This is an update from the association of Realtors sent out today (2-24-09):
A couple with a 13-year-old boy asked to look at an occupied home for their parents who live in San Diego. They gave the impression they were very interested in the home. In the process, the boy used the bathroom. After further discussion with the Realtor, the sellers determined their medication was missing. The couple was driving a white pick-up truck with no license plate; however, it did have a paper registration. They were possibly of middle-eastern origin. The woman and boy were heavy set.
This report is very similar to the one received by the association in December 2008. There is a male, approximately 40 years old, attending open houses of occupied homes in Sun City. His mission is to acquire prescription drugs from bathrooms. Reportedly, he drives a newer model pickup truck.
Realtors should advise their clients and sellers should be aware to place their medication(s) in secure places and pay attention to the where-a-bouts of open house guests.
If you feel there is risk while showing listings, please call the Sheriff's office or the local police. Any additional information you can share with them will be beneficial in catching them.
From the National Association of Realtors: 7 Steps to Preparing for an Open House
1. Hire a cleaning service. A spotlessly clean home is essential; dirt will turn off a prospect faster than anything.
2. Pay attention to the outdoors. Mow your lawn, and be sure toys and yard equipment are put away.
3. Serve cookies, coffee, and soft drinks. It creates a welcoming touch. But be sure the kitchen has been cleaned up; use disposable cups so the sink doesn't fill up.
4. Lock up your valuables, jewelry, and money. It's impossible to watch everyone all the time.
5. Turn on all the lights. Even in the daytime, incandescent lights add sparkle.
6. Send your pets to a neighbor or take them outside. If that's not possible, crate them or confine them to one room (a basement or bath), and let the salesperson know where to find them.
7. Sellers, when represented by a Realtor, leave. It's awkward for prospective buyers to look in your closets and express their opinions of your home with you there.
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