From the outside looking in, being a real estate agent might look pretty fun, easy, and stress-free. Of course, like any profession, there are some stressful things. Some you can probably guess, like long hours, deals falling through, or a long stretch between commission checks.
But there are some things that happen when showing houses that cause long-lasting trauma and stress you couldn’t even fathom unless you were an agent. There’s no formal treatment for Post Traumatic Showing Disorder (P.T.S.D.), other than agents sharing and laughing about these ridiculous stressors they cope with. As they say, laughter is the best medicine.
So please spare a few moments to witness, acknowledge, and laugh at the 4 leading causes of this disorder in agents. It’ll go a long way in helping agents feel seen, heard, and understood.
Opening a lockbox when there’s a crack between the door and porch.
Trying to juggle listing sheets, a phone or keypad, and the lockbox, while trying to get the house key out of the box is tough enough. But throwing in a crack between the house and the porch makes it nerve-wracking. All it takes is one false move and that key is down the crack, possibly lost forever. Or worse, it’s not gone forever, but the agent has to unceremoniously crawl underneath the porch to retrieve it in front of their client. It doesn’t even have to happen to an agent; the mere thought of it can cause lasting damage.
Forgetting to put the key back in the lockbox.
Picture reaching into your pocket and finding a random key after a long day of showings. Sure, it’s a simple mistake anyone could make, but man is it embarrassing. You can retrace your day and hit every house you showed and hope to return it before anyone realizes. Or, you can call every listing agent of the houses you showed and ask if they’re missing a key, and hope they’re chill because they’ve been there and done that themselves.
“Dog will be caged”
Ideally an owner could get their dog out of the house when an agent is going to show their house, but that’s just not practical. Sometimes you’ll be told to just be aware of a friendly dog that’ll be there; other times they’ll say the dog will be caged. Either way, the worst you’ll probably deal with is some barking with most dogs. But all it takes is that one dog who was supposed to be caged who is not just all bark, but also has a penchant for growling, chasing, and trying to bite. Once you’ve been chased around a house by a dog, you’ll always open the door a little more cautiously and listen for the sounds of a resident Cujo before entering.
“Do NOT let cat out!!!!”
On a related note, some people have cats… And a lot of those people don’t want their cat getting out when you open the door to show their house. They let you know this in the listing remarks. And their agent will also mention it. Plus, they’ll have a sign when you enter the house. And maybe a sign here and there throughout the house. Half the time you won’t even see a cat because they’re hiding. Or arrrre they? Did the cat get out?! There’s always a chance the cat somehow slipped by you and is now on an outdoor adventure. The mere responsibility causes stress, but forget about it if you ever actually do let a cat out by mistake! Every time you leave a listing and see a cat in a neighbor’s yard you’ll wonder if it came from inside the house you just showed.
So the next time you see a real estate agent looking a little shell-shocked, just know that they may have just come from showing a house, or just heard a dog bark, a cat meow, or a key jingle when it hit the ground.