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MD Realtor found shot dead in vacant home

Real Estate Agent with Tarver Realty Group

It goes to to show that you can't be too careful these days.  According to the news yesterday a Realtor was found shot in the basement of a vacant new home that had been on the market for about a month.  The Builder who and come to the house on Friday found him there. They think he was shot on Thursday. Their was no sign of a break in and no sign of the Realtors car.

Apparently the Realtor was there to preview the home and since their was no sign of a break in one can assume that he didn't lock the front door when he went it.  I have done this on numerous occasions when I go preview a home.  My reasoning has always been that if there is a squatter or someone lurking in the home I can get out without fumbling for a key.  I may have to re-think this analogy or stop previewing vacant homes. 

You never know who is watching you when you go to a home. Years ago I left my purse in the floor of my car when I went into a home to show it.  My door was locked but some one was watching and probably saw I did not have a purse. They broke the window and stole my purse quicker than I could get to the front door of the house.

As Realtors we are vulnerable targets for criminal undertakings and we must strive to keep safety in the forefront of our minds as we work in and with the public. 

Lillianne Echevarria
Your Pad | Real Estate Services - Roanoke, TX
Scary! There was a similar incident in Texas not so long ago
May 26, 2007 12:45 PM
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

So true, you can never be too careful anywhere,anytime.  I've always be a bit concerned with Open House sitting particularly when it is out away from other homes, people, neighbors. 

Patricia Aulson/Hampton NH/ME/MA

May 26, 2007 01:01 PM
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate
We can never be too careful. I never even considered squatters. I always lock the door behind me.
May 26, 2007 01:13 PM
Endea Thibodeaux
Tarver Realty Group - Washington, DC

Yeah Lisa,

I went into a home and a man was squatting in the house.  He scared me to death because he was in the basement.  He had been coming in sleeping there through a back door! Fortunately he did not want to harm my client and I he just needed a place to sleep.

May 26, 2007 01:21 PM
Beth Bastian
Rosemont Financial Inc - Simi Valley, CA
Simi Valley Real Estate
Wow, I try to never preview alone.  I have never thought of the purse thing, I almost always leave it in the car.
May 26, 2007 01:30 PM
Endea Thibodeaux
Tarver Realty Group - Washington, DC


The best thing to do with your purse is to put it in the trunk of your car before you go out on your appointment.  I wouldn't do it once I got to a house because you never know who is watching.

May 26, 2007 02:32 PM
Joddie Roberts
Mountain Real Estate and Property Management - Spokane, WA
Your Spokane Realtor - Spokane, WA
Wow...thanks for the reminder.  I know my husband worries about my safety and I usually brush everything off...you just never think it will happen to you.
May 28, 2007 05:42 AM
Jacqulyn Richey
Prominent Realty Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate
Every agent's worse fear. I've included it here: http://activerain.com/blogsview/109897/The-Best-Posts-Never Everyone needs to read this. -Charles
May 28, 2007 11:44 AM
Endea Thibodeaux
Lanham, MD
Solar Energy Consultant, CDPE, CLHMS

Yes Joddie,

Imagine just getting up on Thursday going to preview a home for your client and that is it.  Your last day. We all have to be very careful.  I love my job but I don't want to die while preforming a simple task.

May 28, 2007 11:47 AM
John Evarts
Classic Property Management of Santa Clarita - Santa Clarita, CA
Yikes. Haven't heard one that bad in a long time. It's tough, but we do need to be aware of our surroundings.
May 29, 2007 08:31 AM
Portland Oregon Real Estate | Alecia Barnes - Broker
Portland, OR
What a scary thing, I have to remember to keep my wits about me when I am showing homes, fortunately my husband likes to "chaperone"
Jul 03, 2007 05:36 AM
Bonnie Barbieri
Remax Marketing Specialists - Spring Hill, FL
I have a partner and we almost always go together when we are showing homes.  We usually never invite the customer to ride with us.  I left my purse in my floorboard today while showing houses.  I am usually very careful being from Houston.  Now I live in a much smaller town but there is crime here.  We have to let someone in our office know exactly where we are.  Have the receptionist check in with you by phone.  It is scary out there.
Jul 06, 2007 04:34 PM
Jaynee Acevedo
Capital Style Home Staging - Kensington, MD
Capital Style Home Staging

Incredible! and just another indication that anything can happen any where.  As a stager, I wondered why I frequently observed two realtors at Sunday open houses, especially among females.  This helps to explain why. 

In Staging, we're encouraged to go everywhere with a "buddy", which is clearly not always practical.  Food, however, for thought.

Anyone know in which community this terrible crime occured?

Jul 18, 2007 03:15 AM
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

 Thanks for the reminder...we can never be too careful when it comes to our safety.


Oct 27, 2007 01:13 PM
Steven Dean
Compass Real Estate | 202.545.6900 - Washington, DC

Whenever showing a property, be sure to lock the door behind you. Make sure the client is walking in front of you. Most importantly, do not meet strangers at a property alone. The chance of a commission is not worth your life.

I think it's also wise to not meet buyers who haven't gone through a pre-approval process with a lender. If someone has provided that much information to a lender, they are less likely to kill me (at least that's my thinking).

Be sure to let people know where you are showing, and have an emergency call such as calling your office and saying "I'm at 123 Main Street, and I forget the listing printout. Could you check the blue file folder for me?" Have a code phrase that indicates a distress call.

Jan 14, 2008 11:26 PM