Every job has its funny experiences and thank goodness for it. Laughter is good, like a medicine and looking back on my almost three decades of property auctions I can honestly say I have often been medicated with mirth.
No doubt in my mind that the most amusing incident of recent years was when a lady bid for the wrong house. The auction took place in rooms at the real estate office.
I was auctioning a house in a none too beautiful district. Sadly the property was being put up as a bank forced sale. The reserve price laid down by the bank (but not disclosed to the potential purchasers) was very realistic and although the house was in an undesirable location and badly in need of TLC, much interest was generated.
The auction got under way with three buyers keenly bidding. One lady had arrived late and missed out on hearing the reading of the conditions of sale. However the real estate salesperson knew the woman and assured me that she had been into the office a few days prior and had received a copy of the conditions.
One bidder dropped out and I was left with two ladies, the late comer and a younger woman. The late comer out-bid the younger and I bought the hammer down with a flourish...sold.
I thanked the people for their attendance, wished them all the best for the coming week-end and heard the agent (Russell) congratulate the successful bidder, adding that he was sure she would be very happy in her new property at Awefultown.
I heard the scream!! could not think for the life of me what the matter was, then heard the distraught buyer say...'Oh God! my husband will kill me.'
Turns out the property she wanted was to be auctioned by me on the following week, she got all befumbled and bid on the wrong day for the wrong house.
Rules are rules and mistake or not, the poor lady would have to buy the house. Unless we could track down the under-bidder, the younger lady.
Now here's the thing. Normally an agent will be aware of the names of all the bidders. This time the agent failed. At first, this did not appear to be a problem because Russell explained that he had been able to get a good look at the lady and could identify her, only problem being that he had not been looking at her face. Apparently the lady was well endowed and that was all the agent had focused on.
Out into the street he went, (not a big town) to find a lady whose mammary measured up to his memory.
Yes he found the lady! She bought the property for five thousand dollars less than the auction price, and, thanks to a very sympathetic bank, the bidder was able to face her husband.