Purchasing a home is a very complicated and stressful process, and finding a good realtor to help you through that process can be very difficult and tricky. Real Estate agents get a lot of bad press and have a reputation for being one step up from a used car salesman. This certainly doesn’t mean there aren’t great agents out there, but the industry is plagued with this unsavory reputation for a reason. There are plenty of agents out there that will do whatever they have to in order to get a house sold, especially when it has been on the market for a while. Unfortunately, if you happen to accidentally get bamboozled by this type of heartless salesperson, you could literally end up with a home full to the brim with bats or some other horrible pest. This is what happened to Steve Jablonski, a retired investment management CEO, when he thought he was buying his dream home in upstate New York.
When Jablonski initially moved into his new home everything seemed perfect right up until spring came around. This is when the resident bats that had been using the home as their own dwelling six months out of the year for the past 40 years arrived as per their usual custom. Jablonski found himself suddenly stuck with 150 very badly-behaved houseguests that he couldn’t get rid of. The bats, unaware that anything was amiss with their spring/summer dwelling, spent their days hanging from the rafters and holding many bat love-fests on the beams, reproducing and making as many baby bats as possible (as most animals do in the spring), as well as protecting and nursing said offspring. Of course, having protective mother bats literally hanging above your head can and does lead to other problems. The only person these bats are keeping an eye on is Jablonski, which means if they perceived a threat to their young, they are going to go straight for him. Jablonski says he regularly sees bats scurrying across the floor, flying into his living room, and even occasionally sinking their pointy teeth into him (probably because of the whole “baby bats on board” issue).
Jablonski sued the real estate agents, their broker, the sellers and original owners of the home, as well as the home inspector that didn’t tell him the house was littered with bats for half of the year before he purchase it for nine million dollars. The real estate firm was supposed to be the area’s oldest and most well-respected, the realtor he hired from the firm one of its best agents and a respected figure in the community, and the inspector was recommended by the broker himself. These were not unseasoned agents that hadn’t already been fully approved by the community and their industry. They purposefully hid the presence of the bats, and when Jablonski asked about droppings he had seen, he was told they were just bird droppings, and not a sign of a much bigger problem. Not to mention that they posed a huge health risk to Jablonski, since bats carry rabies and histoplasmosis, which is a dangerous respiratory illness. These supposedly upstanding individuals knowingly lied and put him in danger just to sell a house. The moral of this story is that you should be careful about the realtors you choose to trust and always make sure there are no hidden guests, be them bats or another one of the many pests we have to deal with in this world.
Have you or someone you know ever purchased a home only to discover it had a horrible infestation of some kind?