DENVER (CBS4) – A couple who was getting ready to sell their home and move to Florida has a warning for anyone who puts their house on the market.
Donna Doherty and her husband told CBS4 they were ready for retirement and a change in scenery so they put their home up for sale.
“I found this retirement community down in Florida that was perfect for us,” Doherty said.
It didn’t take long before they were showing it to potential buyers. All of the appointments were set up by Centralized Showing Service, which is a third party company used by dozens of realty agencies in Colorado. They screen real estate agents and then give them a code that verifies their identity.
“The only thing that was peculiar was that they wanted to see our house in like less than 30 minutes,” Doherty said. “And I thought ‘Wow.’ But we’re desperate, you know, to sell the house.”
They left, and when Doherty’s husband returned he realized the home had been burglarized. Handguns, an AK-47 and ammo were missing, along with the couple’s wedding rings and a special necklace Doherty got the night her husband proposed.
Her agent then called the scheduling company, which claimed they were given a legitimate agent code, which is why thieves were able to access the home for sale’s lock box. The code belonged to a realtor who works outside the Denver metro area, and when he was contacted about the situation he said he had no idea his code had been used.
CBS4’s calls to Centralized Showing Service to ask questions about the situation weren’t returned Wednesday night. However, CBS4 did make an attempt to call Centralized Showing and set up a time to see a home that is on the market in Denver right now. The company wouldn’t give access to a lock box without an agent code.
Doherty says everyone should be aware that they could be victimized like she was if they are putting up their home for sale.
“Ask your realtor to please show up at a showing of your home … because it’s your life,” Doherty said.