People smarts and REAL ESTATE. Choose safe over sorry.

Real Estate Agent with Thompson Company, REALTORS® MD594797

Earlier this year I received an inquiry from potential buyers who had just begun the process. They had researched online for a Silver Spring, MD area REALTOR® who is experienced working with First Time Maryland Home Buyers, and were ready to start house hunting. Fantastic! I love working with first time buyers - these transactions are extra special to me. These buyers ended up not hiring me, or rather, I declined working with them. You see, they refused to meet with me in a public place for our first meet'n'greet. I suggested a coffee shop, a restaurant, even IKEA (for convenience sake, plus, it's a great resource for soon-to-be-first-time-home-owners). They wanted to just hurry up and go see the first house on their list, which happened to be a vacant property. Thanks, I'll pass. 

Just a few days ago I received a text from a local number that I did not recognize (fellow Maryland REALTOR® peeps, please be aware!):


Realtor Safety Month. And consumers, too.

Sounds intriguing, doesn't it, and legit?! It wasn't. Normally, I would have stopped what I was doing (unless with a client of course) and responded right away, ready to provide info, resources, make a plan. Not in this case though, since this text had a few gigantic red flags waving all over the place... I've known the person who supposedly sent this text for more than half my life. We frequently interact on Facebook. I had just seen her posts that morning. She is not local to Maryland. She does not have a number that starts with 443. And she also knows that I am still very much selling Real Estate in Silver Spring, MD and beyond. 15 years now and counting. No need to ask. I quickly contacted her and shared a screen-shot with her... ooof. This is creepy AF. was her response. Yes! Yes it is! 

During this year's Spring-selling season I received a bunch of frantic texts from one of my sellers. I immediately knew that something was not right. We had just put her home on the market. My showing instructions in the MLS were very clear: shown by appointment only, please schedule online via ShowingTime which alerts my client(s) and myself with a text message. It's the best and safest way to set up showings in my opinion. I also only use electronic lock boxes by the way, which require an access key, or code which I have to generate, provided my client gave written permission to do so first. For that morning, we had not received a showing request text, nor had I received a call from another REALTOR®. My client responded to a knock on the door where a male person claimed to be a Real Estate agent and demanded access. He couldn't produce a business card nor did he have a key card for the lockbox. My client refused him entry, slammed the door shut, and contacted me instead. 

The above are just 3 examples of stranger danger that I wanted to share in light of REALTOR® safety month. People smarts are so important for REALTORS®, and for sellers and buyers, too! I talk to all my clients about safety issues and procedures, and scams they should be aware of. When in doubt, please choose safe over sorry!

If it's a real buyer who wants to see your property, the proper arrangements will be made. If the title company needs to make changes to wiring instructions or amounts, they won't just contact you, privately, from a different email address, and demand you wire money somewhere else. If a duly licensed and professional REALTOR® comes knocking on your door, he/she will have no problem identifying him/herself to you. 

When in doubt, please choose safe over sorry! Contact your REALTOR®. Or call the title company. Or reach out to your loan officer. We've got you. 

Please know that we'll do the same. We'll choose a public place or our office for a first meeting. We'll ask for ID or loan approval letters. We won't hold an open house in a remote location by ourselves. Please know that we don't do that to annoy you, or because we don't like you, but because we choose safe over sorry, or getting hurt, or worse. 

September is REALTOR® Safety Month - which ought to include buyers and sellers, too. 

Let's all be people smart in Real Estate! Are you in?

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Thompson Company, REALTORS

16910 Oak Hill Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20905
o: (301) 384-9177 c: (240)593-2860

Andrea is a REALTOR® based in Silver Spring, MD, who has enjoyed assisting buyers and sellers in Montgomery and Howard County, MD (and beyond) for 16+ years now. She always answers the phone with a smile, enjoys running, hiking, and traveling, speaks German, reads a lot, blogs a little, and drinks too much coffee. 


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 Andrea Bedard, Thompson Company, REALTORS: from Just Listed to Just SOLD


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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lynn B. Friedman 09/21/2019 11:50 PM
Real Estate General Information
1st Time Buyers
Advice for Buyers
Advice for Sellers
Diary of a Realtor
realtor safetey month
september 2019 realty safety
real estate scams
protecting the real estate client
people smarts and real estate
choose safe over sorry

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Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

Andrea Bedard  - This is a wonderful post especially for new agents who get excited about a new "client" that shows up out of the blue. Check them out, meet them in a public place, and if they sound too good to be true, well...  And, yes, we need to protect our clients as well.  Set rules for showings and follow them.

Sep 20, 2019 10:45 PM #1
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Andrea Bedard - those are really good examples to share and some agents or sellers might be fooled by these tricks.

Sep 21, 2019 04:41 AM #2
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Andrea Bedard ,

So glad to see this post featured! Excellent examples of how sellers and agents can run into a scam! Safety has to come first! No possible sale or commission check is worth putting yourself in danger.

Sep 21, 2019 05:41 AM #3
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Great reminder of several things to be wary of. We can never be too careful. And good for you for saying "NO" to the request to see the vacant home.

Sep 21, 2019 06:54 AM #4
Sharon Miller
RE/MAX Platinum - Crane Hill, AL


GREAT POST! Times are a changing........requiring realtors, like many others, to reassess their procedures and practices as it relates to safety. I quit doing open houses decades ago (market lakefront property exclusively in a remote area) for the very reasons you mention.

Sep 21, 2019 07:12 AM #5
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Great stuff, Andrea. You cannot be too safe in this business, and if it doesn't sound or look right, it probably isn't. Good for you for being wise.

Sep 21, 2019 09:10 AM #6
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Great post Andrea! One can never be too careful. I do think it is worse for women than men! I must admit that I will meet first time clients at a listing. I do think because we are a rural area we get much less trolling

Sep 21, 2019 11:24 AM #7
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Andrea- it's too bad that we have to operate like this but these days you can't be too safe. 

Sep 21, 2019 01:07 PM #8
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

Safety is unfortunaely...a MUST be concern these days in our profession.

Sep 22, 2019 03:05 AM #9
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

A great post and I hope all new agents take it to heart.  I always discuss the showing process with sellers and they know all agents showing the property will have an appointment the homeowner has confirmed,  And, they will all access the lockbox so I have a record of their entry.  Also, they are instructed to NEVER let someone in without an appointment.  No one has to see the house immediately.  My number is on the sign and I will ensure properly vetted buyers may see the home.  No one has to see a house "immediately".  Safety first! (and common sense)

Sep 22, 2019 06:49 AM #10
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

You are being smart, smart.  Good for you!  The number of scams out there of every stripe is unbelievable!

These are the kinds of people who need to "give back."  Never mind the "rich," or whomever, people think should give back.  Those who take advantage of others should (name your low life or predator), and I'm thinking something like paving highways in Arizona during summer.

Again, good for you!

Sep 22, 2019 03:06 PM #11
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Oh, my... I tend not to think about it, but on second thought... not sure anymore

Sep 22, 2019 07:19 PM #12
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

This is one of the cases in which safe is definitely great! There’s something Intuitive about it.

Sep 22, 2019 10:01 PM #13
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Andrea is a human flash-light shedding her light on this subject

Sep 23, 2019 07:10 AM #16
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Andrea:

I'm glad to see this featured, given the examples you've provided, and the advice your shared about being smart and safe. There are plenty of scammers out there, and worse.


Sep 23, 2019 05:43 PM #17
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Thank you all for your comments, and for taken a moment to reflect on your own safety precautions & procedures. We really must do so regularly, and listen to our gut. In case you haven't heard about the open house attack in CA, here's the link. Thank goodness the agent paid attention and refused to go back inside! 

Sep 24, 2019 11:04 AM #19
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Oh gosh, a startling post!  I get strange stuff more and more via FB or texts that I know are just bogus junk.  Ugh--that will continue.

Sep 24, 2019 01:46 PM #20
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Very eye-opening examples of what we should aware of every day in this business.  Thanks for the reminders.

Sep 24, 2019 04:28 PM #21
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Andrea Bedard

M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond
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