Haus Schwatz: Cati's DC Real Estate


"Does This Convey?"

Oh, boy.  The question hasn't actually been asked yet in this case, but I immediately pictured a wild scene at the final walk-through.  Railings and bannisters clearly are "fixtures" in a house, meaning they must stay put for the buyer.  But what if the basement stair railing was fashioned from, ehm, a gun?

That's what my buyers -- both Europeans who couldn't believe what they saw -- and I came across in Potomac, a well-to-do DC suburb, yesterday.  There was a lot more interesting about this rather unusual house that needed work but sat on a 4 acre lot with a smashing view that included hills, woods and a large pond.  But just this one feature might raise all kinds of legal questions.

"Of course, I had to extend the barrel a bit," explained the proud homeowner, an elderly widower who confessed to a love of shotguns.  Two brackets hold the weapon in place.  None of us felt a great desire to try, but it looked pretty solid.

There was a clever balcony high up off the family room that streched between three major areas of the house.  You had a nice view of the valley with the pond from there. 

I really wouldn't want to be a deer stepping out of the woods on this property.

© 2012, Catarina Bannier


Comment balloon 20 commentsCatarina Bannier • December 01 2008 09:33PM


I would recommend that the seller replace the railing with something more suitable prior to closing.

Posted by Martin Kalisker, Professional Standards & Legal Assistant (Greater Boston Association of REALTORS) over 10 years ago

Shoot, we would love that in Texas.  There is loads of ammunition of puns on that one.  Good bullit points.



Posted by TIM MONCRIEF, Over 2,000 homes sold….. (Tim Monciref) over 10 years ago

I'm sure there are some buyers who would get a kick out of this. In thiscase i would have written it as an exclusion and a replacement required.

Posted by Ellie McIntire, Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville (Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Catarina, everyone has different tastes, while I may have thought it funny and wanted it, Darcy would want me to replace it if we were to buy the house.  I think that Ellie had a good idea, or maybe as a closing gift to the buyers I would let them know that I would get that replaced for them.

Posted by Tony & Darcy Cannon, The C Team (Aubrey and Associates Realty) over 10 years ago

Catarina very creative owners, I love it, thanks for the laugh.

Posted by Lorene Warren, Land Park Specialist & Top Producer for 36 years, (Lyon Real Estate, Sacramento, CA) over 10 years ago

LOL! Don't give my former buyers any ideas just in case I have to re-sell their properties!!!  Honey, this is the hunting paradise of the southeast!... What we shudder to think about, others would see as the selling feature of the entire property!  Great laugh - thanks for sharing that with us. 

Posted by Celina Gleason (AgentOwned Realty) over 10 years ago

The things you see in this business! It's clever all right, but I sure wouldn't want it in my house. Probably a selling point for someone with a love of guns or hunting, though. lol.

Posted by Kelly Sibilsky (Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD.) over 10 years ago

Catarina,  what a hoot!  Were there any animal heads left behind?  Antlers are really big this year.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Something that unusual, I would put it in the contract that the railing stay if my buyer wanted it.  I would assume that it would not stay, buit be replaced. 

I had a friend years ago sell a house that was landscaped with a pond and fountain.  Prior to closing he removed the pond and fountain and relandscaped the work.  The seller never had any intentions of leaving it, the buyer agents never thought to ask, it turned into a big fight.  Nobody thought to put it in the contract though.  Luckily they were able to resolve it. 

That was before I was in Real Estate, but today if I show a house with a pond I make it a point to ask the question, do you want the pond. 

Posted by Chad Baird (Re/Max Spirit) over 10 years ago

Martin--I think you're right.  Although you wonder what the guy, an ambitious do-it-yourselfer, would come up with next  (a row of antler pieces?).

Tim--too funny.  Just our preconceived view of Texas, except that we don't usually think you guys have a sense of humor about it ;-)

Posted by Catarina Bannier, DC Real Estate The Smart And Fun Way (Compass) over 10 years ago

Ellie and Tony--thanks for your comments.  I'm sure for other buyers, they might have found it just hilarious and might have wanted to keep it in the contract, but for these guys it added to the overall creepiness factor (together with the dolls in the basement who looked like they had their faces shot off and other items).  In the end, they looked like they were glad to leave...

Lorene-- you're welcome! ;-)

Posted by Catarina Bannier, DC Real Estate The Smart And Fun Way (Compass) over 10 years ago

Celina and Kelly --  I think you're right, but i tend to think that the real gun lovers and hunters of this area are hiding out in other counties... or maybe that's wishful thinking because i live pretty close to national park land.    (Full disclosure: I tried clay pigeon shooting on a trip to West Virginia a couple of months ago--wanted to figure out that mysterious Palin thing.)

Pat -- yes, there were plenty of weird trophy things...

Posted by Catarina Bannier, DC Real Estate The Smart And Fun Way (Compass) over 10 years ago

I love the creativity we find sometimes in the homes we show people.

Posted by Trey Thurmond, College Station , Texas Homes (BCR Realtors) over 10 years ago
Chad -- that would really upset a buyer. Our contracts here have provisions that the property will convey in the state and shape it was at ratification. Even if someone wants to remove just a rose bush that has sentimental value to them, maybe because it was a gift, it will have to be written into the disclosures and/or the contract. So, unless the buyers hated the pond to begin with, they could ask to leave money in escrow after the closing, to have the landscaping restored. Would be very costly for the seller.
Posted by Catarina Bannier, DC Real Estate The Smart And Fun Way (Compass) over 10 years ago

Cati, Check it out!  I just tagged you for a "Some Things You Didn't Know About MeMe".  So you're it!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Pat--how does it work?? (sounds scary, tho)

Posted by Catarina Bannier, DC Real Estate The Smart And Fun Way (Compass) over 10 years ago

Oh my.  I think that perhaps the listing agent should suggest replacing that with something less specialized.  Just so the seller lose his prized gun railing at closing, right?

Posted by Brenda Carus (Century 21 Zwygart Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Actualy I have seen simular things and usually ask the seller to remove or replace such items when I am listing the property. When with a buyer I just say; " well, no accounting for taste."

Posted by Terry Miller, Miller Homes Group and Tyler Apartment Locator (Miller Homes Group) over 10 years ago

Wow - I thought I'd seen it all, but I haven't seen that!  Thanks for adding the picture.

Posted by Rob and Camille Di Maio (San Antonio Real Estate - Keller Williams Legacy) over 10 years ago

This is great! I am sure if your Buyers requested it to stay, the Seller might put it into the deal they just need to request shooting lessons!

Posted by Tiffany Torgan, Featured on HGTV's New Show! How Close Can I Beach (Harcourts Prestige Properties of La Jolla) about 9 years ago