Real Estate Confessional

Ever walked into a private moment during a showing? Been tormented by a seller’s serpent? You’re not alone.

Confessions of an Estate Agent, by Rosalind Russell, is a collection of funny, embarrassing and entirely true stories from real estate professionals across the pond. Originally published in a week-day column in The London Evening Standard, Russell used her eight years of experience publishing the column to curate a hilarious, yet touching volume, illustrated with cartoons by Merrily Harpur.

Because each entry is just a paragraph, this is the perfect little book to throw in a bag for when you’re waiting in line at the post office. It would also serve as a great pick-me-up at the end of a difficult or strange day out in the field. Just knowing that you’re not the only one who’s been put out by a seller’s crazy requests or had their new suit ruined by a flying can of house paint can help ease the blow. And thanks to the subject-specific chapters, you can choose your salve to match the offense.

Of course there are some cultural differences; even the mere title of the book hints that they handle the particulars of a real estate transaction a bit differently in Great Britain. But the same frustrations regarding bureaucracy, unrealistic clients, and showing surprises are common over here too. And sometimes the differences are enlightening, or even encouraging.

Overall, one gets the impression of a dedicated workforce willing to go above and beyond the norm to make buying, selling, renting, and just plain living as easy as possible for their clients. Even when those clients happen to be totally crazy.

Though I loved reading it for the laughs, it also made me a bit nostalgic for our old column, In the Trenches (for those who aren’t acquainted, here’s an example). What do you think: Is this the sort of feature you’d like to read more of? Or do you hear enough of these stories around the office? Let me know in the comment section below.

Meg White

Meg White is the managing editor for REALTOR® Magazine and administrator of the magazine's Weekly Book Scan blog. Contact her at mwhite[at]

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  1. Please bring back “In the Trenches” as a regular feature. These stories are always interesting and make other Realtors smile and laugh. It is nice to know we are not alone!

    Keep up the good work!

  2. I can relate! We all have some interesting stories from the trenches….

    One showing I walked in with my buyers to find the owner’s houseguest coming out of the shower in a towel. Another showing we were sure the barking pit bull would rip through the flimsy cage and eat us alive! We were having trouble hearing each other for a while after that as the volume of the barking was super loud in the small apartment. These kinds of things definitely keep us on our toes but we do love our jobs and just learn to navigate carefully around obstacles or situations that come up.

  3. A similar work already exists with true and funny stories of Realtors in the United States. The book is called All In A Day’s Work for Real Estate Agents: Humorous & Heartwarming Stories (details and excerpts available at It includes 100 stories from agents in 44 states and was a Silver Award winner in the Ben Franklin Book Awards. Stories include things like being asked to be a client’s birthing coach, finding a dead body, and several funny wild animal stories.

  4. Mary

    Please continue “In the Trenches” – it was my favorite thing to read.

  5. Evelyn Brown

    Loved “In The Trenches” and have missed it dearly. Please bring it back. Those stories were priceless.