PSA: Agents BE Careful When Showing Properties to Unknown Buyers

36 Replies

The Colorado Division of Real Estate issued a warning, reminding agents to be cautious when meeting a new buyer for the first time.

Please exercise caution. There is no amount of money worth your life.

That is likely in response to an event that just happened over this way where an agent was just murdered showing a new construction property. It was not in some unsafe area either.  As a word of caution too...I think women tend to be a little more careful than men on this stuff...but it was a male agent that was killed. It can happen to anyone, anywhere.

That's why in Texas you can't show properties to a "buyer" without them providing a government ID. A few years back (80's or 90's) a string of murders triggered this legislation. It is common sense to ask for ID and to let everyone know where you go and where...

Thanks Mindy.. My wife has me come along if her womens intuition comes into play. 

and now a days she ( and for the last decade or so) she will not show a property until buyer is pre qualified and lender has let her know they can buy.. that weeds them out as well.

I live in a very rural area where properties can be 1-2 hours from the neighbors and in remote locations, particularly up in the mountains where cell phone signals don't exist. I tell agents to meet the client in the office and have the secretary make a copy of their ID and write the schedule in a log (it's fake). We make sure they know that we know who they are and that they are with the agent. That would stop 99% of these incidents.

For me, I prefer a tool that works well on people and Grizzly.

Our policy is agents are not allowed to show houses to anyone they haven't already met and texted us a picture ID of the individual. We take it very seriously, and they will be fired if they meet someone without the ID.

Serendipitously, this just came up yesterday. An individual texted off a yard sign they wanted to see a house, but would not send a photo ID, and got argumentative. Our agent told him to go fish. Even if he wanted the house, if he wouldn't acquiesce to a simple request like that for the safety of the agent, imagine what a pain he would have been during the purchase process... 

Originally posted by @Eduardo Sanabria :

That's why in Texas you can't show properties to a "buyer" without them providing a government ID. A few years back (80's or 90's) a string of murders triggered this legislation. It is common sense to ask for ID and to let everyone know where you go and where...

 Are you sure about this? My TX RE Broker has never heard of this law and I cannot find anything on the Internet about it?

In TX we have something better anyway, it's called a handgun license.

This post has been removed.

@Nathan G. There’s a saying in Alaska about which hand gun is best for personal defense against Grizzlies. They say a small caliber, short barreled one like a .38 snubby, with the front sight filed completely off is ideal... because it hurts the least when the bear jams it up your rear end!

@Steve K. I have an Eskimo buddy in northern Alaska (Kaktovik) who tried to scare a polar bear away with a couple of rounds from his .45 shot into the air.  The bear was trying to bash down the door to his neighbor's house.

The bear came at him instead of running. (bad decision, bear!) and my buddy shot him.  1 round, center mass - hit his spine and that was the end of the bear.  Luckily my buddy is a good shot at close range!  He did have 3 rounds left - but I'd be having nightmares for a while after that.

For my daily carry, I use something much smaller and easier to conceal: S&W Airweight .38.

These rounds are surprisingly powerful.  Very close to a 9mm in stopping power and the gun doesn't imprint.  You'll never know I carry it.

If you find yourself in vacant / abandoned homes as often as I do, or you're meeting strangers as often as I do, I highly recommend this for a daily carry weapon.

And I pray to Almighty God that I never have to use it.

Originally posted by @Nathan G. :

I live in a very rural area where properties can be 1-2 hours from the neighbors and in remote locations, particularly up in the mountains where cell phone signals don't exist. I tell agents to meet the client in the office and have the secretary make a copy of their ID and write the schedule in a log (it's fake). We make sure they know that we know who they are and that they are with the agent. That would stop 99% of these incidents.

For me, I prefer a tool that works well on people and Grizzly.

 What model?
I have H&K MP5SD when everything else fails:)

Originally posted by @Eduardo Sanabria :

That's why in Texas you can't show properties to a "buyer" without them providing a government ID. A few years back (80's or 90's) a string of murders triggered this legislation. It is common sense to ask for ID and to let everyone know where you go and where...

 This is not true 

@Charlie MacPherson Love it Charlie. Not super fun for plinking, but can't be beat for CCW. .357 version is great too: load up .38's for human predators, .357 buffalo bore in the wild. The new(ish) +P .38 ammo is really pretty awesome too, every bit as powerful as standard .9mm. 

Regarding bear: there was a case last summer of a fishing guide in AK who got charged in dense brush by a Grizz and was able to stop it with a few rounds from a pocket 9 using +P, point blank so its possible although not recommended (12 gauge with slugs, 30.06, .454 etc would be better obviously, but a .9 in the pocket is better than a bazooka in the truck). 

My good buddy from college wasn't so lucky, he got jumped by a Grizz out fishing one day on the Russian River, didn't have time to draw and the bear chewed his face off (he survived just barely but lost his eyesight, sense of smell, entire face and part of skull, spent a year in the hospital undergoing many surgeries, etc.).  Grizz are incredibly fast, all my friend saw was a blur of brown and then he was being eaten, hands and face first thats how they do it. Wouldn't have mattered what kind of gun he was carrying, no time to react. He wrote a book about it called Beyond the Bear and was on Oprah and everything. 

Sorry folks, didn't mean to derail the thread, this is actually a serious thread. 

OK. I am gonna back-track a little here. Back in 2001, while seeing some properties in Houston, the Realtor (I don't recall his name) told me that he was REQUIRED to have a Govt.-Issued ID because there had been murders in years before. He made it sound like it was the law,  perhaps I misunderstood and maybe it was his Realtor Association that had that rule.  So about 20 years or so ago, something happened that made realtors ask for ID's before showing properties. At least, that was what the dude told me... this was post the 9-11 tragedies, and I do carry a non-anglo last name...

@Jay Hinrichs I like the prequalification idea - that's a good one! Not the end-all-be-all, but I'm sure it helps significantly.

Originally posted by @John Thedford :
Originally posted by @Nathan G.:

I live in a very rural area where properties can be 1-2 hours from the neighbors and in remote locations, particularly up in the mountains where cell phone signals don't exist. I tell agents to meet the client in the office and have the secretary make a copy of their ID and write the schedule in a log (it's fake). We make sure they know that we know who they are and that they are with the agent. That would stop 99% of these incidents.

For me, I prefer a tool that works well on people and Grizzly.

 What model?
I have H&K MP5SD when everything else fails:)

that's a Sig P220

i'm an HK guy too, but only handguns- I have 4 :)

Originally posted by @Steve K. :

@Charlie MacPherson Love it Charlie. Not super fun for plinking, but can't be beat for CCW. .357 version is great too: load up .38's for human predators, .357 buffalo bore in the wild. The new(ish) +P .38 ammo is really pretty awesome too, every bit as powerful as standard .9mm. 

Regarding bear: there was a case last summer of a fishing guide in AK who got charged in dense brush by a Grizz and was able to stop it with a few rounds from a pocket 9 using +P, point blank so its possible although not recommended (12 gauge with slugs, 30.06, .454 etc would be better obviously, but a .9 in the pocket is better than a bazooka in the truck). 

My good buddy from college wasn't so lucky, he got jumped by a Grizz out fishing one day on the Russian River, didn't have time to draw and the bear chewed his face off (he survived just barely but lost his eyesight, sense of smell, entire face and part of skull, spent a year in the hospital undergoing many surgeries, etc.).  Grizz are incredibly fast, all my friend saw was a blur of brown and then he was being eaten, hands and face first thats how they do it. Wouldn't have mattered what kind of gun he was carrying, no time to react. He wrote a book about it called Beyond the Bear and was on Oprah and everything. 

Sorry folks, didn't mean to derail the thread, this is actually a serious thread. 

Steve I was at a lodge up in Alaska and there was a nice meadow between lodge and the doc were the boats were.. I jogged in those days.. asked if it was OK.. and they said the only thing that runs in this area is PREY...  then went on to tall me about a bush pilot that got killed by a grizz he would jog up and down the back country runways.. and one nailed him..  so with all that.. standing on the river bank looking at paw prints as big as pie plats.. was a little nerve racking and with your little can of bear spray.. :)  .  

One gun I'd be interested in would be the foldable Glock 19. However they're kind of pricey.

Showing houses with a "back up" helps keep you safer. I'm also a law enforcement officer and we're taught to wait for back up whenever possible. (And yes I do carry a gun while showing properties and meeting with clients) 

That's unfortunate that there are idiots like that out there. That is on my my mind quite a bit now that my sister is getting her real estate license in Tennessee. And just a few years ago, a woman was murdered showing a vacant house two doors down from my in-laws' place in Arkansas. The guy was caught a few days later but all that could have been avoided if they had used the guidelines posted in the original comment.

Wow thanks for the information. I'm in school to be a realtor l, didn't think about anything like this. 

@Brittany Anderson You must seriously take it into consideration.  In 18 years in Real Estate, I can't tell you how many properties I've walked into and encountered someone who wasn't legally supposed to be in the property. Most of the encounters were uneventful but there's a few that were close calls and could have gone very wrong!

I have a .44 mag - we had 9 bears at our house last summer - both black and brown- let me know when you're ready to come up to invest in the great AK friends!

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