When You’ve Got to Climb the Fence to Get That Lockbox


When you’ve got to climb a fence to get that lockbox is a blog written by Elizabeth Weintraub, and it is timeless. Lockboxes to this day are put in very odd places. Enjoy. JaCi

You think that by locking your gate, you are keeping intruders out of your yard; think again.

Maybe you’re keeping the deer and the antelope at bay, but if somebody really wants to get into your yard, say, even a gym-challenged, 59-year-old, 5-foot woman, anybody can probably scale that fence if she was smart about it. Well, yeah, determination counts, too. I am typically a pretty determined person.

A client asked if I would withdraw her listing from MLS last week.

We had sold her home for $15,000 over the list price because she was ready to take her home off the market at the time we received an offer. You know human nature and how some buyers are, right? Sometimes they don’t want the home until they find out they can’t have it, which is how this particular home ended up selling for $15,000 over the sales price. I figured the appraisal would come in low, but I also believed the appraisal would at least meet the list price, and we could renegotiate later if we had to.

It turns out, due to lovely HVCC, we got saddled with some yo-yo appraiser.

He decided he could not figure out how to adjust the comps to use updated homes that were smaller and on smaller lots. The appraiser didn’t know how much to allocate for those minor kitchen remodels, so he ignored those comparable sales. As a result, the home appraised for $50,000 less than the sales price. It was for an FHA loan, too, so it had a case number, which would be pulled for the next buyer. So we were stuck with the low appraisal.

The seller promised to leave the gate open so that I could retrieve the lockbox.

Sure enough, the gate was locked. The fence was a bit over 6 feet. If you’re ever wondering about which way to nail the boards on a fence you’re building, consider this. If the horizontal boards are outside, you will provide a stepping place for a person to put her foot before heaving herself over your fence. However, this fence had the good side facing out and the bad side on the inside. There was no place to put my foot. I don’t do pull-ups for exercise and therefore could not pull myself up the fence. Free weights are in my future.

I could have called the seller

I could have called the seller but, that would have entailed waiting 30 minutes, and I didn’t have that kind of timeI could have gone back to my office and come back another day, but what the hey, I was already there. I wore sheared corduroy pants, an Eileen Fischer silk shell, topped by a Merino wool sweater. My shoes were cranberry patent leather, with 3-inch heels. Did I let that stop me? I walked around the home but found no good access points.

The fact that the neighbors might call the police did cross my mind.

But like a driver who often spins U-turns in the middle of the street by offering the excuse, “Hey, I’m allowed because I’m a real estate agent,” I figured that excuse would also work for crawling over a fence. If I needed more of an explanation, I suppose I could also use that I sell many Sacramento short sales. Surely, the police would pity me then.

I finally decided to climb a juniper tree in the corner partially. 

Put my toe on a protruded nail halfway up and literally pulled myself to the top of the fence by using a tree limb as support. The important thing here was I elected to rest after I was perched on top of the fence with one foot on the horizontal top rail and another foot on the adjoining top rail in the corner. I didn’t care what passersby thought. Getting down was actually pretty easy, and I didn’t scratch my shoes or tear my clothes. Best of all, my display key for my lockbox was still intact in my pocket. Bonanza.

Call Weintraub and Wallace Realtors with RE/MAX Gold if you are looking for a Realtor who will do whatever is required to sell your home. We can be reached at 916-233-6759.

Elizabeth and JaCi,

Weintraub & Wallace Realtors.


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