Fake Guns and 500-Pound Boars: The Strangest Things Home Sellers Have Left Behind

Q: What’s the strangest thing a seller has ever left behind after closing?Mary Aronoff, real-estate agent, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, San Diego,

In 2014, I was working with some buyers who wanted to live on a working farm
off the grid. I found them the perfect home on 6.8 acres of land in the Cleveland
National Forest in Descanso, about 45 minutes east of San Diego. There was a
three-bedroom house, along with a horse corral, animal pens and views of
undeveloped wilderness areas. The sellers had 16 horses, 25 chickens, three
goats, a huge potbellied pig and a Russian boar named Kevin. I had never seen
a Russian boar before, but Kevin weighed about 500 pounds, had tusks and was
aggressive. The sellers told us to stay away from him, and I kept my distance. As
we got closer to closing, the sellers were panicking because Kevin had escaped
his pen and was running loose on the property. While they were able to relocate
all the other animals, despite their best efforts the elusive Kevin could not be caught and was still on the property when my clients took possession. You have to realize that not only was he aggressive, but he was digging up all the plants and roots and destroying the gardens. What did my client do? Well, he was a professional—an engineer—but he was also an outdoorsy type, a hunter with the necessary skills for living off-grid. Let’s just say that at the housewarming party, they had pork.

Abby Nelson, real-estate agent, Re/Max 200 Realty, Winter Park, Fla.

I was the transaction broker for the sale of a traditional Florida ranch-style home that closed for $600,000 in June 2023. It was nicely renovated and had four bedrooms, three baths, a great room with a vaulted ceiling and beams and a spacious laundry room with a sink, counter and cabinets. It was on the golf course in a nice quiet neighborhood. Since the sellers remained in occupancy after the closing, we actually did two walk-throughs—one right before the closing and the other when the sellers moved out. During that second walk-through, I saw something on top of one of the cabinets in the laundry room, but I’m not that tall so I couldn’t tell what it was. My client climbed up on the counter and then said, ‘You’re kidding me.’ The next thing I know, he grabbed a rifle off the top of the cabinet, swung it around and was pointing it right at me. I thought it was an assault rifle. It didn’t have the orange tip on it that an imitation gun would have had, and it was very realistic-looking. But it turned out to be an Airsoft gun that shoots plastic pellets. Believing it was real, my buyers wanted it out of the house immediately. We didn’t learn it wasn’t real until I called the sellers to tell them they left something behind.

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