Local Cleveland-Akron REALTOR Found Dead inside Vacant Home For Sale

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Olsen Ziegler Realty

It is with great sadness that I read an artlcle this morning that a Greater Cleveland-Akron REALTOR, Andrew VonStein, was found dead in a vacant home he was selling yesterday.

My heart goes out to the VonStein family, as well everyone who knew Andrew.

The Portage County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death as a homicide.

Andrew VonStein was an accomplished, long-time REALTOR and was active on on many local boards, charities and his local association, including serving as president of many of these institutions.

Please review the NAR's REALTOR Safety page.

Jane Peters on ActiveRain recently wrote a post about MyMoby.com as an additional safety tool for smart phones. I am installing MyMoby.com on my phone as just one of many safety practices I implement.

Please pass this post along to all your colleagues.

9/24/10 Update: The Portage County Sheriff's Office has stated this death is a homicide and is pursuing a person of interest.

If this were not tragic enough, there was a strangulation and murder of another prominent real estate agent, Vivian Martin, in the Youngstown, Ohio area ealier this week.  The home where the crime occurred was also set on fire.  An arrest of two brothers in this Youngstown murder case occurred yesterday.

It appears the two crimes are not related.

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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Topic:
Real Estate General Information
Location:
Ohio Portage County
Groups:
Realtors®
Certified Residential Specialists
Cuyahoga County Ohio Real Estate
Cleveland Ohio Real Estate
Best Business Practices
Tags:
realtor safety
cleveland akron realtor found dead inside vacant home

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Rainmaker
97,985
Andrea Curtis United Country Premier Properties Certified Military Relocation Professional
United CountryPremier Properties - Harker Heights, TX
U C INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR OF MILITARY PROPERTIES

How vary sad.  No matter how many safety precautions we take we will always take a chance when we go out.  I am going to click over and read Jane Peter blog...you can never have too much safety info. 

Sep 22, 2010 02:53 AM #1
Rainer
58,719
Moby
Moby - Santa Monica, CA

Chris,

This post is one of those heart-breaking reminders that we cannot take our safety granted. We urge all Realtor’s to take a few moments a day to ensure they are taking every safety precaution they can, whether it is reviewing safety tips or implementing a safety plan during their showings.

Our thoughts go out to VonStein’s family and friends.

 

Sep 22, 2010 05:20 AM #2
Ambassador
3,745,798
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Chris, many Realtors do not take the necessary steps that they need to insure their safety.  There are a lot of nuts out there and Realtors leave themselves open to this sort of thing all the time.  I for one am surprised that we don't read about more stories like this.

Sep 22, 2010 08:16 AM #3
Rainmaker
394,850
Elizabeth Cooper-Golden
Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group) - Huntsville, AL
Huntsville AL MLS

Chris, This is so very very sad....my thoughts and prayers go out to VonSteins family and friends as well.  What a sad day.

Sep 22, 2010 12:37 PM #4
Rainmaker
1,218,679
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Chris:  I am "suggesting" this post so it gets the attention this important topic deserves.  Agents (and lenders too) need to always keep in mind the safety precautions that should protect us when meeting clients alone.  You do well to bring this tragedy to light.  We can never be too cautious ... or let our guard down.

Gene

Sep 22, 2010 06:26 PM #5
Rainmaker
3,766,164
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Chris,

What a sad day for the VonSteins family and friends. I'm so sorry to hear this could happen and thank you to remember to be careful as we conduct our business. The NAR's Realty Safety Page is one we should all read over again. As Gene says we can never be too cautious..or let our guard down!

Sep 23, 2010 12:32 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,218,679
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Chris:  I was remiss in not mentioning this within my previous comment ... but I re-blogged this post as well.  Just thought it was very important to make as many aware as possible.  Thank you for taking the time to post ...

Gene

Sep 23, 2010 02:21 AM #7
Rainmaker
427,439
Leslie Ebersole
Swanepoel T3 Group - Saint Charles, IL
I help brokers build businesses they love.

I suggested this, too. All the dry statistics and lists of rules don't have the same impact as a tragedy. What a horrible thing for this man's family. We can pray for them and hope we can learn from their terrible loss.

Sep 23, 2010 05:49 AM #8
Rainmaker
354,783
Damon Gettier
Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert - Roanoke, VA
Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE

It seems there are always a couple every year.  It is sad to say the least.  This is why I always carry when I show. 

Sep 23, 2010 06:24 AM #9
Rainmaker
626,517
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Chris, I'm so sorry to hear this news.  My heart goes out to his family, to the entire real estate community and to you. It is very sad news indeed.

Sep 23, 2010 03:08 PM #10
Rainmaker
563,837
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Everyone -- Words can't describe the loss of a loved one.  So tragic.  I hope the authorities catch the perpetrator(s) of this crime very soon.

Sep 24, 2010 10:15 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,476,779
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

I don't know about MyMoby.com I will have to read Jane's post. 

I saw it in Facebook first from Dawn M.  I was reading some of the updates last night.  I am so sorry for both his family and the family of the Youngstown agent.  What a loss.

The person of interest was a past client?  He lured Mr. VonStein to a vacant house posing as a buyer?

Sep 25, 2010 01:39 AM #12
Rainmaker
563,837
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Maureen -- I have read this person of interest had a land contract and subsequent foreclosure in the past several years in Ravenna Township, but as of now, according to the news, there is no connection that Andy VonStein had any connection to this real estate transaction.  I can't answer your last question.  I don't think the details have emerged yet.

Sep 25, 2010 03:48 AM #13
Rainmaker
1,476,779
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Really Fox 8 News says: "FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio - The Portage County real estate agent who shot to death inside a vacant house in Twin Lakes on Monday, helped arrange a land contract in 2003 for the family of his accused killer, Fox 8 News reports."

I thought reading your comment maybe the article and video on their site were just saying the brokerage was involved in the sale but it looks like they are saying the agent, not just the brokerage was involved in the transaction.  I went and reread it to see if I misunderstood it.

Sep 25, 2010 04:21 AM #14
Rainmaker
563,837
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Thanks for the update Maureen.  So sad and tragic.

Sep 25, 2010 04:35 AM #15
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Chris Olsen

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