display keys

Do Not Touch the Sacramento Lockbox Without Permission

Sacramento-LockboxI’m thinking about slapping a preprinted notice over my 70-some lockboxes that warn: don’t touch the lockbox without permission. It is never OK for a Sacramento real estate agent to use a lockbox and enter a home without checking the showing instructions in MLS — yet it happens. Unauthorized access happens not because agents think but because some of them don’t think. An agent today explained why he entered a home that is not even on the market, after I emailed him twice to ask for an explanation. He said it was because he lived across the street and the seller told him she was listing with me.

I imagine that news went over well.

So, he decided it was OK to bring over a buyer to walk around the home and trample on private property. Because he knew the seller. It did not occur to him that he had no written agreement with this seller nor permission to be there. Not only did he not understand that he was trespassing, but imagine his surprise when he noticed the lockbox and thought to himself, hey, here I am, a Sacramento real estate agent with a buyer and whoa, I have a display key that will open this lockbox. I will do it.

I know when the agent was there because I check my lockbox showings via the Supra website 2 to 3 times a day.

This agent did not bother to see if the home was listed. Which it is not published in MLS yet. Or maybe he did and he realized it was not on the market and that was simply his flimsy first excuse. Because his second excuse was he figured the seller would receive multiple offers, and he thought for some odd reason that we would give him priority with his offer if he submitted it quickly. And the way to submit a fast offer first was to break into the home without permission. Yeah!

This is winning on so many levels, not.

MLS guidelines allow showing of a home when that home is in active status in MLS and the showing instructions are followed. In some parts of town, and I’m not saying where, I don’t even put a for sale sign in the yard because agents out showing homes will use a lockbox if they can spot that lockbox without looking up the home in MLS to even determine if it’s available to be shown. I’ve had buyer’s agents enter occupied pending sales unauthorized with a naked seller in the shower. Geez, Louise!

MetroList should improve its training for agents and not just hand out lockboxes like they are candy.

All I can say is it’s a good thing that seller didn’t hire this agent and instead chose me. We’ll see what tomorrow brings when this home hits the market.

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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