How Often Are You Checking Your Vacant Listings?

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470

How Often Are You Checking Your Vacant Listings?

Being a full-time, professional real estate agent, taking listings that I can actually service is of HUGE importance to me.  If I can't get to my vacant listings at least once a week, or be at any listing in short order if there is a problem, then I am likely to refer the listing to another agent.  

When I was in this Short Sale listing, that was vacant and in need of attention, I wondered if the Listing Agent had been inside their listing at all since it became vacant.  Just a look at the shade covered, colonial style chandelier gave me a start.  One of the light bulbs had burned through the shade.  Yikes!

Being a responsible real estate agent, and not wanting my name to be the last one accessing the lockbox before a raging fire started in this unit, I took the smoldering shade down and allowed it to cool.  The others seemed fine in terms of their placement and weren't touching the shades.  But this one....well, the Listing Agent is lucky that someone who was paying attention came by and saved their bacon.

Leaving a property the way we found it when touring with our buyers is how we are trained as real estate agents.  However, if you see something this unsafe, I would hope the majority of agents would have taken corrective action.  However, there were an awful lot of business cards on the counter and that shade was still in place when I arrived.  



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Margaret Mitchell
Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty - York, ME
Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate

It is surprising to me how often I find while showing bank owned properties, that they are not secured with one or more doors unlocked or won't lock. I do my best to secure it and notify the listing agent.  It also surprises me how many of the agents do not respond to my note... I agree we need to take action when we notice something amiss. 

May 15, 2019 04:27 AM #6
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224


                   Thank you, Chris Ann. 

May 18, 2019 06:55 PM #7
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Chris Ann Cleland it's the agent's responsiblility to check on vacant home listings.... in the winter, we make sure ours are winterized .... there's nothing worse than losing power and not having heat for days.... pipes freeze and break...

May 19, 2019 05:55 AM #8
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Chris Ann Cleland That is a terrific example you gave to support the theme of this post. I can only imagine what could have been if not for you.

May 19, 2019 07:37 AM #9
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks for sharing your experience.

This is a very good reminder for listing agents.

May 19, 2019 09:25 AM #10
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Point well taken Chris Ann Cleland  makes one wonder - so glad Kathy Streib lit this one up 

May 19, 2019 11:33 AM #11
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Oh my gosh, you likely averted a big issue for all. And yes, I'm with you, if you can't monitor your vacant listings - pass them on to someone who will get it done. I'm so glad you are responsible and do the right thing. D 

May 19, 2019 12:07 PM #12
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

Wow, Chris Ann, that agent is lucky you came through! That could have been disatrous!

May 19, 2019 12:37 PM #13
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

I agree... once a week, at a minimum... and more frequently in heating and cooling seasons.  I make sure to check windows, lights, flush toilets (dried out seals can leak)... lots to do.

May 19, 2019 01:26 PM #14
Graziella Bruner
NCS Premier Real Estate - Detroit, MI
Associate Broker - Serving Wayne & Oakland County

Excellent Post and I agree, we need to be cognitive or our surroundings.  It's a great reminder for all agents. 

May 19, 2019 01:32 PM #15
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Chris Ann, I'm with you. If I can't get there quickly, and if it's too far to visit once a week, it's too far and should be referred out. I showed a home two years ago that had the entire dining room ceiling on the floor. 

May 19, 2019 01:56 PM #16
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

It is so important to be checking all your listings, especially the vacant one.  Updates on pictures is another great thing to do for your vacant listings.

May 19, 2019 02:23 PM #17
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

HI Chris Ann Cleland - You are so right. If you are the last one who has visited the house, they would be coming to you. Of course, the right thing to do is fix the issue and let the listing agent know.

May 19, 2019 04:34 PM #18
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Chris Ann Cleland ,

Wow this listing agent should be grateful to you for taking that shade down. You never know when things like this can happen. Checking vacant lists is a must but having other Realtors who are showing being perceptive and willing to avoid a real problem is a must! It takes a village!

May 20, 2019 05:24 AM #19
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Wow...what a disaster that could have been. Listing agent is lucky you caught it.

May 20, 2019 09:21 AM #20
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I suppose you could assume that you were the first agent to look up. Or - perhaps someone wanted the place to go up in smoke. You never know.

May 21, 2019 08:57 AM #21
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Yikes that could have become a disaster!  Good thing you noticed before it was too late.

May 21, 2019 09:40 PM #22
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Chris Ann:

Wow, that could have been a major problem! I always call listing agents if I find something amiss I feel they need to know about. I haven't had many vacant listings but alwasy check regularly if the owner is not around...typically a couple times a week if I can.

I remember finding several short sales and REOs' vandalized years ago and the agents...not local...had no clue.


May 21, 2019 10:23 PM #23
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Listings do change rather quickly where I am as wellI don’t know about everyone else, though :)

May 25, 2019 01:49 PM #24
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Jeff, I find that kind of problem can be avoided with a phone call that we often wait to see what happens Jeff Dowler, CRS

May 25, 2019 01:51 PM #25
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Chris Ann Cleland

Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
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