People will do anything. That’s become a refrain in our house. Every time I tell Kevin something someone did, something that left me slack-jawed, he says it again.

“I told you. People will do anything.”

I met a real-estate colleague at a house she has listed for sale in a town near me. It’s a gorgeous spot, and I’d gone there to preview before telling my downstate clients that it was, indeed, every bit as nice as the pictures made it seem. They hurried up to see for themselves.

It’s a very large place, set in a rolling high meadow with more than 50 acres around it. There is one visible neighbor, set back off to the left in an adjoining open field.


The neighbors were in their driveway, washing off their quads. ATVs are very popular in this part of upstate.

As the potential buyers got out of their car, one of the neighbors hopped on a dirt bike, revved it up, and proceeded to ride all over the property that belongs to the house for sale.  Back and forth across the fields, up the hill behind the house, back down and within just a few feet of where we were standing. The show went on for about ten minutes.

Then another neighbor fired up a quad and drove along the fence line by the road, in front of the house we were looking at, and down the far fence line.

No one could talk. It was loud.

“Was that for our benefit?” one of my clients finally asked.

“It looked like it,” I said.

“I am going to have to mention that to the seller,” the other agent said.

I heard the person on the dirt bike laugh as he got back to his own property and turned off the engine.

The laugh’s on him. My clients are going to buy the house.

Like I said. People will do anything.


Read more installments of Village Voices by Susan Barnett.