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What does this mean?

Posted by vickij (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 16, 13 at 10:01

I will make a long story very short. Our house is on the market. Our realtor asked that anytime an agent shows the house that we should go outside and take a walk during the showing. We were robbed during one of these showings. I didn't discover it for a day as only jewelry was taken and it wasn't until I went to get a piece to wear to church that I discovered it. We are in a gated community and our house is fully alarmed and monitored when we are not at home. I wore a piece of the jewelry on Friday. This realtor was here on Saturday and it was discovered Sunday morning. A police report has been filed. When our agent took our listing she made a very strong point of saying that we needn't worry about agents showing the house as all agents are licensed and insured. Just exactly what does that mean? Does our realtor or the realtor who showed the house have any obligation? I am not asking for sympathy and I have already beat myself up for not hiding my pieces. Most of the things were put into a lock box before the house went on the market but I did leave some pieces out to use. BIG lesson learned! We asked our agent this question and she said she would have to check with her company and get back to us. I realize this may be different in each state. We live in Arizona.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What does this mean?

License and bonded means that if there is a loss that is due to their actions, you can seek remedy and their insurance company will pay. I don't think it would be your agent, but rather the one that showed the place, if it can be shown that the loss was during this time. Good luck.

Don't think that you can hide valuables - the professional crooks can find the best hiding places. As you did, I put most of my jewelry, sterling, and valuables in a safety deposit box. I brought our home strong box into work (I work in a bank so had some very secure places to keep it). The remaining jewelry that I kept out to wear, I put in a jewelry travel bag and left it in my purse. Not the safest, but they were out of the house when the house was shown. Luckily, our house was on the market only a few weeks.


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RE: What does this mean?

You need to remove everything that is small and easily stolen, or put it in a safe that is securely fastened to the house (preferably attached to concrete).


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RE: What does this mean?

look at your contract. What is said in the signed contract?

Good luck. It may become a Homeowner's Insurance situation.

ML


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RE: What does this mean?

Go look at the thread I started a few weeks ago about thefts during/after a showing. This is, unfortunately, a very common problem.

While its possible that the agents' insurance may cover your loss, what I can (unfortunately) confirm is that your OWN homeowners insurance most likely will NOT cover your loss. Their reasoning is that you left your door unlocked and let 'strangers' into your home. They will then point you to collect from either your listing agent or the showing agent. Who may, in turn, say they weren't liable because you neglected to secure your valuables prior to the showing.

I'm sorry you've beat yourself up and I'm sorry for your loss. But you basically arrived at the right conclusion late....you are putting your valuables at risk if you leave them unsecured for a showing. I've done it, others have done it, you aren't alone. Its just a painful lesson to not trust a REA as a security guard.

What I would do, from here on out, even WITH securing your valuables, is insist that your LA be present during all showings by other agents. This at least prevents the situation where 1 party keeps the showing agent distracted while the other party rifles through your underwear drawer. That is the standard MO for "home showing thieves" and having a second agent present can prevent that. Your REA will balk at having to, you know, do actual WORK to receive their commission but I'd make it a condition from here on out since you've not only been burglarized, but now have likely also been cased for future thefts as well. Every valuable in your home that couldn't be pocketed is now targeted for eventual theft when you are away.

Also ensure you don't leave bank statements, credit card statements, etc. in your mail piles at your planning desk. Identify theft is a bigger fix than replacing a necklace.


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RE: What does this mean?

Your agent spoke too early, too glibly, & without the information she needed.

The listing agreement (in Texas, & since it's a Realtor form, I feel it's the same in other states) states that Realtors are not liable for the actions of other people.

Unless you think your agent took your jewelry, you need to turn it in to your insurance company.


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RE: What does this mean?

PS: could have been a "fake showing" by a dishonest REA and they stole your necklace.

It happens....see link.

Here is a link that might be useful: REA rifles undies while showing house


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RE: What does this mean?

I suppose that is why in my state, it is a law that a REA MUST leave their card whenever a house is shown...


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RE: What does this mean?

Many years ago on Gardenweb I read the trick of putting all your valuables in a suitcase, and placing the suitcase in your car trunk during showings. Yes, it is an extra step, but jewelry, prescription medicines, private papers, etc should be removed from temptation. Someone else in that long-ago thread suggested just putting the suitcase under the bed, the agent would notice someone walking out with it (maybe during a private showing, but not necessarily an open house).

I always thought this idea was a decent option if you do not have a home safe (a fireproof safe for papers or a gun case, etc) to store these easily transportable, so easily stolen, goods.

Nothing is completely secure, not even your home safe, but sometimes the smallest deterrent can make a would-be thief think twice.

I am sorry this happened to you, vickij.


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RE: What does this mean?

To update, my REA is no help. A police report has been filed. The showing agent states that he is not responsible because I can't prove it. He won't tell me the names of the clients he brought in. The policeman who took the report is now on vacation. Contemplating what my next move should be. I am very discouraged. Thanks to all of you for your kind words and good advice.


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RE: What does this mean?

I'm so sorry vickij. You can try calling your homeowners insurance, but I'm not optimistic they will cover you given the circumstances.

May I ask how much the jewelry was worth? The police may take it more seriously if the value is high. Fingerprint dusting of your jewelry box lid, etc.

You can also report the showing agent to the RE board in your area or to his agency if he's part of a group. If there have been other complaints of thefts under his watch, it could indicate that the REA is possibly the thief.

Watch Craigslist and eBay if the jewelry was unique. Both are popular places to fence stolen goods.

Here's another story of an REA stealing jewelry during a showing. He was selling his loot via ebay.

Here is a link that might be useful: REA agent rifles teens drawers for jewelry


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RE: What does this mean?

I'm hesitant to respond because I know there will be controversy, but what about nanny cams? I searched this site for that info before I listed my house and was suprised there wasn't much. I bought two voice activated listening devices as I was concerned about theft of valuables or drugs. I have many art pieces which could easily be slipped into a laptop case or purse and no one would be the wiser. The device was about $125. I put one just outside the MBath so I could hear if someone was rifling thru drawers for drugs and one by the built ins with most of my art. I know there are strong feelings about privacy, but these are strangers in my home. You can tell by listening when someone is really looking at your home, or perhaps is there for other purposes. Anyway, the funniest thing was at no one uses names when house shopping. Everyone is "honey" so I'm not sure this would have helped you. But, it could confirm for the police that they were the only ones in your house. Jewelry can be expensive, but its usually more about the life occasion it is bought/gifted around. I hope your jewelry is found and returned to you.
Also, gun safes from Costco are fairly cheap and they deliver to your door. I put ours in the garage. Plenty of room for personal papers and jewelry, and would be hard for thieves to take and very noticeable.


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RE: What does this mean?

So sorry this happened to you. My husband and I sold our homes ourselves, mainly by hosting all day open houses (8 hours, both Saturday and Sunday, over a weekend). We have always told all our open house guests that any serious lookers would find the home inspection report on the kitchen counter for them to read, and that we would be out on the deck for any questions they had. Also, that they would be free to look around as long as they needed. Luckily, we must own crap because we've never noticed anything missing. Anything that has any remote value to us is removed before our home is on the market, even if it's just sentimental value.


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