I just closed a model home last week. 30 days into the escrow, my partner took my clients over to let them measure for furniture. I received a hysterical phone call from Mrs. Client. She couldn't talk because she was so upset. Come to find out, someone had obtained entry from the combo lockbox, entered the property, stole the mega high end washer and dryer and the refrigerator. To compound the damage, they gouged, scraped and scratched the hardwood floors. Fortunately, the builder had speciialists come in and restore the floors, but it took another 30 days. We finally closed, but my clients were traumatized. Fortunately, the seller was responsive and my clients loved the house enough to give the seller a chance to rectify the damage.
Last week, I had another bank owned offer accepted. Another fricking combo lockbox. Two days ago, I'm showing the family the house. The house has been entered, there are two broken windows and missing wood blinds in the kitchen, family room, formal dining and living rooms. The vandals broke the fountain too. My clients are upset, but know that they're getting a killer deal on the house even with the additional damage.
We are going back to Supra lockboxes in the Temecula area and we'll use Sentrilock in the San Diego area and Hemet. Agents that don't have the proper tools to enter the houses will be out of luck and their clients will be the losers.
This is the 4th house in a year that I've had in escrow that has been vandalized in the middle of escrow. Two clients held on, two backed out. I've been primarily a listing agent, but I also have been representing many buyers in the last two years and these were not my listings. We were migrating to combos for the ease of entry. With the prevailing vandalism and agents who give out the combos, I am not going to set my clients up for having their homes vandalized and I don't want the liability.
What are your experiences?