Sometimes the Open House Just Doesn't Work Out!

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC BK3064647

The Headline....

"Real estate agent reportedly lets in jewel thieves during open house; $150,000 in loot stolen"

I read the above article on the Foxnews website this morning and several things came to mind.  The first...Glad it wasn't me!

  • The headline makes it sound like the agent was almost a willing party who "lets in" the crooks.
  • It appears there was only one person on site.
  • The preparation phase was inadequate.
  • You never know who is watching.

Real estate agents often find it difficult to cooperate with each other much less jewel thieves.   OK, that is a bit tongue in cheek.  I am sure the agent did not open the doors to the thieves on purpose.

Open houses bring all sorts of unknowns into the process.   The neighbors, tire kickers, people just wasting time and an occasional prospective buyer may show up at an open house.  

Thieves can easily dress up as a buyer and even ask the right questions!  It is incumbent on a listing agent to determine the requirements of the open house and bring additional persons to help in the case of a large property.

Sellers need to be aware that strangers will be perusing their home.   Sellers need to prepare for selling by removing or securing valuables especially highly pilferage-able, small items like jewelry, money, laptops, etc.  Selelrs should secure items like firearms, medications, and important personal papers (financial, passports, etc).

Finally, the good news...  There was a surveillance system.   Real estate agents and buyers need to always be aware that they are potentially being video-recorded.   In this case the agent did not have to try and explain the missing property!

The seller did indicate that this was his last open house.  His advice - "appointment only.'"

Stay safe....You never know who cometh through the front door!

 

“Character Thief In Good Person” by kittijaroon provided by freedigitalphotos.net

 

Posted by

Gary L. Waters, is a Florida licensed real estate broker at  Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC, Melbourne, Florida serving Florida's Space Coast including the cities and surrounding communities of Melbourne, Viera, Rockledge, Suntree, Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach and Satellite Beach.

 Call or text me directly at 321-693-3850.

 

 

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Rainmaker
249,153
John Wiley
Jones & Co. Realty - Cape Coral, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,SFR,PSA

The Listing Presentation is a good time to discuss whether the seller will allow an Open House. If they want it, they should be given a list of Do's and Don'ts and have them sign that. You would include removing valuables and drugs when they exit the house, even for an appointment showing.

Aug 31, 2016 01:02 PM #46
Rainmaker
1,375,508
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

Olga Simoncelli - Agreed. Actually, even with appointments, should be secured.  Have a great day!

Aug 31, 2016 11:51 PM #47
Rainmaker
1,375,508
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

Harry F. D'Elia ,  Chuck Carstensen -  Neither am I except in the case of very exceptiona properties.

Aug 31, 2016 11:52 PM #48
Rainmaker
1,375,508
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

John Wiley - Great suggestion on the signature.  Risk management is key!

Aug 31, 2016 11:53 PM #49
Ambassador
862,749
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

Gary, this is unfortunate but so many out there trying to take advantage. Out of the last 5 open houses I have had only one sold as a result of the open house so I am not a big fan of open houses.

Sep 01, 2016 01:05 AM #50
Ambassador
1,510,079
Florida Tolbert Team Keller Williams Advantage
Keller Williams Advantage III Realty in Lake Nona - Orlando, FL
Million $ Guild Member Cert Luxury Home Mkting Spc

More on the video taping topic.  We just got a new listing because the seller video taped and audio taped an agent downing his home to a buyer and she was his listing agent.  You never know who's watching so just don't do it. Keep your opinions out of your business 

Sep 01, 2016 03:13 PM #51
Rainmaker
3,506,433
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I am glad the sellers had the surveillance cameras and caught the thief. 

Sep 01, 2016 08:48 PM #52
Rainmaker
3,992,056
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

This is a good story to share. Home sellers need to secure their valuables and security cameras are a very good idea.

Sep 01, 2016 11:58 PM #53
Rainmaker
261,872
Jill Murty, Realtor - Orange County, CA
PREA Realty - Laguna Niguel, CA

Sellers should always secure their valuables or even better, keep them off site.  This should be a discussion that occurs between the listing agent and seller right upfront.  

Sep 02, 2016 04:01 AM #54
Rainmaker
149,645
Cheryl Dukes . . . . . Intown Atlanta
Solid Source Realty, Inc. - Atlanta, GA

Even when a house is vacant, you have to watch who enters and watch them leave, and watch them while they are inside. I like the idea of the cameras being on at open houses, and at all showings for that matter.

 

Sep 02, 2016 01:16 PM #55
Rainer
178,845
Chris Lima
Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise - Port St Lucie, FL
Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you.

Yet another reason why open houses can be problematic and the agent takes on a huge responsibility. 

Sep 03, 2016 03:29 AM #56
Rainer
48,323
Adam Feinberg
ANCHOR ASSOCIATES - Manhattan, NY
NYC Condo, Co-op, and Townhouse specialist

Open Houses can be very beneficial (though I can understand why many agents don't like them)- though like anything, it is crucial to understand the risks.

Sep 05, 2016 08:14 AM #57
Rainmaker
1,375,508
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

Kevin B. Tolbert PA Team Keller Williams Realty of Port St Lucie - Ouch! Listing agents need to speak negatively of a listing in one circumstance - when talking to seller!

Sep 07, 2016 03:27 AM #58
Rainmaker
3,678,319
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

What immediately came to my mind is what seller will keep $150K of jewelry in a place where people could find and take it when doing an open house?

Sep 07, 2016 09:42 PM #59
Rainmaker
1,664,656
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Hi Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC , I agree with you.  The Seller needs to be notified to hide valuables.  I have taken buyers to show them another agents listing and have seen money laying out in the open.  no sense inviting trouble.

Sep 08, 2016 11:45 AM #60
Rainmaker
2,256,113
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

My first thought is WHY would the sellers leave anything valuable out Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC  ? The blame may be in the listing agent not telling his seller to remove or lock up valuables. Second, when i have a high end home, i have at least 1 other agent with me. For safety of me, the home and keeping some sort of eye out too. It is another reason why an open house is not for all properties. 

Sep 12, 2016 12:58 AM #61
Rainmaker
1,375,508
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

Gabe Sanders - And my second thought was...where do I get listings with people who have that much stuff!

Sep 14, 2016 01:02 AM #62
Ambassador
3,107,282
Debbie Reynolds
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty, Your Clarksville Real Estate Professional - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Sellers need to realize to not have valuables out. Lock them up or take them offsite. Not doing so is just wrong and the agent should make it mandatory befroe any showings take place.

Sep 22, 2016 01:01 AM #63
Rainmaker
1,291,656
Lise Howe
Long and Foster - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

I remind sellers to put away jewelry, silver, medications, weapons, and anything else that is easily portable.  I also ask my sellers to put away the kitchen knives so they are not out on the countertop. 

Jul 11, 2017 06:05 AM #64
Rainmaker
1,375,508
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

Lise Howe - I would add a suggestion to lock away personal papers and documents just because of the potential for identity theft.  Thanks...Have a wonderful DC day!

Jul 12, 2017 10:41 AM #65
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