Realtors by day (murder mystery writers by night) warn of danger

  • Seeing what can go wrong for real estate agents in fiction can be a stark reminder about why safety guidelines exist.
  • Rules such as meeting new clients in the office before going to appointments should be much more widespread, say the two murder mystery crime writers.

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Ever had a deal fall through because you stumbled across a body in the master bath’s Whirlpool? Or perhaps you’ve heard of the agent chained to a hot water tank in the basement, dying of dehydration? Her big mistake (of course): overpricing the listing so no agent came through the house to save her in time. OK, relax -- you are in the world of fiction here. But real crimes happening in the real estate industry were great fodder for the fertile minds of two murder mystery writers based in New York state's Hudson Valley. It was the death of Beverly Carter in 2014 that inspired Realtor and broker Bernice Gottlieb to write Havoc-on-Hudson, a cautionary tale for real estate agents. Carter had actually made contact with Gottlieb a couple of months before she died -- a referral call -- and though they never spoke, despite leaving messages for each other, Carter’s story was especially striking to the veteran agent. Gottlieb and Keller Williams associate broker Dawn Bar...