This is an issue I try to impress upon buyers. Just because a house is listed for sale, you do not have the right to enter the property whenever you like. It is not okay to walk on the lawn or peek in the windows. If you want to see the inside, call your agent. They will make an appointment for you to see the house. When an agent makes an appointment, they have permission to enter the property for the purpose of showing the home to qualified buyers. They are also responsible for following the specific showing instructions for that home and leaving it secured after the showing.
Sellers, Lock Your Doors; Buyers Please Stop Trespassing. I know I have written about this before, but it bears repeating.
I received a phone call the other day from a Seller who told me that there were people in her back yard. This particular Seller had 2 small children who had been playing in the yard earlier. She had a right to be concerned and also had a right to call the police. The couple left while we were on the phone.
Another phone call that came from a male Seller on a Sunday morning went something like this:
“Suzie, this may be too much information for you but I don’t sleep with much on. I got up this morning and walked into my kitchen to make some coffee. I was standing at the sink putting water in the coffee pot when a man put his face up to the window to try to see inside. He was as surprised as I was!”
And yet another call came from an agent who was frantically trying to get an appointment for some out of town buyers who called her from the dock of an occupied lake front property. The owners were inside watching television.
Past buyer clients have said to me, “we don’t need to see that house, we went by one day and the back door was unlocked, so we took a look around. We wouldn’t have gone in if someone lived there.” The problem is, you don’t know. The other problem is, it’s trespassing. And yet another issue is, even if it is a bank owned home, you don’t know if someone else is in there who shouldn’t be and may be more desperate than you for a place to live! It’s wrong, it’s dangerous and it’s illegal. Stop it!
If you don’t own the property, you have no right to be on the property. It doesn’t matter that there are signs in the windows, or you don’t want to bother the listing agent or your buyer’s agent. It’s not yours. We learned that in kindergarten. We don’t get to stop applying it because we are talking about houses instead of crayons.
A word of caution to Sellers – lock your doors, but Buyers, please stop trespassing.
KWR Diamond Partners, Inc