The Lights are ON . . . But Nobody's Home: When the Literal Occurs in Real Estate

Industry Observer with RETIRED / State License is Inactive Inactive License Oregon

The lights are ON -- but nobody's home!  When the literal occurs in Real Estate!!

The email came from a home owner who lives next to a home that's For Sale.

As an Exclusive Buyers Agent, it's not my listing -- it NEVER is my listing. 

The contact came due to my wonderful on-line presence: The take-away to some of the fun, vast and varied contacts I get in the scope of running my EBA Portland brokerage.

The email stated:

I live on west side, to this house and I cannot find a phone number to call.  Somebody turned the outside light on,(west side of house, garage side) and left it ON.  It shines in my bedroom and makes loud noise…please have somebody come back and turn it off.  Thank you! :)

The homeowner was so determined, they picked up the phone and called me to follow-up.

I explained that I wasn't the listing agent, but knew the property and offered to go out there and turn the light off, which I did.

All's well . . .

Thanks Carla!  I truly appreciate your help with this! :)

All in a day's work. 

If all of life's issues could be resolved so easily.

Posted by



Carla Muss-Jacobs has RETIRED effective May 1, 2018

Representing Buyers in the Portland Metro Real Estate Market | Clackamas Multnomah and Washington Counties | Since 1999

Carla Muss-Jacobs, REALTOR®, ABR, CEBA, ePro
Principal Broker/Owner ~~ INACTIVE

Carla Muss-Jacobs' retirement became effective May 1, 2018

Direct: 503-810-7192 


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Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

I am sure that your good deed will come back to you 10 fold.

Sep 01, 2012 07:47 AM #7
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Reminds me of a listing I was going in to show one day that was wailing a fire alarm.  It was a townhouse. No sooner than I had gotten inside than a neighbor begged if they could come in with a ladder and change the batteries in the alarms.  They'd be going off for 48 hours and keeping her baby from sleeping, as well as disturbing her own sleep.  I turned a blind eye as she did her deed.  

Sep 01, 2012 08:04 AM #8
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate


A listed house without a phone number to call. That tells me a


Sep 01, 2012 09:38 AM #9
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

Awesome Carla.  I got a phone call one time on a foreclosure listing that was trashed apparently.  The concerned people had walked by and noticed the door was open.  I am not sure what they Googled, but they found me a called.  I wasn't the listing agent, but I tried to track them down and give them notice :)!

However, the moral of the story!  We are being found!!  :)!

Sep 01, 2012 10:25 AM #10
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market

Stupid question.  Why didn't the next door neighbor go and turn it off?

Sep 01, 2012 10:52 AM #11
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hey, Carla!  I included this post in Last Week's Favorites.  Have a great week!

Sep 01, 2012 05:13 PM #12
Valerie Zinger
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada - Ottawa, ON
Home Organizer
Carla. It is all those little things you do that amkeyou a good person. Good for you!
Sep 01, 2012 09:12 PM #13
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

What great service, Carla.  Yes, I wish everything could be solved that easily.

BTW, the timing of this is funny.  Yesterday, I went to visit a repeat customer in a co-op.  As it turns out, I had also been to one of their neighbor's a few months ago and as I walked by their door, their alarm was going off.  I called them and emailed them to alert them.  I have a hunch they are away for the weekend.

Sep 01, 2012 10:20 PM #14
Peter Michelbach
International, IT
i Sell Real Estate


you again showed professionalism mixed with compassion -- You are a Shining Star! Kismet is on your path!!

Sep 01, 2012 10:40 PM #15
Rob D. Shepherd
Windermere/lane county - Florence, OR
Principal Broker ABR, GRI

They will think of you next time they need to list and you can get a refeeral!

Sep 01, 2012 11:40 PM #16
Christine Smith
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - - Canton, MA
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA
Carla...definitely going above and beyond.
Sep 01, 2012 11:58 PM #17
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad


What a nice thing to do, and no doubt appreciated. I bet they remember, and perhaps will tell others. ANd how cooll that they found you on-line so easily. But I would expect nothing less! :)


Sep 02, 2012 12:16 AM #18
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA


Reserve the good deeds when it counts.. 

someone that complains that way is not a customer you want ever!

I had a similar experience just the other day. .

Lady living next door to my listing  wanted me to remove the picture of her house on the pictures posted fro my listing . .



She said yes!


Sep 02, 2012 12:36 AM #19
Karen Kruschka
RE/MAX Executives - Woodbridge, VA
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"

Carla  Now you and I know you have made a a referral source of the neighbor for buyers down the road - well done

Sep 02, 2012 03:06 AM #20
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Hi Paula -- the sign hadn't been put up yet. 

Hey Kathy . . . I just know what I become with lack of sleep . . . HA HA HA

Hi Chris Ann -- the low battery in a smoke detector is so annoying.  Nice companion story!!

Hey Rich . . . it was a vacant house, just listed, no sign up yet

Hi Brenda -- you did a nice thing too!

Hey Jane . . . the light was switched on/off from the interior, although it was an exterior light.

Hi Patricia -- THANKS!!!

Hey Valerie . . . it realy wasn't much trouble at all, glad to have helped.

Hi Debbie -- yes, if only things could be solved in such a effective way.  And you were at the right place, right time. 

Hey Peter . . . thanks!!!

Hi Rob -- they may think of me when they list, although I doubt it.  They know I'm an Exclusive Buyers Agent and I don't take listings ;-)

Hey Christine . . . I like to help!!

Hi Jeff -- there have been people that have helped me along the way too.  Maybe paying it forward in some small way.

Hey Fernando . . . they weren't really complaining in a negative way.  I can understand when a light blazes and with the summer and windows open, some of those porch light can be noisey.  I'm glad she contacted me and I was happy to help.  No skin off my nose as the old saying goes.



Sep 02, 2012 03:18 AM #21
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Carla, I can't believe there wasn't an office number on their sign! You did the right thing, though, as long as it was that close to you.

Sep 02, 2012 07:10 AM #22
Jack Mossman - The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Lodi
The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Lodi - Lodi, CA
The Nines Team in Lodi

Carla  ... You continue to inspire and model the professionalism of a great agent!  AND I appreciate you sharing it ... and offering an observation ... we should be checking out listings often and making sure that we can be contacted ... easily!

Sep 02, 2012 09:42 AM #23
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Carla, Thanks for sharing the story. You are the local expert and they know they should call you for anything related to real estate.

Sep 02, 2012 09:31 PM #24
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi Carla, what make sit especially nice is that she took the time to thank you. That means she now has you contact info in her email folder.

Sep 03, 2012 03:42 AM #25
Wayne Johnson
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale

Carla-That was a neighborly thing to do. It's a good thing he got you as I don't think everyone would have handled it as you did.

Sep 04, 2012 02:04 AM #26
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