Vacant Home Showing Tips for Sacramento Buyer’s Agents

vacant home showingThis blog is about vacant home showing tips for Sacramento buyer’s agents. It’s a blog I feel compelled to write in hopes it will help other agents in Sacramento, mostly newer agents, with how to show vacant homes. But my next piece of advice really applies to every single agent who puts together home tours for buyers. That piece of advice, which often falls on deaf ears and blind eyes, is please, oh, for the love of god, please read the data contained in MLS.

MetroList constantly refines and tries to improve its system. Recently it added locations for the lockbox, which can be a pet peeve of buyer’s agents. Agents do not like to trudge through the mud or forage through a maze of bushes to find the lockbox. This is great improvement. Tells an agent right where to find the lockbox.

Although, sometimes I still get calls asking me where to find the gas meter. Since the gas meter is my favorite spot to attach a lockbox. Well, let’s just say the gas meter won’t get far on foot. Or, if you were a gas meter, where would you hide?

Now if you are a fairly new buyer’s agent about to fret over vacant home showings, please don’t. For one thing, you do not have to make an appointment unless the listing specifies and that would be rarely. Yes, that is true. When you see vacant with lockbox, that is your clue that you don’t have to call anybody, nor text nor ask for permission. Why, you can pick any old time you want to show that vacant home and just go. How easy is that?

But agents do not seem to know this. I received an email from a discount broker, won’t say which, asking if the date and time requested would work for a showing. The agent also asked if there was a better time to show than the time the agent had selected. In that email was also a request to let the agent know if I would be present at a vacant home showing. I was very curious as to why I would receive this type of email, so I inquired.

I mean, the house is vacant. It says there’s a lockbox. There is no reason the listing agent would be present at a vacant house or any house really, other than maybe a $2 million home in El Dorado Hills. Which means I can only presume the agent just wrote down the address and didn’t bother to read the directions or any information.

The agent replied that sometimes listing agents get upset if they don’t know a showing had happened. Seems very odd. The whole reason for vacant with lockbox is so agents do not need to make an appointment. Further, because there is a lockbox, SUPRA notifies me of every agent showing. So I know the minute an agent enters a vacant house. It sends the agent’s name, phone, broker name, email and time of entry.

But then my eyes fell on the license number of the agent. All new agents, those licensed within the last year or so, have a DRE license number that is numbered in the 2 million. Meaning in comparison to my license number, for example, which is 00697006. It means I obtained my license in the 1970s. Today’s new agents might have a license number like 0204256. Dead giveaway.

May I suggest a better way to let the listing agent know of plans to show, if that is a concern, is to compose a different email template. Perhaps an email that seems more professional, to wit:

This is a courtesy notice that I am planning to show 123 Main Street today at 3 PM. MLS states the home is vacant with lockbox. If that data has changed, please let me know.

How hard is that? It doesn’t require correspondence back and forth. The listing agent does not need to confirm a vacant home showing. Just lock up the house, leave a card on the kitchen counter. If the listing agent contacts you to ask for buyer feedback, it is considered a professional courtesy to send it.

Elizabeth Weintraub

Subscribe to Elizabeth Weintraub's Blog via email

Sorry we are experiencing system issues. Please try again.