The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

Open Letter to Seller/Agent

Dear Agent and Seller of House #3 I Tried to Show on Saturday,

I’m guessing you’re a new agent. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. We were all new once. And Seller, God bless you, someone has to be the first one to hire each agent. I wish you both all of the luck in the world. In fact, I thought (as did my buyer) that your house looked like a pretty good prospect for us. Good size, nice big lot, private pool, great price. It would have been super helpful to both our buying process and your selling process if we’d actually been able to get in to see the house; I’m just saying. Anyway, just as a complimentary service, I’d love to offer you a few tips to make your experience successful as Seller and Agent. Just a few things I’ve picked up in my travels that might help you get through this whole process without being screamed at or sued:

Seller – When an agent calls you an entire day before she wants to show the house, you really should call her back and let her know if it’s a good time for you or not. Even a text message is usually acceptable. Not replying at all leaves the situation open to confusion.

Agent – Many agents counsel their clients (and the agents showing) that if a message has been left about showing and no one responds, this means it’s OK to show. Agents also often put this specifically in their Realtor Remarks, although yours just says, ‘Call owner, then show,’ furthering the confusion. It’s a good idea to be more specific about whether I need to have actual contact with the owner to show (no contact means “NO” to the showing vs. no contact means “YES” to the showing) in your Realtor Remarks.

Seller – When you’re not home, you should probably shut your garage door. Or, if you are home and that’s why your garage door is open, you should answer the doorbell when it is rung. And if you’re trying to pretend you’re not home, SHUT YOUR GARAGE DOOR. When you leave it open and we drive up at the time I left you in my message almost 24 hours earlier, it presents mixed messages. “Is the seller home and just going to hang out in the backyard or walk around the block while we look?” “Did the seller leave the garage door open for us to go in that way to look?” And then when we ring the bell and knock loudly and no one comes to let us in, things become even more confusing.

Agent – There’s a box in the Showing Instructions section of the MLS info sheet that is labeled ‘Spcl Inst/Pets’. This stands for ‘Special Instructions/Pets’ and is the box you should mark if your seller owns a giant man-eating dog that looks like this:

OK, I realize this is actually a boxer, and I don’t want to offend all of the boxer-owners (or boxers who enjoy real estate websites) with my assumption that this dog thought I looked like a tasty lunch-time treat. However, during the 1.7 seconds I had to look into that creature’s eyes, after opening the lockbox on the front door, unlocking the door and making a quick visual sweep of the interior, I have to tell you, they contained a murderous glint. This dog didn’t have a ‘bark worse than his bite’. No, he didn’t bark at all, he just stood there silently and held my eye so that I knew with no uncertainty that one more step into his humble abode and I would be so much beggin strips for his belly.

So the point is, Agent, when your seller has an animal, MARK THE Spcl Inst/Pets BOX. Then we will know that if we haven’t talked to the seller we probably shouldn’t attempt entrance if we don’t want to get munched on by a dog named after the most violent modern day human sporting event. If a stupid agent does attempt to enter even though that box was marked, you can point it out to the judge when you and Seller get sued and hopefully the judge will grant you leniency. In our case, though, if I hadn’t seen the man-eater before stepping into the house, when my husband sued you for the wrongful death of his wife/babysitter/cook/housekeeper/child-chauffeur/bill-payer you would have had to pay billions and billions of dollars. Because that’s what I’m worth. Just ask him.

I hope these tips are helpful to you and that you learn from this lesson and avoid future confusion/death-by-boxer-munching.

Love and Kisses,

That Realtor Who Went Screaming Out of Your House at 11:20 Saturday Morning

PS – You might want to Lysol the front door handle and lockbox. Turns out I had the flu when I was trying to show your house. Oh you already touched it? And then ate a hamburger right afterward? And now you’re not feeling that well? Well… sorry. Your dog almost ate me for lunch. I guess we’re even.

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