By Anessa V. Cohen

It’s not easy showing homes after Chanukah. You somehow get into a mode of semi-vacationing, taking some hours off here and there, and then it is time to get back to a regular routine and you are not ready. I think the real miracle of Chanukah is surviving eight days of latkes, Chanukah parties, and sufganiyot!

As we finish with Chanukah and come back to our normal routines with only two more weeks till the end of the month and the beginning of a new year, I want to share a story with you that should give you a little giggle.

An offer to purchase a house was accepted by both buyer and seller and they subsequently went into contract. The buyer applied for a mortgage and continued through the mortgage-application process, which included having the bank appraiser come down to inspect the house for the bank.

With this in mind, one of my salespeople made an appointment with the appraiser to open the house for his inspection, and walked him through the house which was presently empty of all furniture and personal items. The sellers presumably had already moved their belongings out of there some time ago in preparation for closing.

While waiting for the appraiser to complete his inspection, the realtor noticed what looked like a cookie jar that was left on the kitchen counter. Since the entire house had been emptied, she decided to look into the cookie jar to see if anything important had been forgotten by the owners.

As she lifted up the lid of the jar, she found the canister was full of what looked like ashes. A little nauseated, she quickly closed the lid and decided she’d better call the owners just in case what looked like ashes were not just ashes.

She called the owners to inform them that they had left a cookie jar on the kitchen counter with what looked like ashes inside. She asked if they had left somebody–possibly “Uncle Fred”–alone on the kitchen counter and if they would want to come pick him up. All the while, she thought to herself, “What if they really do not want him anymore? What do I do with him and what is the proper procedure for disposing of ashes?”

The sellers, a little embarrassed, said that when they moved out, they figured someone would throw away anything left in the house that they did not want to take with them, but had forgotten what was in the cookie jar when they left it. They quickly arranged for someone to come and pick up the cookie jar from the house while the agent was still there, and apologized for not taking it with them.

So here we come to the moral of this story. Don’t get caught with your fingers in the cookie jar.

Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and a licensed N.Y.S. loan officer (FM Home Loans) with over 20 years of experience offering full-service residential, commercial, and management real-estate services as well as mortgage services. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to



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