2 REALTORS murdered in Ohio - Alert to All On Staying Safe

Real Estate Agent with www.LorainCountyHomeSales.com

Two prominent Northeast Ohio REALTORS were murdered in separate incidents recently, that are currently under investigation. Plus there was another incident that involved yet another Youngstown REALTOR that was held at gunpoint by three males for over an hour. Hard to believe there are those out there wanting to cause great harm to us - including death.

With deep sadness, below are the names of those murdered: 

Andrew J. VonStein, with Cutler Real Estate Ravenna Office, was found dead inside a vacant property listed for sale in Portage County. According to news reports, the Portage County Sherriff's Office has ruled the death a homicide and is undergoing an extensive investigation.

Vivian Martin, broker-owner of Essence Realty from Youngstown and a member of the Youngstown Columbiana Association of REALTORS was also the victim of a violent homicide, where she was strangled and then the home set on fire. This case is also under investigation.

If you would like to read the one of the news articles, here is a link: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-09-22-real-estate-agents-ohio_N.htm

Please use great caution and stay alert when showing properties, especially vacant homes or those in private, secluded areas. Safety first!

Information on safety measures specifically for REALTORS can be found on NAR's site at http://www.realtor.org/about_nar/safety.

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Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

This is tragic and is definitely a reason to always always always prequalify all new clients at your office...and not meet on site.

Sep 24, 2010 04:22 AM #1
Christine Hooks
Pino Agency - Pennsville, NJ
Celebrating 25 Years in Real Estate!

I am so sorry to hear this news, Carla.  I'll provide the link from NAR to my entire office.  We can all learn from these tragedies.

Sep 24, 2010 04:48 AM #2
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Carla, This is horrifying information and a reminder to all of us that we must not meet new clients out at vacant properties.  We have to be so careful.  Thanks for the posting.

Sep 24, 2010 04:50 AM #3
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Carla, yes very tragic and unfortunately we can be easy targets at times.  In our state we are allowed to get concealed weapons permits and the bad guys know it...sad but I think it saves lives.

Sep 25, 2010 04:45 PM #4
Joshua Zargari
MJ Decorators Workshop LI staging and home decorating - Lynbrook, NY
MJ Decorators Workshop

Very tragic...

Sep 26, 2010 12:48 PM #5
Kathy Fisher
Parker Properties - Decatur, TX
Realtor Wise County Texas

We need to ALWAYS be aware of our surroundings!! IF IT DOESN'T FEEL RIGHT, DON'T DO IT or GO THERE! Our gut instinct is a God Given thing to protect ourselves. I know a lot of us (Realtors) are "hungry" but NOTHING is more important than your life. If the hairs on the back of your neck stand up or you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach, LEAVE - get away from there as quickly as you can or try to dial for help.

BE SAFE OUT THERE ALL! God Bless and may HE keep us all safe. Happy & SAFE SELL'ng out there.

Sep 28, 2010 02:53 PM #6
Carla Harbert
www.LorainCountyHomeSales.com - Avon, OH
RE/MAX Omega: Lorain-Medina County Area

Mike, that is a great idea - to meet new clients at the office first.

Thanks Chris, for being pro-active and reminding your office in regards to safety first.

Yes, Sandy, very horrifying indeed. Nothing we ever want to face in our lifetime!

Oct 05, 2010 09:02 AM #7
Carla Harbert
www.LorainCountyHomeSales.com - Avon, OH
RE/MAX Omega: Lorain-Medina County Area

Nick, we are a concealed carry state, also - but not many take the courses or want to handle a firearm. I will admit to having a concealed carry permit & learned to handle a gun early on, quite well since I was married to an avid hunter & three boys back in Oklahoma, living on an acreage that had many snakes that our pond attracted. I just find it difficult to understand, that there are those out there - crazy enough to torture someone and take a life. Scary. And we, being out in the public, seem to be easy targets.

Thanks for commenting also, Joshua. Very tragic, indeed.


Oct 05, 2010 09:09 AM #8
Carla Harbert
www.LorainCountyHomeSales.com - Avon, OH
RE/MAX Omega: Lorain-Medina County Area

Oh Kathy, you are EVER so right - trust your instincts absolutely!!

Oct 05, 2010 09:10 AM #9
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

We do have to think and plan an exit plan while at the same time making sure we know who we are meeting at these homes. Never go out and show a home to someone you haven't met at the office first.

Oct 20, 2010 07:51 AM #10
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Carla Harbert

RE/MAX Omega: Lorain-Medina County Area
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