Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Thursday, November 5, 2009

How Keys Go Missing

Until we began our expeditions in house hunting, Spouse and I had no inkling of the various tangled tricks that real estate agents get up to.
Agents typically access an available property by means of a common key; the key is supposed to be left in its original place squirreled away in a quiet corner of the yard.
The trick is this: in order to ensure that an agent successfully procures the house for his or her own clients, they thwart all attempts of subsequent agents to view the house. The key frequently departs the area tucked snugly inside an agent's pocket. Interested persons arrive with hopes high, but cannot gain entry, and they cast wistful glances in the windows, shrug and surrender, and go home.
We waited last week to view a house. It was the middle of the day but we had been beaten to the post. As per the rules of house-buying etiquette, we shuffled about in the garden with our agent, kicking at stones and counting weeds and subtly weighing up the condition of the neighbourhood, while the earlier-birds explored the house with their agent.
The potential buyers seemed to take quite an age, but at last they stepped out of the house and pulled the door shut behind them. Our agent waited to collect the key.
"Key? What key? No, there was no key when I got here."
Our agent stood on the doorstep and asked once again for the key, refusing to believe that she and her clients had scrambled in through a side window.
Then raucous laughter broke the woman's poker face apart.
"Oh! This key! Here. Yes, yes. I totally forgot I had it!"
She threw open her palm like a cheeky flower, and displayed the shiny implement.
"That," she said, waggling her head gravely at the horrific state of the world, "is how keys go missing!"
"I bet it is," I fumed under my breath.
But that is not, and never will be, how houses are fairly and squarely acquired.


Pappy said...

Sounds rather primitive for the West Coast. Even here in primitive Texas, Realtors use digital cards to open lock boxes on the front door. The information on the Realtor's card records the time, date, and name of the agent and then opens the box to allow access to the house key. No one is left out if they belong to the association. I've just caught up with your posting. My weight would be better if I ate bronze apples and sandwiches. Pappy

Pauline said...

I'd have asked that agent to go back in through the window and open the door for me!

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Texican, Glad you caught up. Actually the only place we've ever bought a house was in Texas and that system was in place. I suppose it depends. We see a lot of bank-owned homes, perhaps that's got something to do with it.

Pauline, very good! But she got caught anyhow ;) So it worked out.

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