Realtor Magic When Getting Pulled Over by Sacramento Police
One of the craziest lessons passed down to me from the guy who trained me in real estate, in the 1970s when I was first licensed to sell real estate, involves Realtor magic and getting pulled over by the police. Now, I have to admit, I did not believe Realtor magic when it was first presented to me because it sounded too far fetched. I also wasn’t sure that the agent who relayed this principle wasn’t joking around, but he swore by it. He said that holding a real estate license gives an agent permission to overlook the rules of the road. Traffic violations don’t apply to us. It’s Realtor magic.
I saw him apply this principle in action one day. We were driving together to view a property, before the days of GPS. The only instrument we could use to find our way was to carry a Thomas Guide under our car seat, and those books weren’t always up to date. Especially concerning new subdivisions. Which means we often got lost. And that particular day, we were lost. Albert, who also had the distinction of being one of my many husbands, made a U-turn right in the middle of crossing the railroad tracks.
Soon as we spun around, a police appeared out of nowhere. Albert rolled down the window and said, “Officer, I am a real estate agent, and I am lost. I did not mean to make a U-Turn and I will never do it again.” And the officer gave him a brief lecture and let us go. Albert smirked: See, I told you, we are immune. Realtor magic protects us. Albert is not around anymore. He died a few years ago.
I thought of this yesterday as I was driving through Rancho Cordova to visit a a seller. She’s moving to Las Vegas shortly and needs to paint a few brightly colored bedrooms before we can put her home on the market. Her street came up abruptly, faster than I had expected. I began to turn the wheel with my left hand. With clipboard in my right hand, I glanced down at the house number. When I looked up again, oh, my gosh.
Whoa! There was a police car approaching, right in my lane! What the heck. On a quiet residential street. Oh, no, wait, this wasn’t my lane, it was his lane, and I was on the wrong side of the street because I had turned too wide. Oopsies. Oh, well. At least I avoided hitting the police car. You know, it’s not so much what you do wrong but how it doesn’t go as wrongly as it could, particularly if you sidestep disaster, and everything is OK, right?
Why didn’t people paint house numbers on the curbs on this street? I glanced in my rear view mirror and sure enough, the police car had turned around and the lights were flashing. Back in the 1970s, I might have been concerned about being pulled over, but now ha. I am old and, let’s not forget, a Sacramento Realtor! As such, I am protected from getting tickets. It’s that Realtor magic.
Oh, hello Officer! I smile brightly. He was pretty gruff. License, proof of insurance and registration, please. I handed over two of those documents. Surely he was not about to demand I dig up my registration card, and I was right, he didn’t. He studied the documents, looked at me, back at the documents. He seemed rather angry. You made me slam on my brakes, he raised his voice. I did no such thing. If he slammed on his brakes it’s because he probably wasn’t watching the road. Maybe he was playing with his police radio. Did I slam on my brakes? No.
At that point, I suppose he lectured me about traffic safety or maybe he was talking about something else, I don’t know, I wasn’t really paying attention. I’m like that Labrador cartoon about the dog getting scolded by his owner, and all the dog hears is blah, blah, blah. The cop wasn’t about to haul an old woman from Land Park off to jail.
“I’m a Realtor, Officer,” I offered, “I’m sorry, I was looking at house numbers. I’ll never do this again.” Hey, I’m an old person. I look like a Realtor. I’m driving a new foreign car. My iPad is on the seat with my Google map print out.
He didn’t write me a ticket. He let me go. And there, once more, is the proof of the Realtor magic when getting pulled over by a police officer. I sensed Albert rolling over in his grave with a thumbs up.