Sheet(rock) Happens!

It happened on a Tuesday.  Before Closing.  And no one breathed a word about it to me until weeks AFTER Closing.

Real estate, of course, is all about the properties, but then again it’s equally about the people…and, frankly, that’s what makes the business particularly interesting and compelling.  

So, when PEOPLE set out and “break” the rules while on PROPERTY, it gets REALLY interesting.

Such was the story of my dear clients Priscilla and Pete, who are among the nicest and most industrious clients I know.  High energy, can-do-attitude, glass is always half-full kinda people. 

The house they were buying was vacant in preparation for closing, and the seller was long gone.  It was “after hours” on a Tuesday afternoon, and it seemed like a perfectly harmless thing to do.

Why bother ME to gain proper access at such a late hour and for such a simple task, they thought.  They knew the sliding glass door lock wasn’t working anyway, and they would only be a minute or two as they just wanted to check one last time on how their furniture was going to fit in the guest bedroom.  In and out in a flash.  No harm, no foul, right?!

It’s still perfectly unclear to me how the quick furniture measurement mission turned into a full-fledged attic exploration, but that was where an innocent visit turned into a covert operation. 

If you’ve spent any time in attics, you know the value of plywood panelling when it comes to navigating the “floor.” In the absence of plywood, however, you’re left with a precarious tight-rope-style pathway through and around the already-tight space, which is often poorly lit.  

Thus was the pitfall of Pete, who made that pivotal false move that landed him halfway between the attic and the bedroom, encased in broken sheetrock and torn insulation…much to the shock and surprise to Priscilla, who was otherwise patiently awaiting his arrival out of the attic in the more traditional fashion (i.e., the way he got up there in the first place).

Not missing a beat, Pete muscled his way back up the hole, and set about on a plan to make his misgivings disappear before anyone even knew what had happened.  

Several back to back visits to affect a proper and thorough sheetrock repair ensued across the next 48 hours, resulting in a final finish and appearance that only Pete and Priscilla could discern as being different from the pre-episode condition.  

When the dust had settled after closing, and Priscilla and Pete had mustered the gumption to fess up to their misadventure, we all had a hearty laugh as I admired their ability to self-correct in such an inconspicuous manner.  

In the spirit of “all’s well that ends well,” my only disappointment with the whole situation was that they didn’t call me in the first place, as I would have enjoyed the lasting image of the lower half of Pete dangling from the ceiling.  That would have been the icing on the cake of this rare chapter in my growing book of experience. 

The end.

Author: Chip Collins

Along with his wife, Carrie, Chip enjoys boating, home improvement projects, and quality time with his girls, Martha Preston and Sallie. Over the past few years, Chip has earned his stripes as an amateur triathlete, competing in local and regional events around the Southeast, including recent participation in the Ironman Florida and Ironman Louisville 140.6 mile events, as well as, back-to-back Boston Marathons. Chip is the proud owner, broker-in-charge and Hilton Head Island listing specialist of Collins Group Realty, which he founded in 2002.

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