Secure Your Valuables When Selling a House. This is a story of first hand experience in selling a home by a real estate agent and home stager.
A Featured Post by Patricia Feager last week about securing prescription drugs- her post and comments to me, suggested I should share this is advice from my own experience. In our own home, the listing shared with a colleague.
It was a beautiful Spring Sunday years ago... and the first visitors to the Open House, a middle aged man and his "college aged son" came in to take a look and tell the Wife and Mom if it was worth her coming over. Pleasant guys. Dad went through quickly and came to "talk specifics". While Jr., sporadically would go off to double check some item of interest or concern. Maybe 20 minutes was the length of time in the house. Off they went and Mom would be coming by before the close of the day. It may just what she would approve.
The next morning the phone started ringing at 8 AM, we were being notified by banks that credit cards not being used in years (and in a rubber band which had been in the back of huge desk drawer), were being used for at various purchases the next day. Probably triggered them to call us when there was a $6.39 charge for a burger drive-thru. This had to be young man, surely the "Dad" knew that rubber bands on cards would mean you will be blocked from using them pretty darn quick.
They stole a watch a pen and other valuable items "in the back of the desk drawer". As since that was also the beginning of my Home Staging career, I learned I wasn't explicit enough with instructions "to the client" to secure valuables.
Out of the house is best for these kind of things. The sock drawer is not a great hiding place for the Rolex. These teams are quick and go for the most obvious places. They move on in a few minutes I would assume, if the first obvious place doesn't produce a reward. So in 20-30 minutes, they can clean you out. Thank goodness I had known how good my advice was, Ha Ha... All that I cherished was out of the house. Credit cards, well I had all my personal ones on me.
We reported the theft to the police. Along with our fellow agent we had provided very detailed descriptions of the perpetrators and their scheme. We then spread the word by sending emails to our state and local REALTOR Associations and fellow agents in our databases as well.
Well, an agent in VA held an Open House the next weekend and she had received the email with the scam description. She was visited by the perpetrators of our misfortune. She went along with the question and answer time, and soon the police cars filled the street in front of the house. She had slipped in a call to 911 and they were caught in the house!
All of the items stolen from our house were recovered and at the completion of the investigation and their conviction, the items were returned to us.
So please all agents, if this happens to you/your client, let every broker know. Send an email to the MLS and REALTOR Associations in your area and beyond. Help keep us safe and our clients.
Hire a Home Stager, they can help!