Did you secure the home for the safety of the next agent

Real Estate Agent with Central Arizona Realty

Dear last agent,

When you left that vacant home, did you check to make sure it was secure for the next agent walking in?

We have all heard of the horrible situates that are happening to agents at Open House, or in vacant homes.  I recently previewed a vacant REO home for a client.  This is my story

I arrived to preview a vacant REO home in my neighborhood for a client.  I pulled up, looked around to make sure no one was lurking around.  I did notice a lot of contruction noise behind the house, and thought about how loud it was, and hope they were almost done with building those two homes.  My client would not like that noise for very long.

I get the key from the lockbox, go to the front door, look around again to make sure no one was coming up the walk.  I ring the door bell, listen for noise, turn the key and walk-in  I call out, "HELLO ANYONE HERE", and stop again listening to any sounds of movement.  Again, silence, so I lock the door behind me.  I am SAFE, no one here,

Immediately I know my buyer will not be interested in the home, too much work to be done.  But since I am here, I will finish viewing the home just for future knowledge.  I walk toward the kitchen and notice two sliding glass doors, one in the family room and one in the kitchen.  While standing in the kitchen, with my back to the sliding glass door, I can really hear the noise of the contruction behind me.  I turn to look into the backyard, at the direction of the noise and notice the sliding glass door was completely open.  Not just partially open, half way opened, but all the way to the other end open.

Then panic runs thru my body, I immediately bolted to the backyard and out of the house.  I stood there wondering if someone was in the house, hiding in a closet or shower.  I locked the front door, and with the noise of the construction, would anyone have heard my screams.  I took a moment to gather my witts, and think about what to do next.

Since I had my pepper spray and gun drawn (which my husband insists I take with me everytime I preview homes alone), and my concern for the safety of myself and the next agent.  I decided to clear the house.  I was extremely careful as I moved through this large home.  Finding most of the windows upstairs opened, and the door to the garage also unlocked.  I was appalled at how unsafe this home was for any agent, male or female. 

After securing the home and locking every window and door, I left the home.  When I got back to my truck, and my hands stopped shaking.  I called the listing agent and informed her of what I walked into.  I also asked her to find out who the last agent was who entered that home. (since we have eletronic lockboxes, we know who that was).  And file a complaint and inform the agent and their broker regarding the situation.

There are no excuses or acceptable reason for leaving any home, vacant or occupied in that way.  I have always double checked every door before leaving.  I also ask my clients, do not open any windows


Comments (2)

Ronald DiLalla
Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824 - Anaheim, CA
No. Orange Cty Real Estate

Hi Cindy,,,,there is not enough room for all the crazy things that I have run into when entering a home to preview...tlhanks for sharing some of your tips.

Feb 17, 2012 01:49 AM
Shelby DiBiase
REMAX Professionals - Phoenix, AZ
Investing In Your Future

This is scary, specially for women. You never know what -or who- you are going to walk into in a situation like this. We have had this happen too in homes we have listed and as a reminder we post signs that ask the agents if they made sure they turn off all lights, secure doors and windows, etc.. You can never be too careful these days. I'm glad you carry protection!

Feb 17, 2012 02:01 AM