Cash for Keys? Could somebody help, please?

Real Estate Agent with Maverick Realty

 Since it is great to use real questions from real consumers or clients for ideas when we write our posts, I thought I would use an actual question I just received from a person seeking some answers in the Rain! Yes, consumers do read our posts AND our comments....   Here is proof below.....

Cash for keys

i just read a comment you responded to. Im not sure if you would know. My husband and I were offered the cash for keys program. We signed the paper with the agent on the agreed upon day we met with an assistant of the agent who had no check with her. She said the bank mailed the check last week and they were still waiting to receive it. So we let her in to see the place take pictures and she said she will call us when the check came in. So one week went by and still no check. Then we finally spoke to the agent and she said there will be no check and the locks have been changed and no trespassing. So needless to say the last few things we had in the home we are unable to get and no check. Does this sound right to you. Is there anything we can do? I am just just looking for a little help or advise. Is just seems wrong that this can be done to people who are in need and losing there home.
thank you,"
Trish "

I am curious what my friends in ActiveRain think about this, and is this how it is working now? 

I do know that she lives in California.  I did tell her to check with an attorney, but is this what it is coming too? How would you respond if YOU got this contact message from someone in the Rain? Please help me with your responses.........


Vickie McCartney, Broker/Realtor Home Realty GMAC, Owensboro, Kentucky

Click Here to View ALL Homes For Sale in Owensboro, Kentucky! 

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Vickie McCartney, Realtor, Broker Associate, ABR,~ Maverick Realty, Owensboro, KY


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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

We've done cash for keys with a few foreclosures we have listed and if the buyer moved out and didn't get the check then usually it is because they did not get everything out.  Recently we had one man that signed the papers agreeing to get EVERYTHING OUT in return for cash for keys.  Not only did he leave furniture and trash he also left 4 poor little kittens.  Since the bank will have to now pay for trash out he did not get the check.

She referred to "things she did not get".  Well the point of cash for keys is for the owner to get EVERYTHING out.

Why the agent/agent assistant was fibbing... I have no clue.

By the way I'm glad you found my post on and I hope it turns out to be helpful for you.



Oct 13, 2008 09:04 AM #5
Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist
Kingsbridge Realty, Inc - Hubert, NC

Hello Vickie,
I'm not familiar with this program either but do understand from your response how it is supposed to work.  If I received an inquiry like this I would sympathize with the situation and suggest she/he contact an attorney for advice. 

Oct 13, 2008 07:12 PM #6
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Tammy~ So maybe because she had left a few things in there it may have caused her to not get the check......  that's possible....since the point of cash for keys is that everything is out....  thanks for stopping by Tammy and commenting.   

Oct 13, 2008 07:55 PM #7
James Wexler - Scottsdale, AZ

I am in AZ, not sure if we have the cash for key programs, seems like sound advice to speak with an attorney. Do you mind explaining exactly what it is ?? maybe we have it and it is a little different

Oct 14, 2008 10:30 AM #8
DJ Swanepoel
Real Estate Wiki - Los Angeles, CA

This is the first time I've heard of cash for keys; it makes sense on one level, but I would think, like this event, that there may be more confusion than anything else in this sort of transaction. Nice post Vickie, and thanks very much for commenting on my blog:)

Oct 14, 2008 12:53 PM #9
Debbie Summers
Charles Rutenberg Realty - New Smyrna Beach, FL

Vickie - I've learned something new... Cash for keys. I would agree that the best advice you can give is to speak to an attorney. 

Oct 15, 2008 09:13 AM #10
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Debbie~ Yes, the attorney option is best.  Thanks for stopping by!  I appreciate it! 

Oct 15, 2008 09:15 AM #11
Cecily Parks
iMove Group, Knipe Realty NW, Inc. - Salem, OR

I've done cash for keys twice with no problem. But I never had the check in hand when I went to the door. That was negociated by the bank. In both cases the house was clean and empty. Maybe the assistant just misunderstood?? The attorney suggestion is always best. We have to remember not to step outside our roles as Realtors.

Oct 15, 2008 12:23 PM #12
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Cecily~ I agree with you!  And yes, we have to be careful not to overstep our bounds! 

Oct 15, 2008 12:33 PM #13
Gail MacMillan
Titusville, FL

Vickie - I'm in Florida and have not heard of this program either.  From what I read here it sounds like the bank means empty, no exceptions.  Like anything else, communication is vital to success.  Thanks for sharing this, I'll be on the lookout now.

Gail MacMillan Titusville Fl Real Estate

Oct 21, 2008 08:41 AM #14
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Gail~ You just may be right about that.  I guess they mean "empty" when they say empty!   Thanks for stopping by! 

Oct 21, 2008 10:51 AM #15
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Vickie - I feel you gave appropriate advice given that they were told the cheque was in the mail

Oct 24, 2008 10:23 PM #17
Rich Mielke
REMAX Results, Frederick MD - Frederick, MD
REALTOR, Frederick Maryland Real Estate

My understanding of keys for cash is that the owner agrees to vacate the property by a given date and time. The agent shows up at that time, and if the property is vacant, the owner gives the keys in exchange for cash. The now former owner has some cash to use for securing a rental, the agent gets a vacant property and the keys and the agent gets to change the locks and secure the home. Sounds like someone was mislead here if the agent told them the check hadn't arrived yet.

Oct 28, 2008 07:54 PM #18
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

It's tricky to give advice to consumers who live in different states as real estate laws vary so much as do these foreclosure programs.  I've never heard of the Cash for Keys program and don't know what is involved.  I'd encourage her to contact her state's Attorney General's office as this is the government entity that normally provides consumer protection in most states.  There really isn't much more you can do for her beyond that and the advise you gave to seek legal assistance.

Nov 07, 2008 08:42 AM #19

The homeowners that Vicki referred to an attorney were obvipusly stupid, ignorant & gullible. Any homeowner being forced out of their home by foreclosure should understand that the Sheriff cannot evict them on the say-so of the rental management company or real estate agency or bank. It is a legal issue. And, the Sheriff is neither an attorney nor a judge. And, even if he/she were, his/her powers would still be limited. Real estate agents are famous liars who will tell their intended victims anything to get what they (the real estate agents) want. I've yet to meet a real estate agent who DIDN'T lie. Unfortunately for said RE agents, their profession has become fodder for late night talk show humor, public ridicule and buyer's remorse. And, anybody dumb enough to allow themselves to be suckered by the likes of such slimeballs deserve the very worst they get. A good friend of mine was threatened buy an RE agent. One call to the state attorney resulted in said RE agent's license being revoked, the broker she worked for was fined & threatened with sanctions, and my friend obtained a court order allowing her to stay in the house for another 90 days. I also encouraged her to place a lien on the homeowners deed at the county recorder's office, so that said owner cannot sell the house until said lien cleared. Two weeks later, an attorney called my friend offering her $1,000 if she removed said lien and left the house in decent condition at the end of the 90 days. To all you homeowners out there who have problem tenants: whos fault is it? if you had treated your tenants better & done a background check, you wouldn't be in the mess your probably in now, if you're reading this post. In any event, "cash for keys" is a reasonable & fair method of solving your problems. Of course, if you lie about paying your tenants to leave, your nightmare will just get worse, and rightly so. I hate liars, and will do ANYTHING to make them pay...

Dec 14, 2008 03:11 AM #20
zoom zoom

Hello all,

The house where I currently reside has recently been forclosed and the bank is offering "cash for keys," howevhow do determine a fair amount for my time, moving, relocation, security etc when I negotiate a fair cash amount. Any ideas for a fair amount in a 1 bedroom apartment in the DC area?


Mar 18, 2009 06:53 PM #22
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Zoom Zoom~ With the cash for keys program the amount they offer is usually already a predetermined amount.  The amount is not usually a "negotiable" amount and a lot of places do not even offer it.   

Mar 19, 2009 01:43 PM #23

I was offered the cash for keys program here in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The first time I was offered $1000 for the program and then ReMax pulled the offer out of play.  The second time, also by ReMax, I was offered $500 for the program.  Two days before I had to have everything out I contacted the ReMax office and informed them I had the place cleaned out and ready for inspection and was told that the offer had been taken out of play again and that they I would be arrested if I went back to the property.  I was in total shock and was told that no legal action could be taken against ReMax for pulling the cash for keys program because of the wording on the agreement signed by me.  I think it's a ripoff all around and used to get people to clean out the houses so the realtor doesn't have to.  In my case, I was driving over 60 miles one way to make sure that house was in tip top condition so I could get cash for a new apartment.  Now, I am out over $200 in gas, cleaning supplies and my time.  Thanks ReMax.

Feb 10, 2010 10:47 AM #24
Allen D. Butler
The Realty Butler llc/West USA Realty, Inc. - Peoria, AZ
Paul Gapski
Berkshire Hathaway / Prudential Ca Realty - El Cajon, CA
619-504-8999,#1 Resource SD Relo

never give legal advice refer to a few attnys

Mar 08, 2011 02:04 AM #26
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Vickie McCartney

Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

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