These are the things real estate agents deal with frequently when they are showing homes, which funny enough don’t make it on any of the HGTV “reality” shows.
When my home buyer clients and I arrive at a home for a showing, I will have called ahead and requested for us to see the home during a set window of time, and the seller has to confirm the showing. So they know we are coming, but once my clients and I arrive at the house, we can be in for a multitude of surprises.
- The hunt for the lockbox, which is where the seller has left a copy of the house key, can sometimes feel like an intense scavenger hunt. With houses, the lockbox is usually located on the front door so it’s easy to find. However, I have had to hunt for them around the backyard, in the garage, and one time it was in a tree! Condos are a whole different story, as most buildings have rules around where lockboxes can be left. Some will be in the stairwell, some will be with the concierge, some will be at the listing brokerage’s office, some will be in Timbuktu. You never really know. I once got locked in the stairwell of a condo building trying to get to the lockbox area. Thank goodness for cell service in stairwells and my sweet clients who found me and rescued me!
- Setting off the home alarm system. Thankfully this has only happened to me once, and I hope it’s the last time! Sellers, if you have an alarm system and you insist on setting it when you know someone is coming to see your home, please instruct your agent to give the instructions for how to disarm the alarm. Waiting around the house with my clients for the police to come so we could explain we really did have a scheduled appointment to see the house is never a fun way to spend an afternoon.
- Being greeted at the door by a barking dog that is ticked off that I am invading his turf. I'm an animal lover, but trying to enter a home and look brave in front of your clients (when you are really panicking inside) when there is a barking dog on the other side of the front door is downright terrifying. Not to mention, this doesn't exactly help the seller with sending the "Come on in! Our home is welcoming and warm, please buy it!" vibe. Ideally, the seller would take the dog out of the house during the showing. I recognize this isn’t always an option, so at the very least please warn me ahead of time that you have a dog ready to attack me. I want to be able to come prepared with dog treats to hopefully distract him while we look around.
When I arrive at a home, I always knock multiple times before letting myself in. Once inside, I will yell “Hello! Hello!” multiples times on each level of the house to make sure there isn’t anyone at home that I am going to startle. My clients will usually make fun of me for doing this because it seems like there is no one home, but I do this for a reason.
- All of the bedroom and bathroom doors are closed. It feels creepy to arrive at a house and have all the bedroom and bathroom doors closed. You never really know what’s going to be on the other side of the door, and if you’re like me, scenes from scary movies run through your head as you start opening each door.
- Someone is in the shower. I once scared a girl who was home alone and obviously didn’t know we were coming for a showing. She had been in the shower and hadn’t heard me yelling “Hello!” By the time we reached the second floor of the house, she had just got out of the shower and was so startled to see strangers in her house. Poor girl!
- People still in bed – sleeping or doing other stuff. Yep…. seen it all, and guaranteed I am more embarrassed than them!
See, I told you it's never boring! ;)
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Future first time home buyers, be sure to check out my How To Buy Your First Home post.