Area realtors take precautions when showing homes - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Area realtors take precautions when showing homes

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - The Mississippi Realtors Association is encouraging each of its 350 broker firms to follow a new initiative; it's called C.I.T.O. or come into the office, a move that would have clients come to their office before meeting strangers at a vacant home for a showing.

The murder of a 49 year old Arkansas grandmother in September, prompted these statewide concerns for renewed safety in the real estate community. The accused killer in the case of Beverly Carter told her he was interested in buying a home. 

After his court appearance Aaron Lewis was asked why Beverly Carter? 

"Because she was just a woman that worked alone; targeted because she was a rich broker," Lewis replied.

Those words were shocking enough to initiate a new way of doing business in the real estate market.

Stephanie EiNicks, President of the Mississippi Association of Realtors said Tuesday,

"It's forced them to step back and take a look at those policies and what they are doing to engage agents then in taking that active role in their own safety as well as the consumers," said Mississippi Association of Realtors President Stephanie EiNicks.

Realtors recognize this tragic case is a reminder of just how risky their business can be and how vulnerable they are.

" I think it's one of those things that many of our brokers have had policies, but there has never been a strong implementing by a lot of brokers of those policies," said Nicks.

With the new initiative unveiled Tuesday, the association is encouraging real estate agencies to bring potential clients into the office, get their identification and information before showing a home. It's a warning that personal safety doesn't start at the front door of a home for sale, it should begin at the office.

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