Thieves Target Open Houses Agents Alert Sellers

By
Real Estate Agent with HomeStarr Realty RS143922A

Open House

Thieves Target Open Houses Agents Alert Sellers . Jewelry Thieves were targeting Open House in Montgomery County. Police say they posed as husband and wife looking to buy. They would find am excuse to separate and search the house . One would start to ask the agent questions while the other searched. Their target was jewelry and jewelry they did find .

Whenever I list a house I tell sellers to put their valuables in a safe place . Also they do not want to leave prescription drugs laying around especially at an Open House .It is very important not to let people wander during an Open House .I am not a fan of Open Houses 

When showing a home it is best when everyone stays together . I insist on this especially when showing a large group or a family when showing house. One group wants to go one way and the other group another way. Sometimes buyers become annoyed with me when I insist we stay together; but I am responsible when showing the home. It is not that I do not trust them it is my responsibility to do so.The sellers are in-trusting their house to me .

Police are urging everyone to lock up their valuables when having an Open House

In this Open House Alert Thieves were targeting houses for six months

before they were caught .

We as agents must also be very careful. The agents had not caught the thieves in action .

What would have happened if the agent had caught them and tried to stop them ?

Thieves Target Open Houses Agents Alert Sellers

 

for more information

 

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Pennsylvania Montgomery County Huntingdon Valley
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open houses targeted by thieves
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Ambassador
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Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Hannah it is sad when we have to do this with people but some people just take advantage of these situations.

Jan 13, 2014 08:15 AM #3
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Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Gary the report said this woman was on probation .Apparently she had done the same thing last year . You are right it is sad . Some people never learn

Jan 13, 2014 08:20 AM #4
Rainmaker
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Bobbie Smith
Stroudsburg, PA
570-242-1891

Great points Hannah. Nothing is safe any more.

Even when I list a home I advise my Sellers to pack away all valuables and any sentimental knick-knacks or memorabilia. YOu just never know anymore.

Jan 13, 2014 09:02 AM #5
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Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Bobbie I agree . My sellers sometimes worry about a lock box .I tell them as long as their valuables are secure their agents can be trusted .That is why I do not let people wander . It is so important for sellers to secure their valuable when selling their homes.

Jan 13, 2014 09:32 AM #6
Rainmaker
924,986
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

We had the same type problem around here about two years ago.

Jan 13, 2014 04:52 PM #7
Rainmaker
3,501,785
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

We don't schedule many Open Houses these days. But, when we do, Larry and I are both there, and we also may have a Mortgage Specialist with us too!

Jan 13, 2014 09:20 PM #8
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Toni Weidman
Sailwinds Realty - Trinity, FL
20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL

I am not a fan of Open Houses, Hannah, not since a friend was raped in one.

Jan 13, 2014 11:22 PM #9
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Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Debra I am wondering if these are the same people I read about last year who were dressed to the max and robbing Open Houses

Jan 13, 2014 11:33 PM #10
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Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Larry & Sheila That is smart it can be dangerous to sit an Open House by yourself You do not know who is walking in .

Jan 13, 2014 11:35 PM #11
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Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Toni  How awful ;I am not a fan either I think they are dangerous . Agents look at me and laugh when I say this as they do them every week. I think in 30 years of selling RE I sold one maybe 2 houses at an Open House .Not very good statistics . You poor friend what a horrifying experience

Jan 13, 2014 11:39 PM #12
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Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

This is horrible Hannah. It's happening here too. Because of that I do not do many open houses these days. Thanks for bringing this up and reminding the agents to alert their sellers of their valuables.

Jan 14, 2014 12:06 AM #13
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Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Noah I would rather have a quality showing from agents with qualified buyers then strangers walking through the house . This is a whole other blog post . It is best to alert sellers as the police think these thieves had accomplices that have not been caught

Jan 14, 2014 12:17 AM #14
Rainmaker
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Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert

Hannah, Excellent alert and I will suggest. I tell folks the same thing about all valuables. Thieves are everywhere and getting smarter. I do not like open houses at all. 

Jan 14, 2014 02:10 AM #15
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Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Bob  We just received another alert Via email from the Bucks County Board of Realtors to be on the lookout for suspects with a description and a phone # for a police officer to alert .I don't like Open House's either and I tell my sellers that when I list their house for sale .

Jan 14, 2014 04:12 AM #16
Rainmaker
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AJ Heidmann ~ CRS
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

Hannah - Here is the Northern Virginia area, open houses are pretty customary, and I do them frequently.  With that said, it important to maintain situational awareness of what is happening in the home and make sure that the owners have secured everything from iPods, Mont Blanc pens, prescriptions, to antique picture frames. 

The only time that I have had something taken during one of my open houses was medication, specifically oxycodone, it just takes seconds to slip a bottle pills into a pocket.

Jan 14, 2014 05:05 AM #17
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Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

AJ  That is very interesting .The police report said that it appeared the suspects were drug addicts . I do believe they were more hardcore then perscription drugs .

Open Houses are commonplace here also .I have an associate that holds Open Houses every Sunday without any problems.

Jan 14, 2014 07:42 AM #18
Rainmaker
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James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move

I know an agent who recently had someone steal an expensive watch from an open house.  Now why the seller left out the watch is a different story...

Jan 14, 2014 09:55 AM #19
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hannah

We are having some issues here and there with theft at open houses, too. I, too, talk with sellers about valuables, items of personal value, and or course ANYTHING that could allow for identify theft. Some sellers are becoming more leary of open houses because of what they read.

Jeff

Jan 14, 2014 02:03 PM #20
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Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

James That is just the point ! That is just what the alert is for to warn sellers about leaving valuables laying around .This is what thieves are looking for . Nice to see you back it has been awhile .

Jan 14, 2014 11:04 PM #21
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Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Jeff   Leary for good reason .Police have caught suspects in our area stealing $90,000 worth of jewelry at Open Houses .Now there is another Alert for another mother & daughter  team targeting Open Houses . Is it fair to conduct an Open House when we know there is danger lurking ?

Hannah

Jan 14, 2014 11:11 PM #22
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