Jeff Pearl, Full Service Full Time Realtor (RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA)

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Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

And there is reason #1 why I won't do open houses! And let's not forget it's probably also a good reason for sellers not to FSBO!

Mar 18, 2018 01:07 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

      The danger of holding open houses alone.  

     If she had been carrying concealed, she probably couldn't draw on 3 people.  But she could have shot the back windshield out of their car as they drove away.  That would make it easier for the cops to locate it.

Mar 18, 2018 12:12 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Thank goodness there was going to be an open house after her showing or that door bell may not have rung during her showing, Jeff.

Just WOW! I don't know if a gun would have helped at that point - nor a second host but, thankfully the door bell scared them off.

Mar 18, 2018 03:05 PM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Guns rarely help anything. It's good to have someone with you during Open Houses... or not do them at all.

Mar 18, 2018 12:27 PM
Anthony Acosta -
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

Don't host open houses.

Mar 19, 2018 07:42 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

Nothing other than not have an open house. Another person being there would not have helped either.

A guard with a gun at the exterior front door? That's an idea.

Mar 18, 2018 01:16 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Personal safety should be a high priority for every agent.

Mar 18, 2018 12:48 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

tammy always has someone with her at an open house.... the men do them alone.... none of them carry cash beyond $20.... credit cards...atm cards... 

Mar 18, 2018 12:15 PM
Susie Kay
Ultra Real Estate Dallas Fort Worth - Plano, TX
North Dallas Specialist

I don't do open houses often and if I do I have someone else with me.  In my previous brokerage there was a discussion that an agent did an open house and got a lot of traffic.  At the end of the day he found that many of the seller's belongings were missing including a laptop.

Mar 19, 2018 06:52 PM
Peter Testa
Nationwide Homes - Danbury, CT

Agent was just doing her job, that's a shame that she had to encounter people with bad intentions. What kind of criminals drive a BMW anyway?

I actually caught & got my wallet back from someone who pickpocketed me in NYC. If they had a gun I wouldn't have chased them down & got it back, so I don't think there's much she could've done here except be grateful it wasn't more than money lost.

I do all our Open Houses.

Mar 18, 2018 09:24 PM
Steve Higgins
RE/MAX Kelowna - Kelowna, BC

Not hold open houses. 

Mar 18, 2018 05:55 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Too much flash does attract folks who want to take away your fancy trinkets and many agents tend to walk around with plenty of things to steal on their person and in their pockets.


Mar 18, 2018 03:26 PM
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

That article doesn't make it sound like it was an open house. It makes it sound like it was a scheduled showing. -K

Mar 18, 2018 12:40 PM
Shawn and Angela Miller
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Amabassador Real Estate - Lincoln, NE
Lincoln and Omaha, NE REALTORS®

In college, I worked for an armored car company on the weekends.  We were trained that if we were ever held up coming out of a business with money and the person demanded the money, we were to throw the bag as far as we could away from us and the robber(s).  The robbers attention will clearly be on the money, because that is what they want.  Those couple seconds of distraction would allow you to either take cover behind the armored truck (because we always parked by the front doors), or draw your weapon and fire.


Never hand a robber a purse or wallet.  Throw it at them and make sure it goes over their head or way off to their side.  As soon as you release it, turn tail and run.  If your on the open street, zig zag while you run away.  No matter what the movies show, it's really, really hard to hit a moving target at a distance, (even at 10 to 20 yards) with a handgun.  Most street criminals are not proficient at aiming and firing a weapon anyways.  Wanna better your chances of getting hit, run away in a straight line.


Mar 18, 2018 05:05 PM
Allie Angeloni
Long Realty - Oro Valley, AZ

Well, five things come to mind immediately Jeff Pearl.  One, is to have left my purse in the trunk of my car when I first walked in with my folder and/or briefcase.  Two, is to back out of the house the way I came in, knowing that 'hearing voices' was 'not in my head' - because I knew I had not let these folks in.  Three, I would have my fingers on 911, and letting them know I'm in a suspicious and scary situation.  Four, I would look at the vehicles either in front of the house, in the driveway, or across the street and start writing down license plates.  Five, I would hide behind dense landscaping or another house, if that was possible, just to see who exited the house.  In a Perfect World, the squad cars would be driving up momentarily.


Mar 18, 2018 05:02 PM
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

For starters, not do open houses in questionable neighborhoods. And two, what we talked about here in AZ, is to install a discreet camera at the open house. And three, a one button push on your smartphone that sends an alarm to 911.

The gun thing is a very different thing. In a purse, makes no sense. That's the first thing they'll take. It has to be 'on you'. And the biggest caveat of them all - you have to be able to shoot first and be trained to do just that, it's likely very too late 'after' you are shot yourself. And that my friends brings a whole new reality to your life and livelihood if this ever happens.

Mar 18, 2018 03:24 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Wow,  I am speechless.  I have no idea what she could have done except for what Fred Griffin suggested.  A

Mar 19, 2018 04:25 PM
Caroline Gerardo
Licensed in 20 states - Newport Beach, CA
C. G. Barbeau the Loan Lady nmls 324982

Sounds like the three men were inside the house before she arrived, or broke in other than front door. 

#1 have a buddy - most lenders will co-sit an open house if you let them co-share the leads

#2 camera with a sign on the door that video recording is in progress. A realtor can buy a portable camera for $200 today 

#3 gun in her purse would have been stolen by the 3 perpetrators, if concealed maybe Fred Griffin  's idea to shoot out back window of their  BMW yes 3 crooks in a beemer would work, IF and only if she practiced shooting and has a calm head not to shoot someone in this crowded townhouse area. 

#4 don't go deep or up into the house without a second easy exit. She was waiting in the kitchen and heard people in the other rooms? Open front door early, wait for backup to turn on lights, wait on the stoop for the "clients" if you don't know the clients don't go without a bodyguard. Article doesn't say how the appointment was set up- or if her real appointment showed up

#5 run when you smell smoke, dial 911 when ducking. when she heard noise was time to run. Instinct works if you are paying attention. don't carry a bunch of stuff, leave the designer purse at home, carry cell in pocket left, keys in a pocket right, gun on ankle, mace in hand that appears like a lipstick and have practiced with the mace... most of all be ready to run.

Mar 19, 2018 03:50 PM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

I'm not sure what she could have done differently short of having a security guard.

Mar 19, 2018 05:37 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Wow so sad......I do not believe another gun would help.....

Mar 18, 2018 11:18 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

If I am showing a home I always lock the front door behind me.  

I am not a fan of open homes, so my response to what to do differently is don't do them. 

Mar 18, 2018 04:31 PM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

Proper protocol is never do an Open House alone.

The the assistant and agent should not be in the same room.

When i do an open house Sasquatch is either out front or in the outside living area...always in line of sight. A purposed open house will have additional staff to capitalize the exit.

Criminals are increasingly brazen. There are NO Guarantees.

These crimes are opportunistic, reduce the appearance of opportunity. 'Smile, you are being recorded for training and quality control purposes may be beneficial in short staffing situations.

Never do an open house alone.

Most certainly open houses can and should be part of an agents lead generations strategy.


Mar 18, 2018 02:25 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

The best thing for us to do, if we need to have open houses, is to have company. I need to take my own advice.

And the question says "even if she had a gun in her person". My two cents -- putting a gun in a purse is never a good idea. The purse could get stolen (much more likely than getting held up at an open house). Also, she'd have to carry it everywhere, which most pocket-book carrying women do not do. If she had a gun, it should have been on her body somewhere in an easily accessible holster of some kind.


Mar 18, 2018 02:13 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Outings should be group events especially for women....

Mar 18, 2018 01:58 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

If you are going to do an open house, don't do it alone. Next, don't do them!

Mar 18, 2018 01:36 PM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Fred Griffin nailed this one!

Mar 19, 2018 05:38 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

Not been there alone is first on my list. Second it should be on you, not in your purse. That includes being trained how to use it, self defense and most importance avoidance of these situations. 

Mar 19, 2018 05:30 AM
Gloria Valvasori, Accredited Senior Agent
REAL Experience | REAL Commitment | REAL Results!

Another good reason why I don't do open houses.... and if the Seller does request it I always have someone else with me... 

Mar 19, 2018 04:51 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

I rarely have cash on me 

Mar 19, 2018 03:31 AM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

I don't do open houses alone, always an associate with me. And I'm not a gun toting kind of gal. I can scream and have, and can run pretty fast. Never carry cash, maybe $20 or so. Luckily, no one has ever personally confronted me to rob me, so I don't know how I would react.

Mar 19, 2018 01:46 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I am glad that she was not harmed.

Mar 18, 2018 08:29 PM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

That's why I prefer to do open houses in gated communities. 

Mar 18, 2018 07:48 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Jeff Pearl - open houses are not safe in few areas. I am not sure what I'd do when this happens.

Mar 18, 2018 07:13 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Kept the gun ON her!

Mar 18, 2018 06:58 PM
Christine Kankowski North SD and Temecula
House Match Inc - Poway, CA
Excellent Sales and Property Management

I always have an extra person when I do an open house, but I try my very best NOT to host them.  I allow other agents to host for me if they wish on vacant homes. 

Mar 18, 2018 04:26 PM
Frank Rubi
Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC - Metairie, LA

We have not held an open house in years. Safety for my agents and myself is too important. Won't need a gun. 

Mar 18, 2018 03:51 PM
J.R. Schloemer, CRS
Kentucky Select Properties - Louisville, KY

One of the reasons I do not care to hold Opens. As a former bank employee, she did everything right, the way it should be done. She is alive and that is the important part.

Mar 18, 2018 03:50 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Not do open houses.

They are robbing many of you of your time unless you are capturing some mad #'s of leads and converting them; this agent just got robbed twice.

Mar 18, 2018 02:16 PM
Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Richmond, TX

Wow, I t does sound like it was a showing, no cash at open houses so sad!

Mar 18, 2018 01:23 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Being a REALTOR sure makes us a sitting duck for these crazy people.

Mar 22, 2018 08:31 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I just don't put myself in that position.  I don't do open houses and I don't meet buyers at homes.

Mar 20, 2018 08:43 PM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Jeff Pearl A good reason for not doing open houses.

Mar 19, 2018 07:28 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I agree it is a a good idea to neverhost pens houses alone

Mar 19, 2018 07:18 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Thre are safety practices that can be put in place. Doing open houses with another agent or a lender and making sure that the neighbors have an eye out are just a couple.

Mar 18, 2018 08:31 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

All cash transaction, 100% EMD?

My brother in law's family was tricked in paying with gold bars(popular) and after closing the seller was really a property manager-realtor in HK. Well, that was 1950.

Apr 16, 2018 10:18 PM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

I get sick of hearing of this,  people should have 2 people at open houses I think.


Mar 23, 2018 02:27 PM
Dave Martin (703) 585-4687
Fairfax Realty - Fairfax, VA
Making Realty Dreams a Reality #WeWillGetYouHome

Additional people? could help maybe, professional criminals generally look for EASY.

Arm everyone everywhere? There are too many untrained or poorly trained people with guns already.

Option might include only allowing PRE -registered people to come to the semi Open House ;-)

Mar 22, 2018 01:33 PM