These two stories go hand in hand, as they emphasize what your Realtor® may have not emphasized enough. This past weekend I had the pleasure of experience both incidents.
After my listing presentation with some clients, we decided to view some homes in the are they were interested in moving up to. We viewed 4 homes, and the last wasn't on our list, but we were nearby and followed the signs. After viewing the home, where the agent or owner requested that shoes be removed, as we were putting our shoes on, we heard some shouting and jostling.
A very shady character came in and after being told to remove his shoes, he had said he was just looking for his binder which he left earlier. Needless to say, he somehow grabbed the owner's laptop and proceeded to make a run for it, pushing people out of the way (over 10 people were viewing the home). My client valiantly tried to trip him, but he continued and made his getaway with plenty of witness who had very detailed descriptions of the culprit, his car, and his female accomplice.
Needless to say, this further drove home the warning that we as Realtors® discuss with our clients prior to listing a home. I've experienced nosy 'buyers' attempting to go through seller's drawers and personal belongings, and during open houses it is impossible for us to be everywhere, although I have been called Superwoman before :)
If you are selling your home, please be diligent, as this is sometimes the perfect scenario for a thief.
The second incident also drives home the 'don't leave that out there' point. I enlisted the services of an agent to host my open house while I worked with other clients, and received a call from one of my 'spies' that the home was vacant-no Realtor®! I arrived shortly after and he was still hiding. 10 minutes later Mr. Invisible shows up saying he's been moving his signs.
Needless to say, I immediately fired the unprofessional host and hosted fo the next 1 1/2 hours. After over 8 years experience, this is a first, and it's emphasized how even as Realtors®, we need to be more diligent interviewers for our clients. Fortunately my clients had taken the necessary precautions.
I'm not an alarmist, and don't subscribe to paranoia, but taking precautions and exercising your due diligence will help prevent the loss of your valuables.