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Real-Estate Agents on Their Diva Clients

Sometimes only a shaman’s blessing can close a deal


Illustration: Cristina Spano

By

Candace Taylor

1 COMMENTS

Q. What are some of the craziest things you’ve seen on the job? Josh Flagg, estates director, Rodeo Realty, Beverly Hills, Calif.

I had a house in escrow in Bel-Air. We removed contingencies, everything was set to close. The buyer is a famous musician, one of the top pop artists in Japan. A day before closing, his business manager called and said, “We need to bring a shaman over to the property to bless the land and make sure there’s no evil spirits.” I thought he was kidding. He said, “No, it’s not a joke, the shaman’s got to get rid of the evil spirits.” We had to delay the closing because the shaman had to come from Mexico and his passport was expired. He had to sit on the land for six hours and pray. We actually had to pay for the extension because we had an agreement in the contract that if it didn’t close by a certain date [my client would pay] a per diem of $1,000 a day. It was an overall cost of about $10,000 for 10 days of delay, plus what the shaman charged. We had to explain to the listing agent and the seller what was happening. They thought we were batshit crazy. He did find some evil spirits but luckily he was able to get rid of them. I don’t think any spirit was evil enough to make a buyer walk away from his deposit—he would have lost $300,000.

Michele Kleier, president, Kleier Residential, New York

There was one celebrity who will remain nameless. If he liked an apartment, he wanted to order food and have a meal there. He wanted to feel how it would be to actually live there, not just walk through it. I would be there with him, and he would order in a full meal from a nice restaurant—he wasn’t a Chinese takeout kind of guy. [The meals] took a long time. It was always dinner. Thank god it wasn’t a midnight snack! If he hadn’t been well-known you couldn’t have talked [homeowners and brokers] into it. They were impressed that he was looking at their apartment. If it was some hedge-fund kind of guy they would have said, “the nerve!” But he was an actor and a movie star, so they felt it was ok. I had to load the dishwasher, but he was charming and delightful-—it was actually a lot of fun. He did buy [a home] eventually,so it made it all worthwhile.

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