For the second time in a month I am responding to issues with a buyer’s agent on one of my listings. It’s not good when this happens because as the listing agent I am trying to keep my sellers calm and in the game, while find myself agreeing with their complaint. But there’s not much I can actually do except troubleshoot to success. It just should not be this way and I understand the frustration and annoyance the sellers are experiencing. Certainly if I were in their shoes, I would not be happy either.
I wrote just last month about why I filed an ethics complaint against two real estate agents. In some instances we can file complaints just as I did for unethical behavior. Often though, as in this case, it’s simply disrespect for the sellers property. I can make a complaint to the agent or her managing broker but it will just fall on deaf ears.
Access to our lockboxes is by digital card. We also have a smart phone app that can be used. The rule is use the app if you want but take the card with you, always. If something goes wrong and the phone app cannot open the box, insert the card and our support company can get the agent in 99% of the time. That’s what we pay them for. This agent who was attending an inspection at the home did not take her card and could not access. We won’t know what the problem is but a lot of the times it is operator error. Now I have to call the seller. Somehow we have to gain access to the home. Our choices are:
- Have the seller leave work to open up – 15 minutes delay.
- Have the agent go home to get her card – 15 minutes delay but her fault!
- Have me go over to access – 20 minutes delay.
- Have a relative go over to access – 10 minute delay.
The seller opts for the last but it’s an inconvenience to them that should not have occurred. My client did not want me to have to drive over. The agent herself should never have forced this to become the seller’s problem, she should just have driven home to get her card.
Once this is organized a conversation with my client, she reveals that they have been less than impressed with this agent. Apparently of all the agents that have shown the house, this is the one they are least impressed by. Things moved, rooms not left as found, lights left on that were off and so on. It actually gave them the scares a little about letting her in to do a 5-6 hour inspection and essentially roam freely around the property. I offered to attend but they did not want to inconvenience me. They are going with the flow of the process.
Sadly this kind of behavior, or should I say lack of respect for other people’s belongings contributes to real estate agents getting a bad name as a whole. It’s why some sellers do not like lockboxes being on their homes, it’s why many higher priced home sellers insist on their agent being in attendance for every visit to a house.
I understand we are not all perfect, me neither. Sometimes we make mistakes. Just own them, fix them and apologize. We should all be attentive though to the job at hand. It would help elevate our profession in the eyes of all consumers.
Inspector Adds To The Issues
24 Hours later and I am adding to this post as the story continues. Early morning following the inspection, my client wakes up to a freezing cold house. Troubleshooting later reveals the furnace was turned off at the switch. It’s getting increasingly hard to accept this as par for the course. It’s just plain annoying but my clients are swallowing hard and dealing with the results.
Radon Test Results Trashed – The results being that the heat in the house had not remained constant so the Radon test that was in process now ends. We have to start again. This means a call to the company to come out and re-set the equipment. Tomorrow the meters will be re-set and the 48-72 hour test will re-commence.
I wonder what the third mistake will be?