I have been hearing so many similar bad tales from realtors I know from all over the region, that I feel compelled to write this post. And it’s about behavior.
It used to be if you saw a house that was for sale that you thought it was adorable you might drive-by and you might take note of who the listing was with and the phone number. But you wouldn’t trespass onto the property. Not one toe.
Today, it’s like all boundaries and manners and social norms are out the window. If you have a for sale sign on your property, people trespass. I have heard of stories that people look up from whatever they are doing in their kitchen or sitting in their family room, or even working in their garden to find strangers looking in the windows, even attempting to enter the house if the doors open or garage door is raised. Even walking onto decks!
What is it people don’t understand about what the word trespass means?
tres·pass ˈtre-spəs -ˌspas. : an unlawful act committed on the person, property, or rights of another. especially : a wrongful entry on real property.
And the thing that is even more astounding is that sometimes the people doing the trespassing are realtors. And sometimes realtors with their customers in tow.
So that is to say they are just arriving unannounced and uninvited without an appointment. Forget about the ethics of it, it’s also illegal to trespass.
And properties that are for sale often have these lockboxes with a key inside. I’m also hearing the stories of realtors purposely jamming up the boxes so other realtors can’t get in on the appointment after them. And then they’re also the stories of the realtors who show up in a time slot that has been reserved for someone else, and just kind of piggyback on whoever else is showing the house in that moment, and not waiting their turn.
And then, when you want to look at a house and you have a realtor today, most of the appointments are made online with whomever has the listing. So you have a couple different scenarios. One scenario you have is when a realtor wants to sell it within their office and they just block out appointments to keep other companies out. Another scenario that you have is when a realtor from the outside who blocks out several appointments although they only actually have one client at one time coming through not multiple. And that’s also done to keep people out.
It seems since Covid the real estate industry has gotten even more uncivilized than it occasionally used to be. You have a lot of people who decided they were going to become realtors during this time and they really don’t have the experience or the polish so they really don’t know how to behave. And then you have the super aggressive house hunters.
And then there’s just the general lack of manners that people have when simply contacting a realtor. I keep hearing all of these stories told to me about realtors getting phone calls at one in the morning from other realtors and people who want to see a listing and they’re all within the same time zone so you can’t say that somebody was calling from California and messed up the time zone. And if they don’t get what they want, when they make the phone call or send a text, they’re just terribly rude, and even use quite the colorful combinations of profanity.
Along with the late night phone calls and text messages, come the early morning phone calls and text messages. Since when does anyone think unless it’s a relative bleeding on the street or in the emergency room that it’s OK to call someone before 6 AM for example?
This is why people used to do a lot of quiet listings. That is to say a property was for sale, but there was no sign out front. I think it’s almost worth developing as a new real estate trend. This is also why some realtors don’t want to do open houses anymore.
Moving is stressful. Getting your house ready for sale is also a stressful and often quite an emotional time, so for people to be so rude as to just stroll up a driveway and peep into windows and worse because they know there’s a sale sign out front is wrong.
And I encourage people who are selling their properties to just call the police when they see these people trespassing. Let them explain to the police and get charged with trespass.
I also think phone etiquette needs to be adhered to. And who is anyone to call up a realtor and berate them on the phone because their listing sold fast? I mean for real?
I think this is happening often enough that one would wish that the local and regional boards of realtors would act on this, but they are not.
Life is stressful enough without jerks like this.