The buyers for my home are within their 10 day period. Their realtor came and used the lockbox to let the inspector in, and then the realtor left and

Asked by Gilbert, 85233 Thu Dec 10, 2009

did not return even when his buyers came for the final hour to tour the home and get an inspection debrief. This seems to be a violation of the purpose of the lockbox and also the realtor code of ethics. I can only guess the inspector is the one who returned the key to the lockbox.

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21
Carlos Ramir…, Agent, Mesa, AZ
Thu Dec 10, 2009
Gilbert,

As specified below it is hard to comment without knowing all the details. I personally like to be present during the inspections. But agents do not have to be present during the inspections. Most inspectors have their own key and can access the property without the agent being present. In most instances the buyers can come at the end to meet with the inspectors.

The inspector is a licensed professional and during that time he is the one responsible for ensuring nothing wrong is done. What I find strange is that the inspector did not have his own key. If the agent only opened the door to a licensed inspector who did not have his key at that time, then it seems that nothing wrong was done. If something inappropiate was done during that time it might then be the inspector's fault and not the agent's fault.

But again check with your agent as it is hard to determine what happened without having all the details.

Carlos J. Ramirez, PC, ABR, CNE
Associate Broker/Realtor, HomeSmart -
http://www.SmartAZRealty.com
1 vote
Gilbert, Home Seller, 85233
Thu Dec 10, 2009
It is my opinion this is always unethical because reasonable care was not taken by the Realtor when letting an unknown to them inspector have access (using the Realtors lockbox key) to the home alone for 4 hours and letting that same inspector be the only escort for the buyers while in the home.

In this instance the lack of ethics has resulted in what I perceive as damages. However, even if there had not been, the risk they took should not be acceptable business practice unless agreed to by the seller/owner.
1 vote
G A Real Est…, , Gilbert, AZ
Thu Dec 10, 2009
1 vote
Ted Canto, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Scottsdale, AZ
Thu Dec 10, 2009
I am sorry if I am not getting it but what is the end result you are trying to achieve with the question? It seems you are looking for some type of recourse for some reason. If nothing was damaged, nothing stolen, no personal or physical harm, then why the big fuss? Seems the house was sold safe and nicely.. Congrats and move on..
1 vote
I am always present at my clients inspections...This allows me to ask questions that may not be obvious at first glance...The inspector may give suggestions in person that may not appear in the written report....This could help tremendously when problems are revealed and need to be resolved...
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Edward Maddox, Agent, Florence, AZ
Mon Mar 2, 2015
It is a good practice for the buyers Realtor to be at the home inspection. It also helps explain item in report to client, if they are not available to attend.
0 votes
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Sun Mar 1, 2015
I like to be present at all the inspections and when ever my clients are in the property. This is both for their benefit,and the owners benefit. I would speak to your agent about the situation.
0 votes
Doug McVinua, Agent, Gilbert, AZ
Sat Dec 12, 2009
Two avenues to pursue if you feel you have been damaged would be first the local Association of Realtors, for many in the South East Valley it's SEVRAR @ http://www.SEVRAR.com. The Association would be the party to contact in the event you feel that the agent may of breached the Realtor Code of Ethics. You as a member of the public would have a right to file a complaint and have your complaint be heard. Most Realtors are very concerned about the Code of Ethics and operate with in them, some need reminders.

The 2nd group would be the Multiple Listing Service, for Phoenix its http://www.ARMLS.com. ARMLS is the organization that actually holds the rules covering use of the lock box and keys. ARMLS rules are very specific and limited to the MLS, the lock box and or the use of the key to open the box.

The two Associations are separate and you may have the right to file complaints at both, the discussion I read could fall into both jurisdictions. A Realtor could breach the Code of Ethics by miss use of a lock box key falling into both groups.

I happen to serve on the Boards of Directors of both organizations and as a result will not be able to go further with you other than to make you aware of options that might be available. I personally give significant amounts of time volunteering to the Boards in an effort to increase professionalism in our industry.

Thanks for caring and please feel free to contact either or both of the organizations for further assistance.

Sincerely


Doug McVinua ABR CRS
United Brokers Group
Short Sale Expert

602-751-7577 Direct
480-445-9762 Fax
Doug@McVinua.com
http://www.McVinua.com
Web Reference:  http://www.McVinua.com
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Thu Dec 10, 2009
David, I don't know what that has to do with anything.

You've implied that it's accepted practice for Arizona agents to leave the home with the buyer and inspector. This makes me think that it's not an established violation of ethics, because by now there'd've been enough actions against agents to force a change in behavior.
0 votes
David - Appr…, , Maricopa, AZ
Thu Dec 10, 2009
Mack -- As I have stated before -- Unfortunately for consumers, there are no stringent regulations over the "qualifications" and "actions" of those possessing a real estate "sales" license, other then the "Code of Ethics" which for many only comes into play for 8 hours, once every 4 years, when it's time for license renewal.
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Thu Dec 10, 2009
David in Maricopa AZ seems to think that having the agent present is not a universal requirement, however.
0 votes
Jim L, Both Buyer And Seller, Scottsdale, AZ
Thu Dec 10, 2009
Most boards have specific verbiage in their ethics indicating "Never allow an unaccompanied buyer into a listed property". If the buyers aren't the owners yet, they should be accompanied by the Realtor. MLS services have specific rules around who has access to the lockbox/key and it is limited to participating (licensed) MLS brokers and agents.
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Thu Dec 10, 2009
I think agents should accompany their buyers throughout the inspection, and also act as the Responsible Adult just in case Greenpeace or the Salvation Army come a-calling.

I'm not getting any handle on what damages you believe occurred, nor how the agent's being present would have prevented them from happening.

And, I'm pretty sure that inspectors would take umbrage at the idea that putting the keys in their hands shows a lack of "reasonable care," but that's another issue.

Point being: Homeowners should know whether the agent is going to stay at the property or not. And, if there were damages, then you should pursue whatever action is appropriate.
0 votes
Temporarily…, , Tempe, AZ
Thu Dec 10, 2009
It's difficult to comment further without knowing both sides of the situation. As mentioned before, best to discuss with your agent, and possibly your agent's managing broker. They can investigate and recommend how to deal with this.
0 votes
Ted Canto, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Scottsdale, AZ
Thu Dec 10, 2009
Got it.. That is what I was wondering.. So yes you have a reason for concern..
0 votes
Gilbert, Home Seller, 85233
Thu Dec 10, 2009
Ted, unfortunately the house is not sold yet and yes, there are damages, I believe. Proving them is another thing....thus the "fuss"
0 votes
Gilbert, Home Seller, 85233
Thu Dec 10, 2009
Rod, the Realtor used his access for the lockbox to let in the buyer's inspector (this was an inspector the Realtor even knew), then left. The realtor did not even return when his buyers toured the home for the final hour. I do not know if/who returned the key to the lockbox. The sliding back door was not locked when they left. And, during the 4 hour inspection the garage door was left open, even when it was not being inspected. Isn't that not practicing reasonable security when it is full of the seller's possessioned (packed for moving), and a perfect invitation for a thief?
0 votes
David - Appr…, , Maricopa, AZ
Thu Dec 10, 2009
Gilbert -- Here is a link to the "Code of Ethics" - http://www.aaronline.com/documents/2009CodeEnglish.pdf - Standard of Practice 1-11 may address your question. How it is interpretated may be another story and/or one's method of doing business. One standard that gets ignored quite often is 1-3.

It is not uncommon to have Home Inspectors and Appraisers on and/or in a property for the purpose of their business function, without the presense of the property owner or the agent (or representative of the agent) there at the time. Both will generally contact the property owner and/or occupants prior to inspection for scheduling and date and time and access permission if no one will be available to allow access. Both will also secure the property upon completion of their service as professionals are expected to do.
0 votes
Temporarily…, , Tempe, AZ
Thu Dec 10, 2009
It's not unusual to leave the inspector alone and then meet up when ready to debrief as you indicated. Also, many inspectors have lockbox access to get the key themselves through a one time code supplied by the listing agent. I don't see any ethics violation here.
0 votes
Gilbert, Home Seller, 85233
Thu Dec 10, 2009
Is this a violation of the Realtor code of ethics (especially when using a lockbox) to leave unattended buyers and inspectors in the home for 4 hours? Garage door wide open for 2 of the hours, keeping in mind the home is still occupied by the seller and the garage is full of packed boxed etc.
0 votes
Margery Wils…, Agent, Chandler, AZ
Thu Dec 10, 2009
Hello Gilbert

I would recommend you speak to your REALTOR about this.
0 votes
Ted Canto, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Scottsdale, AZ
Thu Dec 10, 2009
Hi Gilbert,

I am not quite sure what you're needing in this comment. It sounds more like a statement. I could be wrong. Please elaborate.
0 votes
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