Ken's Naperville Real Estate Blog : MY IMPROMPTU "OPEN HOUSE"


What the heck... 

I have a listing on Alan Road in Naperville.  It is a short sale.  Late stages.  We need an offer...

The bank has "removed" our lock box. 

removed lock box

Apparently this is a common practice for lenders in the Chicago area.  If a home is vacant and not paying the mortgage, they do not wait to foreclose. 

They take control immediately and put on a new doorknob.

Anyway, I now have to attend all showings.  Makes it very difficult.

This week, we have lowered our price to $274,900. 

The house has lots of potential and is on a big lot (2/3 of an acre) in south Naperville. 


I have received 7 calls from Realtors in the last two days to see the home.  I have made all the apointments between 10-12 AM Sunday (Super Bowl Sunday).

Since I need to be there, I have decided to pop up some signs and make it an open house.

So if you are in the neighborhood, stop on by...

The home is at 10 S 087 Alan Road in Naperville.

And bring some hot chocolate.  I might be cold.

I will be shoveling the drive. :)


A Realtor you can trust.


Comment balloon 30 commentsKen Tracy • February 01 2009 09:11AM


Ken, I wish you the best - hope you can move it.

Posted by Tim and Pam Cash, Real Estate Professionals - Clarksville TN (Crye-Leike (Sango)) almost 10 years ago

Yikes are you serious they actually take the door knob off! They would never or I should say I have yet to see that happen here in Canada but who knows. That's terrible.

Good luck on your open house - I'd bring hot chocolate but it's a little far to drive ;)

Posted by Tara Sales - RE/MAX Aboutowne Oakville, ON almost 10 years ago

Ken-Best of luck to you! Sounds and looks like a great home! Hope all your hard work pays off today!

Posted by Mary Kent, Grand Rapids to the Lake Shore (Five Star Real Estate ) almost 10 years ago

Great use of your time, Ken!

You might consider bringing in some help on your open house and manning a table right AT the front door to be able to handle all the visitors and registrations to see the house.  I read that on a blog recently and thought it was a VERY good idea.  An assistant that helps you control the traffic into the house!

Posted by Ron Tarvin, Broker, Katy, Houston, Cypress 77450,77494,77095 (Residential, Investment properties, rehab projects, property management, luxury homes, new construction!) almost 10 years ago

Great idea, Ken. Your open house is early enough you won't miss any Super Bowl activities. Remember, I have an open house today, too, from 2-4.

I suppose you don't have power? Wear warm gloves while shoveling that snow. Things we Realtors do!! ~Pat

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

What a great win-win for you, your sellers, and the bank.  I hope you are successful in finding a buyer today.

Posted by Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417, Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate (United Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Hang in there - never give up...You never know, you just might end up pulling off a miracle.  Kind of like the Cardinals ending up in the Superbowl (and hopefully pulling out another miracle by winning it)!

Sorry about the driveway though - I can relate. :-(

Posted by Patty Peck Flagstaff Real Estate, Flagstaff REALTOR (Realty One Group / Mountain Desert) almost 10 years ago

I think there's a legal problem here -- you can't just take control of a house without legal foreclosure proceedings, at least not here in California. If the bank goes and finds it vacant and unsecured here, they can order it secured to prevent loss/damage, but usually they'll call the posted sign agent and have a chat...  Is this really normal practice for your area, where they can legally do a lockout without final process?  Good luck on your open house!

Posted by Theresa Grant, ABR, ePRO500 - The Grant Group (Coldwell Banker Sky Ridge Realty) almost 10 years ago

Great idea Ken. I like your thought process of mazimizing your time and trying to create opportunities. I hope things work out for you.

Posted by Dan and Amy Schuman, Luxury Home Specialists (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) almost 10 years ago

Ken - you are a real go-getter and it's going to off handsomely.  Great strategy - hope you sell it.

Posted by Alyce Martin, Albuquerque - THE Place To Be! (The Realty Group, LLC) almost 10 years ago


Hi Alyce, Dan and Amy, Theresa, Pattie, Lorrie, Pat, Ron, Mary, Tara, Tim and Pam.

Thanks all for stoping by.

I am back.  I don't know if I sold the home.  I know I did what I could.

The snow sucked!  I usually enjoy shoveling, but this snow was deep, old, with car tire ruts in it.  Bad snow for the shoveler.

Thanks again everyone,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) almost 10 years ago

I see you are using the Sentrilocks.  You can add an additional code that the agents have to use to get in along with their regular key code.  This way anyone who wants to get inside has to talk with you first.  Nobody can get in without the right code.  Maybe that will ease the mind of the bank.

Posted by Carol Spengel, Wheaton IL (Prudential Rubloff ) almost 10 years ago


Oh wow, if that happened to me I would swear out a warrant and have someone at the bank arrested first for theft, then I would sue the heck out of the bank for interference with a contract.

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) almost 10 years ago

Good luck sir on getting a contract on this property today.  This must be a new practice by banks!

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) almost 10 years ago

Hi Don, Richard, and Sherry.  Thanks for stopping by.

I am not very litigious.  I just want to get the home sold.

It was good this morning.

I look forward to a great day in sports!

Thanks again,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) almost 10 years ago

What a great way to make good use of your time!  Good luck on the open!

Posted by Paula Swayne, Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga (Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) almost 10 years ago

I guess this is a little late but maybe you will get a call during the game. 

All the best.

Posted by David Timm, CRS, EcoBroker, GRI, ABR (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 10 years ago

Ken you are so nice. I want to adopt your attitude, I just don't know how long I could be that nice!  You will not only sell that house, but you will gain respect and load your pipeline along the way. Good for YOU!

Posted by Teresa K. Nelson (Windermere Real Estate/HLC) almost 10 years ago

Hi Ken,

Good thinking to make the trip an Open House too. Hope your efforts pay off with a decent offer and rapid closing. Well, as rapid as it can be in a Short Sale.

Posted by Harold "Hal" Place (A1 Connection Realty, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

Hi Ken, Great recipe for making those lemons into lemonade.  Stay warm.~

Posted by Shirley Parks, Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate (Sands Realty 210-414-0966) almost 10 years ago

Hi Ken... Good luck.  I hate it when the banks do this, but I know that you will do everything you can to make this happen!  Hang in there!

Posted by Steve Shatsky almost 10 years ago


This JUST happened to me a few days ago. I had to attend a showing for an agent who didn't have a lockbox and while I was there TWO couples (unrepresented) walked up and asked to look at the house. It was insane!! So I turned on some music and we had an open house!

The house went under contract the very next day!

Posted by Cherimie Crane (Cherimie Crane & Associates) almost 10 years ago

Not a bad idea if you have to be there anyway, kill two birds with one stone.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) almost 10 years ago

Hi JL, Cherimie, Steve, Shirley, Hal, Teresa, David and Paula.  Thanks so much for commenting.

Didn't sell the house yet.  Perhaps same routine next week?

I am not always so nice.  Sometimes I just get lucky.

I have purchased new open house signs with my contact info.

Might be my business plan this year. 

Flood the market with my open houses!

Thanks so much everyone,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) almost 10 years ago

I agree with the above comment that there is a legal issue here and the bank can't take over control of a house they haven't foreclosed on. THey don't own it. The current owners might not be making their payments, but the bank can't go and take off a door knob.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 10 years ago

Hi Donna.  Well they can and they did!:)

I have heard that it happens fairly often around here.

Thanks for stopping by,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) almost 10 years ago

Not surprised about the lock box, sorry to say.

I also have done impromptu open houses and it has proved to be very successful! Actually, seems to almost work out better than a scheduled open house. Wonder why?

Posted by Debbie DiFonzo, Lebanon MO and Buffalo Missouri Real Estate (Debbie DiFonzo - United Country VIP Realty, SW Missouri) almost 10 years ago

Hi Debbie.  I am with you.

I think less pressure, perhaps.  Anything extra is a bonus??

Thanks for stopping by,



Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) almost 10 years ago

I came across this posting and it actually got my dander up.  As an attorney, wait, wait... I probably do not have the whole story, however if a lender dared touch a property that was not already foreclosed on in my dominion or control they would have serious problems.  The bank is a lien holder not the owner or manager of the property.  Possibly this was an REO? :)   mmm ok putting my lawyer hat back in the box for tonight.  Best of luck!!!

Posted by KB Collins (Keller Williams Associate Broker / Attorney) over 9 years ago

Hi KB.  Thanks for reading.

Apparently legal??  They have knocked off two doorknobs.

Anyway, we do have a contract on the house and are hoping to work it out with the lender.

Thanks again,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) over 9 years ago

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