Lyn Herriot's grandson checks out an unexpected basement pool at a Ripon home she was listing.
Lyn Herriot's grandson checks out an unexpected basement pool at a Ripon home she was listing.

   Realtor Joan Karsten thought she’d be calling the police.

   “I went to list a bank-owned abandoned home in a desolate area — the bank was in California and they had no keys so I was the first person to go on the property since the owners simply walked away,” said Karsten, who works for Century 21 Properties Unlimited in Ripon.

   It was a hot August day, she explained, and as she opened the door to the home, a horrid smell wafted out.

   “I forced myself to move forward through the house measuring rooms and taking notes,” Karsten said. “I got to the basement to find a stand-up freezer with blood dripping from it.
“Of course my mind went to chopped-up body parts. With hands shaking I opened it expecting the worst — only to find a lot of defrosted, nasty-smelly meat.”

   All in a day’s work as a real estate agent.

   Selling property isn’t simply about taking photos of properties and walking prospective customers through the many homes of the Ripon area.

   Sometimes the job comes with a dash of the surprising, a pinch of the sublime and even, as Karsten discovered, just a bit of the terrifying.

Read the full story in the Jan. 2, 2020 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.