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Daily Real Estate News  |  July 14, 2006  |   Murder of Practitioner Brings Safety to Forefront
In suburban Dallas, Texas, a real estate saleswoman was killed last weekend. Prospective buyers who stopped to tour the model home where Sarah Anne Walker was holding an open house found her body.

She had been stabbed more than two dozen times. Understandably, the incident has shaken up other real estate professionals in the area.

"If only we knew what an attacker looks like - that's the problem," said Sherryl Wesson, an office manager for Dallas-based Ebby Halliday, REALTORSŪ. "You have to be on guard all the time."

Adella Woods, an associate with Ebby Halliday, says it’s time to take drastic measures: Eliminate all open houses. "If a home is priced properly, it doesn't need an open house," she says.

But practitioner Harriet Shaw, of David Griffin & Co. in Dallas, doesn’t think that will happen anytime soon. Sellers and buyers both like open houses, and that will make a change difficult.

Nevertheless, many agree the time may have come to rethink safety concerns. Between 1982 and 2000, more than 200 U.S. real estate professionals were killed on the job, according to a safety report published by the Kentucky Real Estate Commission.

Source: The Dallas Morning News, Steve Brown (07/13/2006)

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