Realtors - Don't Steal the Key from the Lockbox!
May I please see a show of hands of those Realtors that want to tar and feather the unethical, unconscionable and low-life agent that took the key from a lockbox and didn't replace it?
Is there anyone who wants to defend this practice?
I just drove 64 miles to do a set of showings this morning. My client is interested in multi-family short sales and foreclosure properties - he has the time, I fear that I'm going to have to ask him for a retainer to pay for some of my fuel costs, as this has been going on for 3 months and we write offers - but nothing sticks.
So you can imagine my complete and utter feeling of disgust today when we pulled up to a home that had just been listed two days before, and lo and behold - there's no key in the lock box!
We walked around the property, checked all the doors, looked through the windows - - and saw nothing. However, (thanks to the snow) - I could tell that someone had visited the property before me because of the footprints at the front door and not at the back door.
When I called the listing agent and the office, the response was "we don't track who we give the code out to." Surprising in this day and age, but after all the house was vacant and who would want to get into a vacant house, right? WRONG.
What about my safety? What about my clients? Who knows what may be lurking in the house?
So, off we went to property number 2. Guess what? There was no key in the lockbox for this house either! But, I do see the same set of familiar footprints in the snow. My clients, who have become as cynical about the process as I have, come up with a brilliant deduction - - someone is taking the keys!!!
So, I called the second listing office to let them know that the key was missing. This time, the agent knows who he gave the codes out to.
He rapidly sent out an e-mail to all of the Realtors that had scheduled appointments since his last visit to the property (which was on Sunday) and finds out who visited the property and when.
Of course, someone very stupid says "oh, I was there today at 10am (one hour after my scheduled showing) and my client wants to put in an offer." Another one says "I was there at 8:30 this morning and the key was gone." Another one says "I was there at 6pm last night and there was another Realtor from ABC Realty in the house - she said she had cleared it with you..."
And there the mystery ended. Miss Gina Lottaballs, visited this home last night, took the keys until she could get her offer in and then failed to get the key back to the lockbox before the listing agent high-tailed it over there to make sure that the key was still missing.
Guess what? Ms. Lottaballs also put an offer in on the first house yesterday. I confirmed it with the listing agent.
Coincidence or trickery? Or just downright unethical.
You be the judge.
(This should be an ad for Suprakey, but it's not. It's real life in the trenches)