FSBO steals my Open House Signs under my nose..

Real Estate Agent with Optimar International Realty

It doesn`t get any better than this! I`m doing an Open House yesterday between 12:00PM-4:00PM and everything is going well. I have 10 Open House signs  placed within a 1/4 mile radius, our Open House is in the front of the home. All bases are covered, we`re prepared and ready for some traffic.  

Well, that`s not the case. Around 1:00 an associate of my calls on the phone and proceeds to tell me that it appears that our A frame metal signs have been placed around another home and it looks like it`s a FSBO!     She gives me the address, I slowly count to 10~ and screeeeaaammm! I`m beyond ticked off, this isn`t the first time, this has happened to me!  

It seems that it`s "Open Season on Open House Signs" in South Florida! With that I proceed to drive in my car, to reclaim my property. When I arrive GOLLY GEE, there they are! I knock on the door, and the FSBO greets me with a SH&T Eating grin, "Hello, welcome to our beautiful home,please come in" they say!     I decide to to play it coy! I immediately ask " I noticed the Open House Sign outside" is this home listed with a Realtor? They tell me NO, That's when I attack! I begin to blow up "I know you`re not dealing with a Realtor, I yell, the reason is that the DAMN SIGNS you just stole are mine! HOW DARE YOU!?!?!". The hubby starts telling me that he didn`t realize those signs belonged to anyone, they were on the ground!    

Now, my heart starts running and I`m off to the races " LOOK, IF YOU~RE TOO CHEAP TO BUY YOUR OWN SIGNS,DON~T LIE ABOUT WHERE YOU FOUND THESE".. With that I proceed to grab my signs and get in my car!

The wifie now starts Yelling at me "HEY, WE NEED THESE SIGNS,LEAVE THEM ALONE AND GET OFF MY PROPERTY BEFORE I CALL LA POLICIA!" I can`t help myself except now laugh..     I tell the WIFIE in my best Spanish "GO AHEAD, YOU~VE STOLEN PRIVATE PROPERTY,I~LL MAKE SURE TO PRESS CHARGES ON YOU BOTH!!!"......... How is it possible that people can think this way?

Comments (28)

Mitchell J Hall
Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn
IT makes sense. They are to cheap to hire a REALTOR, of course they will be to cheap to buy their own signs.
Aug 27, 2006 03:36 AM
Karen Hurst
Rhode Island Waterfront!
Obviiously they do see the value in hiring a Realtor! They must have thought your signs looked pretty good! It's amazing what people will do nowadays. Kind of makes it hard to keep ethical with that kind of thing going on. Just keep smiling!!! It's just another experience. (At the very least you should get some points for the blog)haha. Karen
Aug 27, 2006 04:45 AM
Edward Mehnert
Las Vegas, NV
I like how you knocked on their door.  The site is hilarious.  Anytime I talk to a FSBO, or I get a commission objection, I always ask, Mr and Mrs. Seller what do you for a living?  Do you think someone could just do that themselves or shoudl they hire you a professional?
Aug 27, 2006 05:32 AM
Gary De Pury, ESQ.
Bay Vista Realty - Land O Lakes, FL

This one time...at Realtor Camp....

OK when I was in college, we all got pretty toasted one night and stole Realtor signs from all over the town and put them all on one block except for my buddies house.  He had just moved in.  Imagine waking up in your new neighborhood and walking out to get the paper and every house on the block is for sale.....

Not really, just one of those Urban Legends. 


As for the FSBO, I wonder if they would try to steal your client...Hmmm

Aug 27, 2006 06:05 AM
Karen Hurst
Rhode Island Waterfront!
Gary, That was great. My girlfriend and I did the same thing years ago at her boyfriends house. (His mom was upset) It took us all night in the pouring rain to get those signs out of the ground. And we brought them all back after.Of course, that was before (many years before) I was a Realtor!
Aug 27, 2006 06:14 AM
Christopher H
REAL ESTATE - Shelby Township, MI

Seriously, what were these people thinking.  I love hearing these crazy stories.  We all have them, so please share. 

Aug 27, 2006 06:24 AM
Sherri Berry
Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro - Murfreesboro, TN
Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate
Unbelievable.  I cannot imagine the guts that someone must have to do something that tacky.  I'm glad you confronted them.  I wouldn't have asked for their listing because I wouldn't want to work for anyone like that!
Aug 27, 2006 06:54 AM
Christopher Smith
TREGO REALTY - Cedar Rapids, IA
Erika, they obviously know a good marketing tool when they steal it, ... I mean... see it!!!
Aug 27, 2006 07:14 AM
Donna Quanrud
Coldwell Banker Burnet - Eden Prairie, MN
Donna Quanrud Southwest Metro Homes

We have tent style open house signs with the agent name in peel off letters.  I started putting my name in permanent marker on the inside after people were stealing them and using them for their garage sale signs.  Don't people realize that signs aren't free?  Somebody had to pay for them.

Aug 27, 2006 07:44 AM
Scott Daniels Florida Real Estate 2.0. Agents Earn 100% Commission.
Florida List For Less Realty, Inc. Broker/Owner. - Cooper City, FL

People think we as realtors should be doing them a Public Service.

I did an Open House two months ago, a FSBO down the street walks in tells me that she`s having an Open House as well and could I send people to her? I asked if she would compensate with a commission. She bluntly told me "NO" got mad and walked away... 

Aug 27, 2006 08:03 AM
Brian Brady
San Diego VA Home Loans/858-777-9751 - San Diego, CA

This is priceless!  You have clearly had the second shot fired across your bow and that, Erika, is clearly a sign of aggression.  So what does that mean?  It's war, baby!  Remember, war is hell but the objective is to decimate your enemy. 

Here's the battleplan (it may cost a bit of money but I think it's worth it):

1- Place an advertisement in the paper for "no quals" or "owner will carry for the right deal".  Ask all of the calls (and you'll be swamped with them) to show up at your open house next week.  When the clients with existing BKs, humungous judgements, consistent foreclosures on the credit show up, take their name and number (I'll see if I can do something for them; I'm licensed in Fla.), show them your house, and schedule an appointment in your office for them later that week, Now, here's the best part...

Do what that obnoxious lady wants you to do...

SEND them to her house! 

Aug 27, 2006 09:41 AM
Jonathan Greene
Team Greene Realty - Tampa, FL

Hey....I'm a member of Mensa....jk

Looks like people really love you blogs.  Keep up the good work.

Aug 27, 2006 09:48 AM
Colleen Irwin
Retired - Irondequoit, NY
Creative Real Estate Solutions...
Sorry to hear about the signs, but you have helped me...  I read your BLOG after doing an open house and having two of my 5 signs stolen today....   I am not sure who stole them, but my name is on them in permanent marker and I will be watching and checking signs in the neighborhood for them....  And you have provided me with the script to confront them when I do...  
Aug 27, 2006 10:19 AM
Erika Cannet
Optimar International Realty - Hollywood, FL


Amazing!What are people thinking when they steal our signs?

Aug 27, 2006 11:17 AM
Colleen Irwin
Retired - Irondequoit, NY
Creative Real Estate Solutions...
I guess they believe we can afford to provide them for them...  I would be happy to give one to an FSBO if they called and asked me.  
Aug 27, 2006 11:29 AM
Omar Camejo
Florida List For Less Realty,Inc. - Ocala, FL
Next time someone steals a sign I will send them an invoice....:)
Aug 27, 2006 11:41 AM
Gary De Pury, ESQ.
Bay Vista Realty - Land O Lakes, FL

I am going to have signs printed up that say This sign is Stolen.



Ummm...... Grapes

Aug 27, 2006 05:03 PM
Scott Gormley
Oak Valley Mortgage-California Home Loans and Refinancing - Chico, CA

Thanks for my nightly humor :)


Aug 27, 2006 06:30 PM
Adam Dalton
Century 21 M&M and Associates - Turlock Real Estate - Turlock, CA
Realtor - Turlock Homes
I got a good laugh, thanks!  Did you sell the house you were holding open at least?
Aug 28, 2006 11:10 AM
Crystal Pina
774.289.5521 - Worcester, MA
Remax Professional Associates

I know this is an old post, but that is just too funny. I'm laughing so hard right now. I'm sorry it happened to you.

Oct 24, 2010 01:48 AM