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 Using Good Etiquette when Looking at Homes
By: Darin "Sid" Cameron, CRS
Tue, Jun 7th, 2005 11:58 pm

There was an article on that I wanted to pass on. It's titled, "Home buyers: Do not disturb home seller without an agent," by Dian Hymer.

It can be found here:

Although I got a few laughs out of it, I hesitate to use the word "funny" to describe the article because I have a few of these stories of my own (unfortunately).

Yes, real estate can be an ugly business, and as I read Dian's article I couldn't help but to wonder if every example she used happened to be her own! Since I've written several blogs talking about the extensive steps sellers need to take to get their home sold, I think it's high time to turn the table on the buyers and their agents.

When the article mentioned the seller who was upset at people walking around her backyard without permission (which I’ve had happen myself), I couldn’t help but to think about one thing. TRESPASSING!

Just because there is a for sale sign in the yard doesn’t mean its open game to poke around. That home is still private property, and your appointment is your invitation to walk around (even if it’s a FSBO, new construction, whatever). Without that invitation, those people in the backyard were technically breaking the law.

And before you try to rationalize the behavior, think about the SELLER. You know NOTHING about them. There is the distinct possibility that the seller is crazy or at that moment drunk or on drugs. I know that sounds funny, but I’ve met some pretty strange people over the years and you never know when the seller could be a gun nut high on heroin.

More important, what if the adults aren’t home; but their young children are? A stranger walking around the backyard unannounced is not only scary, but one call to the police from a frightened child could have you handcuffed in the back of squad car. The same goes for an elderly seller or even a single woman. What might be curiosity to you might be a safety or security issue to someone else.

Also, keep in mind that appointments aren’t required simply so a seller can clean up before you get there. There may be pets that need caged- pets that can bite or attack a stranger walking around in THEIR yard.

In the case of new construction or a rehab project, there could be dangers that require you to be supervised to visit (and insurance companies can be quite inflexible on this point).

Most buyers are willing to bend over backwards to get their home sold. But please, don’t make assumptions- because they could be wrong!

[ Next Article: Agents Need Good Etiquette Too! ]
[ Previous Article: The Safety of Your Home when You Open it Up to Buyers (Part 4) ]

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Darin "Sid" Cameron spent 15 years working in the technology industry which in 1998 relocated him to St. Louis. In 2004 he took over web development tasks for Kimberly's real estate team and later became the full-time Marketing and Operations Director in 2005. In 2011 Sid launched two brokerages, The Realty Store, Inc. and Realty Referral Partners, Inc, while continuing to perform marketing and operations for Kimberly's team. Sid holds a real estate broker's license in Missouri, CRS certification and was the first CyberStar in the St. Louis area.
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