showing homes in sacramento

The Realtor Takes Keys After Showing the Listing

The Realtor Takes Keys After Showing Listing

On our Natomas listing, the Realtor takes keys after showing a listing. Can you believe it? Our lockboxes register the time and the buyer’s agent’s contact information. An agent called me 15 minutes after that last Realtor showed it. She said the lockbox was open and no key was in it.

We immediately looked online found the previous agent who showed it and she had taken the key. I called and asked her to please bring it back asap as an agent was at the property waiting to show it and could not get in. Her excuse was that the buyer had handed her all of her keys and she must have gotten them confused. This is why we have vendor boxes on the property as a back up for an extra key. read more

The Realtor Takes Keys After Showing the Listing

Security Gaps While Selling Your Sacramento Home

Sacramento-LockboxThe occupant of one of my listings leaves her front door unlocked when agents come over to show. She vacates and doesn’t lock the door because she doesn’t want a lockbox on the house. This procedure is not only unsafe, but it completely baffles the agents who show. The buyer’s agents can’t believe a person would not lock the door.

Because she won’t allow a SUPRA, I have installed a contractor’s box and suggested she put the key inside when she leaves, and then she could lock the house and retrieve the key when she gets home. She refuses. Her thoughts are it is perfectly OK to leave her door unlocked, and she lives in a safe neighborhood. All neighborhoods are safe until security gaps pop up.

Criminy, when it comes to security gaps, there are no safe neighborhoods in Sacramento. Every person is vulnerable no matter where you live. She won’t listen to me, and her actions make me uneasy, like they would cause any Sacramento listing agent to fret.

Then, this weekend, an agent called to say she dropped the key to the home she was showing somewhere in the kitchen and she could not find it. It might have rolled under the ‘frig. If I wasn’t avoiding any strains on my back, I would have dashed over to help her move the refrigerator. This sort of thing could have happened to any buyer’s agent. Although usually they break the key in the door or slip it into their pocket and take it home; they don’t generally lose it somewhere in the house.

I tried to call the seller but my message went to voice mail. The buyer’s agent couldn’t reach the seller, either, which is why she called me. I sent the seller an email and attempted to contact the co-owner as well. Nobody should leave a door unlocked anywhere.

Fortunately, the seller came home and was able to put a new key into the bottom of the lockbox. Then, later yesterday afternoon, another twist happened at her home. A group of strangers showed up on her doorstep holding a business card from a real estate agent. The real estate agent was not with them, they were unaccompanied and alone. The seller let them into her home! Give me a heart attack, why doncha? Never let a stranger into your home without an agent present. Talk about security gaps. Excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor. I swear, my sellers are gonna kill me yet.

Security Gaps While Selling Your Sacramento Home

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.

Do Not Touch the Sacramento Lockbox Without Permission

Sacramento is in a Real Estate Drought with Active Short Contingent Sales

An agent called Sunday afternoon to complain that a seller told him it was OK to show a home. This is a short sale in Carmichael. It is listed in MLS as an active short contingent. My seller recently moved, and the buyer’s agent has been watering the lawn in the back because there is no automatic sprinkler. (Water is rationed this time of year in Sacramento as we’re in our dry season with hot weather.)

Far as I’m concerned, watering a lawn is going above and beyond the call of duty for this buyer’s agent. That’s a job for the seller, and it’s the seller’s responsibility to maintain the lawn during escrow. Even if the seller vacates the property, it doesn’t mean the seller is no longer responsible for the home. But this buyer’s agent offered to do it, and the seller accepted. I suspect the agent didn’t want to take a chance on her buyers’ dissatisfaction with the condition at closing. That’s a really smart real estate agent.

Here, I was in the middle of kicking back in my air-conditioned home reading Tina Fey’s Bossypants yesterday when my cell rang. I made the mistake of answering it. The caller was a buyer’s agent, and he was pretty irate. He demanded to know whether this particular short sale in Carmichael was available. Well, it’s listed as “active short contingent” in MLS, which means the seller has accepted an offer. I explained that to the agent, adding that we recently received approval from the first lender and are waiting for approval from the second.

He screamed at me: Why did the seller tell me he had moved out and it was OK to show it? I don’t know why this guy didn’t call the listing agent first. That’s what I would have done in his shoes. But agents don’t always do what I would do. I didn’t know what to say to him because as a practice I don’t show Active Short Contingent listings to prospective buyers. It’s generally pointless. But every real estate agent is different. So, I said the only thing I could think of that moment, which was, “I guess the seller thought it was OK for you to show his home.” How do I know what the seller thought? I imagine that the seller was as astonished as I that an agent would want to show an active short contingent home.

Was it the heat? It was almost 100 yesterday in Sacramento. The agent slammed down the phone. Then a few minutes later, the buyer’s agent (who was over at the home watering the lawn) called. She said this particular agent left all the doors open, the windows open and had stormed up to her as she was putting away the garden hose to berate her in front of his client. Turns out this buyer’s agent is from San Francisco. Different MLS, different systems. Still, the agent is required to know the meaning of ASC.

Unfortunately, it’s about to get more complicated in Sacramento with short sales, too. Our MetroList, which is the MLS for our four-county area, is changing the status for short sales with offers. These listings will no longer automatically be placed into Active Short Contingent status come July 31. We will now implement a new status called Pending Short Lender Approval (PSLA). This status change will mean an offer has been accepted by the seller and the seller no longer desires showings.

If a seller is willing to accept a backup offer, then the status can revert to Active Short Contingent. Agents who put a listing into Active Short Contingent status when the seller is no longer willing to show nor receive backups offers will be fined $200 or $250 per day, I guess they haven’t yet worked this part out.

Will this solve the problem we are experiencing in Sacramento? Well, it will if agents read MLS. But, seriously guys, how likely is that?

On the other hand, this upcoming MLS change will remove from inventory on certain online websites all the active short contingent listings. We will drop to less than 30 days of inventory. It will present a true picture of how little real estate is for sale in Sacramento. The Sacramento real estate market is in jeopardy until we bump up that inventory. As a Sacramento real estate agent, I’m doing my part. Watch for new listings this week on my website.

Photo: Elizabeth Weintraub 

Sacramento is in a Real Estate Drought with Active Short Contingent Sales

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