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ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Who was in my house today?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (11349points) July 16th, 2018

I’m selling my house and had a strange situation during a showing today. Here’s how it unfolded:

I had a showing confirmed from 5:00–5:30pm today. For showings, I deep clean everything, become slightly neurotic about making sure everything looks as perfect as possible, and then take all the kids across the street to my in-laws house until the showing ends.

I did my usual routine and then headed across the street. 5:00 came and went and nobody had shown up yet. I kept watching out the window and finally a little after 5:30 (just as I was about to head back) a girl walked up to my house. She entered the code to the lockbox and went inside. I assumed she was the realtor.

I kept watching the entire time. Nobody else showed up. She was the only one to ever go inside. She was in there about 10 minutes before she walked out, put the key back, and left. Now I was very curious. I immediately called my own realtor and asked what was going on. She text the other realtor and informed me that the realtor text back, “Sorry I was late, but I’m gone now.” That was all the information I was given.

Something felt off about this whole thing. I went back home and the “realtor” didn’t leave her card as all the others have always done. I looked around and noticed she had been upstairs and walked in all the bedrooms. (I vacuumed and can see the footprints of where she walked). So she walked all over, stayed in the house for about 10 minutes, and had no clients show up? I reached out to my realtor again for answers and she said, “Maybe she was doing a pre-screening for her client but I’m not sure.” Pre-screening? Never heard of this and if so, I should have been told this wasn’t an actual showing. My realtor seems less than concerned and isn’t responding to my questions anymore.

Maybe it’s paranoia but I feel that it’s possible that this realtor wasn’t actually a realtor at all but likely a client who was given the code to my house by their realtor. Is that far fetched? I feel very uncomfortable with whatever just happened probably because nobody seems to be answering questions about it. It is my home and I feel I have the right to know who’s been inside and why. I certainly hope the code isn’t being given out to clients. Does this seem fishy to anyone else?

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24 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

I don’t know about far fetched, but you should try to fix in your head the girl who entered your house for comparison with the realtor when you meet her. And it is possible, but not likely that a realtor would risk the obvious liability issues involved with passing out your code, PARTICULARLY considering that you might well catch the intruder in the act. Then there’s a fact that this woman appeared at a time so close to the set appointment. Yeah it’s a bit far fetched paranoia.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@stanleybmanly I can definitely recall what the girl looked like but I don’t think I’ll ever meet the realtor, whether that was her or not, because it’s not my realtor. I don’t even know her name or know how to get that information.

janbb's avatar

It seems unlikely to me that someone who was not a realtor or client would have the key to the lockbox.

JLeslie's avatar

The realtor might be the perspective buyer.

Is your lockbox the type that the realtor swipes a card or transmits with a fon to open it? All her information is in the scan then, it’s not a big deal that she didn’t leave a card.

Realtors almost never are someone to worry about. The state really cares that realtors have no record, etc. the state realizes real estate agents are given the keys to people’s houses.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@JLeslie It’s just a regular lockbox that needs a combination to open.

gorillapaws's avatar

Giving a realtor code out to other people would be crazy. If anything goes missing or worse, they’d be liable. As mentioned, it’s possible the realtor was either scouting the place for clients or even interested in buying. My father-in-law flips houses and has his real estate license for exactly this purpose.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@gorillapaws I had no idea that was really a thing, scouting places out. So when my realtor said they might have been pre-screening it, that’s probably true. I just wish I would have known. I only want to show the house if buyers are actually coming to see it. It’s a LOT of work cleaning up the whole house and trying to keep 3 kids from destroying it before we leave.

janbb's avatar

Have you had or considered an Open House for realtors? That might get a lot of them through for a one time cleaning.

JLeslie's avatar

She is representing the buyer, so the realtor seeing it is like the buyer seeing it.

Selling a house is frustrating and annoying. Keeping it clean all the time is a pain in the neck.

If you feel uneasy ask your realtor for a list of all the showings. Is your realtor getting feedback from everyone who looks at your place?

You can tell your realtor that if she finds out a realtor is just previewing without the buyers that you would like to know so you don’t have to do a massive clean and leave the house.

Thing is, most of the time you will have the buyers coming, so it won’t help you much to ask for the favor.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@janbb We just had an open house but not for realtors. I have never heard of that.

@JLeslie I didn’t know I could get the list of the showings but I would like that. My realtor gets feedback but only when I ask her for it. She hasn’t been consistent with that which is frustrating.

JLeslie's avatar

She should be keeping track of who walks into your house. Their name, the company they work for, contact number, sometimes even their license number.

A realtor open house is typically realtors from the same brokerage. Like if you listed with Keyes, it would be realtors from Keyes. That’s not always the case, but it’s often the case.

janbb's avatar

Yes, there are often open houses for realtors.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Hopefully Most likely it wasn’t a creeper. She had the code then it should be ok.

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JLeslie's avatar

Also, you can probably ask her to put on an electronic lockbox. Some parts of the country don’t use them, but most do. If that will make you feel better that every time that someone enters it’s recorded. I don’t think it’s very necessary in your case, since you live in town, and you pretty much know when people are entering.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@JLeslie When we’ve gone for a showing it’s almost always been electronic. Not sure why we don’t have one of those. I think because I’m always across the street at the in-laws anyway, I won’t bother asking but I am going to only keep the keys inside when there is a scheduled showing.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Just ask her for a electronic box if you prefer it. Either she ran out of them or never invested in one. Back when I was a realtor they were around $80. It’s probably a little more now. So, the realtor has to be willing to invest in it that’s all.

I didn’t even have a box on one of my houses I would just leave it unlocked, because I would just leave for an hour and come back.

janbb's avatar

@JLeslie She just said she’s not going to bother asking for one.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@JLeslie I don’t mind that it’s not electronic. No big deal. I never go far while people are in the house. You were a realtor? Is it okay for sellers to request that only pre-approved buyers see the home? I just think a lot of times, especially at open houses, people just casually come see the house because they’re curious, bored, or they’re not serious yet about home buying but want to check it our just in case. Is it possible to say pre-approved buyers only?

chyna's avatar

Yes you can, but not at an open house.
I understand how you feel about all those people going through your house, but it’s the only way to sell it. I had just bought my home 6 months prior and there was an open house down the street from me. I knew my friend was looking for a house so I went to scope it out for her before recommending it. I saw it, I knew it was what she was looking for and called her to see it. She ended up buying it.
So you never know where a sale may come from.

janbb's avatar

@chyna I agree. Unless there is a land rush for homes in your area, you don’t really know where a buyer is going to come from.

JLeslie's avatar

Open houses for the general public typically are not very effective at selling a house, it is a way for your realtor to meet buyers. You are correct that a lot of people looking at open houses are locals who are just curious. There are exceptions. My market where I live now happens to be an exception. A lot of houses are sold here in open houses, but my town sells 400 houses a month, and a high percentage of people vacation here specifically with consideration of buying a house.

Was your realtor able to put a sign in front of your house? If so, passers by know your house is for sale.

@chyna is right that you can’t pre-qualify people coming for an open house.

In fact, I’m not so fond of requiring pre-qualifying to see a house in general. It makes the whole thing more time consuming and difficult. Are you requiring the buyer’s realtor actually send a document the buyer is qualified? Or, is it good enough that the realtor says the buyer is pre-qualified? A realtor being able to call up and get into your house with little effort is a big positive.

That’s my opinion, but I do see sellers requiring the pre-qualifying more and more.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@JLeslie We had only 6 parties through during our open house and no bites. And our realtor had one of her team members host it (which seemed odd to me since she was who we hired and who was familiar with our home).

I can understand how pre-qualification for every buyer could be a hassle. As of right now we didn’t request anything of the sort. Anyone can view the house. I was just curious as to whether that’s a common thing or something we might be able to suggest. I remember when we hope hunted a few years back, our realtor asked if we had been pre-approved and we had been. So we brought a printed statement with our approval amount with us.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Yeah, a lot of agents ask before they start spending time taking you to houses.

Like I said, selling is a pain in the neck. Hopefully, you sell quickly, and you won’t have to keep up with the house and having to leave for potential buyers for too long.

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