Passing the keys to the new owner

[photopress:DesiArnez_LucilleBall.jpg,thumb,alignright] An obtuse suggestion.

Ardell says, “I’ll meet you at the house with the key the evening the property records!”. I’m all excited.

Buyer: “Ardell we love you, truly we do”. BUT, uh…sometimes three’s a crowd”.

Duh, what was I thinking?!

Whether I am the agent for the buyer or the agent for the seller, I generally like to “pass through” the property after the seller is gone and before the buyer enters it for the first time. You would be amazed at what we find there sometimes! Most recent worst story I heard from an agent was that she had to hire TWO DUMPSTERS to remove junk from inside, but mostly outside, the property on the day of closing.

Most unusual request I have personally had, was a seller who called me after closing and said, “I forgot my gun that I have hidden on the ledge just inside the attic crawl hatch.” I escorted him back into the property, but I didn’t touch the gun.

On several occasions I have arrived at the property to find the seller, in a terrible state, trying to get everything out of the property. Mover was late. Friends that “promised” to help never arrived. I’ve carried mountains of clothes from the upstairs closet down into my car, and made several trips from the seller’s “old” house to their “new house”. I’ve rolled up my sleeves and carried mattresses down a flight of steps and out to the truck. I’ve sent handymen back after closing to fix scrapes or holes made, particularly in the staircase wall, when sellers were moving out.

It is the buyer agent’s responsibility to get the keys from the seller’s agent and get them to the buyer. My favorite method is to have the seller put all keys and garage door openers in a kitchen drawer along with any warranties and appliance manuals. I ask the agent to leave the lockbox with the key to the front door there for an extra day. I pull the key from the lockbox, walk through the property, address any issues. I make arrangements to pass that one key to the front door to the buyer, everything else he needs being inside the kitchen drawer.

Often the buyer prefers to pick the key up from me, away from the property, so that first step through the doorway is NOT with agent in tow.

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ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties METRO King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 33+ years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: cell: 206-910-1000

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