Gary Lynn, 29, and Adriana Gamboa, 26, were spotted in a Chandler, Arizona, Opendoor-listed house with Gamboa’s two children when a prospective buyer came in to view the house on Monday. As was first reported by local news, Lynn was charging his phone on the first floor of the house near two large duffel bags of clothing while Gamboa was giving one of her children a bath on the second floor. The second child was running around the house wet.
A popular iBuyer founded in 2014, Opendoor evaluates homes using technology and then makes an all-cash offer to the owner for a fee. It then resells the houses through its site. Users see which Opendoor listings are available for viewing in their neighborhood.
The company prides itself on on giving the seller the flexibility of a quick, all-cash close — homeowners who use an iBuyer often opt for convenience and a sure sale over the typically higher sales price a traditional agent might fetch.
Police arrested Lynn and Gamboa on suspicion of trespassing as well as possession of drug paraphernalia for Gamboa. The woman had initially told police that they were walking around the neighborhood but decided to give the children baths when they got sweaty from the walk.
The two children, whose names and ages were not released by the police, were taken by the Department of Child Services.
After calling Opendoor, police found out that buyers receive a code for the lockbox on the house they want to view through the app but only have one hour to view the house.
Although the police did find the Opendoor application on Gamboa’s phone, it is unclear how she and Lynn got inside. She later told the police that she was trying to get away from a shelter called My Sister’s Place where she was staying.
Opendoor, which raised $1 billion in funding and is valued at nearly $4 billion, is one of the most popular iBuyers in the country. In the past month, it has launched its own mortgage lending service and acquired a large title and lending company. It currently operates in 20 cities across states such as Arizona, California, Georgia, Texas, Nevada and Florida.
Squatting is an extremely common problem for both open houses and homes that sit on the market without an owner. Strategies to address the issue include installing strong alarm systems and having brokerage employees routinely check into any home that is for sale.
In response to the incident, Opendoor released a statement saying that it works to respond to all incidents of unauthorized visitors promptly.
“Ensuring the safety of our customers, our neighbors and our communities is one of the most important things we do every day at Opendoor,” Opendoor told Inman in an emailed statement.
“When Opendoor receives reports of unauthorized or suspicious activity in our homes, we immediately engage with our customers, investigate and refer matters to law enforcement when appropriate.
“We also invest in measures to secure our homes, including advanced home-monitoring systems that will automatically dispatch security patrols when abnormal activity is detected. More information on our trust and safety measures can be found at opendoor.com/safety.”
Note: This story was updated to clarify the details of where Gamboa was staying before arriving at the Opendoor house.