Realtors, if you leave a house unlocked, THIEVES COME IN AND STEAL THINGS

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119
http://actvra.in/s2T

A week ago, I previewed a property in the Winchester, VA area.  I'm working with a great young investor couple who are looking for rental properties.  Later in the week we all went back to take a second look.  This week, we took a third look.

When we arrived at the property, I got my eKey out to open the door and I Homes in Winchester Virginianoticed the door was slightly ajar.  I stuck my fingers in the bottom of Supra box and there was no key holder inside so I assumed another agent was inside at the time.

I looked around the driveway and no cars.  Hmmm?  I asked the clients to wait outside and I went through the house to see if it was being shown, but nobody.  The backdoor was open, the lights were on and no one was walking around. 

The previous agent had not only left the house open, he had also taken the keys.  That wasn't the end of the story though.  I received an email from the listing agent on Friday asking if I saw a large screen TV in the living room while visiting this week.  After a little thought, no I didn't.  I do remember Real Estate Winchester VAseeing it last week.

In the five hours between the time the agent left the house open and the time my clients showed up someone slipped in and stole the large screen TV.  It's hard to say what Safety for Real Estate Winchester VAelse was missing.  The TV was obvious.  Unfortunately for the listing agent, she may be responsible for replacing the TV. 

Friends, check, double-check and triple-check a home before you leave it.  If it is occupied, you can easily put the homeowner or their belongings in jeopardy by leaving the doors ajar.  

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Jan Green 01/28/2012 01:04 PM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Virginia Frederick County Winchester
Groups:
Active Rain Newbies
BananaTude
It Should Have a Gold Star
"Whacked"!!!
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mike cooper
real estate winchester va
homes in winchester va

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Rainmaker
987,224
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Melbourne, FL
Personal Service, always.

I found one with the back door open last week. I went by my only vacant listing yesterday to check. Everyone needs to check, and double check every time they enter someone else's property.

Jan 28, 2012 08:45 AM #5
Rainer
147,479
Andrew Capelli
Fidelity National Title - Troy, MI

Mike: Yikes!  Those poor people- That's a great reminder; thank you for sharing!

Jan 28, 2012 09:00 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,441,800
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

I hate to point fingers, but sounds to me like an inside job.  The agent left the door open purposely for someone she knew to get in..............I know a lot can happen in five hours, but this is to much of a coincidence if you ask me.  Oh, you didn't ask.................sorry!  This is that "trust" thing I wrote about a few weeks ago........  I don't.

Jan 28, 2012 09:17 AM #7
Ambassador
859,160
John McCormack
Albuquerque Homes Realty * www.AlbuquerqueHomes.com - Albuquerque, NM
AlbuquerqueHomes.com

Mike over sights such as this are huge NO-No's!  This stuff drives me crazy and gives all REALTORs a bad rap.  Make sure you lock up!

Jan 28, 2012 09:22 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,073,192
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek & Associates LLC, Real Estate Broker/Associate with Real Living Real Estate Group www.LisaVon.com - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Good morning Mike,

Fortunately, I have not had any thefts or doors left open by agents.  But, I did have an incident where the agent purposely took the key with him to prevent other showings because his client was going to write a cash offer.  Needless to say, his Broker get a call from me....

Jan 28, 2012 09:41 AM #9
Rainmaker
788,884
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Kenneth, I was stunned when I got there and saw the lock-box insert sitting on the porch and no one in side.  Yeow!

Ken, I think there's plenty of reason to believe that the thef is a direct result of his taking the key.  He should be responsible.  I doubt this agent will press that, but she should.

Yes they do, Andrew.  I've seen some pretty amazing things over the past 4 years.  

That's sad, Faith.  

Absolutely, Gary.  It has made me even more attentive to my lisitings.  Wow!

You bet, Andrew.  Have a great Saturday.

Roger, I have a feeling I know where it went.  I'd love to see the local police perform a search warrant on the next door neighbors.  They were acting very suspicious while I was out walking around the house.  

You betcha, John.

Lisa, that's awful, but clever.  Shame on him for doing that, and good for you for making that call!

Jan 28, 2012 10:51 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,055,702
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Mike. Such a simple thing to do, lock the da_m door. It is an ongoing problem. I followed an agent into one of my own listings a few months ago and the front door was wide open while the home was being show. It doesn't take long to take something, and the cat could get out of an open door. When I confronted the agent who wasn't green, he said he had tough clients. If you can't control the clients get rid of them or get out of the business.

Jan 28, 2012 11:01 AM #11
Rainer
145,762
Michael S. Bolton
Michael S. Bolton,Inc. - Zimmerman, MN
MN Appraiser

Mike~Over the years I can't remember how many times of came back to a property because I couldn't remember if I locked the door or not. It's something so easy to do, that I think people sometimes take it for granted.

Have a great weekend.

Jan 28, 2012 11:23 AM #12
Rainmaker
1,441,800
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

That makes sense too Mike, it had to be someone either set up to get in or the neighbors who checked to see if the door was unlocked..................interesing, hope to hear the outcome.

Jan 28, 2012 11:57 AM #13
Rainmaker
788,884
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

It really is, Sheila.  This is the not the first time this has happened, but it is the first thef I'm aways of.  

Me too, Michael.  I need to be able to sleep at night. It's worth a little extra fuel.  Enjoy your Saturday.

I'll let you know if anything happens, Roger.  

Jan 28, 2012 12:20 PM #14
Rainmaker
474,882
Jan Green
Scottsdale, Phoenix, Cave Creek, Carefree, Fountain Hills - Scottsdale, AZ
RE/MAX Excalibur Scottsdale REALTOR®, GREEN

Scarey situation!  Good thing you told your clients to wait outside.  I'm sure they were terrified when they learned about this!

Jan 28, 2012 12:58 PM #15
Rainmaker
788,884
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

They did really realize what was going on until I gave them the all clear.  Then it dawned on them.  Thanks for the re-blog!!

Jan 28, 2012 01:17 PM #16
Rainmaker
278,926
Kasey & John Boles - Jon Gosche Real Estate
Jon Gosche Real Estate, Boise ID - Boise, ID
Boise, Meridian, Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

I can't believe how often I go to homes that have doors unlocked - it is our job to make sure we are securing the property!  I'm obsessive about it, my clients probably think I'm crazy.  I even check the door when my client has shut it and I've watched them lock it.  I want to be the last one touching those door knobs.   We also have supra keys and it logs who was last at the house, so I would think that the listing agent wouldn't be responsible, but the agent who took the key and left it open.  Yikes. -Kasey

Jan 28, 2012 04:47 PM #17
Rainmaker
788,884
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

I think so too, Kasey.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure the listing agent has it in her to hold them responsible.  I hope you're having a great weekend!

Jan 28, 2012 04:59 PM #18
Rainmaker
519,826
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. "Said and Done!" - Merrick, NY
Long Island's South Shore Real Estate Agent

I agree with all those who said it was the responsibility of the last agent in the house but your last comment is interesting. Are you saying the listing agent won't be able to enforce that because her personality is not strong enough?

Jan 28, 2012 07:19 PM #19
Rainmaker
788,884
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

She's a great agent and a great person, but she's so meek that I don't think she would push it.  She hinted at that Friday.  Shoot, I'd step in for her.  I seriously doubt that someone would have broken in to get a TV, but leave the door open and you just gave it away.  

Jan 28, 2012 08:53 PM #20
Rainmaker
1,245,741
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Unlocked door only mean trouble Mike. Good suggestion about triple checking, you can be too safe.

Jan 29, 2012 01:07 AM #21
Rainmaker
788,884
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Tom, I'm a lot like Kasey above.  I will check a door I saw the client check a second before.  I alwyas consider it my responsibility to make sure the property is secure, and I do.  Thanks for dropping by!!

Jan 29, 2012 08:03 AM #22
Rainmaker
271,616
Melissa Brown
Savvy + Co Real Estate - Charlotte, NC
Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale

Hi Mike, I'm glad you didn't find anybody lurking in that home when you went through the open door.  I'm sure many of my buyers think I have OCD for the number of times I sometimes check the locks.  One time, early in my career, I failed to lock the door.  Nothing happened, but I have never been so mortified.  It won't happen on my watch!

Jan 29, 2012 03:18 PM #23
Rainmaker
788,884
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Good for you, Melissa.  I'm with you.  I am pretty OCD about that myself.  I hope you're having a great Sunday!

Jan 29, 2012 03:34 PM #24
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Mike Cooper

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