The house across the street from us is listed and usually vacant. The sellers visit from out-of-area once in a while but for the most part, it is empty. For the most part, people walk by and admire the house, others a more intrusive. Last week, a gentleman was filling a glass vase with flowers from the yard. When I asked him what he was doing, he said, “it’s vacant, no one lives here.” He would have been surprised had he been there when the owners returned about an hour later.
I just had a conversation with a woman who I watched pull into the driveway about two hours ago and then walk off. I asked if she had permission to use the driveway? “No, I just borrowed it.” What if a Realtor had wanted to show it to a potential buyer? What if I had needed my car, parked with permission, out of the garage she was blocking?
Besides being incredibly rude and presumptuous, both of these people were legally trespassing. A seller does not give up their property rights by putting a for sale sign up. The may not call it home, but they have a right to do what they want, when they want.
As a potential buyer looking at homes, you need to be cognizant that even just peeking through the windows could violate the law. If your Realtor suggests you drive by and look at a property, it should just be a drive-by unless you know that you are authorized to be on the property. Heaven forbid that you are peeking through the windows of what you think is vacant and someone is looking back at you, potentially armed.