How often does integrity come into play in your life? Rather, should I say lack of it? Me, I hear it almost every day and sometimes many times a day, depending on the situations my clients have experienced.

I met Realtor Melynda Wolter of Keller Williams Integrity First Real Estate several weeks ago and we have been discussing the issues of scams and crimes involving homes, real estate and rentals.

Many folks try to find their rentals or purchases on their own and they may run into scams on sites such as Craigslist and other "classified ad" websites. It may even be a yard sign or ad in a local paper.

When I was looking for a rental for a family member a while back, I ran into multiple "owners" on Craigslist who were conveniently "out of town" or "working out of state" and were offering a really great deal on monthly rent. I did some digging and found that those homes were actually listed on the MLS and had much higher prices which reflected accurately on the going rate for those neighborhoods.

Another thing I ran into was Realtors who, instead of meeting me to show me the home, gave out codes to lockboxes and told me to call them if I was interested. At one home, I found several potential "renters" who were looking at the home. There were no appliances and the home was in bad shape. As I left, I went to greet a big Golden Retriever (of course, right?) and his owners who lived a few houses away. They asked me if I was the realtor and what was going on in the home. I told them and mentioned that I thought it was a great neighborhood for my family member but how can you rent a home with no appliances and serious damages. They were shocked and said that they knew the owner and at move out, the appliances were all there and there was no damage. So what occurred here? Was it the fact that the realtor was not present that provided an opportunity for the appliances to be stolen or was there something else unsavory going on? Who knows!

What I know is that it is refreshing to meet a realtor like Melynda Wolter who is concerned about her client's safety and value as well as her own. She ensures that she is present on every showing AND makes sure that she checks out any potential clients beforehand. Don't get me started on the number of clients who call for an eviction...when we discuss, "Did you do a background check", the answer is usually no. I remind them that what is a small price up front, saves you from a big price on the back end.

If you have an issue with real estate, safety or integrity, please feel free to give me a call!