“Hi, I’m calling from the real estate agency to see if you have rented your house yet for August.”
“No, I haven’t. Your office is in the village, right?”
“Yes, it is. Why?”
“Would you do me a favor? Would you go to Citarella and get me a half-pound of flounder?”
The above represents just one out of many jaw-droppingly, astonishingly stupid and funny anecdotes included in a new book, “The Hamptons Real Estate Horror Show,” penned, perhaps understandably, by Anonymous Times Two.
“We have a combined half-century of experience in real estate,” Anon One said during a clandestine rendezvous at a secret location.
“We met at an open house,” said Anon Two, who then added nostalgically, “I was a bitch.”
“No,” said Anon One. “I liked you as soon as I met you.”
After a couple from Manhattan has viewed 10 houses for sale (one of which they swooned over and stayed in for over an hour), they get in their car and head back to the city. Somewhere between Manorville and Manhattan, they call me.
“Now that you know what we like,” they say, “we know you’ll call us when you find it.”
“We’ve been astounded by these people, astounded,” said Anon One. “We had material galore.” Why anonymous? The pair exchanged a knowing glance. “We decided that we might want to stay in the business,” Anon Two admitted.
Some of the anecdotes come from other brokers, but most are from personal experience, and all of them, the duo emphasized, are true.
“The hardest part of real estate is to be nice and helpful to these wackos,” said Anon Two. “They want what they want when they want it,” Anon One said. “You can work with someone for three years, but if they come in on your day off to make a deal, you lose the commission.”
“My wife was awakened at five-thirty this morning by the birds!”
“Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that, but what would you like me to do?”
“Have them eliminated.”
“It’s like no other place in the world, this area. Out here, real estate is a hobby,” said Anon One.
“It’s an addiction,” added Anon Two. “This isn’t how it is in the Midwest. When I first got into real estate out here, I was mortified. It was like being a used car salesman; I didn’t want anyone to know what I did for a living. Now,” she said, “if you say you’re in real estate, everyone has a question for you. It’s the topic of conversation at every party.”
“ ‘How much is my house worth?’ is the number-one question,” said Anon One. “Houses here aren’t homes, at least not for the rich. They’re just stock, to be bought and sold and traded.”
The book, available locally at BookHampton, or at Amazon — including a Kindle edition — is flying off the shelves. “Word is out in the real estate world,” Anon Two said with a chuckle. “Everyone wants to see if they can figure out who wrote it. And no one thinks it’s us.”
The two feel strongly about maintaining their anonymity, especially with a continued wealth of material. “We could write endless sequels,” said Anon One. “It never stops. There will never be a shortage of obnoxious people out here.”
Anon Two expressed a somewhat secret hope that the book might be picked up for a TV series. “It’s ready-made for television,” she said.
In the meantime, buyers, renters, sellers, and brokers can peruse the pages of “The Hamptons Real Estate Horror Show” and wonder if the broad caricatures depicted therein are reminiscent of someone they see when they look in the mirror.