If you or your sellers have burglar alarms, I have to ask you for a big favor - and a suggestion that might help save your client from being fined by the local authorities.
Recently I wrote a post about having been surprised by an alarm when I took clients to show a home that was listed without mention of the alarm, and I was unable to reach the seller or the listing agent (both were on vacation).
This seems to be my month to have alarm issues, because I had another issue this weekend, although this one was resolved somewhat. The alarm was mentioned in the MLS and the alarm code was provided in confidential agent remarks. I spoke with the seller as instructed before going to show, and he gave me a new alarm code (he had just changed it that day). The problem was that when I unlocked the front door for my buyer clients, I had a limited amount of time to get that code entered and I couldn't find the panel.
As I ran through the house looking for it, the alarm went off! That's twice this month that I had an alarm go off, and in my 30+ years of working in real estate I had set off only one alarm before!
The seller's home phone rang and I saw that it was Brinks calling, so I answered the phone while I continued to search for the panel. I explained who I was and why I was in the house and having trouble getting the alarm turned off. I finally found it in the garage (!?), entered the code and the alarm stopped. Whew!
The problem was that to protect their clients from being forced to disable their alarm under duress from a bad guy, Brinks asks for a code word. If you give the wrong word or don't know the code, the police will come to the door, which they did. I explained the whole thing to them, which they thought was funny, although I didn't. I was a stressed-out wreck by that time.
I understand people's desire to have an alarm system and to have it armed when they are not home, and I understand that they will want the panel to be located where it is convenient for them, so it is different in each home. But when they are selling, it does make it difficult for agents who are trying to show their home to potential buyers.
There is an easy solution to all of this in these days where so many sellers have alarm systems. Post in the MLS in BOLD that there is an alarm, and post the alarm code AND the location of the panel in the confidential agent remarks, or at the very least post in remarks the fact that those instructions will be in the lockbox along with the key.
Broker / Realtor
Century 21 Noel David Realty
Fair Oaks, California
Full time real estate services in Fair Oaks CA, with friendly professionalism, 30+ years experience.
I work hard to give my buyer or seller a low-stress
"Happy clients make me happy."