My husband & I are in the process of selling out home under a short-sale it's been a very long & stressful 5

Asked by Sandra, Tampa, FL Sun Jul 27, 2008

months. Needless to say, we are under contract and are suppose to be closing some time this week. Let me start by saying that the house is vacant. Just this passed weekend we were asked by my agent to give the pool a final clean up as there is a second inspection on Monday. When my husband arrived to the house on Thursday, to his surprise the potential buyer was there. He thought it was a bit odd (but did not confront her as to why she was there) Later on that eveing I went to follow up w/the pool cleaner and to my surprise a new door mat was placed on the front door. I lifted the mat and right there was the key to my house. The BUYER'S AGENT left it to the buyers so they can go in and clean up etc..I must say that I have NEVER EVER heard of this. I contacted my realtor and explained to her that this was unacceptable...Their personal belongings are already there. They even went as far as taking out the carpet in the closet. The key came from the lockbox. Please help!

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Don Debaer &…, , Memphis, TN
Sun Jul 27, 2008
Hello Sandra
This is totally unethical on the part of the buyer's agent...that is provide a key to their buyers clients to a property that they do not own,...and to allow them to store some of their belongings in a home that they also do not own.. Potential liabilities fall on YOU if something should happen their belongings. You should have the buyer's agent immediately remove those belongings and keep your key.....The keys should only be presented to the buyers at a FUNDED CLOSING.......then you exchange keys for funds.
You may also want to contact the broker for the buyer's agent to make sure the belongings and the buyers only go to the property with a set appointment confirmed by you.
Good Luck
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Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Sun Jul 27, 2008
It sounds as though you are going to close escrow, which is very good!
I agree with you that leaving the key under the mat is not kosher. Having the buyers (who are not on title yet). doing anything to the home is not legal nor ethical.

One of the issues is liability. If the buyers are on the property, and anything happens to them (slip and fall, for example), you are still legally liable. I am very surprised that your Realtor has allowed this.

I suggest discussing your concerns with the Realtor, and use the question format, not the statement format. Find out if there is some sort of compelling reason they allowed all this to occur.

If the answer is not satisfactory, I would bring this up wiith the Realtor's broker, who is actually legally responsible for the Realtor's actions.

If you have legal concerns, please consult an attorney.
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