Question for Realtors

25 Replies

Hey guys - Quick question: our son is buying his first place (condo) and I talked to him last night about it. It's in escrow. Asked how things were going Etc....

He said that they really wanted to get in there just real quick to measure 2 rooms for new furniture they are buying, and their Realtor told them no, just wait until the walk-through.

I've bought/sold lots of houses and have never had a problem getting into a house during escrow, nor have I ever denied a buyer from getting in to measure when I was the seller.

What's your opinion on this? Are they being ignored because they're young and inexperienced? I'm guessing if I called, we'd be getting in today.... :-) (Trying to stay out of it and be a good dad)

@Bruce Woodruff , from experience as a realtor myself as well as purchasing many properties as a business owner I would absolutely insist that I gain access to the property again to complete the measurements.  There are many items that come up where the property is visited in escrow...inspections, estimates for repairs, appraisals and my clients needing some information about their large purchase would most definitely warrant another visit.  I understand with Covid and such that many brokerages have tried to limit exposure, but at the very least this agent should be willing to go and measure for them...at the minimum.

Absolutely no entry inside the property other than the times specified in the contract. Doing so often leads to problems, like buyers changing their minds and threatening to default on the contract and such. This is exactly why there is a contract in place that specifies when a buyer may access the property. 

Originally posted by @Russell Brazil :

Absolutely no entry inside the property other than the times specified in the contract. Doing so often leads to problems, like buyers changing their minds and threatening to default on the contract and such. This is exactly why there is a contract in place that specifies when a buyer may access the property. 

So would you ask the agent to measure? Or just wait until walk-through?

Hi everyone! I am 22 years old and eager to invest in my first rental property. I have a good credit score however I have insufficient credit history to qualify for a loan. I have been (and am) studying vigorously and am ready to put my action to work. 

How do you all recommend funding my first project? In better words, what is the best course of obtaining and utilizing OPM for a new real estate investor with little credit history?

Originally posted by @Bruce Woodruff :
Originally posted by @Russell Brazil:

Absolutely no entry inside the property other than the times specified in the contract. Doing so often leads to problems, like buyers changing their minds and threatening to default on the contract and such. This is exactly why there is a contract in place that specifies when a buyer may access the property. 

So would you ask the agent to measure? Or just wait until walk-through?

 They should measure at their inspection if they have one, or the walkthrough.

@Russell Brazil , out of curiosity what provisions in your contracts state specified times of entry, or rather the antithesis prohibited times requests for entry.  I looked over all of my paperwork and cannot find any such verbiage, are you referring to limited scope of time for inspections.  Thanks!

Originally posted by @Jordan B. :

@Russell Brazil, out of curiosity what provisions in your contracts state specified times of entry, or rather the antithesis prohibited times requests for entry.  I looked over all of my paperwork and cannot find any such verbiage, are you referring to limited scope of time for inspections.  Thanks!

 My contract states availability for inspections, and a final walk through of the property. No other times are people allowed access to the property.  

@Bruce Woodruff I have never been denied access when I have needed to get into a property. I have had my flooring guy enter to measure and I have even showed units to perspective tenants. I am going to guess the real estate agent is either not wanting to spend the time or concerned a visit will mess up the deal. Look at it from a real estate agents perspective. Nothing good can come from another walk through. There is a chance that some additional defect will be observed or they get buyers remorse. I guess my agent is more focused on meeting my needs, but I also have a track record of closing every deal.

Originally posted by @Jordan B. :

@Russell Brazil , out of curiosity what provisions in your contracts state specified times of entry, or rather the antithesis prohibited times requests for entry.  I looked over all of my paperwork and cannot find any such verbiage, are you referring to limited scope of time for inspections.  Thanks!

In California it actually specifies how many days you can gain access.  The default is the first 17 days.

Who is exactly telling them "no"?  Is it the listing agent or their agent?  We also don't know how the Buyer/Seller relationship has been.

If I was dealing with difficult buyers, I wouldn't let them in except for what the contract states until after all contingencies have been released.  To Russell's point, why take the risk of the Buyers backing out, asking for more things, etc.?  

The only reason to let them in is to keep them engaged if they truly love the place.  I just had a listing like that and every time the buyers came by they loved it more and more.  

@Rick Albert , I agree if you are representing buyers I’m going to do my best within reason to keep them happy and get those referrals. If I’m the seller I’ll try and do all I can to remove variables. Like anything there is nuance to real estate deals as well. 

There are a lot of reasons why I would not want or allow the buyer to enter multiple times during escrow. In my experience, the most common reason for denying random access while in escrow is if the condo is still occupied by the seller or tenants. Especially tenants. You can't just ask for 10 accesses during escrow on a tenant-occupied property for several reasons. But even seller-occupied, there are multiple reasons why they wouldn't want you accessing the property just for a mundane reason like measuring. In these instances, during escrow I try my best to schedule only ONE time to access the property with the home inspector and for you to measure, look around yourself, bring mom and dad and friends to see it, etc. That's it. Don't disturb the occupants with multiple accesses for mundane reasons, come on.

That being said, on a vacant property, I can't think of a good reason to deny an additional access to the property to take measurements. It's empty, just let them see it again. That would not make sense, unless I'm missing something.

With COVID now, it could actually be that the sellers are sick and they do not want to tell the buyer that as the buyer may not want to buy a house where the past owners had COVID.

Or the sellers could be concerned with the buyers being sick.

Personally I will not allow extra "visits" again after being burned by one in the past...unless I am nearby to make sure it is only to measure or look at something.  I let a buyer in with her realtor and she had her kid's birthday party at my house.  I had moved out of state and the neighbors told me and sent me photos the next day.  Her realtor allowed it, mine did not know what her realtor let her do.  There was a creek in the back yard and the birthday kids played in the water and mud and tracked it all over my house.  Bathrooms were mud covered messes! Kitchen was a melted ice cream mess.  Trash left in the house, paper plates all over.   Then at walk through the buyer had the nerve to say the house was dirty and wanted it cleaned, carpet too.  (I had cleaned the carpet after we moved out when it was listed.  Had receipts.)  With photos of her birthday party, I declined and told her they made the mess and now they owned it.  Nervy people!

Hi @Bruce Woodruff - that’s a bit unusual and it looks like every state and every agent handle things a bit differently. If they are denying access for measurements, as the agent on the other side I would try to accommodate any requests if I can’t let the buyer in and get the measurements myself. Here in chicago, I’ve had my clients access the property multiple times for contractor bids although we’ve always done this during the inspection/ attorney review period.


are you all post-inspection period?

@Bruce Woodruff , I am purchasing my first investment property and I just recently asked if I could stop by the property again and I was also denied access. I'd try to find out who exactly is saying no, more times than not, its the seller. My realtor reached out to ask because I was having a contractor give me a few estimates on some items, but the seller denied access. I was instructed to wait until my final walkthrough and have the contractor come by then.

Because I'm sure the seller wants the deal to go through as much as the buyer, if the seller isn't willing to allow access, maybe they will be okay measuring the rooms. 

@Bruce Woodruff

After seventeen years in the biz in my opinion the answer is a simple one. Sellers that are nice, cordial and have nothing to hide have no issue allowing a Buyer to come in and measure for flooring, furniture or whatever. Sellers who are…let’s just say not the most cordial of people or have something to hide do not want to be bothered or are just plain difficult when a request is made by a Buyer to come in .

Not going to debate whether this right or wrong but will add that in my market this is standard practice. Inspection and final walk through are the only days to take measurements, have contractors out for bids or trusted tenants for showings. I'm working with a buyer on a home that has the 3D scan virtual tour and floor print with approximate measurements and that's been very helpful.

I'm an agent. 

I got into a house yesterday to do flooring measurements. Closing Friday this week.

Last listing I had buyers came in a week before closing to measure furniture space.

I've never had an issue with this before. Both buyer/seller side. 

This is an issue that varies by state. Your son needs to read and understand his contract. In our state, buyers cannot have access outside of inspection and final walkthrough. With Covid, our state and county has limited on and off how how many people can be in a property during inspection and final walkthrough and has gone so far to limit buyers to video only for inspection at times. So...the agent might be fully doing his/her job very well. I recommend your son review his contract and really, this is not a big deal. He can measure rooms at final walkthrough. All that is needed here is patience.

Max, you hit it right on. As a Realtor, I would handle this differently if the property is occupied vs. vacant. It's just a matter of courtesy to everyone involved. I would try to limit any inconvenience to occupants (maybe one visit to meet the buyers' needs) but if vacant I see no reason to be overly restrictive. Regarding the other comments about opening the door to problems, that's what the inspection period is for. I know it's different depending on which state you're in but It seems a little paranoid to me to restrict the buyer's access because of concerns about backing out. They either want the house or they don't...any issues about that should have been addressed much earlier in the process.

@Bruce Woodruff

Interesting. I'm an agent. I let my buyers know as we're going over the contract offer, if they'd like to view the property for any reason, to let me know and I'll set up a showing. I wonder what the reasoning is on this one?

@Bruce Woodruff I am licensed in WA and NC and the contracts are different in every state. Some states are very clear that the buyer can have access for specific essential inspection purposes (measuring for furniture not being essential) and others are wide open and allow the buyer access for anything with proper notice to the seller.

There is also the quality of agent and seller. Some agents are very accommodating and want to help their client and give them the best service whereas other agents are just burning and turning clients and are more focused on themselves than the needs of their clients. Some sellers are so averse to letting people in their house that you tend to wonder if they actually want to sell their house in the first place.

My philosophy is to give the best service possible because my goal is to make clients for life and build a solid referral relationship with my clients. I also realize that our business is one of reputation so being diplomatic and asking nicely and respectfully goes a long way when I am trying to do things for my clients that might be considered an inconvenience to sellers or other agents.

Communication is also a huge part of a good agent’s tool belt. If my client asks to get access to measure and no matter how nicely I ask I encounter an uncooperative agent or seller I will explain the situation to my client other than just saying no.

If you feel that it is your son’s agent that is lacking you could always have your son contact his agent’s managing broker who can usually make things happen or at least tell the agent to be a better commmunicator.