David Saks - Real Estate Broker - The Real Estate Mart of Tennessee, Inc. - 4040 North Watkins-Suite #4 - Memphis, Tennessee 38127 - Phone (901) 357-4663


Is the Realtor burglarizing this home ?
Has the Realtor committed a crime ?


Who's telling the truth ?

David Saks

Time&Temp Memphis

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Comment balloon 27 commentsDavid Saks • July 10 2012 11:50AM


Wow - I would say that he is up to something and is going to be up to his neck in something else very soon.

Posted by Troy Seelhammer (Meier Realty - The Smart Choice!) over 7 years ago

David - This indicates that it is important to have a hidden camera inside a for sale house. Thanks for the information.

Posted by John Pusa, Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest) over 7 years ago

Thanks for your comments, Troy, John.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 7 years ago

David, this adds to the bad reputation of real estate agents. It's no wonder many home sellers are requiring showings by appointment only, and/or their agent to be present. Thanks for your post today,

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) over 7 years ago

David, p.s. your byline is funny, "You don't have to sell homes to be a broker, just smell them." LOL

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) over 7 years ago

Nice to hear from you, Pamela.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 7 years ago

I can't really tell if he did anything wrong, or removed any medication. Maybe he was just moving it to a higher shelf as a safety precaution? ( Sounds like he didn't have any valid excuse though when questioned). He could have at least taken his shoes off before standing on the owners chair. They said he had a scheduled showing, but it's not clear if he was the listing agent, or was an agent meeting a buyer there? from a legal standpoint, I doubt he will be charged with anything. It's not illegal to check out inside of cabinets when showing a house.

Posted by Jeff Pearl, Full Service Full Time Realtor (RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA) over 7 years ago

Good morning David. The looking out the window and going back to the cupboard concerns me. I don't think he would be worried if anyone was coming to look normally. We really don't need yet another black eye for real estate agents. I won't judge but will be waiting for the verdict.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) over 7 years ago

His actions are questionable but may not constitute the fabric of burglary, Jeff, if his intent was to inspect the cabinetry. The cabinets above the refrigerator are hardest to reach in some cases for inspection. Thanks for your comments.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 7 years ago

This is really sad and gives everyone in our business a bad name no matter what the agent was up to.

Posted by Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty, Florida Space Coast Homes (Waves Realty) over 7 years ago

Whether he removed any medications or not is irrelevant to me.  He is completely wrong in his actions. An agent just doesn't go through peoples cabinets and drawers. That is an invasion of privacy and is not appropriate. When one agent behaves this way he reflects on all good agents. The fact that someone chooses you to be their agent doesn't give you the right to go through their belongings.


Posted by Team Honeycutt (Allen Tate) over 7 years ago

OMG - this doesn't surprise me really but we should all be very aware of our behavior when viewing homes - I do feel like sometimes there are Nanny cams and I tell my lookers, please keep your hands to yourself and don't look into things that are none of their business... But to climb on cabinets really? 

Posted by Suzanne Gantner, GRI, E-Pro, SRES, SRS, ABR (Sky Realty, Central Texas Real Estate ) over 7 years ago

Looks like he is in trouble - sure not worth losing his license. May lead to less homes on lockbox which would be unfortunate. Regards Dave

Posted by David Grbich, Orange County Real Estate - 949-500-0484 (Realty One Group - www.FindCARealEstate.com) over 7 years ago

Looking for drugs over the refrigerator, Randy ? Sounds like BS. Wouldn't the medicine cabinet be the best place for a burglar looking for drugs ? Not the refrigerator cabinet !

And, BTW, the Realtor's name is clearly visible on the yard sign !

Channel Five Chicago

So much for channel 5's retention of confidentiality for the accused !

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 7 years ago

No kidding, Jeff ! If his intentions were dishonorable.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 7 years ago

He could have been looking for his client, Betty, when he went to the window, not standing a watch so he could ransack the home.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 7 years ago

I think he was looking for a mouse, he must of heard something rattling around in those cabinets. Also someone needs to tell him the jewelry is in the bedrooms.

Posted by Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA (Winston Realty, Inc.) over 7 years ago

Wow - this doesn't sit well with me.  There's a difference between being "nosey" and someone looking to steal.  If the cabinets were closed and the meds out of site, odds are he was looking for something. 

It's not just real estate agents who steal.  We have a big problem in our area with open houses and people picking stuff up that they shouldn't be handling.  Although many E&O carriers cover losses during open houses, we still like to remind owners to put and lock everything away - jewelry, money, medications, personal items, etc.  Even kids toys can be a distraction to someone who brings a young child in to preview the home.

Another growing trend - prescription parties.  High school age kids come through open houses, "need" to use the bathroom and rifle through the medicine cabinet to steal prescription drugs.  They throw them all into a hat and trip out on whatever they pull out of the hat.  It's risky and stupid, but they do it. 


Posted by Martin Kalisker, Professional Standards & Legal Assistant (Greater Boston Association of REALTORS) over 7 years ago

Maybe he was looking for a pen. I've kept pens in the cabinets over the refrigerator so I'd have something to write with whenever I needed to leave a sticky post on the door or under a refrigerator magnet, Suzanne. I have to leave a note on the the refrigerator door now about a carpenter coming by tomorrow afternoon at 4pm to fix the triangular gable vents on the north and south sides of my home. If this blog entry stays up for a couple of days I'll pass the mention of the carpenters visit each time I scroll through the blog roll and won't need the post it sticky note.

He could have been looking for cockroaches. If there had been some he could have gotten a dish rag to wipe down the refrigerator top before his client got there.

Nobody knows. It's all speculation and speculation isn't worth very much without evidence, nor will speculation convince a judge and jury that he's guilty of burglarizing the home for drugs.

Did he discuss drugs with the client before arranging the showing ?

In any event, it's a hell of a lot of embarrassment for the guy.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 7 years ago

Winston, the jury is out :-)

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 7 years ago

The "prescription party" is sinister, Synergy.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 7 years ago

Wow!  Now I have covered up things like jewlery or money that the home owner lrft on top of dresser but I would never dream of examining  personal items.  I always ask clients to put everything away but as we all know sometimes they jusat forget.  Thanks for sharing

Posted by Patsy Barten, REALTOR Post Falls ID (Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene) over 7 years ago

Whose responsible for stolen items during an open house, Patsy ?

Realtors have been convicted of burglary.

It'd be interesting to examine the records of the repective real estate commissions of each state to see how many realtors have been convicted of burglary, wrongly or righfully, based on the criminal background checks conducted by each real estate commission. Or any other crimes that cast pallor over their integrity.

I was falsely accused of burglary in 1987 when I stopped to look at a home in midtown Memphis that was for lease. It was blighted. 

The owner of the house was a doctor who had used the home to funnel mental health patients for half way house care and treatment from state mental health facilities and prisons.

The doctor, a local psychiatrist, was being investigated for medicare fraud after a hidden closet was discovered that hid copies of fraudulent billing documents that had been submitted to Medicare.

When I appeared in court the burglary III charge was dismissed and reduced to trespassing. The prosecuting attorney convinced the judge that I should have contacted the owner before stepping into the yard. I wasn't fined and didn't have to pay court costs. My attorney represented me probono. Later, the court clerks office reviewed the case and believed that I was harrassed by the police and should never have been charged. I was serving as Grand Jury Foreman for Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons during my visit with the court clerks office just a few years ago.

Here's another look at my case along with others:


The house was trashed by vandals who broke in and set off a silent alarm before I got there.  The police pulled up behind my car seconds after I arrived and found a screwdriver in a trash heap, handcuffed me, threw me against the car, on the ground and scratched and bruised me, accused me of using the screwdriver to pry a door open and took me to jail. I was in jail for four hours before a court date was set. 

The doctor who owned the house was a paranoid who thought that I was part of an investigation team investigating him for fraudulent Medicare billing.

The same doctor died recently after his billing receptionist was caught, charged, convicted and sentenced to a lengthy prison term for fraudulent Medicare billing and embezzlement.

His colleague, another clinical psychiatrist, died shortly after the receptionist' conviction.

The lesson is that the owner should always be contacted before you put your foot in the yard.

Period !

I have questions about whether the realtor should be convicted of a crime or not, although his actions are questionable.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 7 years ago

This guy needs to Lawyer up, and he needs to shut up. 

    If the Police / Homeowner files charges, or if the Board of Realtors (or Real Estate Licensing Board) goes after him, he needs a good Attorney to get that Video suppressed and not admissible as evidence. 

Posted by Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Agreed, Fred.

The allegation that he was looking for drugs pathetically lacks force or effectiveness.

The opening remark of the anchorwoman is that the homeowner, "accuses a real estate agent of entering her home and looking for drugs". And Channel 5's investigative reporter Dick Johnson says"...a licensed Realtor taking a very personal look at their belongings".

The homeowner should retain an attorney if a libel suit is pursued by the agent and his brokerage.

I'd research the libel laws as applied in the state and whether there are grounds for defamation of character if indescretion of the television station to keep the yard sign out of the news story is an issue, and that which includes the homeowner's allegations if they are inappropriate and without merit.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 7 years ago
How sad.. I've heard of people going through medicine cabinets during open houses, but agents? This certainly isn't going to help our reputation.
Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) over 7 years ago

A homeowner could craftily and slyly stage a set-up on closed circuit or security cam if they were unhappy with the agent, wanted to kill the listing agreement and tarnish the reputation of the brokerage,agents and realtors, Todd.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 7 years ago

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