An Important Turn Off When Your House Is For Sale

By
Real Estate Agent with Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. AB95346

BEEEEEEP!

"Hello.  This is Pat Kennedy and I'm an agent with Evers & Company Realtors.  I'm planning to drop by your house between 2 and 2:30 this afternoon to set of your burglar alarm.  If that's not convenient, please call me on my cell phone at 202-555-5567.  Thanks!"

Seriously, folks, if you have a listing or if you're a seller and you have an alarm system, agents who come by will set it off.  I can promise you that.  And when we do, it isn't pretty.

First, there is a gawdawful noise that can wake the dead.  It's an impossible challenge for buyers who are trying to fall in love with your house.  With the blaring in the background, it won't happen.  They'll just want to get out and back into my nice, quiet Lexus.

 Then there is the agent showing the place. Is the alarm hooked up to the police station?  How long will it take to get here?  Do I have a copy of my real estate license with me or will they think that I'm breaking and entering?  Rats!  If I can't find my real estate license, I am breaking and entering!

All the agent or the buyers will want is to get out of your house and lock up before the Officer Friendly shows up. They won't have a chance to appreciate the amazing job you've done staging your home, or the beautifully refinished hardwood floors.  They won't notice the lovely cherry kitchen cabinets or granite counters, and they probably won't even make it to the second floor to see the new baths with Carrera marble and giant Jacuzzi.

Having your alarm activated while the house is for sale is right up there with having a serious Realtor eating guard dog.  Most of the time, it might be a good idea, especially if you live in a neighborhood where you might need both an alarm system and a dog.

But while the place is for sale, get a safe deposit box for your valuables, and turn off the alarm.

 Today, I did a market analysis for a house I hope to list this weekend.  And the main competition has been on the market for four months at a way below market price.  And as I was puzzling over why it hadn't sold, I looked at the showing instructions.  No guard dog - it's an empty house.  But for some reason, the owners are insisting that the alarm remain activated.  And they want the listing agent present for all showings in case someone like me shows up and sets the thing off - which I would surely do.

There is nothing to steal!  The house is empty!   And this house is not in or anywhere near a high crime area!

Having the alarm on and the complicated showing instructions that result are costing these sellers a lot more than dealing with a burglary attempt on a vacant house.  Geez Louise! 

 

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Topic:
Home Selling
Groups:
Realtors®
Tags:
alarm systems
pat kennedy
selling

Comments 28 New Comment

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Rainmaker
41,722
Teri Deane
Central Maryland Realtor, ABR, CDPE, CRS, SFR
RE/MAX 100
I love nothing more than running through a house frantically searching for the alarm panel to disarm one!  Great aerobic exercise, specially in heels on slippery, freshly polished hw floors. . .
February 07, 2008 07:21 PM
Rainer
245,227
Desiree Daniels
RE/MAX Tri County
Oh I've had more than my fair share of bad experiences with alarms ....    I am pretty insistent now that the seller turn it off if I am going to show the home.  All the drama that comes with setting it off can really be a mood killer
February 08, 2008 04:45 PM
Rainmaker
73,830
Cris Burlew
Broker ~ St Pete Beach FL Real Estate
Beach & Luxury Realty, Inc.

I've set my own alarm off...it was not in the most convenient location. So when selling the home, I had it turned off - it just made sense. How could I expect anyone to run and turn it off within 20 seconds not knowing where it was, especially when I couldn't do it on a few occasions and I KNEW where it was!

I think it is a reasonable request to ask the seller to have their alarm turned off while selling their home. Nothing will kill a deal faster than subjecting your prospective buyer to such a deafening sound.

February 09, 2008 08:48 PM
Anonymous #27
Anonymous
Anonymous
Patricia.... GUILTY! Right here, as I speak (ok type) I am guilty of this. I set off the alarm. However, I must come to my own defense and say it wasn't my fault. While I know we all say this, let me add to the article by saying if there is an alarm system, please give out the right code! (This is what happened to me)
February 11, 2008 02:56 PM
Ambassador
1,654,112
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi
Palm Harbor Florida Residential Real Estate
Charles Rutenberg Realty
Patricia - I have also walked into homes and had the alarm go off - it is really unnerving!
February 11, 2008 08:32 PM
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Patricia Kennedy

For Your Home in the Capital
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Additional Information

Pat Kennedy -- author of The Irreverent Guide to Real Estate -- gives you a look at life on the streets as a real estate broker in our nation's capital. And her blog is peppered with great advice combined with humor!