Be Careful When Showing Vacant Property!!!!

Real Estate Agent with Labrum Real Estate

safety All of us at times get lax when it comes to our personal safety when we go about our busy days and those of us in the Real Estate Business are no different than anyone else and at times we take things for granted as after all it's just another day but we can never ignore to do the things necessary to insure our safety.

 Today an agent in my office went to show a vacant property that is bank owned (REO) and her first mistake was not letting anyone know where she was going and the second mistake was she ignored the signs in the property that someone may be living there illegally. There was food on the kitchen counters and toiletries in one bathroom that looked fresh but in her excitement to show the home she ignored them.

 Upon entering the master bedroom with her buyers she showed them the large bathroom and then proceeded to open the door to the walk in closet and lo and behold there was a homeless man hiding inside. Startled by the unexpected encounter the agent and the buyers made a hasty exit out the front door followed by the intruder who ran down the street in the opposite direction.

 Fortunately no one was hurt today with the exception of some rattled nerves so please use this as a reminder to always be prepared and put your safety first especially when showing vacant properties.


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Amanda Evans
DFW Living - Fort Worth, TX
Real Estate Broker - Fort Worth Texas

Go Go Gadget

Jul 03, 2008 02:53 PM #39
Pam Winterbauer
Pam Winterbauer Real Estate - San Ramon, CA
"Providing Blue Ribbon Service"

There are so many agents that do not consider their safety when showing homes especially the vacant ones.

Jul 03, 2008 04:52 PM #40
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

This is something we all need to be on the alert for. With so many vacant homes and people having hard times none of us can be too careful.

Jul 03, 2008 05:23 PM #41
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

What a scare wakeup.  Thank you for sharing this and hopefully making more of us take our safety seriously.

Jul 03, 2008 05:38 PM #42
Adam Waldman
Westcott Group Real Estate Company - Hauppauge, NY
Realtor - Long Island

CAMERON - Thanks for sharing this story.  Every once in a while, we need to hear these to serve as a reminder that safety is nothing to take for granted. 

Jul 03, 2008 10:10 PM #43
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

A few months ago a agent in Wisconsin was killed....the caller said he was just driving past her listing could she show it to him now...we have all been there...she didn't have her cell phone..though if you are hit over the back of the head, not sure that helps. It was in a quiet community,,,hadn't had a murder in properties alone to people I don't know...not any more.

Jul 03, 2008 11:44 PM #44
Frank & Jodi Orlando
Frank & Jodi Orlando Get Us A Home Realty Atlanta Homes Sale - Cumming, GA

Spooky stuff, I show vacants, not my wife. My sisiter calls me when she arrives at a vacant and the conversation revolves around the fact that she will call me back with info in a couple minutes. Couple years ago in Atlanta there was a guy picking agents by their picture in the weekly magazine. There was a heads up alert and a female agent met him at a home, she let him in first and noticed he had his hands behind his back. She caught a glimpse of gloves and rope and she bolted. They caught the piece of *&#@.

Jul 04, 2008 12:03 AM #45
David Gorman ; Cashback

Good post,  Bring a cell phone at all time and have a flashlight with extra batteries in the car.

 <a href="">home buyer rebates

Jul 04, 2008 01:32 AM #46
Mary Strang
Viroqua, WI

It's bad enough to find the owner without warning in bed or in the bath tub, but a homeless squatter in the walk-in closet would have made me scream out loud in fear! Thanks for the reminder and it Might be Wise to walk around the outside of a vacant home first prior to entering.

Jul 04, 2008 02:13 AM #47
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

Cameron, I have had experiences where an unauthorized person or persons were living in a vacant property we were given to manage.  You have to be very careful to look for signs of habitation in homes that are supposed to be vacant.

Jul 04, 2008 04:58 AM #48
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

Hi Cameron...

This is a topic we can't post enough about. It amazes me that sometimes folks get so distracted that they overlook the obvious. The obvious being the reason I do not leave my home without my .38 Saturday Night Special. Have gun will travel :) I would have scared the Crap out of the homeless man hiding in the closet. I would have known he was there. I'd have sensed his presence just cuzz...Well...It's a gift :)

On a different...I left you a great comment on "Broker Bryant's" post. You know...The one with the Charmin. I would post the comment here but alas Blogging Etiquette dictates I can't leave lovely links all over your Blog. When you have a moment go read my comment to you and have yourself a good long laugh on me :)

Happy 4th to you and yours. I have go blow something up now. Kaboom :)


Jul 04, 2008 10:28 AM #49
Duncan Boan
Century 21 South Island Realty - Victoria, BC

On Feb 2, 2008, an enthusiastic and beautiful young realtor,  24 year old Lindsay Buziak, with  her whole lifetime ahead of her,  died on the job in Victoria.  She was murdered while showing an upscale, but  vacant, home in a good neighbourhood  to a 'prospect' whom she had only met by telephone, that day, never in person.  

No arrests have been made. Ths investigation is ongoing.

Carrying a handgun is not an option, or our culture,  in Victoria - our sidearms are cel phones and PDAs, not guns. But there are many common sense steps one can take to minimize these potential risks.  It begins by bringing the risks into your consciousness.


Jul 04, 2008 03:45 PM #50
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Realty ONE Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale

Thanks for the post, saftey is very important!

Robert Swetz

Jul 05, 2008 10:43 AM #51
Amanda Evans
DFW Living - Fort Worth, TX
Real Estate Broker - Fort Worth Texas

Congrats on the feature, stalker Cameron!

Jul 07, 2008 11:07 AM #52
Paul Slaybaugh
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate

Don't even get me started on "The Hoff."  Never show property unless that nutcase is accounted for and guaranteed not to be on the premises.

Jul 07, 2008 12:24 PM #53
South Beaches Real Estate Team
South Beaches Real Estate Professionals - Treasure Island, FL

Thanks, we often forget that things can happen, and times have become more difficult

Jul 10, 2008 05:43 AM #54
Cameron Wilson
Labrum Real Estate - Murrieta, CA
The Short Guy - Murrieta,Temecula,Menifee Californ

Thanks everyone for your comments and since I have been in the process of moving I havn't had a chance to answer each one of you.

Hey Paul and Lucy Amanda.

Jul 12, 2008 11:46 AM #55
Shirley Parks
Sands Realty 210-414-0966 - San Antonio, TX
Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate

oooh too scary... that is why I always take my (retired) husband with me.

Aug 10, 2008 05:12 AM #56
Freddy Solis
Carrington Real Estate Services - Fairfax, VA
Your Real Estate Coach

Homeless, how about wild animals that make it into the house for shelter. I usually try to make as much noise as possible before I open the front door and step inside, then I still call out that I am entering the property once or twice, specially to those dark basement in properties that have the utilities turned off.

Aug 10, 2008 05:28 AM #57
Thomas Moore - Las Vegas, NV

Always use you gut instincts. If you feel the least bit unconformtable,,,, then it's always better safe than sorry. I make sure to carry protection!

Aug 10, 2008 09:36 AM #58
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Cameron Wilson

The Short Guy - Murrieta,Temecula,Menifee Californ
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