"Hello! My name is Pat Kennedy. I'm an agent with Evers & Company, and I'd like to come by to set off your alarm this afternoon between one and one thirty."
OK, that's not the message I left for the owners of a pretty house I showed the other day, but maybe it's the one I should have left.
The listing agent gave me the alarm code when I called to arrange the showing. Then she called the seller to let her know I was coming by.
Upon arrival, I opened the front door and remembered that I needed the alarm code. I left my client in the foyer while I tore out to the car to grab the magic number, dashed back inside, then couldn't find the darned touch pad. So we were deafened by the inevitable ear piercing siren, hyphenated by an eerie voice telling me that the police were coming. I was going to jail!
When the seller's phone rang, I picked it up, assuming it was the alarm company. I explained that I was a Realtor® showing the house. No, I don't have the secret word, but I do have the alarm code if she could please tell me how to keep the stupid thing from yelling at me. She wouldn't.
It had a good ending. The seller was a block away so when she got her call from the alarm company she ran home and turned it off.
Now, I am somewhat sympathetic to people who want their alarm systems armed at all times. Although this home was in a pretty posh neighborhood, you never know. And even if they had a dog, well, du-uh! Can't have old Fang loping around the house when a agent is coming by with clients.
I try to get my clients to stash the valuables in a safe deposit box or some other safe place and leave the alarm off while the house is for sale.. Sometimes they are willing to lose the alarm, and sometimes they are not. But when you do insist upon using one while your house is for sale, keep in mind that people like me will come by a set the thing off!