awai

February 14, 2011

Quite possibly the tenants personal pet but didn’t want to let anyone know for fear of getting back to the owner.

Martha Tumbleson

February 15, 2011

It must be centipede season. Just found a huge one in my living room. No pets, here… he’s history!

Martha Tumbleson

February 15, 2011

It must be centipede season. Just found a huge one in my living room. No pets, here… he’s history!

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