Business Insider asked real-estate agents around the US about what it's really like working in the industry, what they wish they could tell their clients, and the weirdest requests they've ever received from clients.
One agent said they were asked to show a home and conduct almost the entire sale process over FaceTime. Another said they were asked to install a listening device in a client's home so they could hear the prospective buyers' comments.
Many of the agents' strangest requests had to do with pets, from being asked to walk a client's dog before each showing to bringing a buyer's parrot through the house to make sure it was "comfortable" in the home.
Here are 13 of the strangest and most extreme requests real-estate agents have ever gotten from clients.
1. One client asked an agent to spy on prospective buyers.
Terry Hamilton, who sells homes in Missouri and Kansas for an average of $265,000, said one of the strangest requests he got was when a client asked him "to install a listening device in their home so we could hear the prospective buyer's comments."
2. One agent was asked to walk a client's dog every time he showed their home.
Boris Fabrikant of Compass, who sells homes with an average price of $1.5 million in Manhattan, said a client once asked him, "Can you walk my dog before each showing?"
3. One foreign buyer wanted to buy a home over FaceTime — and did.
"The most extreme request I received was from a foreign buyer who asked me to FaceTime him for a showing from abroad," said Jared Barnett of Compass, who sells homes from $2 million to $5 million in New York City. "He ended up purchasing the $4 million apartment all-cash without stepping foot into the home until the day of the closing!"
4. One client asked to use every bathroom in a home before buying it.
Kelly Robinson of Compass, who sells Manhattan and Brooklyn homes at an average of $3 million, said a client once told her, "I need to do my business in every bathroom before buying the home."
5. A seller wanted the buyer to take their pet along with the home.
Karen Benvenuto of Compass, who sells homes from $1 million to $3 million in the Hamptons, said she once encountered "a seller that wanted the buyer to adopt their pet as part of the transaction."
6. An agent had to clean out a shed in a foot of snow because the homeowner forgot to do it.
Once, "a homeowner forgot to clean out the shed for the walk-through (left out of state), and there was about a foot of snow, and we wheelbarrowed (in heeled boots) all the debris from the shed all the way in the backyard to the front yard to be picked up for garbage on the day of the closing," Lina Lopes of Douglas Elliman, who sells homes with an average price of $350,000 in Suffolk County on Long Island, told Business Insider.
7. A client asked agents to walk their parrot through the house to make sure it was "comfortable" there.
Richard Steinberg and Payton Smith of the Douglas Elliman Steinberg Team, who sell homes for an average of $10 million in Palm Beach and throughout South Florida, said the strangest request they've gotten from a client "would have to be walking their parrot through the house to make sure it was comfortable!"
Read the rest of this list in Part 2!