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Big Island

Hawaii Life Real Estate Agent Held Captive by a Garage

You are in a hurry to get to that Realtor caravan, or to make it on time to meet with clients when you jump out of your car and shut the door. Immediately you realized you’ve locked your keys inside your car. Does that sound familiar to you?

A similar situation happened to me last week when I went to Waikoloa Beach Resort, except this time I was the keys and the car was the garage. My duty as a Realtor that day was to check an inventory list on behalf of clients who were purchasing a condo. I got into the property, checked off my list, and was finishing with the items in the garage.

I was looking at 2 beach chairs when the kitchen door accessing to the garage slammed behind me. I could not get back into the kitchen because the door was locked. I suddenly thought of my file, cell phone, purse, and keys left behind on the dining table. No worries, I said to myself, I will press the garage opener and get out of there. It would have been too easy, now I was part of a Lifetime movie, the Realtor is locked up!

Part of that story brings up two agent duties and responsibilities among others: the first one is about the Hawaii Seller’s Real Property Disclosure Statement. While I was stuck in that garage, I was thinking of having read the Seller’s Real Property Disclosure Statement and not recalling any disclosure about the garage door opener being out of order.

I knew the sellers were just in town since we met them while I’d shown the unit to my clients. Either they did not use the garage door their entire stay and were not aware of the deferred maintenance, or they did not want to disclose it even if they were obligated to do so. Also remember, under Hawaii Revised Statute 508D, your review of the Seller’s Real Property Disclosure Statement is not a substitute for professional inspections.

This brings up the second duty and responsibility of the agent to be willing and able to recommend several well-qualified home inspectors. The importance of having a home inspected by a professional inspector can not be over-emphasized even if it is up to the buyer to make the decision and pay for the inspection.

A real estate agent is vital to the home buying process and can provide a variety of services in locating a property, negotiating the sale, and advising buyer and seller. I was not expecting that day to be qualified to discover defect, this was not one of my duties neither was being kidnapped by the garage!

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Beth Thoma Robinson R(B)

March 28, 2011

@OMG, Catherine, you should get hazardous duty pay for this one! No wonder your clients love you, between your professionalism and your sense of humor! Reminds me of the early days at Kolea, when people staying in their penthouse villa for the first time would go out on the master bedroom lanai, the door would slam shut behind them, and they’d be like Rapunzel trapped in their tower! Now that has to be considered a design flaw…

Beth Thoma Robinson R(B)

March 28, 2011

@OMG, Catherine, you should get hazardous duty pay for this one! No wonder your clients love you, between your professionalism and your sense of humor! Reminds me of the early days at Kolea, when people staying in their penthouse villa for the first time would go out on the master bedroom lanai, the door would slam shut behind them, and they’d be like Rapunzel trapped in their tower! Now that has to be considered a design flaw…

Jene' Green

March 28, 2011

Ok, so now I have to know how you got out of there Catherine!!!! 😉

Jene' Green

March 28, 2011

Ok, so now I have to know how you got out of there Catherine!!!! 😉

Kathy Awai, R(S); ABR

March 29, 2011

Really Catherine! How did you get out? I love the photo you used. I guess the best thing is to carry all your “stuff” with you at all times……just in case and be sure to unclock those doors while you are in the home; you never know when a wind will come up and slam some door shut.

Kathy Awai, R(S); ABR

March 29, 2011

Really Catherine! How did you get out? I love the photo you used. I guess the best thing is to carry all your “stuff” with you at all times……just in case and be sure to unclock those doors while you are in the home; you never know when a wind will come up and slam some door shut.

Kathleen

March 30, 2011

Catherine, now I am sitting on the edge of my seat … won’t be able to sleep tonight until you tell me how you got out. I actually had a similar experience and am dealing with “Garage Phobia.” Now, while in the garage taking photos I panic unless I can hold the door open with my body ;o) … I didn’t notice the lengths I go to until my seller laughed and told me I was standing in a yoga posture to take photos around a corner, leg stretched, back flat, arms stretched … this just to hold the door open! Automatic now. The thought of being locked in the garage of an REO with a maggot filled refrigerator, full of rotten food still gags me. Sorry to leave you with that picture! ;0) Kathleen, Maui Lifer

Kathleen

March 30, 2011

Catherine, now I am sitting on the edge of my seat … won’t be able to sleep tonight until you tell me how you got out. I actually had a similar experience and am dealing with “Garage Phobia.” Now, while in the garage taking photos I panic unless I can hold the door open with my body ;o) … I didn’t notice the lengths I go to until my seller laughed and told me I was standing in a yoga posture to take photos around a corner, leg stretched, back flat, arms stretched … this just to hold the door open! Automatic now. The thought of being locked in the garage of an REO with a maggot filled refrigerator, full of rotten food still gags me. Sorry to leave you with that picture! ;0) Kathleen, Maui Lifer

Pattie Freeman

March 30, 2011

It’s happened to all of us at one time or another! My first open house 25 years ago, I got to the house and the Realtor before me had locked the lock box in the house! Not to give up…so I sat on the front porch with my cookies and juice (for the open house) and asked the people who came to see it if I could make an appointment to show the house the next day. One couple did and turned into life time clients. I ended up selling them several properties over the years in Honolulu! Glad you escaped!

Pattie Freeman

March 30, 2011

It’s happened to all of us at one time or another! My first open house 25 years ago, I got to the house and the Realtor before me had locked the lock box in the house! Not to give up…so I sat on the front porch with my cookies and juice (for the open house) and asked the people who came to see it if I could make an appointment to show the house the next day. One couple did and turned into life time clients. I ended up selling them several properties over the years in Honolulu! Glad you escaped!

Claire K. Bajo RS

August 17, 2011

Catherine you are too funny! I was looking up Big Island Home Inspectors on Google and your face came up on this hilarious blog! ..we need to make a movie “Adventures in Real Estate”.. what a hoot! ..thanks for the reminder.. always wear my cell phone! lol

Claire K. Bajo RS

August 17, 2011

Catherine you are too funny! I was looking up Big Island Home Inspectors on Google and your face came up on this hilarious blog! ..we need to make a movie “Adventures in Real Estate”.. what a hoot! ..thanks for the reminder.. always wear my cell phone! lol

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