SFGate reports today on two intrepid individuls who have found yet another way to make money on real estate. After showing up at open houses around the Bay Area, the couple proceeded to relieve both clients and agents of their wallets and purses. With the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market these are obviously just desperate buyers in an over-priced market trying to scrape together enough cash for the down payment necessary with a more standard mortgage.
Still, there was little sypmathy. One victim was particularly incensed, “They are really slick,” … “Now I’d like to have revenge. They are awful people. I want them to march down Market Street naked.”
That would, of course, be cruel and unusual punishment.
Theft Suspects Posing As Home-buyers Arrested [SFGate]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Anne

    I always thought that open houses were a potential magnet for crime. Especially those open houses that sit empty without drapes. Pre-screening would be a good idea. You never know what kind of people are out there so never judge a book by its cover.

  2. Posted by seehsee

    For years my agents have advised me to put away any valuable or easily pocketable items for open houses. This is nothing new.

  3. Posted by liz

    I never leave my wallet unattended around strangers. It’s common sense. Sorry that happened but that woman must live a pretty sheltered life to be so indignant.

  4. Posted by cd

    There’s a good reason for those sign-in sheets Realtors ask you to fill out when you walk in.

  5. Posted by blahhh

    “There’s a good reason for those sign-in sheets Realtors ask you to fill out when you walk in.”
    And there must be a much better reason why those scumbags would put down their real info.

  6. Posted by dub dub

    Incidentally, the “subprime collapse” joke in the main post has a decidedly partisan tone — does socketsite have a guest editor during the summer slowdown?
    I remember socketsite being more-neutral on the “this thing’s gonna blow” question :)
    [Editor's Note: SocketSite strives to maintain a sober, data-driven view of the San Francisco market without being excessively optimistic or pessimistic. But to answer your question about the editor, yes...]

  7. Posted by samadams

    Agents not only have to worry about thieves but phyiscal harm as well. Some realtors have been assaulted or killed while showing properties. An issue of Real Estate by CAR had an article on that and how agents can protect themselves.

  8. Posted by Mole Man

    I remember Socketsite being relevant. Fear is spreading and things are likely to get ugly. Not being spared the rhetoric of conflict is only the beginning.

  9. Posted by Lori

    This is just one of the reasons why I did not have an open house when my condo was for sale. Now I can see that I wasn’t being too overly paranoid. Of course, I locked up my laptop and my jewelry box when people came through.

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