Monday, December 22, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Full disclosure: Hello…real estate agent…is anyone here?

By
November 1, 2010 |

“Why do you yell out “Hello” when entering a vacant house?”

Calhoon_Ken

Subscription Required

Thank you for reading the MtDemocrat.com digital edition. In order to continue reading this story please choose one of the following options.

Current Subscribers
If you are a current subscriber and wish to obtain access to MtDemocrat.com, please select the Subscriber Verification option below. If you already have a login, please select "Login" at the lower right corner of this box.

Subscriber Verification

Special Introductory Offer
For a short time we will be offering a discount to those who call us in order to obtain access to MtDemocrat.com and start your print subscription. Our customer support team will be standing by Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm to assist you.

Call and Save! (530) 344-5000

If you are not a current subscriber and wish not to take advantage of our special introductory offer, please select the $12 monthly option below to obtain access to MtDemocrat.com and start your online subscription

Help?

It was a sensible question from my clients. There are 1,300 homes currently listed for sale in El Dorado County and 500 are unoccupied. There are another 300 homes listed as “pending sales” and 200 of them are vacant. Just because the owners have moved out doesn’t mean that nobody is there.

One of the many responsibilities an agent has when showing properties is to protect their clients from the unexpected. That’s why, after unlocking the front door, I will enter the property first, yell out something and begin my sweep of the home by opening doors, turning on lights and opening window coverings and scanning the back yard. My clients don’t need me to point out the fireplace in the living room or the dishwasher in the kitchen but they do rely on their agent to discover any situation that may be a threat to their safety.

Years ago, when I was a rookie agent showing houses, I would politely open the front door for clients and stand aside while my clients entered the property before me. One day, I opened the door for a lady, stepped aside to allow her to proceed me and just as she had stepped into the front entry, two giant barking Dobermans charged us. Her scream frightened me and the dogs. The dogs stopped in their tracks while I attempted to extract myself from my client’s frightened embrace. The situation taught me a valuable lesson when showing homes, yell and lead.

On more than one occasion, I have entered a vacant house only to surprise vandals in the process of their destruction. A loud announcement of my arrival will usually send them scampering out the back door. Kids smoking dope, making out and spray painting the walls are easily dispatched by a voice of authority but some crooks are getting pretty sophisticated.

Bob, an agent in El Dorado Hills, shared with me his story about his experience showing a bank REO to his clients. When he drove up to the home with his clients, parked in the driveway, was what appeared to be a contractor’s truck and crew of workers loading the truck with kitchen cabinets, appliances, plumbing and lighting fixtures. Bob located the person in charge, who said the bank had hired them to do a complete remodel on the home and proceeded to point out the work they were contracted to perform. Upon returning to the office, Bob called the listing agent to inquire further about the property. The listing agent knew of no scheduled work authorized by the bank and immediately left to inspect her listing. By the time she arrived the construction crew had disappeared along with $30,000 in missing fixtures.

A few months ago I showed a vacant home in Folsom that included a beautiful hot tub and gazebo. The buyers were interested and so we returned to preview the home again a few days later. The spa was gone along with all the plantation shutters in the house. The listing agent later located the hot tub for sale on E-Bay.

According to RealtyTrac, the average time required to foreclose on a delinquent borrower in California is 427 days. Although many homeowners may be attempting a loan modification or short sale during all that time, many simply abandon their home.

An agent in Georgetown shared with me a bizarre incident. She had listed the occupied home as a short sale and sometime during the listing the seller disappeared. The agent became concerned when the seller did not return the her calls or e-mails. Finally, she made a personal visit to the home. The owner wasn’t there and another family had moved in. The new occupants had paid the seller $2,500 to stay in the property until the bank threw them out. Six months after the foreclosure the tenants still remained in the property.

While showing a home in Placerville this summer, I discovered a homeless person sleeping in the garage. Another time I was startled to find the previous owner of a foreclosed home was camped out in the back yard in his RV.

Large dogs can also be an unexpected problem. When showing rural properties, I will often be greeted by some big friendly barking dog with tail wagging. Their job is to protect their territory from strangers and let the owners know when company has arrived. This arrangement usually works out well unless the seller isn’t at home and forgot to contain their four legged security alarm. A few smoothing words and a dog biscuit will usually get us into the house.

Every agent has had the misfortune to walk into a compromising situation with a home’s occupants which is another good reason to loudly announce your arrival.

I once had sellers ask me from under their bed covers “Why didn’t you call?” Another time while unlocking the front door to a listing, I heard a woman screaming from the back of the house. I yelled out “Hello,” and the screams got louder. Thinking the worst, I ran into the house and down the hallway where I could hear the sounds of a struggle. The opened bedroom door revealed rapture rather than rape and I promptly left unnoticed with my clients in tow. It was the one house where I did not leave a business card to let the owners know that I had stopped by.

Ken Calhoon is a real estate broker in El Dorado County. He can be reached through his Website at HYPERLINK “http://www.kencalhoon.com”

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    News

    Tears and hugs highlight last meeting for Santiago and Briggs

    By Chris Daley | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Community service key for retiring mayor

    By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Teen killed by fallen tree

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    Cal Fire warns of home heating danger

    By Cal Fire | From Page: A3

    High school district approves raises for all

    By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A3

     
    .

    Opinion

    The rural life : Oh! Christmas tree

    By Jennifer Forsberg Meyer | From Page: A4

     
    California rambling: Aspirational inventions

    By John Poimiroo | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

    By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Letters

     
    Consentual government

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

    Privatize banking

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

     
    Union Mine High School conversion

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

    A letter from your sheriff

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

     
    Lumber sales tax

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

    .

    Sports

    Schedule: Dec. 22-27, 2014

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

     
    Raider press stifles Bruins

    By Brandon Anicich | From Page: A6

     
    Oak Ridge girls deliver when it counts

    By Brandon Anicich | From Page: A6

    Lady Cougars get win over Amador

    By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    SDL Fall All League

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

    Roundup: Dec. 21, 2014

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Prospecting

    Ponderosa FFA celebrates 50 years

    By Wendy Schultz | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Cal State Fair to offer scholarships

    By California Exposition And State Fair | From Page: B2

    As we were: Tanks but no tanks

    By Ken Deibert | From Page: B2

     
    Grants beef up technology in the classroom

    By El Dorado County Office of Education | From Page: B2

    Foothill gourmet: Wild recipes

    By Donna Brown | From Page: B2

     
    .

    Essentials

    Lake levels 12-19-14

    By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Amy Melissa Crouss

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    Alice Patricia Oliver

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

    Joseph Janowiak

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    .

    Real Estate

    .

    Comics

    New York Times Crossword

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

     
    TV Listings

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

    Speed Bump

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

     
    Tundra

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

    Horoscope, Tuesday, December 23, 2014

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

     
    Horoscope, Monday, December 22, 2014

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

    Shoe

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

     
    Sudoku

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

    Rubes

    By Contributor | From Page: A8