Alert – Agents Should Be Cautious During Open Homes

Recently, one of our broker/clients contacted us and advised us that after an open house, the vacant home that he had staged was burglarized. Several of the staging items, such as the television, were taken. The burglar may have cased the home during the open house and returned and broke through a window after the open house concluded.

A California appellate court also recently published an opinion arising out of burglaries from open houses, wherein the defendant stole jewelry. (While the appellate court opinion is irrelevant to a broker’s practice, the fact that the burglaries occurred at an open house is of concern.)

Agents are advised to take precautions during open homes. Agents should advise sellers to ensure that all valuables are safely stored. Agents should also stay alert during open homes for anyone out of place or suspicious.

Brokers are also encouraged to review their insurance policies to evaluate coverage for these instances. Some insurance policies include protections during stolen items during open homes or lockbox violations.

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