General Question

6Jwalker's avatar

Responsibility of realtor?

Asked by 6Jwalker (10points) January 15th, 2017

Several times our houses have been shown and the doors have been left unlocked and the lights have been left on by the buy/sell realtors. The properties are empty. Very frustrating to have to babysit your property because you can’t rely on them to lock the doors and shut the lights off! Is this a normal practice?

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10 Answers

jca's avatar

Have you spoken to the broker about your concerns? This shouldn’t be happening.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Not surprised about the lights being on. They’ll often leave them on because it shows better, lit up.

Unlocked- that’s just carelessness.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, it is your responsibility to alert your realtor to any special requests and be very firm about them. I once had a specific ” Do NOT show ” without my being home as I had a large, not stranger friendly dog. One day the realtor just walked in with potential clients and luckily I was home to intercept my dog as he went charging through the house towards the front door. Not funny, I could have been liable for a dog bite even if it was on my own property. I was LIVID! it never happened again.

Cruiser's avatar

Many Realtors unfortunately only work part time and lack the professionalism and attention to detail of a full time Realtor. Do what @jca suggests.

CWOTUS's avatar

Obviously this should not be happening, but your objection to the incidents should be documented, by which I mean written up with full particulars as to dates and times (including “length of time”) that you know the house was left unsecured. (The lights are no more than an annoyance, and unless there are other appliances, electronics, etc. which may represent a potential risk from being turned on or off, then that should only be mentioned in passing, if at all.) When this is all written clearly and all dates itemized to the best of your ability, it should form an attachment to a formal complaint letter which you send by certified mail (receipt requested) to the Realtor. (Not to the agent, but to the licensed Realtor for whom they work.)

That way if anything does turn up missing or if the home is entered and loss occur (whether from theft or vandalism or other mishap stemming from an unlawful entry), then you will have been on record with the Realtor about having noticed, notifying him and attempting to work with him to correct the bad practice … and you’ll have grounds for a lawsuit or insurance claim against him in that event.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It’s only a “normal” practice til someone sues the shit out of the realtor.

Cruiser's avatar

This is your listing Agents responsibility. Obviously let them know this is happening. Make sure the showing instructions emphasise turning off the lights and locking up. Even post a note of this requirement by the door.

Judi's avatar

You need to document every time it happens. I real estate documentation is everything. You need to send an email to your agent (and cc his or her broker) and tell them that you will hold them financially responsible if the house is damaged because it is left unlocked.
You could also leave a note posted by the front door stating something like
Please insure all lights are turned off and all doors are locked. Pay special attention to the back door (or whatever door they seem to forget to lock often)
Thank you.

JLeslie's avatar

Tell your listing agent. I used to be a realtor, and when I worked in FL I never had a problem with this, or a complaint. When I was selling my own house in TN, I was shocked how at least one door was left unlocked over and over again. (I wasn’t the broker on my TN house.)

After it happened a few times I had the broker put a line in special instructions to make sure all doors are locked. The special instructions will be told to the buyer’s agents. You can also leave a note on the back of your door so they see the note before they leave your house. I wrote how many doors I had on my house. If you have sliding glass doors, specify those too.

If you are out of town, you can ask your agent to check after every showing.

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