You're an Agent. Not a Cat Burgler.

Real Estate Agent with Chuck Willman 9334967-SA00

Ripped from today's non-headlines.

Cat Burgler "Caught in the Act" by Saxton Moseley

A renter in my neighborhood was awoken at 8:00 a.m.

It started with a gentle knock.

Then a louder pounding.

Then the door bell.

Ring. and then ring again.

The renters were asleep- having just returned from an out of town event.

The father put on his clothes and went to the door.

No one there.

He went back in the house and there's a person at the side door with her face pressed against the glass. This side door is only accessable by going through two gates.

He then went outside, through one gate and into the back yard.

There was the agent with her client.

She said, "Oh good. The owner told me I can see the house. This is my client. Can we come in?"

The renter said, "Let me talk to the owner. I know nothing about this."




There is a right called "quiet enjoyment."

Without being overly lawyerly it means the renter is to be allowed certain rights to live in the house in a way that is very much like that of a homeowner.

This language of quiet enjoyment is very often found within the terms of the lease... and it's even understood as a right even if such jargon is not found in the lease.


Agents- be sure that the owner has given the renter enough notice.

After all- the home will look better if the renter is prepared to make it presentable.

Renters- you deserve the right to have such visits occur on reasonable terms.


Finally- agents. Don't do this.

Don't snoop into back yards and leer through windows in your desire to find your client a home.

That's not ethical.

And it's creepy.


Note: no items were burgled from this neighborhood home. But the neighbors were tempted to call the police "suspicious activity" line. Also. Apologies to cats. Not all of you are burglers. But- sometimes your stealthy ways can be perceived as creepy. Not judging.


Photo Credit to the very talented Saxton Moseley for his creative commons artwork "Caught in the Act". Follow his work here:


Comments (40)

Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Tenants can offer up their own challenges when it comes to marketing property.  But, add to the mix an agent, who isn't staying in close communication with the tenant, and it only exacerbates the problems.

May 29, 2015 12:00 PM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Yes there are those agents that don't think before doing things.  They need to go by the rules, not make them up as you go along.

May 29, 2015 01:35 PM
Chuck Willman
Chuck Willman - Alpine, UT

Myrl Jeffcoat Yes. It's potentially complicated enough- no need for an agent to raise the stakes.

May 29, 2015 03:20 PM
Chuck Willman
Chuck Willman - Alpine, UT

Larry Johnston agreed... This isn't a fake it 'til you make it strategy opportunity.

May 29, 2015 03:25 PM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR

Good morning Chuck.  This is a good example of why rules are written.  The issue is getting everyone to operate within the rules.  They are there for a reason.  Some get it and follow the rules, others well.....

May 29, 2015 07:50 PM
Chuck Willman
Chuck Willman - Alpine, UT

James Dray Interesting point. I was listening to an engaging podcast about the Geneva Convention- the rules under which many nations have agreed for a baseline treatment of prisoners of war. The very existence of these rules have meant that such prisoners are often treated better than instances where no rules exist.

May 30, 2015 02:58 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Chuck, that agent was lucky the renter did not take advantage of the "make my day" bill!  

Jun 03, 2015 08:49 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I do not do it, but my short sale clients complained that some agents climb over the fence, knock the doors any time of the day to ''offer help'', stock them near the entrance. So creepy.....does it really work? I guess, it does, since they keep on doing it.

Jun 03, 2015 09:01 AM
Chuck Willman
Chuck Willman - Alpine, UT

Joan Cox thank goodness they're peaceniks. This could have escalated.

Jun 03, 2015 09:01 AM
Chuck Willman
Chuck Willman - Alpine, UT

Inna Ivchenko I wonder if there are clients in the real estate market more pestered than those who have underwater mortgages or teeter on the brink of foreclosure. They get pelted with more mail, phone calls and door knocks than anyone I can think of.

Jun 03, 2015 09:04 AM
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Glad to see this post was featured. You would think common sense prevails, but sometimes not. Tenants have rights, and all agents need to be aware of those rights. 

Jun 03, 2015 09:34 AM
Chuck Willman
Chuck Willman - Alpine, UT

Pamela Seley, REALTOR® not featured. But I'm glad to have the appearance of being feature worthy. I hadn't thought about doing such a post- it just jumped into my lap.


Jun 03, 2015 09:57 AM
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Oops! My bad, I thought it was a feature. Still not used to all the ActiveRain changes. You were on the Home Page, though, so congratulations! 

Jun 03, 2015 11:03 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Great post Chuck, in many parts of the country this type of behavior can leads to guns being brought out.

Jun 03, 2015 02:20 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Chuck Willman - great message delivered nicely! 

Yes, one needs to draw a line in such relationships.

And just popular post? 

Jun 03, 2015 03:19 PM
Chuck Willman
Chuck Willman - Alpine, UT

Pamela Seley, REALTOR® I can't figure it out myself but you helped make it popular, which is nice

Jun 04, 2015 03:09 AM
Chuck Willman
Chuck Willman - Alpine, UT

Bob Crane especially in the wild Wild West.

Jun 04, 2015 03:10 AM
Chuck Willman
Chuck Willman - Alpine, UT

Praful Thakkar thanks! Your endorsement means a great deal to me my friend

Jun 04, 2015 03:12 AM
Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Richmond, TX


 I just stopped by to say hello and hope you have a great weekend!

Jun 05, 2015 09:40 AM
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

My company manages over 80 properties. I know what it takes to call a tenant and try to reach them for a showing. But you must. It's their right. 

Jun 10, 2015 04:10 PM