Jen Kirchhoefer


It’s 5 a.m. on Sunday morning and I am sitting at my desk in my office. The clock says it’s 6 a.m., but it lies. My body knows it’s only 5 o'clock. We lost an hour. Somehow, around 2 a.m., an hour disappeared. It just vanished. It has gone into some sort of a surreal transcendental, non-interest bearing “savings account,” only to be redeemed at a later date to once again disturb the sleep patterns of the Homo sapiens population. Either way, 6 or 5 a.m., I was up.

It’s not often that I go into my office to work on a Sunday. I really like to take that day to shift my focus and attempt balance. Balance is not one of my strong suits by a long shot. I really enjoy working, and in this business, as in many others, there is never a lack of things to do.

Truthfully, it is really not a bad time or place for a little reflection on the events of the past week. And what a week it has been. As Realtors, there is rarely one day that is like any other day. We see a lot of things. However, as this week has proven, there will probably never be a time when we have “seen it all.”

I really thought I had come close. There was the urinal on the living room wall house, or the displays of pornography on the wall home; there are a plethora of hoarder houses, the meth home, the meth duplex, the seller who neglected to put on clothes before answering the door, the invitational skunk weed smoking, and who could forget the attic squatter, or the creepy doll collector, or the murder/suicide houses? I didn’t even mention the arguing clergy “event” or the evicted tenant who broke a window and moved back in. The list goes on.

The real reason I was up was due to a phone call I had received from a client. We have her home listed and it is currently under contract with a buyer. The buyers had just completed their home inspection and had decided to get a radon test done. Radon is an invisible, odorless, radioactive gas that can build up indoors and can cause lung cancer if breathed in over time. About one out of every 15 homes in the United States have a level of radon that needs to be mitigated. In fact, I had a radon test done in my own home and found it to be slightly higher than recommended. As a result, I had a radon mitigation system installed in my home.

The radon tester has to be in place for a minimum of 72 hours. I informed my client that the inspector was going to come in to place this test on Friday and pick it up Monday. At 12:59 p.m. Friday, the radon inspector accessed the keybox to the house. At 2 p.m., my client called. “I am no longer interested in selling my house. Tell that radon guy to come back and get his stupid box and tell the buyers they can’t have anyone else come into my home. My door was left wide open, there are papers strewn throughout my house, and I am done.”

Wow. I told her to hold tight while I called the radon inspection company. I spoke to the owner. He called his employee who did the testing. He is a retired police officer. He said he couldn’t get the front lock to work and so he went through the back door which was open. He was there approximately 5 minutes to set up the test and left through the back door.

I called back my client, who informed me that she had found a piece of tissue between the door latch and the frame so that the door won’t lock. She also found that all her medications were missing and her sliding glass door was left open. I told her to call the police.

It was actually CSI that showed up. They dusted for fingerprints, which were all over the door. The radon inspector was off the hook, but her basement apartment tenant may not be. I hope he enjoys his thyroid medication, because that’s all he got. I actually wish it had been hormone replacement pills.

Incidentally, my client’s house tested negative for radon, and I have one more unique experience for the books.

Jen Kirchhoefer is an associate broker and Realtor. She can be reached at or 801-645-2134.

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