A Sacramento Lockbox Experience Shed Light on a Bad Agent

Sacramento-LockboxWhen I first moved to Sacramento in 2002, I did not yet belong to MLS. I had not yet reactivated my real estate license because it involved passing the California real estate exam again. The real estate laws in California changed over the past 12 years or so since I had left the state, so it took me a few months to choose an office, take the exam and become an official Sacramento real estate agent who has access to MLS as a member of MetroList.

As a member of MetroList, I also get to buy my own Sacramento lockboxes and secure them to homes that I list, so other agents can gain access if the sellers aren’t home. Lockboxes come in handy for appraisers and after the sellers move out, when the buyers conduct a final walkthrough. It’s very difficult to get into a Sacramento lockbox if you don’t have an display key. The good thing about the infrared communication device on the lockbox is it sends the agent’s information to a website. I check this website every night before I turn off my computer to join my husband for dinner.

The website tells me the name of the agent who used the lockbox, the time and the day, the agent’s telephone number, the agent’s email address and the name of the agent’s broker. It’s also a useful list in case somebody left the lights on by mistake, I can track down the last person to show and ask them to be more prudent in the future. I also email all buyer’s agents who showed my listings that day to ask for feedback and thank them for showing.

When I bought my home in Sacramento, the previous listing agent left the lockbox on the railing and I couldn’t get it off. He never came back to pick it up. I don’t know if it was because he did not want to run into me again or if he simply forgot. I would be mortified if I forgot to pick up a lockbox. Not only that, but lockboxes cost around $100, and I own about $8,000 worth of lockboxes. To get a lockbox off, I had to resort to a reciprocating saw. It took me a good 20 minutes of teeth rattling to saw through the shackle.

It’s much easier to use a display key to open the lockbox. I could have called my own agent to come over and use her display key, but she had done such a lousy job during my escrow. I did not want to ever speak to her again. I vowed I would never do what she did to my own clients. She felt that my husband was her client and forgot all about me. She did not return my phone calls or emails. She never answered her cellphone when I called. We almost did not close escrow because she messed up so badly. As I sawed through the shackle on that lockbox, I thought about her, and how grateful I am that I will never be like her.

In addition to my heros and heroines, whom I admire and aspire to mirror, the bad ones also teach me the paths to avoid, what not to do.

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