Almost as if on cue, our MLS sent out an e-mail blast alerting us to the following:
This happened over the last weekend in DeKalb County.
"I wanted to let you know that twice in two days two people have come by and lied, to get into the house. There was a man yesterday who did all the talking and a woman who did none. I was in the front yard and they approached trying to engage me in conversation by indicating he knew you, (the listing agent). He asked to go in the house. I asked if he was a REALTOR and he said yes and gave me some name rather quickly. I asked to see a card and he said it was in his car. I told him - as you had instructed me - that he would have to open the door using his REALTOR key. He said that too was in his car. I told him he would need to go get it. He got huffy and said that if I wasn't interested in showing the house then I must not want to sell it. He indicated that you (the listing agent) had sent him, which was surely a lie. I indicated again that he could not enter without a key and turned my back on him.
oday two men were shaking my front door. Not knocking. Not ringing the doorbell. They were seeing if they could force the door. I asked them what they were doing and they said they wanted to see the house. I asked if they are REALTORS. They said yes. I asked to see a card. They said no they had been sent by a REALTOR to see the house. I told them to come back with a REALTOR. And I shut the door.
I'm sure that many more desperate clients would fall for these tactics. I was a but frightened. I'm here alone and the situation was always two against one if I had let them in. This is scary stuff!"
So how do you protect yourself from predators:
- If it's listed with a Realtor, then ALWAYS make the Realtor access the lockbox (assuming it's an electronic one and not one of those combo locks), this is not only for tracking and follow up for feedback but it's also gives the police a list to call (and they will call) in the event something happens.
- If you are home, ask for a business card. Every agent has a business card.
- If they don't have their business card ask for their pocket license (In Georgia). State law requires that we carry a small version of our license with us.
If you are selling on your own, please refer to this article about For Sale By Owner
This isn't meant to be a scare tactic, quite the opposite really. Do a search and you'll find that there are many instances of attacks on Real Estate professional, people posing as Realtors or on For Sale By Owners / Open houses.