This post is for those of us in the world of Real Estate.......
I was out showing properties with a client and noticed that one of the properties that I was touring had all off the appliances removed, however they were present in the MLS photos. My client asked me "was that done as a security measure?" My response was "that's a very good questions, seems like a reasonable thing to do". I truly didn't know the reason the appliances were no longer present, however the listing stated, that the appliances would be installed prior to the close of escrow. Without putting to much thought into the scenario it appeared that the seller was just being cautious.
Interestingly enough we returned on the day of property inspection so my client could meet with the home inspector . While we were collectively discussing the scope on the inspection, my client, the inspector and I were all conveniently standing around an inconspicuous strange piece of blue plastic. At first no one took notice, however I tend to make it a point to police properties for trash, regardless if they are my listings or not.....it's the right thing to do.
The plastic struck me as being a familiar color. When I picked it up I noticed that it had some rust on the bottom edge......and then I realized what it was. The part you see in the picture below is from a Supra iBox. This is the shackle that is used to secure the lock box to a physical structure to provide access to Real Estate Professionals. This particular shackle
appears to be cut with a shearing device of some sort or at min a pair of heavy bolt cutters.
Thieves are everywhere and they look for any place an opportunity exist where the risk is worth the reward....such as a vacant property with a real estate sign in front and directions posted on the web that says "Go Direct". Chances are with an empty property, even the neighbors may not question a service vehicle loading or unloading equipment, as most people would assume work is being done on the property. Many times thieves can operate without fear of being caught, or should they be approached, they can easily explain away the reason for their presence.
As real estate professionals its important for us to stay vigilant, never take security for granted. If you have vacant listings, having a someone from your organization do a nightly security check is critical. It's not uncommon for someone showing a property to forget to turn off a light, or lock a door while hosting a client. Many times the agents undivided attention is focused on the client, which means that the agents focus is not on your listing or your listings overall security, or even ensuring that the property locked when they leave.
As and agent if you have earned the trust of a client with the listing of their home, you need to be sure that your securing it as if it were your own property.