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Arkansas lock box thief used stolen keys for home invasions – now in jail



Burglar simply walked in front doors with keys in hand. Photo by Alan Cleaver.

Continued home invasions in occupied listings

Several homeowners with their houses on the market in Benton, Arkansas have come home in recent weeks to their homes having been ransacked and items from jewelry to iPads missing. The problem with these home invasions was that there was no forced entry- the burglar were using a house key to enter these homes, after stealing the MLS lock boxes and returning later to enter the homes with his newly acquired keys.

One homeowner happened to be home when his doorbell rang, he was going to ignore it until he heard the deadbolt unlock and was greeted by a “startled” man with a black bag who introduced himself as “Roger” and said he called “Michelle” (the listing agent’s name who had never spoken to a “Roger”) and was there to tour the home. He asked the owner for an info sheet and the man walked back to his SUV. On his way to the vehicle, the homeowner noticed the lock box was missing, stopped “Roger” as he backed out of the driveway, who denied taking it- the homeowner got his license plate number, according to Channel 11 News.

Jewelry, iPads, computers, cameras strewn about the apartment

The license plate was used to track down “Roger’s” leased car which led investigators to 39 year old George Sedberry who was arrested in his apartment which investigators report was full of moving boxes, three computers, two iPads, two digital cameras, a substantial amount of jewelry, a bucket with ten Realtor lock boxes, various keys (some with address labels), and silver flatware. In searching his Suburban, they found more jewelry, more keys and a lock box along with various papers listing homes for sale.

Sedberry has been charged with five counts each of residential burglary and theft of property with more charges anticipated. The investigation has revealed that he was researching homes for sale online, driving to the neighborhoods to steal the lockboxes, take them to his apartment, remove the key and return to the house a day or two later, simply walking in the front door with a key. Channel 11 reports that Sedberry stole mostly jewelry which he mostly pawned, and that his burglaries and thefts are not limited to Benton but occurred in Little Rock, Sherwood< Bryand and Maumelle as well. Stolen property that has been recovered through the investigation has been returned to their original owners. Tip for real estate professionals: make sure your homeowners are checking that their lockbox is closed properly every day, is not loose, and is actually where it was originally installed.

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.


Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?



Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.



aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.



zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub,, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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