These Darn Things Always Make Me Sweat!

Real Estate Agent with Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or TN License #326261

These Darn Things Always Make Me SweatAs I was reading Kathy Streib 's post this morning about an embarrassing moment (or two), I was reminded of an event that happened last year to Tammie and me. 

We were out in the "country"--far enough out that we didn't see any neighbors as we drove up to this beautiful home. It was only the two of us since we were previewing homes for an out of town buyer. We had made the appointment and showed up on time that morning.

The listing agent had left quite a few directions as to things we needed to do to safely enter the house. When the list is longer than, "Insert the key", you know it isn't going to go well.

She had told us there was an alarm, but that it would be turned off. Just in case, she said, here's the information as to how to turn it off. All righty then, no problem.

We entered the house and you guessed it, we heard the dreaded, beep, beep, beep. Crap. I'm familiar with alarms and I assumed I would see the panel somewhere near the front door or hallway since the agent neglected to tell us where it was. Of course, it wasn't in one those most logical places.

I panicked.

I think the beeping got least that's how I remember it. I was running through the downstairs like a mad man looking for the gosh darn alarm panel! No luck. Then the siren started. I knew I was too late and the police were going to be called. The phone rang and we answered it and explained to the alarm company who we were. It didn't matter they said, the police were coming!

Shoot! I have to be honest, part of me actually wanted to run! Of course we didn't, we sat outside the house waiting for the County Sheriff's Department to show up. Eventually they arrived and we showed our identifications and explained what had happened. I don't exactly remember how the alarm got turned off, but we left--fortunately, not in handcuffs!

To this day if I know there's an alarm at a house we're showing, I start sweating!

Photo courtesy of

Posted by

TW Realty Group
Tom White, REALTOR®
Franklin Homes Realty LLC
(615) 870-8169


This posting with the content written here and photographs displayed are the intellectual property and opinions of Tom White of Franklin Homes Realty LLC. Any party who uses this material without the written permission of Tom White is subject to copyright infringement and possible lawsuit.

Comments (20)

Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


What a funny story, and it was good that the police reacted.  You two do not look like suspects...LOL A

Nov 24, 2014 06:42 AM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

Tom, it really makes you wonder why the agent didn't leave more detailed instructions about the alarm.

Nov 24, 2014 06:42 AM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Good evening Tom. I think that everybody who has been in real estate long enough has had some horror story concerning an alarm system.

Nov 24, 2014 06:57 AM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Oh gosh, that would make me nervous, too. I'm sure it happens often. I remember this happening to one of my buyers. She was already in contract.

Nov 24, 2014 08:06 AM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
HomeSmart - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Tom, I've had a couple of instances where I have gone to show a home, and the listing agent has said nothing about an alarm, nor was it in the MLS. As soon as I open the door, I hear the dreaded beeping. All part of a day in the life of a Realtor.

Nov 24, 2014 08:07 AM
Tom White
Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN

R & A--It was not that funny when it happened! The stupid part was looking for the panel!

Sybil--I guess we've all run into some crazy directions, or the lack of them.

Michael--I'm guessing you've had your share of them as well.

Debbie--From what I hear, it's an occupational hazard!

Troy--Don't you just love when that happens!




Nov 24, 2014 08:20 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks for sharing your alarming experience.

Have a great week and a very special Thanksgiving.

Nov 24, 2014 08:20 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Tom, I share your fear and loathing of alarm systems, and I have set off more than my share!

Nov 24, 2014 08:45 AM
Tom White
Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN

Roy--It was that!

Pat--I know we live in a very security conscious world, but when someone is selling their house you would think they would turn off the alarm! Just my opinion!

Nov 24, 2014 08:50 AM
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Alliance 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Alliance Cincinnati & Dayton suburbs

Tom, I'm with you, I absolutely HATE showing homes with an active alarm system on.  Trying to find the panel in a hurry, punch through the instructions and hoping not to trip the alarm is just no fun at all.  Bill

Nov 24, 2014 10:15 AM
Sussie Sutton
David Tracy Real Estate - Houston, TX
David Tracy Real Estate for Buyers & Sellers

I hate showing homes with alarms. It is such a pain to deal with. I am always afraid that I got the correct details on how to turn off the darn things . Usually I don't get ALL the details and have to figure it out on the fly.

Nov 24, 2014 11:20 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Good story Tom, the hazards of showing properties, good that you were previewing and not showing, and that you left without handcuffs.


Nov 24, 2014 03:14 PM
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Tom. I had it happen once and that was enough. If we ever make our home available, we'll just leave it off, it's safer that way.

Nov 24, 2014 06:09 PM
Tom White
Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN

Bill--If we're showing a house with an active alarm I warn my client that we never know what might happen! Is that unprofessional?

Sussie--We only had that one time when one went off, but sheesh, it shook me up!

Bob--What a headache. If we had clients along it would have really messed up our showing schedule.

Joe--I totally agree. 

Nov 24, 2014 10:21 PM
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Tom~ I'm not a fan of those alarms either. It can be troublesome if you are the agent showing the property, or if you're the agent with the listing!

Nov 25, 2014 04:27 AM
Jim Patton
Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816 - Modesto, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties

Tom I've had agents give me the wrong code or just plain forget to tell me that there is an alarm. It's not fun when that alarm starts going off and you know that police are on their way.

Nov 25, 2014 07:18 AM
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

As you know, I hate alarms. Why can't they just leave it off for an hour while we show?

Nov 25, 2014 01:25 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Tom, It has happened to all of us. I have been met by the police so many times that one time the officer recognized my name and we talked real estate. I gave him my card and asked him to call me so we could go house hunting. That one turned out well.

Nov 25, 2014 10:27 PM
Tom White
Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN

Donna--It is trouble for everyone. We know it's difficult, but we suggest they leave the alarm off.


Tammie--I know.

Debbie--That's funny. Talk about making a lemon into lemonade!

Nov 25, 2014 11:52 PM
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

Tom,  I just don't understand why sellers would set an alarm if they are trying to market their home.  We have so many balls to juggle in the air when working with buyers - th last thing we need is a stupid alarm.

Nov 26, 2014 01:11 AM