What was the real estate agent thinking?

By
Home Builder with Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT WC19920-H07 HIC619252

carpet in West Harrison NY 10604On Friday, I went to an appointment for some carpeting.  The house is for sale...and apparently, it's been on the market for 3 yrs (various agents...and the homeowner did not want to discuss this topic.)  The homeowner (who does not live there) knows the carpet in the family room needs to be replaced...it is very dirty with all sorts of stains.  I found her an inexpensive neutral and light colored carpet.

 

This was a summer home/2nd house for my customer.  There are various "issues" with the house, even though it is fundamentally a good home in a nice area.  Most of these issues can easily be addressed (e.g.  get rid of the extra stuff there, replace the carpet, tidy up a bit).  I encouraged my customer to do this and gave several suggestions (Yes, I learn a lot from the stagers and the agents here).

 

But, here's what boggled my mind and made me think "What on earth was the agent thinking?"


There are two parts of the driveway...one leads to the front door and one to the back door downstairs.  The front door opens up to entrance/living room...all with hardwood floors and a beautiful view of the lawn and lots of beautiful trees.  The back door is the basement which has vinyl (and lots of clutter and I think maybe even a spider web).

 

So where is the lockbox???? You guessed it, it's on the back door.  Why would someone want the basement to be someone's first impression of the home??? It made no sense to me.  I told my customer that is the simplest change that should be made...even before we install the carpet.  (Or at least I hope she yes to the carpet).

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Debbie Gartner - Westchester Hardwood Flooring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Debbie Gartner, "The Flooring Girl" and owner of Floor Coverings International Westchester NY

 

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Topic:
Home Selling
Location:
New York Westchester County West Harrison West Harrison Home Improvement
Groups:
Westchester County
Hudson Valley Real Estate and Mortgage Professionals
Home Staging
BananaTude
Tags:
westchester carpet store shop at home

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Rainmaker
585,445
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd.

I hope she says YES to the carpet too.  It saddens me when I hear stories like that showing an agents inability to truely represent a clients best interests. 

June 10, 2012 03:40 PM
Rainmaker
1,564,390
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring
Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT

Robert - Yes, it that is so true.

Donna - Yes, I thought it was strange too.

Aimee - Yes, I would hope the instructions said that, but I don't have access.  In this case it can't be on the back to prevent thieves from seeing it...neither the front nor back are visible from the road (and regardless there is a for sale sign on the road.  The front/back are actually on the side of the driveway and the view to the lockbox on either side are equally visible (or non visible).

All - I also just realized since this house has been on the market for 3 yrs...that means 3 winters...and there is no way when there is snow out that people are going around the house in the cold and snow.  (They may not even in the rain).

Jayne - I know, it sounds weird.  In speaking to the homeowner, it sounds like it never even came up in conversation.

Erica - Yes, it seems like that would make the most sense.

Carla - Yes, exactly, the best impression first.  Great analogy.

Joanna - Yes exactly.

Michael - Excellent point, she really does need to clear out the area there.

Debbie - YOu're welcome.  Thx for stopping back.  I really hope I can land this job so that I can see the outcome on all of this.  I am really curious.

June 10, 2012 03:58 PM
Rainmaker
582,897
Susan Neal
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks

Hi Debbie - It seems to make no sense, but sometimes it is the seller who is paranoid about having a lockbox hanging in plain sight on the door of a home that is vacant. Much better to hang it on the gas meter or hose bib where it is less obvious than the front door, but still easy to find and encourages entry through the front door.

June 10, 2012 04:40 PM
Ambassador
1,797,268
George Souto
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages Connecticut

Debbie when I see the question "What was the Agent thinking?"  The answer always seems to be simple the same "They were not" :) :) :)

June 10, 2012 04:55 PM
Rainmaker
1,564,390
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring
Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT

Susan - I'm not sure...you may be right, but it didn't sound like the agent/owner even had a conversation about it.

George - LOL...that's probably true, regardless of profession.

June 10, 2012 05:37 PM
Rainmaker
545,969
Gary Frimann
California Broker and REALTOR
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates

Debbie, that is a very weird situation...  I wonder if the homeowner wanted it there so as not to arouse suspicion that the home might be vacant.  Sometimes that is the case.

June 10, 2012 06:03 PM
Ambassador
1,550,626
Christine Donovan
Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Donovan Blatt Realty
Debbie . I'm sure there are many issues that have resulted in no sales for so long. You gave them a good suggestion in moving the lockbox. First impressions are so important.
June 10, 2012 06:30 PM
Rainmaker
1,564,390
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring
Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT

Gary - I'm not sure...and I'm not sure it was really discussed.

Christine - Yes, I can see there are many issues.  This is just one of them (and easy to solve).

June 10, 2012 06:39 PM
Rainmaker
1,033,776
Joan Whitebook
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services
BHG The Masiello Group

Oh my ==this brought memories of a house I showed last year were we entered through the garage.. It smelled like someone died!  I didn't even get to open the door to the home.. my buyer ran out asap... I called the listing agent and she was clueless...  and insisted there was no problem..

June 10, 2012 07:08 PM
Rainmaker
315,140
Dave Halpern
Louisville Short Sale Expert
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827

Very illogical. The owner probably dictated it, or, the front door configuration may not have accommodated it.

June 10, 2012 07:28 PM
Rainer
143,782
Kevin O'Rourke - Keller Williams Miami Beach Realtor
CDPE Miami Short Sale Agent 305-520-9436
Keller Williams Miami Beach Realty

I agree that the Front Door is the ideal place, and probably the place we agents would look first.  But I guess we have to assume they had a (good?) reason to place the lockbox on the rear door.  When out showing a home to buyers I would be happy to find the lockbox on either door.  The real problem comes when it is somwhere hard to find and the listing agent did not give a heads up.

June 10, 2012 08:11 PM
Rainmaker
647,360
Evelyn Kennedy
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA
Gallagher & Lindsey, Alameda, California

Debbie:

I agree that the agent was not using good judgment.  Some sellers don't want the lock box on the front door, but since it is a second home the agent was the one who elected to put the lockbox on the back door.

June 10, 2012 08:34 PM
Rainmaker
337,507
Karen Feltman
Relocation Specialist
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA Skogman Realty

Being on and off the market for such a long time tells me that the placement of the lockbox is not what is keeping the house from selling.  Interesting choice though...I wonder if the key does not work in the lock on the front door very well?  I would have the seller try the key and see if the door maybe needs to be adjusted.  Maybe there is a logical explanation.

June 10, 2012 08:44 PM
Ambassador
736,324
Jerry Newman
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation
Green Home Realty, 210-789-4216,www.Selling-SanAntonioHomes.com

Hi Debbie, I have had sellers ask me not to place my lock box on the front door, but at least I leave it somewhere near the front door, so that buyers will get a great first impression. Going around the back is not always a good choice, but I can only wander what that agent's reasons were for doing it.

June 10, 2012 09:28 PM
Ambassador
1,159,905
Tammie White
TW Realty Group, Franklin TN, South of Nashville
Benchmark Realty, LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.TWRealtyGroup.net

Since the home isn't lived in full-time, maybe the agent was thinking better to have it less visible. I agree with you totally though. I would never put a lockbox on a basement door.

 

June 10, 2012 09:58 PM
Rainmaker
574,918
Valerie Zinger
Home Organizer
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada
Debbie. You gave her excellent advice. Those first impressions of a home are the most important. I think they make or break an offer.
June 11, 2012 02:51 AM
Rainer
232,816
Nancy Frimann
REALTOR and California Broker
Eagle Ridge Realty/Signature Homes & Estates

That is weird... I had one once where the neighbor was going to put out the lockbox and all contacts had to be made through her.  Unfortunately, the homeowner was in the hospital for a while, and to further complicate matters, it appears that the neighbor was never home.  Frustrating as a buyer's agent.

June 11, 2012 12:15 PM
Rainmaker
1,564,390
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring
Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT

Joan - Oh my, that would be a major turn off...and one you'll never forget.

Dave - It did seem illogical and according to the owner she had not requested it.

Kevin - I'm not sure there was was a logical reason...it is possible, but the agent never explained it to the client.  Maybe the parking is a bit easier here, but it doesn't even seem like that would be an issue for the front door.  I really am curious to know the reasoning (or if there was any).

Evelyn - Yes the homeowner didn't seem to care.

Karen - Clearly the placement of the lockbox is not the key factor here.  but, it is one of several contributing factors and it is not putting this home in the best light so it's just making it even harder to sell.

Jerry - Yes, I am very curious to understand.

Tammie - Yes, it is illogical to me.

Valerie - Thx.  Yes, they buyer should see it from the front door first for sure.

Nancy - That is crazy.  Now that's a challenge to get in to view that one.

 

June 11, 2012 06:29 PM
Rainmaker
818,737
J. Philip Faranda
Broker-Owner
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY

I get the security thing, but why would the key be to the back door? 

June 11, 2012 07:26 PM
Rainmaker
1,564,390
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring
Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT

Phil - I don't know.  And it is no more/less secure here...each door is equally visible from the main driveway and neither visible from the road.

June 11, 2012 07:35 PM
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