Vacant Homes and the U.S. Census Bureau: Have You Been Called?

By
Real Estate Agent with Labrum Real Estate

questions This week I was called by a lady with the U.S. Census Bureau on one of my REO, bank owned, listings in Murrieta California. The lady caller identified herself and wanted to know if I would answer a few questions for her. Hmmmmm. I told her maybe but first of all asked why she was calling me. She called the number on my sign as there was no answer to her knock on the door. I explained the home had been foreclosed by the bank and it was vacant.

 She then asked who lived in the home. Duh!!!! I just told you it was vacant and no one is there and if there is I'm calling the Police. She then asked about the people who lived there before it was foreclosed and it was a little difficult for me to explain that I knew nothing about the previous occupant. I had to explain that I work for the foreclosing lender but I do know it has been sold and is in escrow.

 She then asked about the people who are purchasing it as to how many were in the family etc. I know she was only doing her job as they only want a head count but Why did I answer the phone as I filled out My census thingy and mailed it on time. Told her I didn't even remember their names let alone how many were in the family.

 Now the kicker is she  asked if she could put my phone number on her form as the contact person for this address. Why not as she needed it to complete her form and they can't have blanks in order for them to get paid and it's not much. She almost became giddy when I asked her if my 3 wives and 11 children lived there would I qualify for some kind of financial program. First thing out of her mouth was You Have 3 Wives?. I'm kidding I'm kidding don't put that down on your form lady.

 Have any of you had the Census Bureau call you on your vacant listings? Just Curious.

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REO REALTORS
"Whacked"!!!
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Ambassador
661,729
Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

Hi Cameron !

I had 2 'Notices' taped on the front doors of 2 of my vacant listings, but havent had the followup phone calls yet !

Didnt know you owned so many houses for the census crew to reach out to you !!

lol !

May 14, 2010 09:22 PM #1
Rainmaker
180,245
Cameron Wilson
Labrum Real Estate - Murrieta, CA
The Short Guy - Murrieta,Temecula,Menifee California

SHELDON, Neither did I as this is a first for me.

May 14, 2010 09:27 PM #2
Ambassador
338,830
Emily Medvec
Keller Williams Santa Fe - Santa Fe, NM
Realtor, Santa Fe NM |CNE CRS RSPS | 505-660-4541

I have had one call on one vacant listing. The Census taker did identify themselves and was very professional. The only question they asked me to confirm was if the home was vacant or occupied. I said it was vacant and on the market for sale. They asked if they could take a flyer out of the flyer box to pass on a friend looking to buy a home. Then, yesterday I received a showing request from a Realtor who mentioned their customer got the flyer from a census taker.

I find it interesting how our experiences varied.

May 14, 2010 09:37 PM #3
Rainmaker
346,341
Pam Miller
Realty Associates - Friendswood, TX
Broker Associate - Pearland/Friendswood

I was called yesterday about one of my listings.  I was very suspicious about someone asking if the house was vacant.   So, I refused to give her any information.  This is too strange.  

May 14, 2010 09:42 PM #4
Rainmaker
615,220
Martha Brown
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Annapolis MD 21403 - Annapolis, MD
Your Homes Around Annapolis Agent

I guess I am lucky as I do not have any vacant listings but I do find it interesting as to what extent the Census is going to to get a correct head count.

May 14, 2010 09:49 PM #5
Rainmaker
180,245
Cameron Wilson
Labrum Real Estate - Murrieta, CA
The Short Guy - Murrieta,Temecula,Menifee California

Emily, Wow. Wish my call was like yours, Congratulations.

May 14, 2010 09:53 PM #6
Rainmaker
180,245
Cameron Wilson
Labrum Real Estate - Murrieta, CA
The Short Guy - Murrieta,Temecula,Menifee California

PAM, That is how I usually do as well but after all these years I knew she was legit. She answered my questions without slipping up and I know how to weed out the fakes and liars.

May 14, 2010 09:56 PM #7
Rainmaker
180,245
Cameron Wilson
Labrum Real Estate - Murrieta, CA
The Short Guy - Murrieta,Temecula,Menifee California

MARTHA, Those Census Takers do earn their money.

May 14, 2010 09:57 PM #8
Ambassador
666,062
Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

All my listings are occupied......I'll ask around the office and see if anyone has gotten a call or notice.

May 15, 2010 05:57 PM #9
Rainmaker
180,245
Cameron Wilson
Labrum Real Estate - Murrieta, CA
The Short Guy - Murrieta,Temecula,Menifee California

ANN, Most of mine are vacant but I only received one call.

May 15, 2010 07:54 PM #10
Rainmaker
262,984
Jim Palmer
Chipola Realty - Chipley Office (850) 638-2777 - Sunny Hills, FL
Washington County, Florida

Have received a handful of calls on our vacant listings. One of them was my listing that is currently occupied by a tenant. Census worker said that tenant became verbally abusive and ordered him off the property. All I could do was refer him to our prperty management department, and wish him better luck with his next appointment.

May 16, 2010 08:22 AM #11
Rainmaker
244,206
April Hayden-Munson
Brookfield, WI
Brookfield Wisconsin Real Estate

No calls, at one listing the group - 3 workers together - tagged along on a  showing and kept asking the showing agent how many people "used" to live there..... don't they have a clue that those people are being counted at their NEW residence?  How many people are getting counted twice......

May 19, 2010 06:53 PM #12
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Rainmaker
180,245

Cameron Wilson

The Short Guy - Murrieta,Temecula,Menifee California
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