Realtor Held for $50,000 Ransom, Husband Hangs up on Attacker

Realtor Held for $50,000 Ransom, Husband Hangs up on Attacker
Realtor Held for $50,000 Ransom, Husband Hangs up on Attacker

In the news again… another Realtor attacked. This time the potential buyer called a St. Petersburg FL Realtor and asked to see a home for sale. The agent met the man, toured the house and then he held a gun to her head. He called her husband asking for $50,000 in ransom money. The husband hung up on the attacker, thinking it was a prank call.

Realtors can never be too careful when showing houses.

Yesterday, I received a call from an out of state area code. The call went to my voicemail, as I was out with a client. The caller was scattered and incoherent, “I am calling on a house. I don’t know what city it’s in, but I saw it. The house number is 4958.  I don’t know the address. I think its Melbourne. No, it’s near Melbourne.’ His message was disjointed and rambling.  He continued, ‘ I don’t know where it is. I need to ask my brother in law.’ I had to strain to understand the slurred message. The house was not in Melbourne. 10 minutes later, the man called again from the same number, ‘ this is Mr. Smith.  I want to see the house now.’ His voice trailed off, and he did not hang up.  Next, I heard him yelling at someone in the distance. Finally, the call trailed off and hung up. I did not return the calls. They made me uncomfortable.

Times have changed. With all the incidents of Realtors being beaten, kidnapped and murdered we’ve got to be cautious. 

When buyers call on a house for sale, we don’t know who we’re dealing with. So, we ask lots of questions, to try and find out a buyer’s situation…how soon they need a house, how long they’ve been looking and whether they have they been pre approved with a lender to buy. We’re trying to find out if they are a legitimate, serious buyer pre approved in the price range of the home they are calling to see.  Sometimes the buyer can get a bit defensive. I can understand that.

Often agents ask the buyer the meet them at their office, first. And, then they take a copy of their driver license and alert someone in their office where they’re going and who they’re meeting at what property, at what time.

As a buyer, when you call to see a house, we are going to ask questions. We must be sure we know who we are bringing into our sellers homes. It’s important that we protect their properties, also. After all, there are some fraudsters out there looking for easy access to a property, so they can find out where an owner hides their valuables.

So, buyers, please be patient when you call to see one of our homes for sale.

 Read the story here of the Realtor held for $50,000 Ransom

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