August 7, 2010

The Joy of Open Houses

Today’s item was sent in by burbed reader Pralay.  Wow, this is disturbing!  Thanks for making sure we’ll never look at an open house the same way again!

Thieves targeting open house events in the West Valley

By Chris Vongsarath

Posted: 08/04/2010 04:42:52 PM PDT
Updated: 08/05/2010 08:02:29 PM PDT

It seems thieves in the West Valley are using houses on the market as a marketplace to do their own brand of shopping.

Reports are starting to circulate in the real estate community about people attending open house events and walking off with more than the listing price. The crime usually involves an individual or group of people pretending to be interested in the home and then stealing valuables when nobody’s looking.

Police departments are starting to hear more about the crimes recently, but some real estate agents say they have been taking place for several months. The most recent case happened on Walnut Drive in Campbell last weekend and resulted in an arrest, thanks to the homeowners being alerted prior to the open house event.

"In all my years, I’ve never had anything ever stolen or taken," said Derek Deaton, a Realtor with more than 20 years of experience.

The article goes on to describe some alert Campbell homeowners who staked out their own property during an open house and nabbed themselves a repeat thief.  They caught a woman red-handed who was helping herself to perfume and vitamin supplements.  Vitamin supplements?  Guess that’s what’s worth stealing in Campbell.

I’ve heard of attending open houses for the free cookies, but this is a little too much.  Have you any experience with either having something taken during an open house, or actually seeing a theft while attending one?

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

12 Responses to “The Joy of Open Houses”

  1. SEA Says:

    “They caught a woman red-handed who was helping herself to perfume and vitamin supplements. Vitamin supplements? Guess that’s what’s worth stealing in Campbell.”

    Transient guests who should be temporary guests of the county?

  2. Real Estater Says:

    “The Joy of Open Houses” written by a guy who never goes to open houses (unless he needs to go to the bathroom)?

  3. madhaus Says:

    #2, do try to pay attention. I attend many open houses and I am not a guy.

  4. anon Says:

    Distinguish between “written by” and “sent in,” Real Estater.

    Hopefully the beggers sellers factored these losses into their cost of ownership!

  5. SEA Says:

    “Hopefully the ‘sellers’ factored these losses into their cost of ownership!”

    You know that the Real sellers only have light bulbs and Drano, which isn’t any big deal anyway.

  6. nomadic Says:

    My sister-in-law used to sell homes for a builder in the Phoenix area. Things were stolen out of model homes pretty regularly. Towels, cookie jars, you name it. Pathetic.

    The last time I had a house up for sale, my agent told me to pack away all “hand size” valuables to deter theft.

  7. Pralay Says:

    Distinguish between “written by” and “sent in,” Real Estater.

    Anon, you have too much expectation from Real Estater. This guy can neither read nor comprehend.

  8. Pralay Says:

    unless he needs to go to the bathroom

    That’s definitely The Joy of Open Houses. In any given day I would prefer open house bathroom to dirty public restroom. 🙂

  9. madhaus Says:

    #8, some Open House hosts like to thwart the bathroom tourist by removing the bathroom roll. It also messes up my Open House Quality Metrics for use of 1-ply, 2-ply or 4-ply for the best Open House Experience.

    #6, theft of the cookie jar indicates that the Realtard failed to provide enough cookies. And good cookies can boost an offer by $300,000!

    #4, that’s a lot to ask of certain in-DUH-viduals.

  10. Petsmart groomer Says:

    Let’s do the opposite and bring stuff to open houses. Things one could leave:
    – a picture of George W Bush in the bathroom
    – KY in the kitchen
    – “how to get ride of termites” coffee table book
    – obsolete electronics
    – seeds in the yard

    Possibilities are endless!

  11. nomadic Says:

    groomer, how about having lunch at a restaurant first and putting the leftovers in the fridge? 😛

    #9, the funny thing is that in a builder’s model, they often turn that kind of thing into props. After the first cookie jar was stolen, they glued the lid on the replacement to deter theft.

  12. Petsmart groomer Says:

    If the leftovers involve durians, that’s indeed a good idea.

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