Listing Agent Liability

Listing agents, you kind of have some liability here, specifically at the front door related to the key, that’s luxury real estate broker Shana Acquisto. I’m Mike Acquisto. We’re going to tell you all about that right now. Yes. So who has this key? Who’s responsible for the home? Yeah, you know, where you are coming from to this laziness? Is this a frat house? You go to some of these you know, you go to some of these listings and people are walking in and they’re like all over the place.

You’ve reported people throwing things all over, people sitting and eating at the kitchen table, like bring in food with them. They’re like, hey, I’m not sad any and all these different things. Yeah, it’s a bit nuts. And they kind of have this mentality of, you know, last person out, turn the lights off. And it’s like, well, that’s not how it is. We have a door and there’s a key and there’s a lock box on it and there’s some liability there. There is. Shana, can you kind of walk us through this?

So when you take a listing and we’re talking about it from a listing agent standpoint, who gives you that key and access to their home seller gives it to you, the listing agent. So you have to be in control of that key, the key. And so it’s really difficult unless you’re there all the time, what are you going to do? Right. You can’t possibly manage that whole showing process and be there every time, most likely.

Well, now I report back to you that in this scenario here, we’re going through all these multiple offers. Right. Is it maybe important that you are there if all these things are going on? If you start hearing reports of like a ton of people here and I have 50 showings today, I don’t know. Is that something that you as a listing agent or your listing assistance should kind of be there? Yeah, the sellers taken some they trusted in you.

And I think we want to hear this more words getting out that, oh, I don’t want a hundred people coming for my home right now. So, you know, ideally, you have to talk with your seller, but set it up to where you plan for them to be gone for a period of time over a long weekend. And then you man the crazy or woman or woman, woman, the crazy man, the crazy, whatever that you say, hey, showing is going to start this day. I’m going to have it open, you know, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. bring your buyers in at that time.

And that’s that. And then, you know, have a plan. What I do suggest is you put we’ve talked about it last week is put an offer instructions in place and kind of outline. So if anything ever happens, you have outlined and given instructions on how you want this to play out. OK, you’re responsible to the seller. He’s going to ask you the questions. So, you know, we all know from a buyer standpoint when you go in, you are you know, whoever has is holding that key at the time is is responsible.

And then there’s a ton of things. So that’s what we’re really discussing here. All of a sudden you is now if you transfer the situation and you become the showing agent, you take this key out. Right. And you check it out and it timestamps like, hey, Shauna just took this key out of this box. Yeah. And now I have this key, my hand. And if you don’t put it back in and close it and seal it, it doesn’t say that you checked out.

You were the last person in.

And some things happen within the home when you’re there, right. So you can’t just be giving this key to somebody else and not having them check it in or out. You can’t be letting other people in the home. You can’t be eating food at the kitchen table. Right. You can’t just have random people like, oh, you just driving on the road. And I saw that there is a listing here I’m going in is just a random person like these are things that are like

Not could be somebody. You know, I did have one person show up at one of our listings and he was a teenager, wanted to come in just to see the home on a skateboard. And if we didn’t have the door locked, he would have just come right in. So, you know, it’s crazy. It is this thing we talked about from the listing agent standpoint, if you’re not going to be there and you are going to have showings, put the instructions in one person at a time, you know, and that’s really difficult.

You’re going to you if you are going to allow overlapping appointments, then put the instructions in there. We’re going to allow for it. But make sure you do not pass the key off, that you put it back in the lock box and the next agent is has to take it out. Right. So it’s on record. And a lot of people are going to get frustrated. They’re busy.

They’re running frantically from one property to the next. It doesn’t matter. Don’t worry about it. If they yell at you, they get upset. Whatever say, you know what, I don’t want to get in trouble with MLS. That’s our MLS rule, that we have to do it that way so you can pass it off to the next person. But I’m not doing that. And it’s fine.

It’s OK. Yes. So there’s a ton of liability associated with that front door key.

Oh, this is what I was going to say. So take that box and maybe don’t put it on your front door. Maybe you hide it somewhere, OK? So someone can’t just come up and go into the home and access it without an appointment and then worry about saying, sorry, I, I called showing time. They didn’t tell you. We’re seeing that a lot. So they’re doing this and then dealing with the, you know, the, the fallout afterwards.

So maybe if you put that key somewhere else, hide it to the side of the home on a water spigot or something. So it’s just not easily available for someone to access. They have to go through showing time. And then you have some instructions in there.

Ok, very good. Semi formal. It’s very, very important. Just make note, there is liability here.

And at the end of the day, if your seller says I want all the lights off, which we can understand that maybe they are gone for the weekend, then maybe you need to go back over and double check it at the end to make sure all the doors are shut, the lights are off and the home is OK

Until maybe the expectation of a listing agent going back through and turning every single light off after they’re done is not logical at this point. And instead, you would take on that liability to go back and turn it off at the end of the day, knowing that there’s going to be a bunch of change.

If you expect to have 50 showings in one day, how can you possibly ask the people to go on and turn on every light and turn it off and like, whatever that is, it’s a lot of emotion and maybe just rather stays on from showing your showing and you make that note in there as well. Sure. OK, thank you.

Episode Links

Shana Acquisto , Mike Acquisto ,

Episode Recorded Live on YouTube 5.3.21

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