Sarah Row has been a REALTOR® for nearly four years, but she wasn’t prepared for what happened on October 7, the second day of an open house in the Nelson Square neighborhood of Phoenix.

“You hear stories of things happening to REALTORS® all the time,” said Row. As she walked up to the vacant property, she had a gut feeling that something was wrong, “eerie”.

“The first thing I noticed was the back gate that didn’t have a lock on it,” she said. “The day before it was flopping open and closed, and today it was shut pretty securely. I unlocked the (front) door…first thing I noticed was all the doors were closed. When I had left the property the day before, it was not like that. I always leave the bedroom doors open, just so that there are no surprises.”

As another precaution, Row left the front door open while opening blinds and turning on lights.

“I went to open the front bedroom door,” she recalled. “When I walked past the bathroom, the one thing that kind of alarmed me was — the door was shut. Then, I went to go open the bedroom door…the handle was locked. I heard some rustling. That’s when the door came open. Nothing was said. They reached for my arm and at that moment I — I don’t even remember the ground under my feet. My body was completely numb.”

Row’s first instinct was to secure the property. Her mentor said, “What were you thinking?”

“I got out the front door,” she continued. “Shut the door behind me (and) went to go put the key into the lock box. That’s when they opened the front bedroom window. I just took the key with me…went into my car (and) dialed 911. I let the listing agent know what was going on, then I waited (across the street) for the police.

“I kept my doors locked…kept my car running in case I needed to drive away really fast.”

“When the police got there, the house was vacant…they must have gotten out the back window. The police officers said that, ‘That’s probably where they entered.’ There were some pry marks on the back window.

“I was just thinking (about) things that I did wrong. I should have just gotten out of there and not worried about anything. I have lenders come with me… a couple of friends in insurance that have had open houses with me. I’ve done so many, I never had issues. I was a little bit cavalier and could have been a lot safer.

“I wish I’d followed my gut instinct…I just had that feeling like, today something’s going to happen.”

Sarah Row was lucky, but not everyone is — just ask the families of Sidney Cranston, Jr. and Beverly Carter.

For more tips on staying safe, visit our REALTOR® Safety page and make sure your cell phone is up-to-date with your local association, so you can get text alerts from the Agent Safety Alert Program (ASAP).

Related video: Phoenix Area REALTOR ® Says She was Grabbed – (Oct. 9, 2018)

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