2009 Mar 17th

Selling Your Hoboken Condo? How to Know Your Realtor is Doing a Bad Job

If Buyers Can’t See Your Property They Can’t Buy It

Hoboken Keys
Trying to sell your Hoboken condo or brownstone?  There are lots of ways to know if your realtor is really working for you.  Today I’ll touch on one of the very basic ones – access to your property.

If a buyer cannot get into your unit or house to see it, they can’t buy it.  I was working with a buyer this weekend and had an appointment to show her a 3 family brownstone.  As soon as the listing agent’s secretary handed me the keys I knew there was a problem.  

I was handed a jumble of 17 1/2 keys with 3 illegible, crumpled up paper tags attached. That’s right – there was a half of a key.  Evidently someone broke one off in a lock. At each door, I had to try every single key in multiple locks.  Needless to say, it was time consuming and irritating.  We wasted close to an hour trying to open doors.

What motivation might the listing agent have to do this?  In a word, greed.  If she makes it difficult for other agents to show the property she can sell it herself and get both sides of the commission!  

Real estate is in many ways a numbers game.  The best chance you have to sell your property for the most money is for it to be seen by the largest number of potential buyers.  Unfortunately, there are agents who will list your property on the MLS but, in reality, make it difficult for other agents to show the property.  Other red flags are when the listing office has only 1 set of keys, or the listing agent requires that the property only be shown between very limited hours or that the listing agent must accompany all showings.  Unless there is a really good reason for this (like uncooperative tenants or a large, aggressive dog in the unit) this is not in your interest as a seller.

In today’s real estate market a seller cannot afford to have a listing agent who is not 100% on board.  So here is today’s tip:  make it easy for buyers to visit your Hoboken real estate.  Insist that there be multiple sets of keys to your unit and that each key be clearly and properly labeled.


Related posts:

 Some Sellers Don’t Really Want to Sell

 The 10 Worst Things About Realtors

  1. Tiger

    Great post Lori, and it actually brought back memories as there were several properties I was interested in, but the seller’s agent would not give keys to my agent.

    I wait for the day Hoboken catches up with the times and uses key lock box. If I ever sell, I think I will invest in one, just to avoid the key fiasco.

  2. bz

    kry lock box is a great idea. I had that for cleaning services a while back. It works perfectly. I had a bad experience with an agent who listed my Washington condo in 2007. He did show the place to a lot of paople but never communicated with me regarding the feedback. The only time he called me was to ask for price reduction. I hate agents like that. Selling/buying home is a team work. I don’t think many agents get it.

  3. Eustace

    Just curious…who’s responsible for making copies of keys? The realtor or the seller?

  4. Lori Turoff

    The realtor makes the keys.

    Lockboxes are great but often the owners are afraid to let us use them. They are concerned about security. But if the keys don’t have a unit number on them, even if someone were to break into the box, it would be hard to figure out which door they open.

  5. Tiger

    True about security, however, a couple of points:

    a- I have seen it with my own eyes when I was shopping, an address tag attached to the key :-), so if a realtor looses a key, whomever it is that finds it will have the key plus the address. Definitely a bigger security risk if you ask me than a lockbox.

    b- All sellers should take their valuables out when the condo is on the market. I was surprised how many goodies and gadgets were just sitting there in many condos I saw (even in open houses!). The ultimate was a lady leaving a massive diamond / gem stone ring on her dresser. I actually told my realtor and he left a message for her realtor.

    c- Homeowner’s insurance.

  6. Lori Turoff

    The keys from any realtor’s office ought to have the address written in some sort of a CODE so no one knows the real address.

    Yes – anyone selling or renting should remove all valuables like cash and jewelry and even small things like ipods and lock up prescription medications as well. I’ve heard stories of medicine cabinets being raided for oxycontin and other drugs w/ black market value.

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