Lessons Learned #1,576 - Do Not Leave Spare Keys Behind when You Move
I think the reason all of us who sell real estate that love what we do, are drawn to the challenges that we face each day. Managing the daily issues that arise, makes for a never-a-dull-moment profession!
Sellers often leave their keys in the kitchen drawer after moving out so that the agents can give the key out of the lockbox at Closing. The reminder of the keys, as well as instruction manuals, garage door openers, warranty information, etc. are left in the home for the buyers to access AFTER Closing.
We recently had buyers who requested that my seller clients allow them to move their furniture into the garage until Closing took place - then they would be free to enter the house. The agent was going to meet them at the house or notify me if/when the buyers had their belongings in the garage and provide us proof of insurance to cover the stored items through Closing date. Because that never happened, we assumed that the buyers changed their minds.
During a contractor meeting that was done nearly one week before Closing, the buyer nabbed the house key from a drawer in the kitchen where the seller had left the garage door openers and the extra house keys after moving out & cleaning the home the week prior.
My wonderful seller decided to return to the house a couple of hours before their Closing to blow off the leaves and be sure that the house looked just perfect for the buyer after Closing. The seller arrived to find all of the doors of the home wide open (and it's not warm here this week either!) with painters going in and out of the house that is now full of furniture! The seller recognized the car that was there or he would have phoned 911 to report a break-in!
WHO DOES THIS?! Mind you, this was not a first-time homebuyer - this was a seasoned homebuyer who KNEW better because she had asked and been told that she could NOT move their belongings into the house. In fact, she was darned lucky that the seller insisted that we allow them to move their things into the garage - I had advised them not to do so.
As I told my sellers, I think I've seen nearly everything in this business but, I've never seen this before. Let this be a reminder for sellers never to leave their keys/garage door openers in the home - just bring them to Closing or have your agent do so.
I have worked with and on the other side of MANY sellers who would have phoned the police had they discovered buyers moving in prior to Closing (without permission, of course). This truly is a form of breaking and entering. Removing keys from drawers without permission is stealing.
I know that you know this but, I also thought these buyers would have known this as well. Had the sellers phoned the police, these buyers' move-in date/time would have been FAR more extended than just the few hours prior to Closing. ASK before removing keys from any home that is not yet yours!
© Debe Maxwell | The Maxwell House Group | CharlotteBroker@icloud.com | Lessons Learned #1,576 - Do Not Leave Spare Keys Behind when You Move