Real estate agent attacked during open house triggers industry warnings

The region's hot housing market has realtors ready to go, but a recent attack against an agent in Snohomish County has many rethinking their personal safety. (Photo: KOMO News)

TULALIP, Wash. - The region's hot housing market has realtors ready to go, but a recent attack against an agent in Snohomish County has many rethinking their personal safety.

Good realtors always try to be responsive but sometimes that can put them at risk. They might find themselves alone in a house with people they don't know, and that can open the door for trouble.

At one point during an open house in Tulalip, the real estate agent hosting the event said three men jumped him, striking his head with a glass lamp and ordering him to his knees. The real estate agent said he fought for his life and managed to get past them, but came away with deep gashes and a broken cheek bone.

“As far as safety being a priority, I think it's always a priority,” said Bob Wold, president of the Snohomish County-Camano Association of Realtors. “The incident that happened in Snohomish County is probably making everybody a little more aware of it."

Another agent said two men and a woman tried to get him back into a house in the Outlook Ridge neighborhood, but they seemed suspicious so the realtor faked a phone call and refused to open the door.

As for that assault, sheriff's deputies said they have developed some leads on possible suspects and the case remains an active investigation.

Real estate agents have a list of dos and don'ts to avoid these types of dangerous situations. For starters, it’s recommended to always meet unknown clients in a public place - before going to a home. Also, use the buddy system by teaming up with another broker to host an open house.

As far as clients, they recommend that people remove or lock up all valuables in a home – especially jewelry and medications.

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